Do You Need Wi-Fi to Read Books on the Kindle?

By Brad Conway

The Kindle does not require an Internet connection for reading.
i Ralph Orlowski/Getty Images News/Getty Images

The Amazon Kindle is an e-reader that lets users read and store thousands of digital books on a single device. Since a Kindle's content is digital and connected to a user's Amazon account, performing many necessary functions on a Kindle, such as downloading books and syncing page numbers, requires an Internet connection. The Kindle uses Wi-Fi to connect to the Internet and perform these functions. Reading books on a Kindle, however, does not require a W-iFi connection.

Reading Books

The Kindle does not require Wi-Fi in order to open books and turn pages. You can select titles that you've already purchased from the Home screen on your Kindle. You can also turn pages, search for words and view all notes and marks within each title without an Internet connection. To prolong battery life, you should turn off the Wi-Fi connection while reading.

Shopping for Books

Kindle owners do not need to connect their Kindle to the Internet while shopping for books. You can browse the Amazon online bookstore via an Internet connection from any device. For example, you can search for Kindle books using your desktop computer. If Kindle owners want to use their Kindles to shop for books, however, the Kindle does require a Wi-Fi connection to do so.

Ordering Books

You need a Wi-Fi connection if you wish to purchase Kindle books through your Kindle. However, a Wi-Fi connection is not necessary to place book orders. You can log on to your Amazon account from any device that has an Internet connection, including your home computer or mobile phone. Ordering a book from a device other than your Kindle will not require that your Kindle has Wi-Fi; however, the book will not automatically be delivered to your Kindle. Instead, it will be stored online under your Kindle account and will be available for download onto your Kindle or any Kindle device, such as Kindle for PC.

Retrieving Books

Kindle books can be delivered to a Kindle only through a Wi-Fi connection. You will not be able to retrieve newly purchased books or archived titles without a connection to the Internet as the titles are stored digitally on your online Amazon account.

Synching Notes & Marks

You can add annotations, highlights and other notes to books while reading without a Wi-Fi connection. However, these notes and marks will not be synchronized to other Kindle reading programs, such as Kindle for PC, without a connection to the Internet. If you are reading the same title on multiple devices, you must activate your Kindle's Wi-Fi connection in order to sync all notes, marks and page numbers.

Software Updates

Amazon occasionally produces software updates to help the Kindle perform at an optimal level. If your Kindle has an active Wi-Fi connection, software updates will be downloaded and installed automatically. However, a Wi-Fi connection is not necessary to update your Kindle software. You can download the latest update from the Amazon Kindle homepage and then connect your Kindle to your computer via the USB connection cord that came with your device. Transfer the software download to your Kindle and install it manually without a Wi-Fi connection.