Which Kindle Is Best for Going on the Internet?

By Matt Skaggs

Before the Kindle Fire HD, all Kindle Fires had standard-definition screens.
i David McNew/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Amazon has released numerous versions of its Kindle device, starting with the first-generation Kindle almost solely aimed at e-book usage. The newer Kindle Fire HD is a well-rounded tablet in its own right with many more features. You can, of course, read books on the newer versions, but if you're interested in the best experience when browsing the Internet, the 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD has the best features available at the time of publication. Other Kindle devices also support Internet access.

Important Factors

Some features are essential for quality Internet access on any mobile device. For the fastest Internet speeds, having a device compatible with 802.11n networks is best because it allows speeds up to 300 megabits per second, although devices compatible with only 802.11g support speeds up to 54 Mbps. Some tablets support 3G or 4G connections as well, which gives you additional opportunities to get online. If you want to access demanding content, such as streaming videos, or if you usually open many tabs at once in Web browsers, a device with a fast CPU has a major advantage. To enjoy crisp, HD videos and images, a quality screen is also required.

Best Option

As of December 2012, the best Kindle for browsing the Internet is the Kindle Fire HD with the 8.9-inch screen. It has a dedicated Web browser app, and it has hardware that's more than capable of offering a smooth Internet experience. It supports 802.11n networks, and it has a dual-core 1.5 GHz processor, which provides quality playback of HD content. Its screen has a full HD 1920-by-1200-pixel resolution, so videos and images have a sharp, high-quality look to them.


To get online, you need access to a Wi-Fi network, or you need access to AT&T's 4G network if you have the 4G version of the Kindle Fire HD and a corresponding data plan. To connect to Wi-Fi, swipe your finger down from the top of the screen and then tap "Wireless" and "Wi-Fi." In a moment, available networks will appear, and you can tap the one you want to connect to. If the network requires a password, your Kindle will prompt you to type it. To connect to a 4G network you just need to turn on 4G, which is available by swiping your finger down from the top of the screen and tapping "More," "Wireless & Networks," and "Mobile Network" followed by "Mobile Network" again.

Other Kindles

Although the 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD is the best Kindle for getting online, other Kindles support Internet access and work well for many people. The Kindle Fire HD 7-inch version has a smaller screen with a lower resolution -- 1280 by 800 pixels -- and its dual-core CPU is a bit slower at 1.2 GHz, but it still provides a good online experience. The original Kindle Fire's screen is 1024 by 600 pixels, and its dual-core CPU was originally 1 GHz, although later it was manufactured with a 1.2 GHz processor; its capabilities online are poorer, but it still supports Internet browsing. Earlier versions of the Kindle, such as the fifth-generation Kindle and the Kindle Paperwhite, have experimental Web browsers that offer slower performance and are not able to display all the types of content on websites.