Do I Need the Internet to Watch Movies on a Kindle Fire?

By Andy Warycka

You don't necessarily need Internet access to watch movies on your Kindle.
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Plugging in headphones and watching a movie on your Kindle Fire is a great way to pass a long flight -- and filter out everything from the crying baby three rows back and the chatterbox sitting next to you. While primarily designed for streaming video, it's possible to watch movies on the Fire with no Internet connection if you plan ahead of time. And it might just keep you sane while stuck in the middle seat.

Amazon Content

One of the main selling points of the Kindle Fire is the access to Amazon Instant Video, with thousands of titles for sale or rent -- and many of those free for Amazon Prime members. While the free Prime content can only be streamed, its possible to select "Download" when purchasing or renting a movie. This saves the video to your Kindle, and you can watch it at any time. These files must be downloaded via Internet and cannot be transferred via USB cable.

Personal Content

If you have personal videos stored on your computer, you may transfer those to the Kindle Fire via USB cable. Once on the device, they appear in the Gallery app on the first-generation Fire and in the Personal Videos app on the second-generation Fire. They can be watched at any time. Currently the Kindle Fire first-generation supports MP4 and VP8 video file types natively; the second generation supports 3GP as well.

Other Video Services

Netflix is a popular video service for many Kindle Fire users, but offers no option to download videos to the device to watch offline. Hulu is much the same, offering a wide selection of TV and movies, but also only in a streaming format. Without Internet access, you can't watch movies from these services.

Storage Considerations

Any saved content takes up storage space on the device, so it's important to keep in mind how much available space you have before you begin downloading content. The Kindle Fire offers 8GB of storage, and the Fire HD comes in 16 and 32GB versions. The larger Fire HD 8.9-inch offers 16, 32, and 64GB options. Movies range in size from several hundred megabytes to upwards of 2GB depending on length and resolution, and any apps, books or other files on your Kindle will take up storage space too.