Saturday, August 21, 2010

3G and WiFi-Only Kindle 3's - What does it all mean? Which should I get?

On the Amazon Kindle forums, the most frequent question I've seen in connection with the new Kindles is about the wireless options -- what "3G" means and how it differs from "WiFi" -- both types are included in the $189 model while the "WiFi-only" model is offered for those who feel they won't ever need the "3G" wireless feature.

This article is written for those new to the wireless scene.  I meant to make it short, but decided to write in more detail.

The word "wireless' here pertains to both 3G and WiFi networks.
  If the e-reader is not attached to a computer but it can access online sites, it's using a "wireless network."  I've seen that many use the term "WiFi" when they mean "3G" mobile-wireless, as it's a confusing area to most who have had no reason to even think about these words before.

As the image at the left indicates, 3G Wireless involves huge wireless networks that cover very long distances -- our cellphones access these networks.  This is often referred to as 'mobile wireless' -- or wireless on the go.  Coverage involves very large areas and involves cell towers.

This involves very "local" and ultra short-range wireless networks -- usually in effect for a home or an office or office building, set up by the individuals using them, but increasingly, cafes and shops are offering customers use of their own WiFi networks while there.

The picture on the left is of my 7-year old Netgear WiFi network router.   Mine takes a signal from Comcast's high-speed cable internet service and routes that cable-modem signal via a wire to my main computer and then broadcasts the signal "locally" around my home so that it's accessible without-wires by my printer/scanner and my laptop.
 My neighbors have WiFi networks in their apartments as well, and we all use the normal security of some kind of passkey so that others can't "steal" access to our wee networks and slow us down by sharing them without permission.

 If you're getting a WiFi-only reader and expect to download books directly to the e-reader without having to hook it up to a computer, you'll need to have a WiFi network set up.  They're very inexpensive these days -- it costs about $40 for a good router -- but someone will need to set it up and understand how to maintain it.  Friends can help.  It's not difficult (except for those without experience with computers), and software that comes with the small router can make it almost automatic.

I think the reason that the Kindle reader 'took off' when other e-readers received much less interest is the capability that Amazon built into the reader so that owners can access the cellphone or mobile networks wherever they are (except in some remote areas) to just download a new book on the spot upon hearing about it.

Amazon has said they wanted customers to be able to use the Kindle without need for a computer.
  With 3G mobile wireless, it doesn't matter where you are -- you can usually download a book you want or do a look-up online.  As Amazon's pages point out, there's no need to look for a "hot spot" -- a place that offers a WiFi network that is sharable by customers, whether for a fee or for free (Starbucks and McDonald's WiFi networks are free).

Nook's implementation of the 3G wireless feature
Nook owners can use the WiFi network access that is available at Barnes and Noble stores, but they can't use that type of wireless in a bus or at the beach as Kindle users can with its 3G.
  The Nook's 3G is able only to access the B&N store online.  (See Len Edgerly's video demo of differences in the implementation of other features that the Nook and the Kindle share.)

It's a one-time $50 difference between these two models.
  As an example of the value of 3G access:
  The iPad costs an additional $130 for the lowest-cost model with 3G capability ($629 vs $499).
  To USE the iPad's 3G wireless, a monthly data plan is needed, at $15 to $30/mo.  For normal smartphones, any added 3G web-data access is usually between $30-$60 dollars monthly.
There are no monthly charges for the Kindle's 3G wireless access.

This more basic summary is modified from one of the earlier articles here.
1. 3G - cellular or mobile networks -- this type is, as with cellphones, accessible over the air almost anywhere. You can be on a bus, at the dentist's office, or at the beach and it can work there.
 If Amazon enables 3G wireless use of the web-browser in another country, you'll be able to use that feature in other countries as well if Kindles sent to your country are enabled for the web-browser.

Personally, I wouldn't give up the free 3G access for a one-time $50 savings when it normally costs $30-$60/month for this type of feature on a smart phone.

2. WiFi - wireless local area networks (WLAN) -- You need to be near a 'local' area network in this case, so these are usually set up in homes or offices and you can find "hotspots" at places like Starbucks, McDonald's and other cafes though some require a per-hour charge and/or a password/passkey.

While the initial cost of the WiFi-Only model is about $50 less, you give up Free 3G cell-phone-type wireless access forever with the unit.
  However, those with 3G web-data plans already on their smartphones or tablets won't miss it that much.  They won't be able to download a book to the Kindle on the spur of the moment from almost anywhere, but that's just a luxury and many are just as happy to wait until they have access to a WiFi network.

That depends on the 3G wireless arrangements Amazon has been able to make with wireless providers in that country.

  Amazon has not enabled the experimental web browser in some regions of the world (probably because the 3G browsing arrangements they could make are too costly for them), although in ALL areas that offer wireless downloads of books, Amazon features 24/7 free access to Wikipedia, which is very useful when done from a book you're reading.

New web browser on the K3's
The Kindle 3's are using the new WebKit-based browser.  Amazon says the updated web browser is "faster, easier to navigate, and provides a new 'article mode' feature that simplifies web pages to just the main text-based content for easier reading."
  That simplification will be great for Kindle Edition blogs when following links in stories.

Here are links to to Amazon's 3G Whispernet coverage maps for the latest Kindles:
  North America     Worldwide

See earlier articles on
. Accessing Google Maps site for Text-only Step-by-Step driving directions on the Kindle (quite fast access)
. A downloadable bookmarks-type file for accessing mobile-device optimized websites
. Sending a highlighted Kindle book passage to friends on Facebook or Twitter (doable from where you are if you have a 3G model).
. a listing of countries for which the Amazon country-specific Kindle-2 pages did not show the web browser as 'unavailable' and countries with product pages specifically stating the web browser was not available for those countries (June 2010) although some were able to use the web browser in those countries for awhile, especially after software update 2.5.x, but now are unable to, and the status of those may change with time.

  The current language of the international Kindle product pages is considerably more vague, with the Wikipedia site listed as available on 3G Whispernet for all, while for the rest of the Net, WiFi access is at least encouraged and in some cases would be 'required,' as 3G web-browsing is not available in some areas.
  Those in countries that were NOT identified as having the web browser 'not available' still seem to be able to use the web browser.
  Other areas, such as The Netherlands and Portugal, which were identified in June as not having web browsing available, did have some Kindles enabled until recently but don't appear to have that capability now.  Amazon doesn't seem to want to be clear on this and it may be because of contract negotiations, ongoing or unsuccessful.

  In the meantime, Germany's now says that 'social networking features' are not available which would indicate the web browser is not enabled, while the other pages are, as I mentioned, vague product page, as of late Sept has been changed to use the same wording as other European pages no longer saying only that "social networking features are not available."
Updated this paragraph Oct. 15, 2010

See for -some- info on countries with 3G web access for Amazon Kindles.

  Amazon has voiced hopes to have web-browsing enabled worldwide and has gone further along that road faster than I'd expected.  The addition of WiFi capability to the new Kindles should help a bit where 3G web browsing is not currently available.

Current Kindle Models for reference, plus free-ebook search links.
NOTES on newer Kindles.
Updated Kindle Fire Basic  7" tablet - $159
Kindle Fire HD 7" 16/32GB - $199/$249
Kindle Fire HD 8.9" 16/32GB - $299/$369
Kindle Fire HD 8.9" 4G 32/64GB - $499/$599
Kindle NoTouch ("Kindle") - $69/$89
Kindle Paperwhite, WiFi - $99/$139
Kindle Paperwhite, 3G/WiFi - $179/$199
Kindle Keybd 3G - $139/$159, Free but slow web
Kindle DX - $379, Free, slow web
Kindle Basic, NoTouch - £69
Kindle Touch WiFi, UK - £109
Kindle Keyboard 3G, UK - £149
  Keybd: w/ Free, slow 3G WEB
OTHER International
Kindle NoTouch Basic - $89
Kindle Touch WiFi - $139
Kindle Keybd 3G - $189
  Keybd: w/ Free, slow 3G WEB

Check often: Temporarily-free recently published Kindle books
  Guide to finding Free Kindle books and Sources.  Top 100 free bestsellers.  Liked-books under $1
UK-Only: recently published free books, bestsellers, or £5 Max ones
    Also, UK customers should see the UK store's Top 100 free bestsellers.

  *Click* to Return to the HOME PAGE.  Or click on the web browser's BACK button

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  1. You said: "However, those with 3G web-data plans already on their smartphones or tablets won't miss it that much. They won't be able to download a book to the Kindle on the spur of the moment"

    Some of the new data plans have a hotspot option. Like the Sprint EVO. People with this plan and option can share their phone wireless with any wifi device (since it makes a local wifi hotspot). These folks will be able to download a book to the wifi-only Kindle on the spur of the moment anywhere they have cell phone access.

    I ordered the Kindle 1 on launch day, currently use a Kindle 2, but just ordered the wifi-only kindle 3 (after I realized it would be silly for me to pay extra when I already carry a 3g wifi hotspot with me).

  2. Anonymous,
    That's true! Verizon's is "only" an add'l $20/mo. when I last looked (when thinking about getting the Motorola Droid X or Samsung's various versions of its Amoled screen -- Sprint's version has the slide-out keyboard but the MiFi style hotspot feature is $30 there.

    But you're talking to someone who won't pay for even normal web data which is about $30/mo. and the hotspot feature is on top of that.

  3. i'm thinking about ordering Kinlde 3 wifi only. I am subscribed to Verizon
    FIOS. Will I have to do any aditional installing or do anything to connect
    the Kindle to it?

  4. Anonymous,
    All you have to do is connect with it the same way you would if you were connecting a laptop. Sometimes a password or passkey is needed, which was made during setup.

    The 3G has no setup whatsoever and works almost anywhere you happen to be, at no cost.

  5. Thank you for the clear description of both. 3G seems the way to go.

  6. Biffybeans,
    Good to hear or see that it was a help. Thanks!

  7. Hi, thank you for this blog about Kindle. I'm on the line wating for my Amazon order to be shipped to an US address. I live in Colombia but the kindle will be shipped to an US address, a friend just gonna bring me the Kindle to Colombia. I bought the Wifi only version, but 3G version seems to be an atractive deal, I don't know if 3G access will be enabled in my country, even if I bought the US version, do you know?. I'm on time to cancel the Wifi only version and change by the 3G version.

  8. Leonardo,
    When you click, at the Kindle 3 product page, right-hand side, on the "Live Outside the U.S.?" question and then select 'Columbia' from the list of other regions, you'll see in the pop-up box for Columbia:

    "Free Wireless: Free 3G wireless lets you download books right from your Kindle. No monthly fees, service plans, or hunting for Wi-Fi hotspots. For non-U.S. customers, there are also no additional charges for wireless delivery in or outside your home country. See Coverage Map. See Wireless Terms and Conditions"

    Note that that paragraph is for downloading books (from Amazon).

    The bottom half covers restrictions and recommendations. Most of the language is the same for countries with 3G downloading of books.

    There is no way right now to tell whether the experimental web browser can be used via free 3G for anything else besides Wikipedia, as it's unclear whether the 'WiFi' part indicates restriction or just strong recommendation (since the same language is used for Canada, which does have 3G web browsing), but I am hopeful that prospective customers in other countries are able to find out in some way soon whether their add'l web access is limited to WiFi.

    In your case, I think all you need to know is that Columbia does have the 3G wireless method for download of books and it is certain that you can browse at least Wikipedia with it.

    So, yes, I'd get the 3G one.

  9. I just purchased the Kindle with wi-fi only, but i use a 3g broadband modem. (I used to have high-speed but i canceled it when i moved to a new house. So, my question is how can i use the wi-fi only kindle to download books wirelessly from home.? Do i need to buy a new router.?

  10. Anonymous,
    Who provides the 3g signal for you. I'd call them and ask for advice on how to use a WiFi router with this. Maybe something like a Novatel (I think) MiFi.

    I think you should have gone with the 3G Kindle. You have 30 days to return it for a full refund if not satisfied with how it meets your needs and then you can buy a 3G Kindle if you still want one.

  11. I ordered the 3G Kindle International version for delivery to Australia. It's my first E-Reader. I took 3 months of research and pondering before I chose the Kindle. Including having a 3 week oversees holiday start 3 days before my Kindle arrived. Could not be happier with 3G, I use my PC or laptop to order a book from Amazon, 30 seconds later my kindle fires up and the book arrives. It's like magic.

  12. Brendan/Maree,
    That's a lot of research! But, you started a 3 wk overseas holiday BEFORE your Kindle arrived?

    Did it meet you somewhere on your holiday? Or did it rest at your home until you returned?

    It really IS like magic, and that's why Amazon knew that this 3G thing, w/o requiring a computer, or pc knowledge, would be enticing or actually addicting. Part of it is the wish-fulfilled thing. You wish, it appears.

    We wish a little too often and Amazon thrives :-) The great thing is that SO much is available for free as well...

    Congratulations, and thanks for sharing that.

  13. Like many others with the new Kindle WiFi only, we can't connect through our iMac Airport. It does however, connect to the local coffee shop WiFi without any problem, and we can download books. How dumb is that! Lots and lots of people in the same boat, so it appears there's a glitch somewhere in the iMac, although to verify that, you have to pay a fee to have a technician at Apple talk to you. If it's a glitch in the Kindle itself, no one is saying anything at Amazon. In speaking to help at Amazon, they're not able to figure it out, nor can the national phone company do anything since all the criteria for WiFi are in place, and other visiting computers work on our home network.

    Tearing our hair out.

  14. Anonymous,
    These opportunities for conflicts or mismatches are a reason I tend to recommend people just pay $50 for the 3G, especially since there are no monthly data charges involved and one can just download almost wherever one happens to be.

    Thanks for this report.

  15. I bought a 3G Kindle a few days ago. I have yet to see a 3G or EDGE or GPRS signal. Either at home, where I have no problem getting cellphone reception on several networks, nor out and about. So I'm not too impressed with that aspect of the Kindle so far...

  16. Verity,
    If you connected to your WiFi right way, you won't see any 3G cellular signals as the default is to favor the WiFi.

    If you're not hooked up to anything, then go to Menu/Settings and use the Alt key to type '311'

    Hold down the alt-key and use the uppermost keys which have numbers 1-9 and then '0' for them (hidden) - so that would be pressing 'e' 'e' 'q' to bet '311'...

    Choose the cell tower closest to you.

    Also see

  17. I've read through a lot of your blog, but haven't been able to find the answer to this. My apologies if it is somewhere...

    I'm looking to buy the Kindle "3" 3G model for many of the reasons you outlined. However, I notice it does cost to transfer PDFs via 3G. Is there a way to turn 3G "off" and just use a wireless connection already in my home to avoid the transfer fee? Does the Kindle 3 automatically default to a wireless connection or a 3G connection?

  18. Michelle,
    No problem. Thanks for looking around that you did. The two best blog entries to go over for what you need are in the reference column on the right and it's under "Kindle models" and then "Kindle 3" -- specifically (Unsung features) and (K3 Tips & Cautions).

    When you are near a WiFi network and have made a connection to it (typically at home, in the office), then it takes over and 3G *is* off then -- unless the connection is not strong enough (which I don't think happens too often but you can see the top status line, right to see which kind of wireless is active).

    So you're absolutely right except you don't have to turn the 3G off. The Kindle does it automatically while you're near that WiFi setup.

    You can send the PDF to [you] (instead of the 15c per megabyte [you] using the correspondence e-mail you use for Amazon.

    Amazon would send you an email back with a link to where you can download the file (in case you wanted to USB it to the Kindle's "documents" folder) AND will send a copy direct to your Kindle whenever the WiFi is enabled and you're connected to your WiFi system.

    The 'free' means that's the Kindle address that carries no cost and isn't done via 3G.

    Have fun ! :-)

  19. Hi,
    How do I re-enable the 3G connection on my wi-fi/3G version ? in the settings menu I see the wi-fi options only and no way of choosing the 3G connection.
    Thanks a lot for the answer.

  20. Anonymous,
    They're always enabled - it's just that WiFi (costing Amazon nothing, compared to 3G) is always Priority 1 and you can't override that except to "FORGET" the WiFi setting, which means that if you ever want to connect with it again, you then have to put in the passkey again next time.

    Exception: When your WiFi is not working (I had neighborhood Comcast maintenance on my home Internet connection the otherday), it then switches to 3G right away.

    When the WiFi came back on because Comcast Internet was back, then the Kindle saw that and switched over to WiFi (without asking me for the passkey).

    There should be little reason to choose 3G over the faster WiFi in any case...

    When you leave your home, the Kindle switches to 3G when you turn it on outside the home and have not connected to another WiFi network somewhere...

  21. Anonymous wrote (and I inadvertently deleted because I was using the NookColor keyboard which makes it easy to miss the proper spot when choosing a link with the touch-process!) the following:

    "Thanks for this blog (and thanks to google for having it on the 1st page!). I am waffling between the wifi & 3g/wifi. You spelled it out well and I will spring for the extra $50.

    What is not totally clear to me is if the wifi only edition can later be 'upgraded' to 3g but I guess the wifi only model doesn't have the hardware included for 3g. Is that true?"

    Yes, the hardware must be in the unit, and there's no 3G module.

    The iPad is the same: their WiFi-only model is $500. To get the iPad that has the 3G module included as well as WiFi, it's an additional $130 for buying that model with the 3G hardware and capability. $50 doesn't look so bad in comparison.

    So, no, there's no way to upgrade the WiFi-Only model.

    I think it's a hundred times worth it, but that's me. Many of us use the web lookups as needed and it's great to be able to do that from almost anywhere you are without worrying about any monthly data charges.

    No waiting until you find a WiFi place.

    I'm pretty sure you'll have a day when you think "Sure glad I got got that one." :-)

  22. I am curious about the 3g feature (I have a 3g in the mail already, but have a concern). I understand that the 3g service is indeed free on this model, but I occasionally see a reference to someone paying a charge for some data transfer. I have been unable to locate exactly what might cause this cost to be incurred. In short, what catches are there to the 3g service? Also, while it would obviously shorten battery life, is it possible to stream audio using this device? This is a feature I would REALLY like to have available. I have heard that there is an "experimental" that can play MP3s and that is dandy, but streaming something would be really nice for me (internet radio). Any information would be greatly appreciated, thanks!

  23. Chris,
    Sorry to be so late in replying. I've not been home much lately.

    The only 3G charge is if you have a personal document or book that you downloaded to your computer from somewhere else but for which you now *want to use 3G cellular wireless* to either:
    - 1. 'email' that to your Kindle directly

    *OR* which you now want to

    - 2. 'email' to Amazon servers for CONVERSION to Kindle format first and then delivery to your Kindle.

    (Conversions are done usually for Word docs or for PDFs that you want put into Kindle format with the text re-flowed rather than seen as images of pages which are often too small to read comfortably on a 6" screen.

    To have Amazon convert a *PDF* to Kindle-reflowed format, you'd need to put the word "Convert" into the subject field. Otherwise no words are needed for these emails other than the email address.)

    REMINDER: This is if you want Amazon to send a personal doc (or non-rights-protected book from another source) for you over the 3G cellular network *rather* than via the WiFi you have at home or in the office or nearby at a place that has WiFi (like McDonald's or Starbucks etc).

    As a Kindle 3 owner, you'd be given a Kindle email-address that Amazon has made specifically for your Kindle, and you'd see that Kindle address at your Kindle management page in a box near the top left of that page.

    That Kindle address is of course protected from spammers and anyone you don't give specific permission to place documents on your Kindle -- so we don't tend to give out that Kindle address to others.

    The Kindle address is in the form:

    You need to specify which of your email addresses are approved for sending documents direct to your Kindle via the Amazon servers.

    You can enter into that box any or all of your email addresses that you want given permission to do that.

    If you send a personal document to THAT address, the document will be sent by Amazon servers to your Kindle over the 3G cellular network and, in the U.S., that is 15c per megabyte of a file. Outside the U.S., that's 99c per megabyte of a file.

    With a Kindle3 (these models have a WiFi component), you'd normally want to get the document via WiFi (instead of 3G), which is then free to you for the sending of personal documents to Kindle via Amazon servers.

    For WiFi sends instead of 3G, you email the document to Amazon serviers for your Kindle address by addressing it instead to


    Then Amazon will then send an email to your correspondence email address (the one you registered with Amazon) that will include a link to your where you can EITHER
    - 1. download it to a computer (if it's a file that has been converted by Amazon for your Kindle) for transfer to your Kindle's "documents" folder via the USB cord


    - 2. accept it on your Kindle3 when you are connected to a WiFi network somewhere. If you don't have a WiFi network at home, then #1 above is the way you'd more quickly put it on your Kindle rather than wait until you're near a WiFi network.

    With 3G, we are almost always connected, no matter where we are. But the WiFi way to do this is free.

    That's the only 'catch' to the 3G service.

    Re your other question, about streaming mp3's -- no, the Kindle plays only mp3's that are on your Kindle device and under the 'music' folder although you can put mp3's under 'audible' folder instead and that way you can pick and choose to hear the mp3 BUT not be able to read a book at the same time.

    If it's in your music folder, as intended, it plays in the order it was placed in the folder and plays *while* you're reading.

    But no, the Kindle3 doesn't stream mp3s from the Net.

    I hope that helps. I may put this into a blog post.

  24. Hi,
    I am from india and i am planing of buying Kindle with wifi or with 3G and wifi.Amazon provides 3G services in my country,but it is low speed,so can you tell me what speed should i expect while using a 3G enabled kindle?

  25. Aadil,
    The speed of 3G you get will be limited by the speed used in India.  They set a cap on the speed apparently.

    I've not seen complaints from those commenting from India though. But it's probably because they are expecting that lower speed.

    Good luck on your decision. It's not an easy one.

  26. can you use your 3G kindle as a modem for laptops?

  27. My kindle 3G crashed and the screen is completely dark. The power does not change this.

  28. Anonymous, from Jan 28 (I missed this one earlier.)
    No, the 3G kindle can't be used as a modem for laptops.

    Anonymous from Feb 17,
    You'd need to do more than turn the Power off and on. See the steps at to do a reset or restart.

    If you have the Amazon leather cover that does NOT have a built-in light, then it may be the cover. Amazon is making refunds on those as some of these cause problems like this.
    For info on that, see

    Good luck!

    If the above doesn't work, be sure to phone Kindle Support at 866-321-8851 ...

    Or, if you're not in the U.S., ask for a call-back or give them info at

  29. Does the 3g on the Kindle work in only 3g areas or does it work in the edge areas.

  30. Good article, clear and accurate. Well done.
    Got my kindle specifically for viewing my record and CD collection on the move via PDF's. If they write .mdb reader at some point I'll be very happy.
    Brilliant for manuals for machines and stuff.
    The whole system is extremely slick, in your control and I like the way you can choose how to do things ... close to base = free ... fully mobile = nominal charges.
    Low power usage = better for the planet ... any nasty toxins in the e-ink display?

  31. Rich,
    Thanks for the feedback on this article.

    Glad you're able to read the PDF lists well enough too. I do keep my manuals (mostly PDF) on the Kindle, and it's a Godsend as I always misplace the paper ones.

    Re nasty toxins in e-ink display -- I haven't read of any, at least that would reach us.

    Thanks for visiting.

  32. If I buy a Kindle 3G in a store eg Best Buy, will it work in Europe? I do not live in the USA. Or do I need to purchase the International version? How do I know what the difference is?

  33. If I buy a Kindle 3G from a store eg Best Buy, how do I know it will work in Europe? Do I have to buy the International model? And will I be charged for 3G connections in the country where I live when I download books? I live in Italy.

  34. Carol,
    Sorry I forgot to get to this question earlier.

    Italy is one of the countries where there apparently is no lower-cost arrangement with the 3G carrier yet. 3G works (for free) if you download a Kindle book from Amazon or if you just go to Wikipedia to look up info. But they haven't enabled free 3G web browsing there.

    You can do it with WiFi of course. Since U.S. residents can use their Kindles with 3G in Italy it doesn't seem you have to have the int'l version but they do use a different type of modem access there. There's never a charge for 3G connections if using the web.

    The only fee is for mailing your Kindle a document over 3G instead of WiFi and in your case it wouldn't work anyway.

    See to see the list of countries with free 3G web browsing...

  35. A friend stored a bunch of Kindle books on my laptop using USB cable and I downloaded KindleForPC which allows me to read them on the laptop.
    I plan to buy an Amazon Kindle 3G and wondering if these books will be accessible on the Kindle simply by uploading them over the USB cable or can I expect software blocking since I did not actually purchase them myself.

  36. Anonymous,
    If your friend just stored them on your laptop just using a USB cable and they're Amazon-purchased Kindle books, they'll have a form of 'DRM' or digital-rights-management on them (a field with a key that specifies ownership) unless a publisher like O'Reilly said they do not want DRM applied -- but most publishers do. Normally that would mean you could not read their Kindle books via your own Kindle account's Kindle-for-pc app.

    When you downloaded Kindle for PC (and therefore registered at Amazon with an Amazon user name etc.) AND were able to read the books, that would indicate they were not likely Amazon purchases to the person's account because they'd not be just readable by a Kindle for PC app that you installed under your own Amazon username -- UNLESS your friend had made an account for you specifically and gave you the username and password to use and you were using that account to ID the Kindle for PC during Install.

    OR your friend may have just downloaded "mobi" or 'prc' or 'txt' format books from Project Gutenberg, or from Internet Archive, which are free and have no DRM on them (or from any number of free-book sites that allow direct downloads to Kindles) and then had put them (or stored them) on your computer. Those WOULD be readable by the Kindle for PC app.

    An Amazon Kindle purchase with DRM (probably 98% of Kindle books) that is meant for one user won't be readable on devices not keyed for that person's specific device(s).

    Each time a registered Kindle owner wants to have a book he ordered on one of his other Kindle-compatible devices (another Kindle, an iPhone, iPad or Blackberry etc), he goes to his Kindle management area and chooses which other device should get a copy.

    When you purchase a Kindle book, you can read it on up to 5 other Kindle or Kindle-compatible devices.

    If you share your own Kindle account with another person, you are the buyer, the other person can be the owner of one of those devices but you pay for the books and they can see your entire library and choose a book and just buy it using your account (and your credit card would be charged).

    NORMAL Circumstances
    Once you have a Kindle account with Amazon, you can buy (or download) Kindle books for your free Kindle-for-PC account and read them on that app without having to have a Kindle at all.

    If you decide to buy a Kindle later, you'll be able to go into the your Kindle management area and select your new Kindle as another device to receive another copy of that book for reading.

    The Kindle for PC app counts as one device. You normally can put your books on up to 6 devices that are registered to your account...

    Hope that's not too confusing.

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    The reason I'm trying this is that Google has more problems authenticating posters the other way. Thanks for any feedback.


NOTE: TO AVOID SPAM being posted instantly, this blog uses the "DELAY" feature.

Am often away much of the day, and postings won't show up right away. Posts done to use referrer-links may never show up.

Usually, am online enough to release comments within a day though, so the hard-to-read match-text tests for commenting won't be needed this way.

Feedback and questions are welcome. Thanks for participating.

Technical Problems?
If you're having problems leaving a Comment, Google's blogger-help asks that you clear the '' cookies on your browser's Tools or Options menu bar and that will fix the Comment-box problems (until they have a permanent fix).

IF that doesn't work either, then UNcheck the "keep me signed in" box -- Google-help says that should allow your comment to post (it's a workaround to a current bug).
Apologies for the problems.

TIP: There's a size limit. If longer than 3500 characters or so, in a text editor, make two posts out of it.

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