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How to Use Whispernet on the Kindle

written by: Rita A.•edited by: Elizabeth Wistrom•updated: 8/15/2011

If you own a Kindle you need to know how to enable Whispernet. The Kindle uses the Whispernet 3G cellular data service to connect to the Amazon store and purchase books.

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    Use Your Kindle to Get Online

    A great feature for the Kindle is the ability to connect to the Kindle store on Amazon wirelessly through Whispernet. Since the Kindle does not have a fully functional Web browser, connecting to Whispernet allows the Kindle device access to the Web for free. Kindle owners do not have to pay a monthly fee to use their Kindle to go online. With it, you can browse text oriented sites, such as Wikipedia, check your email, and other common actions. You can also use Whispernet to connect to the Amazon store and have the book you purchase sent to your device wirelessly. You can download newspapers and magazines as well as a service that converts Microsoft Word documents, TXT, HTML, PDF, or image files.

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    Enabling Whispernet

    You have to have Whispernet enabled on your Kindle before you can purchase books for it. At this point, you may be wondering, "How do I enable Kindle Whispernet?" As you will see, it is very easy to do and can be done in a few minutes. Find the Whispernet button on your Kindle located in the back next to the On button. Simply press this button and Whispernet is enabled.

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    Whispernet Status Indicators

    At the top of each screen on your Kindle device, you can see battery life and Whispernet status indicators. These status indicators let you know if the wireless radio is turned off or on, the signal strength of the Whispernet service, and your connection speed. Here are the status indicators and what they mean.

    • If you see the status indicator, it means the Whispernet service is active and the signal on your Kindle is strong. The more bars that are filled in black, the stronger the signal is.
    • If you see that no bars are filled in, the wireless strength is low and the Kindle will not be able to connect to the Kindle store, the Internet, receive content, or sync to page read.
    • If the bars are outlined in gray, Whispernet is currently checking for signal strength. This process usually takes less than 30 seconds to complete.
    • If you see the word OFF at the top of the page on your Kindle, then the Whispernet service is turned off. Turn it back on by pressing the Menu button, and then use the 5-way controller to move to Turn Wireless On.

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    Connect to the Kindle Store Using Whispernet

    To purchase books for your Kindle device, you need to connect to the Kindle store using Whispernet. If Whispernet is not on, enable it as described above - by pressing the Menu button and click Turn Wireless On using the 5-way controller. Check the status indicator light in the upper right corner of the screen to verify the Whispernet connection is on. Press the Menu button and use the 5-way controller to select Shop in Kindle Store. You will be taken to the Kindle store where you can purchase books and other items for your Kindle device. If you purchase a book, it will be downloaded to your device in 60 seconds using Whispernet.

    You will see the Kindle storefront with menus that allow you to browse for books and other periodicals. You will also see options such as to browse the Kindle store, view the New York Times Best Sellers list, view the Kindle top sellers, and view the Kindle Daily Post. The prices you see may vary depending upon the region you live in.

    Kindle Store 

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    Receive Kindle Content via Whispernet

    When you download a book to your Kindle, it is displayed on the Home screen on the device. If you have Kindle content stored in the Kindle library that isn’t showing on the Home screen, you can download it to your Kindle library from the Amazon website when you are connected to Whispernet. To download archived items wirelessly perform the following steps:

    • Connect to Whispernet.
    • Click Archived Items from the Home screen on the Kindle, or click View Archived Items from the menu.
    • Select the item that you want to view from the Archived Items screen.
    • Send Archived Items Wirelessly from Manage Your Kindle Using Whispernet

    Visit the Mange your Kindle page, and then find the item you want to download in the Your Orders section. Click Previous and Next at the bottom of the page if you have a lot of content. Click Deliver to…. by the title, and then select your Kindle from the list.

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    Readers may still be wondering, "How do I enable Kindle Whispernet if I am traveling outside of the US?" The good news is that Amazon has a help page devoted to just that. Still have questions, or have a good Kindle tip you would like to share? If so, be sure to visit the comments section below.


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