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Some tips on fixing your Kindle Fire's Internet connection problem


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Showing 1-25 of 93 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 23, 2011 7:14:27 AM PST
The vast majority of Kindle Fire users have no trouble connecting to the Internet.

If you're having trouble, try taking your Kindle Fire to more than one location with public wifi access. Many fast-food restaurants, coffeehouses, libraries, etc. provide free service.

If you can connect when you're out and about, but not at home, then the problem is with your home network and you have some detective work to do.

Here are some tips that may help.

Radio signal strength: Be sure you have a strong signal. If your problem disappears when you're closer to your wifi hub (called a "router" or "access point"), you may need to relocate the hub or get a repeater. If you don't see your router at all, make sure that "broadcast SSID" isn't disabled in the router's configuration, and that it's broadcasting on the 2.4 GHz band. Check your router's manual to see how to manage its configuration.

Radio interference: Other wifi access points might be operating on the same frequency. Wifi Analyzer, an Android program, will show all your neighboring access points on a graph. You may need to reconfigure your wifi router to use a different channel. Also note that microwave ovens and some wireless home phones can interfere with the 2.4 GHz band that the Kindle Fire uses.

Name that router: If you didn't change your router's name when you turned it on, you might actually be connecting to your next-door neighbor's router. Naturally, your neighbor's router won't accept your network password. Give your router its own name.

802.11-something: The Kindle Fire supports 802.11b, g and n connections. The n standard is the fastest, but it's new and many n-class routers are really "pre-n," running buggy software written before the standard was finalized. You may need to force your router to limit itself to g (54 Mbps), which is often more reliable.

Bad router software: There are a lot of routers running very buggy software that might work with Windows but breaks all sorts of technical rules. Your router manufacturer may have issued bugfixes, but you have to track them down and "re-flash" the router with precisely the correct software. It may be time to get a new router. Keep in mind that price isn't a good guide to quality; some cheaper routers run very reliable Linux-based software. Read the reviews.

WEP, WPA, AES, TKIP, PSK alphabet soup: After the radio link is established, the Kindle Fire and the wifi access point try to create a safe, encrypted connection. The Fire should detect the right protocol, but this is an area where buggy router software can make you crazy. Consider these options:

-- Open access. To discover whether authentication/encryption is creating your problem, you may try temporarily turning authentication/encryption OFF in your wireless access point. If it works, the next step is selecting a safe and reliable protocol. You generally shouldn't leave an access point open.

-- WEP is an older and less secure standard. Instead of a password, it uses a series of base-12 numbers that are very hard to copy without making a mistake. Avoid it.

-- WPA is newer, easier to configure, and more reliable. WPA2 (the most recent version) is usually your safest and most reliable choice. It uses AES encryption. Sometimes this is labeled WPA2 Personal or WPA2 PSK. The "PSK" is the pre-shared key, or password/passphrase, that you use to connect to the network. Use a simple alphanumeric passphrase that you can remember and is more than 8 characters long.

Passwords, passwords, and passwords: You may think you're using the right password/passphrase to connect to your network, but note that the administrative password for the router, the network authentication password, and the password you use to get your mail are not the same thing (and should never be the same words). Be absolutely sure, and be extra-careful about such things as case sensitivity. If you have a password that contains oddball characters, that could be your problem. There have been reports of the Kindle Fire being picky about odd, nonalphabetical characters in passwords.

IP addresses and routing: After your Kindle Fire gets through the radio link and authentication steps, it needs an Internet address and routing information. This is another potential failure point. A method called DHCP lets the device request an address, and the router provides an answer. If you've tried all the encryption/authentication options and you still have an "x" next to your connection, try configuring the Amazon Fire to use a static IP address:

-- Check your desktop or laptop computer's address. It should be something like 192.168.0.2 or 10.0.0.2.

-- Take the last number (2 in these examples) and add 50 or 100. Use that as a static address for your Kindle Fire. Example: 192.168.0.102. (Be sure that last number is less than 255.)

-- Use 8.8.8.8 for a DNS server. This is a high-performance Google server that translates domain names to numbers.

If that fixes things, you can live with the result, but don't forget to switch back to "dynamic" if you need to connect to another wifi hub. The best way to fix DHCP troubles permanently is to get a newer and more reliable router.

Some more odd ways of failing:

-- Your router could be set up to screen MAC addresses, and is rejecting your Kindle Fire because it's an unknown device. Fix that.

-- Your router might have an undocumented limit on the number of connections. As we collect more toys (Kindle, laptop, Roku, Internet TV, etc.) we discover these problems.

-- Your router might be out of memory (buggy software). Power-cycling the router usually clears this temporarily. Upgrade or get a new router.

-- Your router might not be plugged into the Internet. Seriously, I discovered one user whose wifi router was plugged into itself. The cable modem was actually connected to the desktop computer, not the router. The router was happily broadcasting a signal for six months that nobody could use.

Posted on Dec 23, 2011 7:33:39 AM PST
cicsos2 says:
Excellent description.

Posted on Dec 23, 2011 7:34:35 AM PST
PSCD says:
What a great post! Thank you. (I've had no problems connecting but see that some have.)

Posted on Dec 23, 2011 8:06:50 AM PST
TexasNancy says:
Bump .... I thought it might help some of the newbies that will arrive soon.

Posted on Dec 23, 2011 9:36:35 AM PST
Bump

Posted on Dec 23, 2011 9:43:35 AM PST
deannah says:
Fantastic and informative post. Thank you so much. No problem here but will help others if they read it.

Posted on Dec 24, 2011 6:22:43 AM PST
N. Podaci says:
Bump from Page 13 (?!). Let's keep this excellent post on Page 1 for a few days!
Also wanted to let you know that I voted Yes, but I was using the Fire, and it may have registered No.

Posted on Dec 24, 2011 6:37:25 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 24, 2011 6:38:17 AM PST
M. McCoy says:
Concerning 802.11 protocols. 802.11G was developed to accommodate what was thought to be the bandwidth required (54mbps) to stream video. Unfortunately, while the throughput increased the range decreased. As it turns out 802.11B (11mbps) works just fine for streaming video and has a longer range than 802.11G.

If you are having range problems with your Wifi just set your router to 802.11B only (not G or 'mixed'). You won't notice any difference in throughput while benefiting with overall increased range. If I'm helping someone that cannot connect due to range/signal strength problems the first thing I do is set the router to 'B only' mode and voila! It usually solves their problem

As the OP pointed out, 802.11N is a different beast. It's preferable over B & G modes but only if you are hurting for bandwidth (i.e. multiple devices simultaneously streaming data) and 100% confident your router supports true 'N' protocol. Otherwise, it may get hinky on you.

Posted on Dec 24, 2011 7:04:08 AM PST
T. L. Bruzek says:
bump

Posted on Dec 24, 2011 3:09:19 PM PST
deannah says:
Just a bump again for this excellent info.

Posted on Dec 24, 2011 3:22:19 PM PST
TexasNancy says:
Bump for the newbies

Posted on Dec 24, 2011 4:46:57 PM PST
M. Ratcheson says:
Bumping this excellent thread.

Posted on Dec 24, 2011 5:05:49 PM PST
Mrs. Danvers says:
Those Christmas morning Fires fire up in just hours <sorry, I couldn't resist :-)>. This is a great post to keep on the front page.

Posted on Dec 24, 2011 6:05:38 PM PST
M. Ratcheson says:
Bump to page one, those gift boxes will be opening soon.

Posted on Dec 24, 2011 7:57:13 PM PST
M. Ratcheson says:
Ok, it's been just an hour, and this thread is on page 3. This is supposed to be a holiday for some people, I *certainly hope that you can enjoy it between posts! Bump.

Posted on Dec 24, 2011 7:58:13 PM PST
Lectrice says:
Bump!

Posted on Dec 24, 2011 8:29:46 PM PST
M. Ratcheson says:
Bmp.

Posted on Dec 25, 2011 12:12:47 AM PST
My Kindle Touch will not REMEMBER my network settings when using WPA, a HIDDEN network address (SSID), and a STATIC ip address. Amazon help said that it would not remember static IP info. Note, I can connect, but cannot SAVE the network settings. Any ideas please?

Posted on Dec 25, 2011 6:36:26 AM PST
N. Podaci says:
Bump, and Merry Christmas!

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 25, 2011 6:39:49 AM PST
~nospin says:
Did you notice that customer service announcement referenced this excellent post?

Posted on Dec 25, 2011 8:10:35 AM PST
Bumping this back to page 1.

Posted on Dec 25, 2011 10:54:41 AM PST
M. Ratcheson says:
Bumping

Posted on Dec 25, 2011 11:23:34 AM PST
cicsos2 says:
Keep in mind, not all, especially older, wireless routers that support "N" actually support the final "N" standard - some were produced prior to the standard being finalized.

Also, Bump!

Posted on Dec 25, 2011 11:40:01 AM PST
Scamp says:
Wow! This is great information. I am doing my helping part today by bumping threads started by awesome helpers. :):):)

Posted on Dec 25, 2011 11:56:06 AM PST
BethW says:
Moving this back to the front page since the issue is relevant to many problems.
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Discussion in:  Kindle forum
Participants:  66
Total posts:  93
Initial post:  Dec 23, 2011
Latest post:  Feb 3, 2014

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