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Customer Discussions > Kindle forum

Does the kindle work abroad?

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Showing 1-25 of 30 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Feb 25, 2012 2:13:17 PM PST
YaleMom says:
I travel a lot and for months at a time, so I don't want to shlep tons of books around.
Does the kindle work anywhere in the world?
I am concerned about the reception, or are the books stored within the device? (I am obviously not a techie!)

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 25, 2012 2:16:03 PM PST
Artist says:
Once books are downloaded to the device, you don't need a wireless connection to read them.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 25, 2012 2:16:30 PM PST
Dittie says:
You don't need to be connected to the internet to read, only to download. Kindle Keyboard, for example, can hold about 3,500 e-books or a combination of e-books, audio books and even music.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 25, 2012 2:24:29 PM PST
YaleMom says:
Thank you so much!

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 25, 2012 2:24:50 PM PST
YaleMom says:
Thank you so much!

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 25, 2012 2:25:46 PM PST
Dittie says:
You're welcome. Which Kindle are you thinking of getting?

Posted on Feb 26, 2012 4:19:10 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 26, 2012 4:35:34 AM PST
I have a Kindle keyboard with wi-fi and 3G and I live overseas but remain a US customer with a US mailing address and credit card. My Kindle works fine for purchasing and downloading ebooks using wi-fi but there's no 3G coverage where I live, although many countries do have 3G. Here's a map of 3G coverage areas:

My advice is to buy a wi-fi version and you should have no problem buying and reading ebooks anywhere in the world so long as you have a wi-fi connection available. I prefer reading on regular e-ink Kindles. However, if you decide to buy a Fire it will also work for ebooks but you can't watch Amazon videos or buy apps for it from Amazon unless you are physically located in the US.

Posted on Feb 26, 2012 4:36:42 AM PST
Joanna says:
I would make a slight qualification to Dittie Endora Wolfganger's post. While it is correct that the Kindle keyboard can hold that much media, they tend to slow down dramatically if there is a lot on them so I wouldn't plan on keeping more than a few hundred books on your kindle

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 29, 2012 9:27:34 PM PST
YaleMom says:
Kindle Touch; just got it (yeah!!!), however, I must dowload through my laptop, since I failed to understand that wifi was not openly available! LOL

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 29, 2012 9:43:13 PM PST
I have well over 1000 books in my K3 (now called KK). Searches are rather slow, but reading operations (e.g. page turning; opening a book) is still as fast as when I first bought it.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 29, 2012 9:57:57 PM PST
YaleMom says:
So you can download books from other amazons, like, etc?
Can one do that from the US?

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 29, 2012 10:34:09 PM PST
Artist says:
You can only download from those other sites if you are a resident of those countries.

Posted on Feb 29, 2012 10:34:14 PM PST
I am living the same situation James Scarborough describes (living overseas, but US based customer) however, I prefer the 3G version. My in-home wireless is iffy at best but I always have 3G. This is purely just my preference and my situation. When I was in Japan I had exceedingly reliable wireless at home, work and a few places on base. Both my European and Asian experiences have shown me that wifi 'in the wild' is not as common. Seville is my latest example of a large city where both Starbucks and McDonalds did not have wifi. Of course, the sad part of that story is that I was in Seville and IN Starbucks and McDonalds in the first place....

For your second question--you will not be able to download from .fr, .de etc unless you change your home country setting on your Kindle. In the past Amazon overlooked some of the switching around people did, but I think it is a little more regulated now--having a physical address, a credit card etc to support which you choose would be better. I have heard of expats and extended stay travelers being 'encouraged' to switch but as long as they gave a good reason for whichever they were using it stuck.

I think you would find it difficult to change to .fr or .de from the US. People in Germany and France (and Spain) have commented that the reverse has not been allowed.


Posted on Feb 29, 2012 11:21:02 PM PST
CBRetriever says:
3G is a godsend sometimes, but especially when you're travelling - I really wish there was a version of the basic kindle with 3G

and I'm one of those people in France who stayed with, but set their country to France, so I can see the same books in french, as I would have on

Posted on Mar 1, 2012 9:43:46 AM PST
<<3G is a godsend sometimes, but especially when you're travelling>>

Big agreement there. When I had my KK (then known as the K3) and I was in Japan during the big earthquake my Kindle was my only internet for about 24 hours via the 3G. The 'normal' cell phone networks were overwhelmed but whatever 3G network was going on the Kindle was still working. I lost my internet at home so the wifi was out too (as was my TV). The Kindle was it for that first 24 hours and I used that to get on facebook to keep in touch at work etc.

Hence my bias for I could access wiki any time I was headed anywhere new while I was on the train.

My Touch has 3G as well--limited to wiki and Amazon, so the whole facebook thing would not work, but I still prefer it for traveling around.

Again, just my opinion.


Posted on Jul 16, 2012 6:23:06 PM PDT
ReadReadRead says:
Hi! I keep getting varied answers on this. I have asked Amazon and they say that kindle keyboard's 3g only does wikipedia and amazon abroad. Other accounts I've read say that it can do other web browsing.

Can anyone give me a clear answer- If I buy a kindle keyboard 3g today and try to check my email in a India (or anywhere) tomorrow in a country with 3g- can I check me email, google things and such?

Thank you :)

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 16, 2012 7:14:48 PM PDT
charles says:
Hmmm... a problem. why can't I use both accounts as I do when buying buying here or abroad. What gives Amazon?

Posted on Jul 16, 2012 10:43:55 PM PDT
ReadReadRead-- my older KK 3G browser does access more than just wiki/amazon. It's slow, clunky and hangs, but it does work--something I was quite grateful for in Japan after the earthquake/tsunami disrupted my other lines of communication. Oddly, the 3G network used by my Kindle still worked so I could at least get/give minimal information. It's not a very good browser but better than nothing.

I do believe however that some countries are not supported fully with the browser and perhaps the countries you are asking about fall under these. Japan and Europe do support the full 3G browser experience.

The Kindle Touch is the one that only goes to Wiki and Amazon for me. The browser, though still quite limited, is a good bit better and considering the 3G access is free I can see why the access is restricted.

I would guess either the customer service person was confused OR it's a geographical thing. Amazon has had to negotiate each location and they may not have been able to get the full scope where you are.

@charles...can you be more specific? Also, if it's a real customer service question you can give them a call/have them call you--we're just a bunch of forum nerds and fellow customers.


In reply to an earlier post on Jun 14, 2013 5:43:48 AM PDT
pacemondo says:
Whew! I was envisioning having to actually schlepp books along with me to Europe. I have the Kindle Keyboard wi-fi and as nice as the Paperwhite sounds...I am old-fashioned and also not a techie. This is as "wild" as I want to get. In the meantime, I downloaded about 6 books so I would have something to read during those plane and train rides. HOWEVER!!!! Heads up!!! Make sure your Kindle is fully charged before you go, or have an adapter for those pesky "foreign" sockets. Thanks for helping out!

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 14, 2013 6:32:14 AM PDT
Six books? I'd have to load at least 16. If not more like 46 books. :0)

Posted on Jun 14, 2013 6:17:52 PM PDT
only 6...heart pulpitations...I would like be least 46, probably more...I have a really short attention span and jump around lots

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 14, 2013 7:04:47 PM PDT
Just a reminder, though: it only needs to be a plug (pin conformation) adaptor, not a voltage adaptor. Kindle chargers will take anything from 110-250V.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 5, 2013 12:38:31 PM PDT
WillyG says:
This is why I will never buy a Kindle. I am a prime member, with billing address in the US but had to relocate in central America for business and I don't have any access at all to the instant video.

If you travel and move all around, or just simply do not live in the US. Do NOT buy a kindle.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 5, 2013 12:43:30 PM PDT
CBRetriever says:
I use mine all the time and I live in France - it's really hard to find any books in English here, so a Kindle and being able to get almost any book I want from is a sanity saver

it's totally worth it and I have a Fire and have never used it for videos (rather get a DVD and watch it on my TV anyway)

Posted on Jul 5, 2013 1:02:49 PM PDT
@Wilfredo, you appear to be talking about the Fire. For books and reading on the e-Ink the Kindle overseas has been a godsend.

As I get ready for one more move I can't imagine how many more books I'd be trying to move back to the US (well, yes I can, it would be about 500... which would be ridiculous). In the last 4 years my Kindle (whichever one I happened to have) has been in the US a grand total of about 12 days, if that much. That said, there are some places that just don't have 3G access---but may with wifi, or are blocked by local law, but to make such a broad statement as implying anywhere other than the US neglects quite a vast coverage base.

Here is the old 3G map:

Type in a location like Benin, Costa Rica, Egypt or China and you can see the gaps. Or, Nigeria, France or Japan to get a different picture. Again, these are the 3G areas. Wifi access varies for other reasons. However, if there is 3G network coverage then you know it's an area that permits usage.

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Discussion in:  Kindle forum
Participants:  19
Total posts:  30
Initial post:  Feb 25, 2012
Latest post:  Dec 7, 2013

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