So, last night it would appear that I became a statistic!
I fired up the Kindle to pick up two new books that I’d bought earlier in the day, but was soon shouting at the thing! Like trying to hurt the feelings of an inanimate object is going to make a difference, right? Well, at least it made me feel better for 2 seconds!
So, what was the problem? It seemed my lovely Kindle had decided that it didn’t want to connect to the Wi-Fi network. The first couple of times I thought this might have been a ‘glitch’ and wasn’t too concerned. I followed the Kindle’s instructions and re-entered the Wi-Fi password, but to no avail. It just would not connect.
After throwing my little tantrum, I had a check online to see if any light could be shed on the situation. That was when I found the myriad of Kindle users who had experienced similar problems.
Looking deeper I found that there appears to be no ‘real’ reason why this should be happening.
In my case I had been using the Wi-Fi for over a year without any problems. I replaced my router around October last year and the Kindle connected to it, again without issue.
There were many possibilities touted around the various internet forums and websites that have covered this topic.
The first one being that the Kindle, having been designed in the good old US of A, only uses Wi-Fi channels 1 to 11. Some UK routers have been preset to use channels 12 or 13, in which case the Kindle won’t see the network, despite it being a Kindle with UK settings.
I discounted this as being in any way connected to my problem since I had previously connected the Kindle to the new router.
The next possibility that came up was the version of Wi-Fi network the router is set up to use.
Some of the site threw out the little snippet that the Kindle doesn’t “do” the latest standard, 802.11n. If the router has not been set up to allow the earlier, lower-speed ‘g’ or ‘b’, then the Kindle will “see” the network, but won’t be able to use it.
So, the advice was to check that router hadn’t been set up to use ‘n’ only, and it had to change the set up something like 11g+11b
Again, this could be discounted because of the previous connection successes.
To me this suggestion seemed to be bordering on the desperate.
The person in question suggested that when their Kindle’s battery starts showing about half way, it won’t connect to Wi-Fi. Now, I know that I had previously had no problems connecting to the network with less-than-half-full battery level (down to about a quarter on the gauge).
However, I was at the point that I’d try anything so I charged the battery to full and tried again. Nothing doing. Same problem – re-enter the password.
Device MAC address
One of the more sensible suggestion was to add the Kindle’s MAC address to the network settings on the router, which seemed to do the trick for a few people.
However, I wanted to leave this as a last resort, not least because of the fact that the Kindle had previously connected to the network without incident.
For me at least … a simple reset of the router!
Believe it or not, sometimes the simplest solutions are the correct ones! After resetting the router and turning on the Wi-Fi on the Kindle it connected without hesitation.
One of the more common connections appeared to be that Netgear routers have problems connecting to Kindles. Not sure why this should be but they were mentioned in quite a few forums.
That being said, they weren’t the only ones, so the problem appears to be with the Kindle rather than any inherent issues with routers.
Another common problem was with the wording on the instructions. The Kindle asks you to re-enter your password when it fails to connect. I’m fairly savvy when it comes to these things so I knew that this meant the network key rather than the password, so I entered this.
Some users however, were entering the actual password and once they were put right and they entered the key they connected as expected.
Some routers, especially older ones, have a limit to the number of devices, and/or Wi-Fi devices than can be connected at a time.
I had another trawl through the internet before writing this threw up something that I missed the first time: some people had issues with using Android devices on the network at the same time as the Kindle.
It seems that the Kindle is thrown off the network for some reason but resetting the router and reconnecting the Kindle, ‘almost’ always solves the problems and both can exist on the network without incident.
Last, but by no means least, I am also more than a little perturbed by the fact that my Kindle firmware seems to have been updated without any reference to me.
I’m wondering if it was this that threw the network out of sync(?).
- Kindle Fire Users Report Wi-Fi Bug: 6 Possible Fixes (pcworld.com)
- Kindle Fire owners report problems with Wi-Fi connection (bizjournals.com)
- Amazon Kindle Fire owners reporting Wi-Fi bug (news.cnet.com)
- Android Causing WiFi Router Lockups (geeknewscentral.com)