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Old 10-07-2012, 08:18 PM   #1
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Check your 3G connectivity on your Kindle Paperwhite

Sharing, in case someone else had the same problem. Maybe some people have not even noticed it yet ...

Today I spent a lot of time out of home and brought my Kindle PW with me. In some areas, I found no wifi so was forced to use 3G in order to download a book from cloud. To my surprise, I had no 3G signal. Tried an hour later, different area (or mall, I was actually helping my wife to buy a dress, so boring, lol) no luck. Went to a different area, no signal. Really sad and bored, had no other option that gave up and wait to test at home.

Once at home, I reset the device and tried to register via 3G. To my surprise, even at home, no 3G connection. Long story short, my Kindle PW was never activated at Amazon. A call to Amazon CS uncovered the problem after 10 min on the phone. They activated it via phone.

So, if you own a 3G, check if it actually works. You may not notice it if you register via wifi and haven't tried 3G.
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Old 10-07-2012, 08:25 PM   #2
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How do you check it other than getting out of WiFi coverage? I have mine set to set the time via 3G and since I never manually set the time and the time is correct, I wonder if that is a good indication?
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Old 10-07-2012, 08:35 PM   #3
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How do you check it other than getting out of WiFi coverage? I have mine set to set the time via 3G and since I never manually set the time and the time is correct, I wonder if that is a good indication?
That's exactly right, and pisses me off.

Because airplane mode turns everything off, I guess only way is setting Kindle for 1st time using 3G. From there, I guess you can configure your home wifi.

Other symptom: time not accurate if sync via Amazon. Clock was marking wrong time; raised suspicions on me that something was wrong.
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Old 10-07-2012, 08:38 PM   #4
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How do you check it other than getting out of WiFi coverage? I have mine set to set the time via 3G and since I never manually set the time and the time is correct, I wonder if that is a good indication?
You can set your Kindle to "forget" your wifi network and then see if it connects to 3G.
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Old 10-07-2012, 08:43 PM   #5
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You can set your Kindle to "forget" your wifi network and then see if it connects to 3G.
Duh, can't believe I didn't think of that!

Okay, mine works fine. My Moto Atrix only gets 1 bar with my stupid AT&T account, but the PW gets 4 bars!
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Old 10-07-2012, 08:50 PM   #6
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You can set your Kindle to "forget" your wifi network and then see if it connects to 3G.
True!

But I wonder how many people actually register via 3G instead of wifi.

Jack,
I got more bars on my Kindle than my Galaxy SIII. But my cellphone is with Tmobile. Not sure, but I think Kindle 3G is via ATT
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Old 10-07-2012, 08:59 PM   #7
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True!

But I wonder how many people actually register via 3G instead of wifi.

Jack,
I got more bars on my Kindle than my Galaxy SIII. But my cellphone is with Tmobile. Not sure, but I think Kindle 3G is via ATT
I think the PW does use AT&T, but I assume the PW has a much better 3G antenna. It certainly has more internal room than my Atrix.
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Old 10-07-2012, 09:01 PM   #8
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I had the same experience (and posted about it).
My PW did not have 3g enabled. Had to call CS. They fixed it in a blink.
And yes, the only way I found to force 3g was to 'forget' the wifi. Which is annoying if you need to re-enter a password the next time you want to connect.
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Old 10-07-2012, 09:37 PM   #9
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There's one other way to force 3G, which is to disconnect your router from the internet. The Kindle will connect to 3G if it can't connect to a wifi network that's connected to the internet. This might or might not be easier than forgetting the network on your Kindle and re-entering the password later.
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Old 10-08-2012, 01:21 AM   #10
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You can set your Kindle to "forget" your wifi network and then see if it connects to 3G.
Assuming there is not also an open (unsecured) WAP within range.
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Old 10-08-2012, 01:39 AM   #11
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Assuming there is not also an open (unsecured) WAP within range.
I had no idea that Kindles automatically try to connect to open networks, and although I'm guessing that all traffic is encrypted, it seems like an unnecessary security risk. Is this how every wifi-enabled model behaves?
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Old 10-08-2012, 04:47 AM   #12
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I had no idea that Kindles automatically try to connect to open networks, and although I'm guessing that all traffic is encrypted, it seems like an unnecessary security risk. Is this how every wifi-enabled model behaves?
From my experience, yes. I should add, however, that regardless of the number of available, unsecured networks, the user must tap on "connect" before actually establishing a connection. But if one returns to a previously-connected network the Kindle will indeed connect automatically unless that particular network has been removed ("forgotten") from the list of networks.

Last edited by Skydog; 10-08-2012 at 04:58 AM.
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Old 10-08-2012, 03:48 PM   #13
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From my experience, yes. I should add, however, that regardless of the number of available, unsecured networks, the user must tap on "connect" before actually establishing a connection. But if one returns to a previously-connected network the Kindle will indeed connect automatically unless that particular network has been removed ("forgotten") from the list of networks.
Ok, then this behavior is exactly the same as with encrypted networks with the exception of not requiring a password to initially connect. fratermus' comment made it sound like the Kindle would automatically connect to ANY open network that it was within range of, even without user interaction.
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Old 10-08-2012, 04:07 PM   #14
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Ok, then this behavior is exactly the same as with encrypted networks with the exception of not requiring a password to initially connect. fratermus' comment made it sound like the Kindle would automatically connect to ANY open network that it was within range of, even without user interaction.
No, that would be a security no no if it did. You always have the option of choosing the net to connect to.
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Old 10-08-2012, 05:03 PM   #15
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No, that would be a security no no if it did. You always have the option of choosing the net to connect to.
Yeah, that's why I took fratermus' comment with a grain of salt. The security risks associated with a device automatically connecting to an open wireless without user interaction are huge. Even if all traffic was encrypted, there's always a risk that the encryption method can eventually be compromised.
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