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How Necessary is WiFi on an E-Book Reader?

Updated on August 2, 2017
Is wi-fi necessary for e-readers?
Is wi-fi necessary for e-readers? | Source

E-Readers Versus Books?

Do you prefer e-readers or regular books?

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E-Book Reader Reviews

Taking the leap from reading regular books to purchasing your first e-reader can be a bit more challenging than expected. Is an e-reader really necessary? Do you need color images? How necessary is WiFi on an e-book reader?

Reading regular books for so long shows us that it is indeed possible to enjoy reading without connecting to WiFi. One might have even contemplated the necessity for internet capabilities in cell phones when suddenly we had the ability to connect to the world wide web right in the palm of our hand, instead of just using it for phone calls. Back then, they could have just as easily asked themselves, how necessary is WiFi on a cell phone?

The simple answer to the question of how necessary WiFi is for an e-book reader is completely dependent on what you plan to use it for and even how tech-savvy you are. If all you need is something light and easy to travel with, without the fear of ruining pages or forgetting a book you needed for class, WiFi may not be necessary. However, you if you are an avid reader who goes above and beyond simply perusing the text and performs quick Google searches on places, allusions, and phrases just to be sure not to miss a single detail, WiFi may be perfect for a little added convenience.

If you still find yourself a bit stumped as to how necessary WiFi is for an e-book reader, I have provided a list below to help provide a little more insight into just what WiFi can do for you on those handy e-reader devices.

Having a WiFi connection makes it so much easier to download books straight to your e-reader.
Having a WiFi connection makes it so much easier to download books straight to your e-reader. | Source

What is WiFi?

WiFi is a technology that enables electronic devices to connect to the internet or other data wirelessly with the use of radio waves.

E-Book Reader WiFi

Whether or not you believe WiFi is necessary on an e-reader book, the simple fact remains that it can actually be somewhat difficult to find one that does not provide WiFi capabilities. Why is it necessary? To ensure that things are put into the simplest of terms, I have provided below a list of five reasons why WiFi is necessary for an e-reader book.

1. Having WiFi separates the e-reader books from regular books. If you really think about it, without that WiFi connection, what is there that really separates an e-reader from a regular book? Lack of physical pages and that beloved new book smell, perhaps? Personally, I'd rather save a couple hundred bucks than spend it on a device that has the same functions as those sitting merrily on my bookshelf.

2. WiFi enables you to make quick purchases anywhere. It's possible to buy digital books and put them on your e-reader book without that WiFi connection by simply plugging it into your computer, but, what if you are travelling and forgot to download something new to read? Or, perhaps a friend just told you about a new novel that you'd like to get now before you forget? WiFi allows you to get that book anywhere you are and download it straight to your e-reader book in minutes.

3. Apps. That's right, just like your handy phone, some e-reader books have apps that you can download so that you can keep up with the news, play games, or update your Facebook status with a great quote from that Jane Austen novel you've been reading (or whatever else you might want to share). You can get almost any app you can think of, straight to your e-reader book anywhere with that handy WiFi connection.

4. Info on the go. Yet another reason why WiFi is necessary for an e-reader book is the fact that you can access information anywhere. Whether you are discussing the book in class and someone forgot what year the author was born in, or you've run across a word you previously never knew existed, WiFi enables you to switch screens and look up whatever information you desire, without losing your spot in the book.

5. Big screen and easy navigation. Of course, much of what I've listed is also possible on your phone. You can even get a Kindle app that enables you to read books on the go if you so choose. However, an e-reader book has a much larger screen that makes it easier to navigate and much simpler to read in general. So yes, it may share the same capabilities as a cell phone, but the WiFi can come in handy when something is much more difficult to read on your phone's smaller screen. Plus, it may have a longer battery life, since most e-readers last at least a couple of weeks without having to be charged.

E-book readers aim to provide customers with the convenience of books on the go. Why is WiFi necessary on an e-reader book? Think of it as that cherry on top, adding even more convenience to that device that will already help make it easier to collect books without taking up living space or weighing down your bag as much as a 1000 page novel would.

The Amazon Kindle is one of the most popular e-readers out there.
The Amazon Kindle is one of the most popular e-readers out there. | Source

How necessary is WiFi on an e-reader book?

How necessary do you think WiFi is for an e-reader?

See results

What is the Best E-Book Reader?

With so many e-book readers out there to choose from, it can be difficult to narrow it down to just one. If you are looking at comparing sizes, prices, and WiFi capabilities, I have provided tables with this information to make it easy to compare below, along with a little information on the worst and best rated e-reader books out there.

Along with these criteria, some other information on e-book readers you may want to consider, once you have decided how necessary WiFi is for an e-reader book, are the following:

  • Battery life
  • Customer ratings
  • Available content
  • Screen size
  • Data storage
  • Accessories
  • Features
  • Display
  • Weight
  • Speed
  • Parental Controls
  • Charge time
  • Warranties
  • What is included with your purchase (Does it come with a charger?)

E-Reader Books Size Differences

Height (mm)
Width (mm)
Kindle Paperwhite
Kindle Keyboard
Nook Simple Touch With GlowLight
Nook Simple Touch
Kobo Glo
If you are looking at getting the smallest e-reader out there, Kobo Glo could be the best choice for you. Keep in mind, that there are many more e-books out there that did not make this list.

Top Rated E-Readers

Wired magazine, listed Amazon's Kindle Paperwhite, Kobo Aurora HD (not featured in these tables), and Barnes and Noble's Nook Kindle Touch GlowLight as the top three e-readers. Who got the number one spot? Amazon, of course.

Which e-reader books have WiFi?

Kindle Paperwhite
Kindle Keyboard
Nook Simple Touch With Glow Light
Nook Simple Touch
Kobo Glo
For those who deem WiFi as unnecessary for e-reader books, the Kindle Keyboard may just be the e-book for you. If you are looking to spend the least amount possible, a good old Kindle is the best in this list.

Worst E-Readers

It may be the smallest reader in our list but Kobo's e-readers have also received the worst ratings from customers. Why? While it may have some of the smallest e-book readers, they also tend to have less features that come standard with Amazon and Barnes and Noble's e-books. The Kobo Model K080-KBO-B has only a little over a 2 stars rating on Amazon (out of 5), for example. It is important to note that some models, such as the Kobo Glo in our list, have some decent reviews. On Amazon, the Kobo Glo has a solid 4 out of 5 stars.

© 2013 Lisa


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    • Jean Bakula profile image

      Jean Bakula 4 years ago from New Jersey

      I never thought I would want an E-reader, but I am an avid reader, and got my Kindle Paperwhite for Christmas. I love it. I am thrilled to have a whole library of books, both new ones and old favorites, right at my fingertips. Plus I have many bookshelves, and have no more space. The Paperwhite is easy to operate, and I don't know how I lived without it. The only time I wish I had a "real" book is for research, but I can use the Kindle for that too. But sometimes in that case it is easier to flip through the pages of the "real" book if you have work to do with the info. But it's a small price to pay, and I own most of the reference books I need for myself anyway. It's just a matter of getting used to it.

    • profile image

      Molly 4 years ago

      I have both an old school first edition Kindle and a Kindle Fire. FAR prefer the old Kindle for reading! It weighs a lot less and really, to have the internet would just be distracting. I have my phone and computer for that sort of thing. Plus, unlike the Kindle Fire, I can read outdoors in the sunshine.