Amazon Kindle With 3G + Wifi: Is the Added 3G Connectivity Really Necessary?

Although the Kindle in general is widely regarded as the best eBook reader on the market today, you might still have a hard time deciding which model to buy. The Kindle comes in two broad types – the Wi-Fi only model, and the Wi-Fi plus 3G model.

The Benefits Of Added 3G

Amazon state that the main reason for the 3G connectivity is so that you’ll have the ability to browse the Kindle store and download both free and paid eBooks from 100 different locations around the world. Amazon have exceptionally good coverage on their 3G network. Whether you’re just away from home without a Wi-Fi connection, or you’re traveling abroad, you’ll always have access to new eBooks to read. This is very useful for true book lovers!

Another benefit is the fact that you can use the free 3G connection for purposes other than downloading new Kindle eBooks. You can open up the experimental web browser and check your emails if you have no other way of doing it. Bear in mind that the Kindle wasn’t made for web browsing – the browser is a little clunky – but it’s still better than nothing in an emergency!

If you’re reading on your Kindle away from a Wi-Fi connection then you may find it useful to quickly look up information. For example, you may want to find out more about a certain author on Wikipedia. The 3G connection means this is possible in many more locations than with the Wi-Fi only model.

All of this connectivity is completely free for life! For just $50 more you’ll avoid the need for being tied down to costly data plans, as you would with devices such as the iPad 2, and can connect from countries all around the world. To do so on your cell phone could cost a small fortune, but it’s all included within the price of a 3G Kindle.

The Drawbacks Of The 3G Option

For a start, adding 3G to your Kindle is going to cost you an extra $50. Given that the Wi-Fi version already costs over $100, this could be a lot for many users to pay out. However, on the flip side, you should remember that you’ll never need to pay for a 3G data plan – connecting to Amazon’s 3G network is free for life! If you use it enough, that $50 will be well worth it.

The only other disadvantage is the fact that having 3G connectivity switched on will drain your battery a lot faster. Thankfully you can turn it off when you’re not using it to conserve power.


Whether or not you choose the 3G Kindle really is a personal choice. Many users have stated that they would not have had a use for the 3G version had they paid the extra cash. However, if you’re the kind of person who travels a lot and is frequently out of the range of a good Wi-Fi connection, then 3G will mean you can always browse and download from the Kindle Store.

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