Why you should turn off Kindle WIFI while reading

10 min Read
Published: 
April 6, 2021

While we use our mobiles to connect to social platforms and checking our email, the same cannot be said for our Kindle.

Occasionally, we may need to browse the Kindle store to purchase and download our next book. But for most of the time, WIFI just sits there not doing much.

Which is why I’ve got into a habit of turning my WIFI off when I’m not using it.

There are a number of benefits in doing this, so I decided to share my thoughts with you on turning off your Kindle WIFI while reading.

Lets dig in!

4 Reasons why you should turn off Kindle WiFi

1. Save Battery Life

We have already discussed how turning off your WiFi can extend your reading pleasure. But here I’ll go into some detail as to how much battery life you can save just by disabling your WiFi when your done with it.

So how long does a typical Kindle last with the WiFi turned on?

I set my Amazon Kindle Oasis permanently on with no power saving enable.

With WiFi enabled the Oasis ran continuously for 22 hours, which is what we expected given how much power WiFi consumes. You may get a different result as the Oasis I am using is a couple of years old, so I would not expect it to fully charge when compared to a brand-new device.

When I disabled WiFi I was pleasantly surprised by the results. The same Kindle Oasis lasted an astonishing 26 hours. That’s just over +18% longer with WIFI off.

This means that for every 6 charges you get a free charge.

As a result of this, I find I am much more conscious of whether I’ve left my WIFI on while reading which in turn has meant that I can read for much longer before I have to find the charger.

It is not just WIFI that will drain your ereaders power. If you’re keen to find out more, we have an article on 5 Ways to Save Power on your eReader.

2. Reduce Wireless RF Emissions

All wireless devices whether it’s your mobile, home router or even ereader need to connect to a network so you can browse the internet or in our case, browse and purchase books to read.

To be able to communicate over a long distance or even in another room, your WIFI uses about half a watt of power. When you compare this to other mobile devices such as phones which can consume about 2 watts, it may not sound like a lot of energy.

But while WIFI is communicating to our router, some of that radio frequency energy is absorbed in all manner of objects around the house, including ourselves.

Whilst there is plenty of evidence from the WHO and other technical reports to validate the safety of using WIFI, I always like to reduce my exposure to all radio frequencies (rf) where possible.

Especially when we have ereaders sat on our lap for an extended period of time.

So, when I’m done downloading a new ebook, I make sure the ereader is in flight mode. This disables all wireless communication on the device, including bluetooth (which is another rf device).

Later on, I'll show you how to disable WIFI on some of the popular ereaders out there.

3. Extend the life of your ereader

This one is a little tenuous so hear me out!

Apart from the microprocessor itself, the WIFI in your device is a crucial component. Without it you would not be able to access the plethora of new books available through the Kindle store.

Most manufacturers will tell you that to preserve the life of any device, whether it’s a freezer, TV or even ereader, the fewer features to have running the better the chances of your device operating and working for longer.

WIFI in particular is susceptible to failure on most electronic devices such as laptops due to the sensitive electronics required to transmit radio signals. By turning your WIFI off, you will extend the life of the WIFI module.

Now it’s possible something else could fail first, such as the display or the power supply. But by turning off parts on the device that you’re not currently using, it will certainly help extend the life of your ereader.

4. Greener for the Planet

Now I’m not going to start preaching on how we all need to save the planet – I’ll leave that one for David Attenborough. 😊

I personally hate to waste anything, whether it’s food, old devices or clothes and even energy.

All I will say is that there is only a finite amount of energy on this planet, and if by using less energy it’s kinder for the environment, then it’s a win-win for everyone.

How to turn-off your ereader WIFI

Turning off your ereader WIFI is not as difficult as it sounds and usually takes seconds to do.

I’ll go through some of the more popular ereaders on the market and how to turn off your ereaders WIFI. If your device is not on the list you can find out how to do this by reading the user manual.

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite and Oasis

Oddly, Amazon have chosen not to give customers the option to independently disable the WIFI by itself. Instead, you need enable Aeroplane Mode which will disable all wireless communication on the device (including bluetooth).

To do this yourself on Kindle Oasis and Paperwhite, following the instructions below:

  1. Tap to open the Navigation Bar.
  2. Select the Aeroplane Icon.
  3. Flight Mode is now enabled.

Kindle should now have disabled both WIFI and Bluetooth with both icons removed from the top icon bar.

Be aware that not only will it turn-off WIFI, but you will also lose Bluetooth connectivity on your Kindle also.

BOOX Nova 3 & Max Air

BOOX has a unique approach to access the main menu system by way of a Navigation Button.

Simply double-tap the Nav Button to pull-up the home screen.

From there you should see the WIFI icon on the top menu. If WIFI is enabled, you should see three arches to indicate a connection is made.

To disable WIFI, tap on the icon. The arched bars should now disappear and the whole icon should be greyed out like this.

If you want to enable WIFI again, just tap on the icon again.

You can also disable the WIFI via the following menus:

1. On the Home screen tap on Settings > Network.

2. Tap the WIFI switch to enable.

Set up Network Inactivity Timeout Mode

To save on energy consumption, most modern ereaders come with low-power features which will turn-off certain wireless comms after a period of inactivity.

BOOX ereaders come with a Network Inactivity Timeout option as standard. This will disable the devices WiFi after a period set by the user. It also gives you the option to enable/disable WiFi during start-up. To set this up just following the instructions below:

1. Go to Settings > Power

2. Tap on Network Inactivity Timeout

3. Select a time between 5 mins to 1 hour

Summary

While most ereaders on the market are incredibly efficient with the amount of power they consume, it’s important to know that we can make a small contribution by turning our WIFI off.

Just like turning a light off in a room that you’re not using, you can turn your WIFI off when you’re not using it. This not only saves on energy and reduces the number of times you need to recharge your device, but it also avoids being exposed to any unnecessary wireless energy being transmitted while you read.

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