There’s been some trouble since the launch of the Kindle Fire. While responses have been overwhelmingly positive on most fronts, there is a substantial crowd that has been unable to get themselves online with their new tablet at all. As any amount of hands-on experience will quickly demonstrate, a Kindle Fire without internet access loses a lot of its potential usefulness. No video streaming, no app store, no store whatsoever for that matter…it isn’t isn’t as much fun!
So what’s the problem, and how do you fix it? Well, that’s a bit complicated as it turns out. There are a number of possible issues, so we’ll start with the simplest fixes. I’ll assume that you’ve already tried rebooting your device, just in case.
Update Your Kindle Fire’s Firmware
While it doesn’t help everybody who tries, the 6.2 update for the Kindle Fire seems to have resolved a lot of connectivity problems. This is especially true of instances where connections are intermittent and hard/impossible to maintain.
The simplest way to update is to just get online through another network. If that is not an option, just head over to the Kindle Fire Support page and follow the instructions under “Kindle Resources > Software Update”.
Reset and Update Router Firmware
Pretty much any wireless router you are likely to have will have the option to reset the on-board firmware to factory settings. If at all possible, follow the instructions included in your manual. The hardware is too varied to make it worth trying to walk you through it here. To get to your router admin interface use instructions on 192.168.1.1 router setup website.
Once that is accomplished, some users have experienced no further troubles. In general it is recommended that you update to the most recent firmware to have been released by your manufacturer. This seems to fix even more Kindle Fire issues.
Alternatively, some have had luck installing alternate firmware such as DD-WRT to their router. If you have a supported device, this would definitely be my own personal choice. It is simple enough to do by following directions and tends to offer greater control than what most manufacturers provide. Use only at your own risk, of course.
Change Your Network Settings
In some rare instances, it can simply be a matter of problems with basic details not working with the tablet. Extremely long SSIDs, for example, have been known to prevent connection entirely. Setting a Static IP for the Kindle Fire sometimes helps as well. As a last resort, forcing Wireless N broadcasting and manually setting the Channel sometimes seems to do some good.
If none of this works for you, or it simply isn’t an option, the best option is probably to get in touch with Amazon. They have been compiling details on ongoing problems and will hopefully begin having more luck the more information they have available. Some routers have proven to be completely incompatible so far, for example.
Remember that as a last resort (and I believe that the vast majority of problems can be solved by taking these troubleshooting steps) Amazon very rarely balks at accepting returns from dissatisfied customers. There’s no real motivation to keep around something that can’t perform the basic tasks you purchased it for. Wait on further firmware updates and try again later.