The Secret Of Using A Kindle Fire Outside North America

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using kindle outside ukThere are many misconceptions about international use of the Kindle Fire. Some people believe that the device simply will not work beyond the boundaries of the USA, others that you won’t be able to download books or browse the web.

In truth, there are restrictions to using a Kindle Fire in territories in which it isn’t currently available. However Amazon would be shooting themselves in the foot if they prevented its use – after all, it is basically an eBook reader – anywhere except the USA.

Let’s take a look at just what the situation is with using the Android-based Kindle Fire overseas.

I’m American and I’m Travelling with my Kindle Fire

If you purchased your Kindle Fire with a view to saving space and weight penalties when travelling, you would be pretty disappointed to find that you don’t have the ability to read books and watch videos on it!

Fortunately, this isn’t the case.

However if you are expecting to be able to purchase, say, Jurassic Park 3 from Amazon Prime to watch while travelling in Scotland, think again. Movie and music purchases are not available while you’re out of the USA.

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(There are some users who claim that this can be overcome by ensuring that one-click ordering is activated and a US-based credit card and billing address is selected on your Amazon account.)

In this situation, you should purchase what you plan to watch before travelling and then download to your device. Books are a different situation, usually, although there are a few that might be region blocked. Should this occur, arranging for someone to login to your Amazon account back home – or connecting to your US-based PC via remote desktop – should allow you to purchase the title.

I’m European and Received my Kindle Fire as a Gift

Things are a little different if you’re European. Many people received Kindle Fire eBook reader tablets as gifts for Christmas, only to find that use of the device was restricted to browsing the web and reading books.

After setting up your Kindle Fire (thereby removing the US address of the buyer) you will find that media downloads are unavailable in the UK and Europe. Only eBooks purchased from the Kindle Store can be bought and downloaded to your device.

Fortunately you can browse the web, receive email and install apps from third party locations, although access to the Amazon App Store is blocked outside of the USA.

How the Restrictions Work

Restrictions using the Kindle Fire outside of America are controlled using two criteria. First is the credit card address saved on your Amazon account, which will of course give the Kindle a good idea of which country you are in. However if you have purchased a movie to download in the USA you would expect that it can be downloaded in the UK.

Sadly this isn’t the case as the Kindle Fire is able to block downloads from Amazon based on the Wi-Fi network you are connected to, due to differences in the way wireless hubs in the UK and USA allocate channels.

Overcoming Region Blocking

Region blocking can be overcome on your Kindle Fire using a service such as www.unblock-US.com, which is $4.99 per month and which offers a 7 day trial. Sign up to this before making the following changes – if you’re unhappy with the service, remember to cancel before billing commences.

using kindle outside uk

In order to use it, however, you will need to install a second browser onto the Kindle Fire. One good option is Dolphin Browser HD which can be installed to your Kindle Fire via http://www.androidfreeware.net/get-dolphin-browser-hd.html – select the Mirror download option, ensuring that the Settings > More… > Device > Allow Installation of Applications option is set to On.

using kindle outside of usa

With Dolphin Browser HD installed, open Settings > More… > Wireless Network and select the active network, where you should make a note of the IP address.

Tap the darkened background area to close the box and then select Advanced Settings > Static IP settings > Use static IP, which you should switch to On.

Set your IP address as per the note taken earlier and enter the router IP which is typically the same as the device IP but with the last number set to 1 (i.e. if your device is 123.456.789.15 then the router would be 123.456.789.1).

Next, enter the Subnet Mask which is almost always 255.255.255.0. Finally, enter the DNS details for unblock-US.com:

DNS 1: 208.122.23.22

DNS 2: 208.122.23.23

using kindle outside uk

Finally, click Home and then head to http://check.unblock-us.com/ in the Dolphin Browser HD to confirm connection.

You will then be able to use services such as Hulu, Netflix and Pandora on your Amazon Kindle Fire (assuming you have the apps installed) and enjoy streamed video and music!

Installing Apps – Could be Troublesome

Although apps are the lifeblood of most tablet systems – and there are many available for the Kindle Fire – you should note that outside of North America you will be unable to download apps via the default location, the Amazon App Store (Kindle Fire tablets ship without access to the Android Market).

Any apps that have already been downloaded and installed should work without any major problems, however.

Our previous guide on installing Android apps onto the Kindle Fire should give you all the answers you need.

Conclusion

Sadly the limitations of the Kindle Fire are found not in its hardware but in the way it can be used overseas. For an eBook reader and multimedia tablet this is particularly disappointing.

Ultimately the sooner the Amazon Kindle Fire is released beyond the USA the better for all owners.

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Comments (21)
  • Bo

    How about just changing your prime account to a .uk account?

  • Rashid Motala

    Couldnt download dolphin browser. No mirror site

  • Orinoco

    I’m not familiar with the Dolphin browser. Any concerns with malware, etc?

    I’m going to be living between the U.S. and Brazil over the next few years and plan to use my Kindle Fire to stay current on my favorite TV shows.

    • Sherwin

      Dolphin browser is one of the most popular browsers for android, was my goto before chrome was made available.

      Safe install

  • anthony

    I have a kindle fire and live in the USA and UK. The Fire is registered to a US address. Not difficult. The payment method is an Amazon gift card bought in a retail store although I am sure an ethereal one would work the same if bought on Amazon.com in $$$$. Then the magic. Look for any free US proxy IP address on Firefox some may not still be live but persevere, then add it via Tools Options Advanced Network Settings Manual Proxy config.
    Enter the Amazon.com website and download all you want. Use the one click purchase, even for free apps, and the app is sent to your Kindle Fire.

    • Clive Lincoln

      would you be able to give me some more explanation around how to register against a US addess? Is the gift card from the US? etc etc. I like the device but don’t want to be limited just cause I live in the UK

    • anthony

      Okay Ideally you have a mate in America who can buy you an Amazon gift card and you can register the Kindle to his address. Failing that buy an Amazon gift card on line but through Amazon.com NOT .co.uk. You will buy in dollars that’s fine. then. Okay as for an address Apartment 810, Seacoast Collins Avenue Miami Beach FL. 33140
      or any other block of condos you might choose in any state. Nothing is going to be sent there. Just register the Kindle Fire there. Holiday condos are good because of the transient nature of the occupants. Then a US proxy IP address (google search there’s loads) on your computer access Amazon.com apps store and off you go. Download free apps or buy using the gift card registered for payment.

      Jobs a goodun

    • Clive Lincoln

      Does it matter what e-mail I use for this? UK one?

    • anthony

      I don’t believe so. I cant see why it should I live in the US and UK so I don’t have to have a US email. Mine is a .com anyway. so maybe if you don’t have one get one from hotmail, yahoo, aol, rocketmail. Then you definitely wont have a problem. Good luck

  • Floris

    I have a Kindle Fire in Europe too (my girlfriend in the U.S. ordered it for me). I didn’t mind the fact that the Amazon Shop was closed since I was intending to use it pretty much as any regular Android device. It was a bit of a hassle to get a file manager installed, though, since that’s the first step in most tutorials about how to hack your Kindle. What worked for me was to point the (amazon Silk) browser to a site where you download the .apk file of, say, the ES File Manager. Then you download it and it offers you to install it. From there on all apps installed quite easily.

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This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.
Affiliate Disclamer

This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.