Kindling Abroad
September 19, 2010 1:00 PM   Subscribe

Kindle 3 abroad? I'm looking to buy a Kindle and take it to Germany with me -- will I be able to download books from Amazon US without difficulties? Should I get the wifi or 3G version?

I've been trying to google this but I'm getting confused and would love to hear from actual people with actual experience. This old threat here seems to suggest that wifi is enough if I just download the books to my computer and then transfer, but this post by David Pogue makes it sound more difficult -- but perhaps he is talking about buying US books through the local Amazon site?

Would love any & all info. Thanks!
posted by muckster to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Just found the following info for buying a Kindle *in* Germany -- which sounds like not all books are available. But this shouldn't apply if I buy the Kindle here and take it with me, right?
We are excited to now ship Kindle to Germany. Customers in Germany will enjoy:
Books in Under 60 Seconds: Think of a book and you could be reading it in under a minute. Shop for and download titles over a Wi-Fi connection.

Growing Selection: Over 460,000 English-language books to choose from; plus U.S. and international newspapers and magazines are available for your country. Because publishers give us eBook rights on a country by country basis, available titles for your country will vary from our current U.S selection. We are actively working with publishers to get the rights to all titles for every country and adding this selection every day. Check the Kindle Store to see available titles.

Low Book Prices: New York TimesĀ® Best Sellers and New Releases are $11.99 to $13.99 (prices include VAT), unless marked otherwise. You'll also find many books for less - over 110,000 titles are priced under $5.99

Learn more about Kindle features on the Kindle product page

Important Product Information for Your Country

* Your international shipment is subject to VAT. This is the same VAT rate you pay when you buy products in your country. There are NO customs duties or any other fees. We will show you the estimated VAT upon checkout. Learn more
* Kindle ships with a micro-USB cable for charging your Kindle via a computer USB port
* You can transfer personal documents to your Kindle via USB for free at anytime. Service fees for transferring personal documents via Whispernet are currently $.99 per megabyte. Learn more
* Wireless download times can vary based on 3G or EDGE/GPRS coverage, signal strength and file size.
* Kindle books, newspapers, and magazines are currently priced and sold in United States dollars
* Access websites like Google and Wikipedia via a Wi-Fi connection. Blogs can also be downloaded via a Wi-Fi connection. Social networking features are currently not available for your country.
* Kindle includes a 1-year limited warranty. See details
* Use of the Kindle is subject to the Kindle License Agreement and Terms of Use
posted by muckster at 1:05 PM on September 19, 2010

You won't have trouble as long as you have a U.S. Kindle account. I use a U.S. credit card and have a U.S. address associated with my account, so I'm not relegated to the international store, and download (U.S. selection) Amazon ebooks to my computer here in Greece.

(I'm actually trying to find out if I have a new one shipped to Greece instead of bringing it from the U.S. if it will cause any problems... it shouldn't, but I don't want any change to my account status)
posted by taz at 1:18 PM on September 19, 2010

My mom just bought the one with both 3G and wifi for the very purpose of using it abroad.
posted by amro at 1:19 PM on September 19, 2010

I bought my v2 kindle in the us and brought it over to Europe.
if I log in with my amazon account that has an European credit card address then I can buy and down load books from anywhere in Europe but the free 3G only let's me surf and wikipedia. if I'm logged in with my account that has a US address then I can surf anywhere but I get a warning that if I download a book with the 3g then i'll be charged extra.
I've found that, while pretty slow, having the free 3G has been pretty awesome when I've been on vacation and there was no free wifi.

I transfer most of my stuff over using calibre ( which I found out about here on MF :) and it has been awesome. it down loads the nytimes and economist and then converts and copies it to the kindle.
posted by Spumante at 1:34 PM on September 19, 2010

yep... If you use the 3G to download your Amazon books directly to your Kindle while abroad (with a U.S. account), there's an extra charge, but if you download from Amazon to your computer, then transfer to your Kindle, there's no charge.

Spumante, I'm curious that you have an international account and a U.S. account, since as far as I know, you can't have a Kindle associated with two different accounts. Or do you just change which credit card you are using, and Amazon adjusts your single account to be either U.S. or international?
posted by taz at 1:57 PM on September 19, 2010

well, not at the same time but you can goto settings and deregister and register with the other account.
posted by Spumante at 2:02 PM on September 19, 2010

My experience is that Amazon may require you to "prove" that you live in the U.S. by providing them with a copy of your passport, etc. in order to download U.S. content when in another country.

While in Canada, I could not download some books, until I provided the required information that gave proof to where my residence is. (Credit card address, etc apparently wasn't sufficient).

posted by batikrose at 4:11 PM on September 19, 2010

Thanks everyone!
posted by muckster at 2:35 PM on September 21, 2010

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