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Can You Use the Fire HD 8 without Wi-Fi?

Last Updated Jan 5, 2022
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When you’re connected to the internet, using your Fire HD 8 is like holding a powerful computer in your hands. You can stream live TV, post videos online, and access your favorite apps. But, when you don’t have Wi-Fi, things change.

You can use the Fire HD 8 without Wi-Fi, but the features available will be significantly reduced. Without a connection, you can’t use apps that require streaming, like Hulu or Netflix. However, you don’t need Wi-Fi if you have pre-downloaded videos, audio, or books.

Read on to learn more about what you can and can’t do with your Amazon Fire HD 8 without Wi-Fi.

Can You Use the Fire HD 8 without Wi-Fi?

You basically need two things for your Fire HD 8 to work: a solid internet connection and a battery charge. Without these things, you’ll be unable to:

  • Update your device. Periodically, you’ll need to update your tablet. This will keep everything running smoothly. However, it won’t download updates without a connection, which could result in lags and delays.
  • Stream your favorite shows. Without internet, streaming apps like Hulu, Netflix, and YouTube won’t work. Matters change if you download media before you lose internet; but, some platforms only let you keep downloaded content for a certain period.
  • Send and receive messages. With an internet connection, you might have used Messenger with no problems. However, if you don’t have a connection, your messages won’t go through; you’ll get an error message.
  • Play online games. Some apps require an internet connection to work. For instance, if you want to play Scrabble competitively, you’ll need Wi-Fi. (Note: This doesn’t apply to one-player games or games where you play against the computer.)
  • Download new content. If you already have data downloaded to your computer (like photos, for example), you might be able to transfer these to your tablet using a USB cable. However, if you’re looking to download new content, you won’t be able to.

What Can You Do on a Fire HD 8 without Wi-Fi?

While you can’t do most things on your Fire HD 8 tablet without a connection, that doesn’t apply to everything. You can do these things without Wi-Fi:

  • Take photos and videos. When you take a picture with your tablet, it’ll immediately go to your camera roll. However, it won’t connect to Amazon Photos until you get a connection.
  • Read books. When you download a book from Kindle (or your library’s eBook database), those are installed on your tablet’s hard drive. In addition to reading books, you can highlight passages, bookmark sections, and skip ahead to other chapters. However, you won’t be able to search for unfamiliar phrases.
  • Listen to music. If you have music downloaded onto your tablet, you can listen to songs with no problems. If you have Spotify and you’ve downloaded music, you can access those playlists, as well.
  • Listen to podcasts. Downloading a podcast? Not without Wi-Fi. Listening to a podcast that you downloaded last week? Perfect.

Can I Use a Hotspot to Connect My Fire HD 8 to Internet?

You need an internet connection to operate your Fire HD 8. If you don’t have Wi-Fi in your house (or during your commute), not to worry; you can turn your smartphone into a mobile hotspot. Here, you would go into your phone’s settings, then enable the hotspot feature.

From there:

  1. Swipe down from the top of the screen.
  2. Select “Wireless.”
  3. Turn the Wi-Fi on.
  4. Tap your phone’s mobile hotspot network.

Keep in mind that this uses your phone’s data. So, if you only have a certain amount of data per month, be mindful of how much data your tablet uses. Conducting a simple web search through Silk shouldn’t use a lot of data. However, watching videos and streaming music will.

If you purchase a mobile hotspot, like the NETGEAR Mobile Wi-Fi Hotspot, you can strengthen your phone’s signal. You can only connect multiple Wi-Fi-enabled products at a time.

Again, keep in mind that your cellphone might come with limited data, and if you exceed your data, you could incur additional charges.

Can the Fire HD 8 Connect to Internet with Cellphone Data?

The standard Fire HD 8 needs a Wi-Fi connection. However, special models come bundled with cellphone plans. For instance, consider the Fire HD 8.9 4G. This would operate like your cellphone would, drawing a connection from nearby cellphone towers.

Keep in mind that this isn’t a “buy-it-and-use-it” deal. You need to contact your cellphone provider and have them connect their network to your tablet. You may find yourself paying a few extra dollars a month for this feature.

A Final Word

You can use the Fire HD 8 without Wi-Fi, but you won’t be able to use most of the tablet’s features. If you don’t have an internet connection, you can use Wi-Fi by turning your phone into a mobile hotspot or purchasing a hotspot device.