If you have an ereader, you may be amazed by the ease of obtaining an ebook. Perhaps you may see a book mentioned on your favourite bookstore, or your friend texts you the name of a bestseller. With an ereader, that book can be yours in moments. How does the book get into your device?
In general, wireless ereaders fall into two main categories: 3G and Wi-Fi. To understand how your ereader downloads a book, first you need to know which category it’s in. Most major brands offer both versions.
A 3G reader uses the cellular network to connect to a digital bookstore and transmit your books. 3G ereaders contain a cellular modem that connects to a cellular network. With almost all 3G ereaders, you don’t pay fees for network usage, but you will pay a higher price up front for a 3G device. The3G ereader will connect to the cellular network via 3G service if possible or, much like your cellphone, it will find a 2G or 2.5G network if 3G if not available. Most 3G ereaders also have Wi-Fi capability.
Once you select a book and submit the transaction, the book should download quickly. For Amazon Kindle it takes less than 60 seconds. The digital storefront you are visiting knows who you are, so there is no need to submit payment information; your credit card will simply be billed.
If you use a Wi-Fi only ereader, the basic premise is the same; it just not use the cellular network. Instead, your ereader needs access to a Wi-Fi hotspot. Just like connecting your laptop to the internet using Wi-Fi, your ereader will find the local Wi-Fi network and use it to transmit your book data.
There are ereaders that are not wireless but must be connected to a computer with a USB cable. These devices lack of connectivity has made them less attractive, for whom the convenience of downloading books wherever they are is one of the biggest benefits of owning an ereader.