The Kindle Fire is Amazon’s first tablet and while it has a lot of good things going for it, one of the three biggest disappointments with the Kindle Fire is the fact that it comes with just 5.37 GB of available storage space (plus an additional 1.17 GB for apps) and doesn’t have any memory card slots or support for USB drives for memory expansion.
Amazon opted to use the opportunity to promote their cloud storage service on the Kindle Fire instead, where you store your files online with Amazon to access them from anywhere you have an internet connection. Cloud storage is a good option, and you can use other cloud storage services too (more on this below), but there are some other ways to add more storage, ones that don’t require you to be connected to the internet to use them.
Three ways to increase the Kindle Fire’s storage space
#1. Kingston Wi-Drive – The Kingston Wi-Drive is an external hard drive that connects to the Kindle Fire using Wi-Fi. Kingston Wi-Drives come in 16 GB and 32 GB varieties, and soon 64 GB as well. They work with Apple’s iDevices too.
Up to three devices can be connected to a Kingston Wi-Drive at a time, and each user can access different content simultaneously. You use the Wi-Drive Android app on the Kindle Fire to access the device. The Wi-Drive also lets you connect to a second network so you can access the internet while using it.
Kingston Wi-Drive Kindle Fire User Manual
#2. Splashtop Remote Desktop – The Kingston Wi-Drive is a good option is you want portable storage and the ability to easily share it with other devices at the same time, but if you want to easily access all the files on your PC and stream them to the Kindle Fire, the Splashtop Remote Desktop App can do just that.
You can literally access and use all your programs and files on your computer from the Kindle Fire itself. And as long as your computer is turned on and has Splashtop Streamer running you can access it from anywhere your Kindle Fire has an internet connection.
There are also other apps that you can use to access your computer to transfer and stream media from a Kindle Fire and vice versa. WiFi File Explorer PRO is one example and is available from the Amazon appstore on the Kindle Fire.
#3. Kindle Fire Cloud Storage – Amazon isn’t the only place that offers cloud storage; there are many choices. Below are three that I’m familiar with that work on the Kindle Fire, and each offers free space. Sign up for all three and you’ll already have over 12 GB of free space, with the potential of getting up to 50 GB or more in free storage space by referring others.
Amazon Cloud Drive – You automatically get 5 GB of free storage space, plus unlimited space for photos, with new Kindle Fire tablets. Plans are $12 per year for the standard option and $60 per year for unlimited storage.
SugarSync – Get 5 GB free for signing up and up to an additional 32 GB for referring others to the free plan, or you can get limitless free space if your referrals sign up for a paid plan. Paid plans start at 30 GB for $4.99/month or $49.99/year and go up to 500 GB for $39.99/month or $399/year, with 60, 100, and 250 GB plans in between. Update: They no longer offer free plans.
Dropbox – Starts out with 2 GB of free space, and can be built up to 10 GB of free space by getting other people to sign up. Paid plans are 50 GB for $99 per year or $9.99 a month; 100 GB is $199/year or $19.99/month. The Dropbox Android app is available from the Amazon appstore but it doesn’t show up from the Kindle Fire, at least not yet. But you can download and install the app directly from the Dropbox website (link above) as long as you have 3rd party app installs enabled on the Kindle Fire in the setting menu.
Bob DeLoyd says
Dang, now if the Kindle had a microphone for Skype and camera….
These are the two of the three reasons I didn’t get a Kindle. The other one was the storage and I think you have solved that with the Kingston Wi-Drive (that I might just buy for my iPad and iPod Touch 🙂
Thanks- you always come up with the goods!
William Jacobs says
Have you actually tested this for compatability with the Kindle Fire? Theoretically, this should work for any tablet with Wifi? I am curious to know because I got the 16GB Playbook when it was on sale. They didn’t drop the price of the 64GB until after my return period had already expired, so now I’m stuck with the 16GB.
I don’t know that I would have ever needed that much memory but since it isn’t an option for me now then maybe the Kingston would be the next best thing if I ever needed that much storage.
The other thing I’m not clear on is whether movie files can only be streamed from the WiDrive to your device or can you just transfer the entire file at once so you don’t have to run down the battery on the WiDrive?
Compatibility isn’t an issue; the Kingston Wi-Drive officially supports the Kindle Fire and Apple iDevices. Apparently it works with Android tablets and some Android phones too, according to the beta version on the Android Market. The question is will it work with the PlayBook’s Android App Player? Other wireless hard drives should work with the Playbook if not.
Jeff Alberts says
An important note about the Amazon Cloud “drive”. It’s not a drive in the sense that you can access it freely and put anything you want and expect to have access via the Kindle. It’s meant to store things you buy from Amazon. Sure, you can go to your amazon account and add any kinds of files you want, but you can’t access them directly from your Kindle.
So it’s not comparable to Dropbox or Sugarsynch.
Jeff, That is not true. I have 50G from Amazon cloud and I have added Word, Excel and PDF files. I have also uploaded & downloaded music and movies, which have to be in the proper format. Cloud adds an application and you can just drag & drop into the cloud box, and it uploads in the background. The up&down load speeds are not the greatest, but it works.
I believe he’s referring to the fact that Amazon Cloud doesn’t SYNC like Dropbox or Sugarsynch.
You have to manually go download things from Amazon Cloud, or forward them to your Kindle if they’re formatted right; as opposed to them just “being there” for you, and if you make changes, you have to replace the files manually.
Here’s hoping amazon-co will upgrade the Fire to enable it to use an external micro usb sdcard reader, such as that for cell phones.
so the wi-drive, who got that? and does it give you extra space on the kindle or do you have to buy it, im confused how it works.
Yeah, strike the last line about how easy it is to install Dropbox. APK files such as Dropbox no longer work with the first-gen Kindle / Android OS 2.3. Appreciate the heads up on the Kingston device, but I wonder whether it will work with the old Android OS.
Kindle skyper says
I use Skype on my Kindle Fire all the time. I also have the camera ap. It takes nice photos.
C.mark anthony says
I don’t want to put any of my personal information in to a cloud storage or any other kind of storage for that matter, specially the way things are going in the world today , I wanted exterior hard drive so I could transfer my files, movies, and music, then I have it with me all the time. I’m having a very hard time getting information about transferring information from my fire fourth-generation to an exterior hard drive , can anybody help ???
Mary Moore says
Does it only store documents, pictures, and music or does it store apps too?
Moving apps to an external hard drive definitely isn’t going to be possible.