Update your old Amazon Kindle if you want to stay connected

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If you happen to be an owner of an "older" Amazon Kindle e-book reader, specifically one from 2012 or earlier, better heed this critical message from Amazon. Regardless of your actual use of the device, you will need update your Kindle to the latest software version by Tuesday, March 22, 2016. That is, if you ever want to be able to connect to the Internet again using the device. Considering most of the regular content you will read on the Kindle will most likely come from Amazon's store, that is pretty much a given.

Most of the time, software updates are optional, and some owners, either out of fear or principle, don't always apply such updates. Even if those updates bring delectable new features or critical security fixes. This announcement from Amazon, however, is something such users probably can no longer ignore.

Amazon isn't really giving out a reason why it's doing so, only that it's doing so, regardless of user opinion. It might be a strategy to force users to update to the latest firmware version, and it might be one that will work. In any case, users who do not upgrade by 22nd March will be met with this message:

"Your Kindle is unable to connect at this time. Please make sure you are within wireless range and try again. If the problem persists, please restart your Kindle from the Menu in Settings and try again."

Here are the affected models that need to in their latest software versions before that date:

• Kindle 1st Generation (2007)

• Kindle 2nd Generation (2009)

• Kindle DX 2nd Generation (2009)

• Kindle Keyboard 3rd Generation (2010)

• Kindle 4th Generation (2011)

• Kindle 5th Generation (2012)

• Kindle Touch 4th Generation (2011)

• Kindle Paperwhite 5th Generation (2012)

Amazon also makes a few notes that users should bear in mind. Whether or not a Kindle has a built-in 3G connection, users will only be able to update via Wi-Fi. Second gen (2009) Kindles, even if they're already up to date, should connect to the Internet if they haven't done so since October 5 last year.

All hope is not lost if you do fail to update by March 22. You can still manually do so using a USB cable, though that process is more tedious than over the air (OTA) updates.

SOURCE: Amazon