I am in a hotel/airport/? and cannot connect CC to my computer by WiFi. How can I transfer books?


For security reasons most public WiFi systems block connections between devices. They don't want to let hackers see all the other computers. Unfortunately, in this situation CC cannot connect with your computer running calibre, preventing transferring books from calibre to CC.

There are (at least) 7 ways to work around this problem:

  • Use a pocket wifi access point. These are marvelous little devices that create a local wireless network so that devices can talk to each other. They do several other things as well, such as WiFi sharing in hotels where you get one connection, and sharing cable connections. One example of such a device is the ASUS WL-330NUL, but there are many others that do similar things.
  • If you have a device and a carrier that support "tethering", you can use that device to make a local WiFi network. This device need not be one you use as a reader. Follow the instructions for the device to set up tethering, then connect both your computer and your reader device to the resulting network. Note that traffic between the reader device and the laptop will not go out over the cellular network and thus won't be metered, but other traffic such as email checking will do so.

    Note: if you use Windows on the computer running calibre then be sure that the WiFi connection on that computer is Private, not Public. Otherwise your device will not be able to connect to calibre.
  • If calibre is installed on a computer running Windows and using WiFi then you can turn that computer into a private Wireless Access Point and then connect your device to calibre. One application that works for us is Connectify Hotspot. We tested the free version with and without the laptop being connected to WiFi. Note that the laptop must be connected to the internet when you install the application and run it for the first time, because the application does some kind of license check once.
  • Use CC Cloud's "library on device or SD card". This option works when all you have is a a cabled connection.

    The basic idea is to create a new library (the "transfer library") that contains only the books you want to transfer to the device. You then copy the transfer library to the device, then use CC's local library cloud connection to add the books to CC.

    The steps:
    1. On the machine (laptop) runnng calibre, create the transfer library, an empty calibre library.(Library / Switch/Create library / Create an empty library at new location) Be sure to check the Copy Structure checkbox.
    2. Once the transfer library is created, switch back to your main library.
    3. For each book you want to transfer to your device, select that book, right click, choose "Copy to library", and choose the transfer library. You can select more than one book before you do the copy.
    4. Close calibre. This is important, as you don't want calibre to detect your device in the next step.
    5. Plug in your device. It should appear in the file explorer or whatever your operating system uses.
    6. Copy the transfer library to the device using the file explorer.
    7. Unplug the device.
    8. In CC, set the cloud provider to "Library on device or SD card" (Settings / Cloud Connection / Cloud provider).
    9. Start CC Cloud (Connect / Connect to cloud).
    10. Navigate to the directory containing the library you copied. You should see a green check mark next to the directory name.
    11. Add the books to CC.
    The second time you do this, instead of creating an empty transfer library you might delete all the books in the current transfer library to avoid confusion and extra copying. Same thing is true for the copy on the device; when you connect the device you might delete any existing copy of the transfer library before doing the copy.
  • Similar to the above: copy your library to an SD card and put that card in your device. Of course, this requires that both the machine running calibre and your device support SD cards and that you currently aren't using the SD card slot.
  • Again similar to the above, put the transfer library in the cloud. This will work if your computer and device both have access to the internet but don't have access to each other (common in hotels). The transfer library is very small so any free cloud storage plan should be enough.
  • Put your entire library in the cloud. This is the easiest solution to manage as long as you have enough space with some cloud provider and your devices have internet access.
Author:
Charles Haley
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