Living in a world where you have access to high-speed Internet almost anywhere has a lot of advantages. You’re able to consume content on the fly, catch up with family, and in some cases, even work remotely as you travel the world. However, there are places where Internet isn’t readily available, notably airplanes, third-world countries, and so on. That makes it difficult to consume content, but thankfully, some content, such as Wikipedia, you can view offline.
Kiwix is a program that willl let you view Wikipedia without any sort of access to the Internet. You can view other content offline with it, but viewing Wikipedia offline is its intended purpose. Setup is actually quick and easy, though you’ll need a fairly stable and fast internet connection to get things started.
Installing Kiwix itself is a simple process; you would do it how you would install any other program. Just head over to their website, download the correct version for your operating system, and extract the files to the intended location on your computer. In my case, I put it on my desktop. Now, it just needs a ZIM file to begin serving you content.
Next, we’re going to download Wikipedia to the computer in order to view it in Kiwix. It’s an almost 60GB download, so obviously this could take some time. We’re also not sure how often Kiwix updates the Wikipedia ZIM file for the most recent articles added, but all of the core content is there.
For the purposes of this guide, I’ve just downloaded a small 12MB file to demonstrate how to get view files like these in Kiwix.
Once downloaded, you’re going to want to open Kiwix, and at the top left corner click “File.”
Select “Open File.”
Next, navigate to the ZIM file you downloaded, select it, and open it. Congratulations, you can now view Wikipedia without access to the Internet!
If you’re not looking to view Wikipedia offline or other information databases specifically, Kiwix probably isn’t your best option. In that case, you’ll want to try a neat piece of software out called Pocket (website here). You can download the Pocket browser extension, and even download the mobile applications for Android or iOS. Once installed, Pocket will let you save articles you find on the web for offline viewing at a later time. You can download hundreds of articles for offline viewing later at no charge.
It’s a neat program, and is a lot more helpful for those that prefer reading articles from websites and blogs like Business Insider and Entrepreneur over massive informational databases like Wikipedia and Wikinews.