Ferdinand has a wealth of experience in English football with more than 300 appearances, but has been without a club for almost a year since leaving Antalyaspor in Turkey.
The deal is subject to international clearance but the defender joined up with his new team-mates for training on Monday and the 29-year-old is delighted to have signed for the Sky Bet Championship club.
Ferdinand told the club's official website: "It feels fantastic to sign for a club like Reading. The first thing you feel when you come here is that it's a family environment.
"I've been away from English football for a year and had some tough times. Turkey is a fantastic place to go and play football, but certain things off the field didn't allow me to enjoy my football. That chapter is closed now, and I've opened a new chapter at Reading and I'm looking forward to it.
"I've got things to prove, to myself and everyone. A lot of people have written me off and doubted me because I've been away for a year, but I'm here to prove to people that I can offer a lot to English football. I want to offer what I can to Reading, and hopefully that means promotion.
"I'm champing at the bit to play my first game. I don't know when that will be as I'm lacking match fitness - I'm a bit behind the boys. I'm going to train hard, and when the gaffer thinks I'm ready, and then I'll be ready."
Reading manager Nigel Adkins has been busy in the transfer market in recent days and he added: "I’d like to officially welcome Anton to the club.
“We’re pleased to have signed three players in the last few days with him, Simon Cox and Jamie Mackie. I know they will all add to what is a very hard-working group of players."