Getting Wifi in Japan Part 1
Getting Wifi in Japan Part 1
When traveling to a different country whether it be for work or for pleasure you want to always make sure what the wifi/internet situation will be like. You’ll either need it to get around, stay in touch with friends/family, or you may need it to do your work. Whatever your reason is for needing wifi here is all the information that you will need and then with this information you can decide whether you will need a pocket wifi/Sim card or not.
Is there free wifi?
Depending on where you are in Japan the amount of free wifi locations will vary. However, the amount of locations with free wifi has definitely increased over the years. For example, cafes, hotels, train stations will usually have free wifi. Free? So what’s the catch? Well the catch is that places with free wifi will make you register for it. Which usually requires registering for it with your email address. Another thing with these free wifi places is that you can only use the wifi for a limited amount of time and if you turn off your device and try to use the internet again you will usually be required to log in again. Another thing about these free wifi places is that it’s not always reliable. I’ve found that usually cafes and hotels will have wifi that is more reliable but the wifi at train stations is usually less reliable and not all stations have wifi yet so you’ll only find free wifi at the major train stations. If you don’t mind having unstable wifi and having to register for wifi then you probably won’t need a pocket wifi or data Sim card.
Where can I get a pocket wifi?
There are a bunch of different places where you can get a pocket wifi. There are a bunch of websites in which you can order a pocket wifi from or you can even get one from one of the booths at the airport. So what is the difference between booking a pocket wifi device beforehand and getting one at the airport? The difference would definitely be the price. If you go for getting a pocket wifi right when you get to the airport you will find that the per day price for renting will be much more expensive compared to the websites where you book it ahead of time. The other thing would be that if you’re renting a pocket wifi device at the airport without doing your research ahead of time you may end up with one that does not have the best coverage and speed. Overall, it would just be a better option to book it ahead of time and do your research into what would work best for you.
What should I look for when renting a pocket wifi device?
Some tips to know before renting a pocket wifi device would be to find a rental shop that provides a Docomo network. If you are not aware, some of the major networks include: Softbank, AU, YMobile and Docomo. Out of these major networks Docomo is known to be the top as it has the best coverage hence it’s name Docomo which in Japanese means anywhere meaning you can pretty much get coverage anywhere. Know how much wifi you will be getting and when or if there is capping. Pocket wifi rental websites will have a bunch of different GB per day plans that you can choose from. Some will have capping and others will not. If you do not know what capping is this is basically the minimum amount of internet speed that you will get when you’ve used up the amount of data you have purchased. And you may want to check what the capping speed will be as well. So for example, say if you have 1 GB per day and you’ve used it all up at around 7pm. Well if your plan includes capping then it will usually be capped to 200kbps. The other thing to check is how much data you will be getting. So will, for example, the 1GB be for the whole week? Or will you be getting 1GB per day? If you are getting 1GB per day then even if you were to use up 1GB around 7pm then you’ll just have to struggle with the 200kbps until midnight and then it should be reset so that you have 1GB again for the next day. But if you have 1GB for the whole week and you use it up after a day or two then you will have to struggle with the capping speed for the rest of the week which will beat the purpose of even getting a pocket wifi in the first place.
What else should I know about renting a pocket wifi device?
You may be wondering how far in advance you need to book a pocket wifi. That really depends on which website you’ll be booking you pocket wifi device from. Some will be 4 days or 3 days ahead of time to have free shipping to the location you want to pick up the wifi device. Some websites will also have express delivery so if you’re scrambling to find a place to rent a pocket wifi device the day before you arrive in Japan then express shipping will be your only option. However, note that express shipping will cost you so make sure that you book it ahead of time as you’ll most likely have free shipping (again depending no the site you book it from). As a side note, if you do try to get a pocket wifi device at the airport in Japan a lot of times they have run out of pocket wifi devices to rent so to make sure you don’t end up not having a pocket wifi device it would be best to book ahead of time. Another thing is an extra battery for your pocket wifi device. Again, depending on where you rent from the battery of the pocket wifi device may last you all day or it may not and also depending on the usage the battery will either last or run out quickly. So if you don’t want to worry about running out of batteries on your pocket wifi device you also have the option of renting an extra battery. Not all websites have this option but some have the option of adding on an extra battery so that you can charge the pocket wifi device on the go.
Make sure to check out Getting Wifi in Japan Part 2 for more information.
And if you are looking for a pocket wifi device or prepaid SIM card to rent make sure to check out the following link for more information: https://www.genkimobile.com/