Thanks for all the useful reviews and information regarding setting up in Japan… immeasurable help.
is there a reason Japan Wireless is not mentioned in your long term pocket WiFi review?
We’re actually been looking into Japan Wireless recently, so expect an update soon!
There are two types of Wireless in Japan.
- a true pocket wife that has an internal rechargeable battery you can carry around with you.
- a standalone Wireless device that needs AC power (not portable). Softbank Air started this service about 5 years ago. AU has a similar device.
- these standalone devices attract consumers because not “physical line pulling” is required.
Personally, I do not like either of these “standalone” wireless devices because
- if you read the fine print, they can limit the actual speed if they feel you are using too much data, even though no data limit.
- reception will vary, just as a cell phone does.
- the cancellation terms are just atrocious, you are paying a monthly fee and under a two or three year contract with a cancellation fee if you cancel outside of the cancellation month.
you are much better off using kakaku.com and looking for a good deal in your area for a real internet connection. some of them have “tricky rebates” that require you to fill out some “form” after a certain number of months etc. Only do this with a very detailed oriented excellent Japanese reading/speaking person’s help.
Personally, I recommend you just contact otegal.jp and get the first month free, no installation fee, no long term contract with only certain months that are free to cancel, etc. pay via credit card or bank account.
Don’t go with Mobal for your mobile data. I bought a SIM card for 30 days and it’s junk - painfully slow and not reliable.
Good question Maikeru,
I was in Japan for over a month (last month) so went with Wifi-Rental.COM which was the recommendation from TokyoCheapo for longer stays. They charge you every month on the 01st, so even if you don’t use the full month, you are still charged for it when you sign up, or when it rolls over each month, it then stops when you return the router at the drop boxes, but the plan is relatively inexpensive so it’s not an issue if you don’t get a full months use. HOWEVER, Wifi-Rental.COM was probably the worst Pocket Wifi I have ever used in Japan. The plan said it was “Unlimited Wifi” but after 5GB of usage it slows down, I didnt see that as an issue as I could cope with slow wifi when most importantly I could fall back on it for just using Maps, Translate or Emails. Unfortunately i was to find out slower speeds pretty much mean no speed at all. Firstly when you hit the 5GB it completely shuts off your pocket wifi for a period of time, 30 mins to an hour, this is what they call temporary loss connection. Once this is restored the speed is slow slow, you can’t even open Maps, a simple google search, or even your emails. So the unlimited wifi, is nothing short of a scam. I also had periods where when i was below the 5GB usage and the pocket wifi lost connection, this happened a number of times.
I ended up emailing them and returning the device and ordered a Japan Wireless, unlimited business pack. Whilst it was a bit more expensive, it was unlimited WIFI, with no speed restrictions and never once did it drop out. For me Wifi-Rental was about $70NZD for a month, where is Japan Wireless cost me $160NZD for in the end 22 Days, it was worth every extra dollar as then you never had to worry about your data useage.
Following recommendations from Tokyo Cheapo, I got WiFi Rental, SoftBank T06 Unlimited High Speed. A BIG MISTAKE! They sent me a router which looked a lot different from their photo in their advertisement, but I tried it anyway. The connection speeds were extremely slow at 2.00 Mbps download and 0.52 Mbps upload. This was slower than my free T-Mobile connections, so I contacted WiFi Rental. to send me a replacement They told me that all their units are the same speed so a replacement unit would not increase my speeds. After a week of trying, the speeds were not getting any faster, so I contacted WiFi Rental and they offered a full refund upon return of the equipment. I returned the equipment at my expense, and they acknowledge receipt. Well it’s’ been over two months since return and they have yet to refund me at all. I have reported them to my credit card bank as a potential fraud.