The internet is such a useful and fundamental aspect of modern life that we often take it for granted. But lose access while travelling, and it becomes immediately clear just how much we rely on it. Rather than losing contact with the rest of the world and getting disconnected from all your indispensable travel apps, we recommend that you plan ahead and get yourself a pocket Wi-Fi device.
Here’s everything you need to know about these rented devices and why it makes your time in Japan a whole lot easier. We recommend the pocket Wi-Fi from JR Pass.
What is pocket Wi-Fi?
A pocket Wi-Fi device is a compact and easily portable item that provides internet access for devices connected to it. The gadget connects to the internet using local mobile phone networks over 3G and 4G, and in turn, provides a secure Wi-Fi connection to devices like smartphones, tablets, and laptops.
With a pocket Wi-Fi device, you can connect to the internet wherever you are, whenever you need it, while travelling around Japan. The device is small and portable, fitting easily in one hand, so you can take it with you wherever you go.
Why is pocket Wi-Fi useful?
Today’s travellers want to stay connected and that’s especially true when travelling internationally. It’s extremely handy to be able to access Google Maps wherever you are, and it’s nice to be able to post to social media whenever you feel the urge.
Comparing pocket Wi-Fi with alternatives
An understandable question when considering renting a portable Wi-Fi device is whether it’s really necessary when travelling around Japan. After all, pocket Wi-Fi is just one of several different options for getting Wi-Fi access while you’re out and about. Ultimately though, the benefits of these devices vastly outweigh those of any other solution.
With Wi-Fi so widespread these days, many travellers are used to just relying on free public Wi-Fi hotspots when they need a connection. Unfortunately, public hotspots in Japan are hard to find and around 90% of these require full registration before use. This means free hotspots just aren’t a reliable solution for travellers. Although free Wi-Fi is widely available in public places in Shikoku, the signal is typically weak, and the constant necessity of entering your email address to log in makes this public service more of a nuisance than a help. That’s why it’s convenient to have your own, totally reliable Wi-Fi device.
There are also pitfalls when using data roaming or Japanese SIM cards to connect to the internet. Data roaming rates are notoriously expensive, meaning you’ll pay handsomely every time you use it. As for getting a local prepaid SIM, many international visitors find navigating the setup of these cards quite challenging.
The other problem with these other solutions is that they’re all focused on getting internet for a single device. Pocket Wi-Fi devices on the other hand allow multiple smartphones or computers to use this one router, making it great for families or friends travelling together.
This is why choosing to order a pocket Wi-Fi is such a good idea. Not only are they reliable and provide a connection whenever you need, they’re reasonably priced and easy to get up and running.
Pocket Wi-Fi features
For those who like to know the finer details and exactly what they’re getting, here are some of the specifications for this pocket Wi-Fi rental.
- High-speed 4G LTE connection
- Unlimited data usage
- Maximum download speed of 187.5 Mbps and upload speed of 37.5 Mbps
- Supports up to 10 devices
- Works with any Wi-Fi compatible device
- Rechargeable battery provides 12 hours of continuous use
How to order and receive your pocket Wi-Fi
Ordering and receiving your pocket Wi-Fi is simple and straightforward.
Order your device
On the order page, decide how long you want the device to be active for. The minimum is 5 days.
Select the pickup and return location
Select the location you plan to pick-up and return the device. Devices can be collected from major airports in Japan; Narita, Haneda, Kansai, New Chitose, Komatsu, Nagoya Chubu, Fukuoka, and Naha.
Pick up your pocket Wi-Fi
To collect the device, provide your passport and reservation ID given in the confirmation email that follows your order.
Connect your device
Your device is charged and ready to use right away. To connect to the device, in the Wi-Fi setting of your phone or laptop, select the network name shown on the device and then enter the password shown next to it.
Use your pocket Wi-Fi as a group
You can connect up to 10 devices with the pocket Wi-Fi, although you may notice slower speeds when more than four devices are connected simultaneously. Be sure to recharge the device to ensure no loss of connection. For the strongest signal, stay within 20-25 metres of the router.
Return your pocket Wi-Fi
When you’ve finished with the device, return it to the agreed major airport. This doesn’t have to be the same airport you collected it from. You can also post it back for approximately 500 yen.
You can order your pocket Wi-Fi here.