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Pocket Wi-Fi in Japan – keep in mind I know nothing

Pocket Wi-Fi in Japan – keep in mind I know nothing

Old Sep 19, 19, 10:41 am
  #1  
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Pocket Wi-Fi in Japan – keep in mind I know nothing

Pocket Wi-Fi in Japan – keep in mind I know nothing
Hi everyone

We are planning to travel in Japan for two weeks in December. I hadn’t given much thought to data, Sim cards etc. except a friend who just came back said she found it in valuable to rent a pocket Wi-Fi and extra battery. I searched in this form for pocket Wi-Fi but all I saw was information about Sim cards. And I’m guessing a pocket Wi-Fi is something you use with your own phone? If there someplace I’m missing to search please let me know but I’d love to know more about pocket Wi-Fi and if there are better alternatives. Thanks so much!
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Old Sep 19, 19, 10:58 am
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What you are referring to is commonly known as MiFi. Do search on this forum for MiFi and you should find what you need. For example :-

Unlocked MIFI Solution
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Old Sep 19, 19, 11:06 am
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Thanks and another q.

Thanks for this – I’m also thinking about buying an “burner phone” as I’m very paranoid about having my iPhone stolen or lost while traveling. If I buy a burner phone and add it to my T-Mobile plan I assume I can still get the pocket Wi-Fi for it?
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Old Sep 19, 19, 11:24 am
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If youre on TMO , you probably dont need to rent a pocket wifi. I and a bunch of other people I know traveled to Japan without renting a pocket wifi and it worked fine, slow.. but fine. I used it for gmaps, apps for the train/subway and some pokemon go.

As for your iphone being stolen.. wont happen. My cousin left her phone and wallet at a coffee shop and came back an hour later, it was still there. A friend left his wallet at a busy restaurant in one of the train stations, it was still there when we returned. Bikes with shopping bags left outside unlocked everywhere. Its not San Francisco thats for sure.
Japan is an amazing country, do not worry.
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Old Sep 21, 19, 7:31 pm
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japan pocket wifi: MiFi Wifi Rental in Japan

japan prepaid sim: Prepaid SIM discussion (consolidated)

there are pros and cons for each approach.

I usually stick with refillable prepaid sim that works with multiple countries (and do hotspot other people when necessary)
others may have locked phone(or not enough LTE band), or need to share across multiple people, so pocket wifi is better
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Old Sep 25, 19, 10:22 pm
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I spent 2 months in Japan a year ago and decided to go with a wireless hotspot in the end because it was cheaper and easier to deal with than the sim cards because they can deliver the hotspot to your hotel or Airbnb.

This is the service I ended up using: https://www.japan-wireless.com/en
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Old Sep 25, 19, 11:19 pm
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I used my FlexiroamX sim sticker in Japan earlier this year without issue. It took a while initially to find the network, but then I had good data coverage for the week that I was there. The downside is that you cannot receive calls or sms to your ‘home’ sim while the flexi is running.
As for paranoia about your phone getting stolen, I wholeheartedly agree with the previous posters who say that this is not an issue in Japan.
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Old Sep 29, 19, 7:16 pm
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I rent a MIFI from rentafonejapan.com every time I travel there. I tell them my hotel and day I want it and the packages is waiting for me. It comes with a prepaid envelope so prior to leaving country I drop it off at the front desk or at the airport and I'm done. Very easy, never had a problem. You can also rent Japanese cell phones from them. The portable WIFI is a must for using Google maps while traveling. I've also found if there are two of us..if we both have a MIFI, we can use a messaging app to contact each other when we are doing separate things. Saves $ compared to an international plan.
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Old Oct 2, 19, 1:56 pm
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The MiFi rental process is pretty straight forward. If collecting at the airport you go to the designated counter in your reservation email and present a copy of your reservation and ID. They also have counters for you to drop off on your return.
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Old Oct 2, 19, 7:32 pm
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I have used a T Mo hotspot there at 2 G and it works fine Most recently Google Fi and Sprint both worked fine. Unless you go looking for Yakuza, I am convinced that the safest country on earth right now is Japan. do what is easiest for you.
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Old Oct 3, 19, 1:49 am
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If you have Sprint, your phone roams onto SoftBank (Sprint's Japanese parent company) for free and at full speed, with the same data limit as your regular plan (including unlimited). Some carriers give free "slow" roaming that's effectively useless (i.e. T-Mobile) and you have to buy-up to get functional speeds.

All pocket Wi-Fi devices are inherently clumsy, and you will have another piece of junk to lug around (and charge). You can also get something with a hotspot feature which let's your phone act as the pocket Wi-Fi device.

In all honestly, check your carrier's roaming rates. They really have come down significantly on all carriers in recent years, it no longer costs and arm and a leg, and is often much easier, more practical, and a more elegant solution.

If you must have pocket Wi-Fi, Japan has 3 big cell phone networks, NTT DoCoMo, AU KDDI, and SoftBank (in order of coverage), expect them to be priced accordingly. WiMAX hotspots or MVNOs can be had for less.
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Old Oct 3, 19, 8:09 am
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Years ago I did the Pocket-WiFi for Japan and Korea and it was worth it because all the US carrier back then don't have an affordable international data option. I think the Pocket-WiFi rental back then was like $8 to $10 a day for unlimited data, and carriers was charging a pay per use per Kilo-byte rate.

But now almost every carrier got either cheap or free international data option, I really don't know if you want to carry another device with your just to use the internet. Also you will have to keep it charge too.
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Old Oct 3, 19, 10:01 am
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If you are worried about Tmobile's slow data I heard you can add on faster internet for roaming (costs extra).

In terms of the locations you are going though, you might need to look into a local solution though, as there are issues with the bands they use and in the countryside you might have issues.
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Old Oct 8, 19, 8:01 am
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I'd only ever use a mifi device if I'm always carrying a bag, or with a lady with a handbag to put it in, if not I'd just buy a sim card at the airport. They arent expensive.

Another important thing to consider is to switch off data roaming on your iphone, so that you dont accidentally run up a large tab if you wander out of range of your mifi device.

I also wouldnt worry for the slightest second about my iphone being stolen in Japan, as for losing it I dont see why that should suddenly become an issue because you're in Japan?
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Old Oct 9, 19, 7:44 am
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Originally Posted by aceman View Post
Another important thing to consider is to switch off data roaming on your iphone, so that you dont accidentally run up a large tab if you wander out of range of your mifi device.
OP is on Tmobile US. If he got Tmobile One plan, roaming is free actually very useable (128kbps to 256kbps) depending on the plan. But turning off roaming on other carrier is great advice. Once we were at aruba with AT&T. My wife didn't think and turn off airplane mode. By the time she told me, it was 15 min later... and she wasn't even using the phone... the idle data from apps costed like $60. I had her roaming turned on because we were in Mexico and AT&T has free data there.
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