Wi-fi subscription in Japan

BY IN 英語 Wi-fi subscription in Japan はコメントを受け付けていません。

I’d like to subscribe to a wi-fi provider in Japan that I’ll be able to use with my laptop or phone. I’d like something that is a monthly fee. I’ll be there as a legal resident, not a tourist.

When I was in Japan over the summer, there were all sorts of wireless networks in restaurants and stores, but they were all either password protected or behind a paywall. How can I sign up for one, which has the fastest speeds, and which has the best coverage in Okayama?

posted by reductiondesign to computers & internet (5 answers total)

I know a couple of people who use WiMax with great success, but maybe that’s a little different to what you want, since it uses a dongle for the laptop. The monthly fee is pretty reasonable, maybe 4000 yen or so, which works out at cheaper than many landline internet connections.

Coverage seems to be good in both Tokyo and Sendai, unfortunately I don’t know about Okayama (I assume it’s Okayama in Kyushu, is it?).
posted by theyexpectresults at 2:32 PM on September 6, 2011

I was just popping in to recommend WiMax as well. Here’s a link to WiMax providers in Okayama. Please MeMail me if you need a translation, and I will be happy to answer here in this thread.

Speaking from experience, on recent trips to Japan it has been very difficult to find public WiFi access, and to access WiFi in places like Starbucks it is necessary to purchase access through a third-party provider.

We’ve also rented 3G USB dongles for internet access, but I can’t recommend it, as everyone access internet over 3G (on cell phones and smart phones), so reception can be slow, and signal strength poor.

WiMax is being rapidly deployed throughout Japan, and it is cool. You get a little battery-powered modem/receiver that you take around with you in your laptop bag, so you can get internet connection anywhere at all, including the train, driving in your car, or going to Gusto to enjoy the air conditioning.
posted by KokuRyu at 2:38 PM on September 6, 2011

I’ll be getting a prepaid plan for my phone, so I’m interested in something that doesn’t require a USB dongle. Otherwise WiMax would be perfect!
posted by reductiondesign at 2:42 PM on September 6, 2011

The WiMax companies offer many portable hotspot models that act like Wifi routers which you could connect your computer, iPhone, PSP, etc to.

Here’s an example: http://www.uqwimax.jp/signup/device/model12/

Downsides is the battery life was only about 3-5 hours on these things, but that was only third hand. The newer models might be better. You can always use it plugged in of course.

I have a USB WiMax dongle as a backup connection to the net and find the speed great, but the coverage is limited to bigger cities. If you’re going to be in Okayama it would be a good alternative to getting ADSL/Cable/Fiberoptic.
posted by sleepytako at 3:59 PM on September 6, 2011 [1 favourite]

Yeah I use USB WiMax hotspot, it is great, Max 5 clients I think, but still. I do tend to have it plugged into the laptops USB all the time (for power only) and laptop/phone etc use the wifi part.

I also have a docomo android phone, with wifi tethering. (for the areas with no WiMax) Since all android phones are on unlimited data-plan, that is a possibility. But I suspect you can not *abuse* it, without complaints.
posted by lundman at 9:50 PM on September 6, 2011 [1 favourite]

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