Internet is becoming an absolute necessity in the modern world. Checking Facebook, watching YouTube, researching travel locations, checking digital maps, and emailing or Skyping home all require a connection to the web. There are a few public WiFi services available in Japan, but far less than you’d imagine. And especially when traveling to rural areas, it’s hard to stay connected.
Fortunately, there is a solution that works throughout the country. It is EMobile’s Pocket WiFi. EMobile is a Japanese cell phone brand from the broadband service company, eAccess. This Pocket WiFi is a portable wireless router that provides an Internet connection almost anywhere in Japan. I have used this Pocket WiFi on Fuukura Island in Miyagi Prefecture and had no problems.
But the question is: how do you get it? Normally, you have to sign a two-year contract with a phone company. But if you're traveling or only want one for a few days or weeks, the easiest way is to rent one from Wifi-Hire.com. Even from overseas, you can choose from this EMobile router or a couple of alternate models. It can be ready to go before you begin your trip and shipped to a specific destination. If you're in a hurry and in Tokyo, you can pick it up at the company's business address in Higashi Shinjuku. At the end of the rental period, you can simply send it back to their office or drop it off at the convenience store to have them send it back.
The size of this router is small and compact. It is lightweight at approximately 140 grams, making it easy to carry. It is 113 mm long, 62 mm wide, and only 13.5 mm thick. Despite being lightweight, this router is packed with power. It uses a battery with a 3000 mAh rating, giving you more than 9 hours of connection without worry. Furthermore, you can have up to ten different laptops or other electronics connected to the Internet using the router at the same time. So you can have all of your devices connected and even share with friends traveling with you if you like. I got my iPod touch and PSP connected to the router with no problem.
But the router is still technology and some people have trouble figuring out how this kind of thing works. No worries. The router is very easy to use. First you just have to make sure that it is charged. Once it’s charged, you will turn the router on with an easy-to-see power button on the side. Turn it on and you’ll see several things displayed on the screen. The screen shows about seven different icons but don’t be overwhelmed. You just have to look at two things, which are the battery life and connection. The battery life indicator is there to give you an idea of how much longer you can use the router. The connection is to make sure there is WiFi reception. If there is a WiFi mark on the screen, it means that there is connection and you can use the Internet as easy as that.
For tech buffs, the router operates on the blazingly fast LTE network as well as 3G—same as the iPhone 5. Easy to use and easy to access, this Pocket WiFi from WiFi-Hire.com is an item you’ll want while traveling in Japan.