Most travelers today think and plan whether to get a mobile data sim or a pocket WiFi, in their travel destination. In Japan public Wi-Fi are not usually free, causing a little stress for tourists who are trying to find their way through the city. The easiest way to stay connected to the internet is to buy a mobile data sim or rent a pocket Wi-Fi. Now which one to get? A mobile data SIM or a pocket WiFi? There are a lot of rental services that offer cheap prices for Japan data sim or pocket WiFi for tourists but let’s see first the advantages and disadvantages of both devices.
Advantages and Disadvantages
|Mobile Data SIM||Pocket WiFi|
|Support (SIM Free / Unlocked) smart phones and tablet devices||Supports all WiFi capable devices|
|– – –||Requires frequent charging|
|Requires changing your smartphone APN setting||Switch on and use. No additional setting required|
|Bought over the counter or Mobile Data SIM vending Machines||Can be ordered online and be delivered through device pick-up or|
|Ideal for solo travelers with one mobile device||Great for group travelers or Solo travelers with laptops or gadgets|
other than smartphones that connects to the internet
( Disadvantage )
- Pocket Wifi requires additional deposit fee and be return back to the service provider after your rental period.
Either you return it over the counter or send it back by mail delivery.
- Pocket Wifi are powered by a built in battery, which requires constant charging when the battery turns low.
Requiring you to also bring a portable charger (power bank) in your bag.
( Advantage )
- One advantage of pocket WiFi is it doesn’t require any set-up before you use it.
Once you get your pocket WiFi from the service provider, simply turn it on and connect your devices easily.
- Japan Pocket WiFi is also fast compared to mobile data SIM.
Pocket Wifi in Japan uses LTE connect that can reach up to 150 Mbps!
Mobile Data SIM
( Disadvantage )
- Mobile Data SIM requires changing your smartphone’s APN setting before you can use it.
- Only smartphones and tablets are supported by Mobile Data SIM.
If you are bringing an additional device example a laptop, it is advisable that you get a pocket WiFi instead.
- Mobile Data SIM can only be used on SIM free or unlocked smart phones and tablets.
- Ideal for one user only.
( Advantage )
- Cheaper than Pocket WiFi rental fees.
It doesn’t require you to pay additional deposit fee and you don’t need to return the SIM back to the service provider.
- Does not require additional device charging.
A few that you should also consider in deciding which one to get is the number of users that would connect to the WiFi connection. If you are travelling as a group the get a pocket WiFi. Another thing to consider is the place that you are going to visit. If you are going to provinces outside Tokyo it is best to get a pocket WiFi because for mobile data SIM sometimes a network signal might be a problem.
Knowing the advantages and disadvantages of mobile data SIM and pocket WiFi, make sure you make a reservation with the service provider in advance. Here are a few service provider that allows pocket WiFi reservation online.
Japan Pocket WiFi Rentals
- WiFi Rental Store – https://en.wifi-rental-store.jp
- Ninja WiFi – https://ninjawifi.com/
- Sakura Mobile – https://www.sakuramobile.jp/order-short-term-plans/
- Japan Wireless – http://japan-wireless.com/product/order
- WiFi Rental Store – https://en.wifi-rental-store.jp/order.html
- Japan Rail Pass – https://www.japan-rail-pass.com/services/pocket-wifi
For Mobile Data SIM, check this link for more information on where to buy, Japan Mobile Data SIM