Bob is a writer that lives in Japan since when he studied abroad in Waseda University in Shinjuku, Tokyo. He loves cofee, craft beer, cycling, and dogs.

6 min read

Free Public Wifi Situation in Japan: Not Worth Your Time

It's true that the free wifi hotspot situation in Japan is getting improved.
Given that, I still believe that public hotspots in Japan are not worth your time.

I used to live in the US and back then I enjoyed free wifi spots in every cafe and restaurant, even in smaller ones and fast food shops.
If I lived in a country with free wifi spots everywhere, I would believe that Japan also has free wifi everywhere, but how is the actual situation in Japan?

In this article, I will explain why it's not worth trying.

It's hard to find.

Yes, you can probably find ones at major places like an airport or your hotel, but it's different in the cities. Also if you are thinking to stay at a Japanese traditional ryokan, you should not expect the internet connection, especially in your private room.
According to the results of a recent survey conducted by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications and the Japan Tourism Agency, finding an internet connection is one of the top issues visitors to Japan face.

Tourist Difficulties In Japan

It's slow.

Here is a voice I found on twitter.

Hotspots in Japan are absolutely terrible!! Log in every few mins, limited usage, so slow it's like using a modem. it's useless!!
Yeah, I totally agree. This tweet explains everything.
What affects the speed of free wifi? The number of devices connected to the network, the bandwidth allocation, and how much data each device connected to the hotspot is downloading/uploading. Of course, the more people are using the same Internet connection and the more bandwidth-demanding their activities are, the slower the network becomes.

Is it secure? No.

Technically speaking, free wifi hotspots that don't require passwords are extremely dangerous because the connection is not encrypted.
All data, including all the text, images, important documents are going through the router to access the internet.
When the data is not encrypted, cybercriminals can easily just take all the data in the middle of you and the internet.

Many cybersecurity companies, specialists and governments have been warning about the vulnerability of free wifi spots.
Please, at least, use the encrypted ones(with password) when you really need to use a public wifi spot.

What else?

  • Some free WiFi have time restriction.(30 minutes~)
  • Sometimes registration is required.

Luckily, you have a perfect solution: Pocket Wifi Rental

Pocket wifi. Having your own little secure mobile internet access will definitely make your travel super convenient and enjoyable.
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