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Finally free wifi in Japan?!?!

Davey

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In so many countries you have free wifi hot spots, in trains, cafes, libraries, stations, etc, but not in Japan because you always have to pay for it. To be honest I actually thought it was free, that's why I actually got an Ipod touch instead of an Iphone. I remember the next day I went to McDonald's, and actually asked the clerk how to use wifi. When she told me I had to pay for it I was really shocked by it.

But times might change because Asahi has something new for us!

[h=1]Japanese drinks company launches vending machine with free Wi-Fi (as well as drinks)[/h]
In a country where vending machines can be found not only on every street corner, but in between every street corner, across from every street corner and beside every street corner (in other words, there are a lot of vending machines), the idea of turning them into Wi-Fi hotspots is a stroke of genius.The new machines are being introduced in Japan by drinks company Asahi over the next 12 months, with plans for more in the coming years. The Wi-Fi signal from the machines should cover a distance of around 50 meters and will be available for free. Users won’t even have to buy something from the machine to get onto the network.The signal will be available for 30 minutes before it cuts out, though in the oppressively hot and humid Japanese summers it’s unlikely anyone will be hanging around outside for that long. Asahi will be hoping they might even buy a cold drink when they’re done.

Read the whole article here

 

thomas

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Last time I went to Europe I was surprised by the ubiquity of rubbish bins and free WiFi services. I was equally surprised by the absence of public toilets. And quite frequently, you have to pay for these scarce facilities, but I don't want to abduct your thread, Davey.

I'm using this gadget provided by Softbank, a "pocket WiFi" (C01HW):
ib_wifi_c01hw.jpg
 
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Davey

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So true, going to the toilet at Mcdonalds to find out you have to pay 20 eurocent or more.

I would love to have the pocket WiFi, but it still isn't free internet!
 

Haruka24

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In a country like Japan I was surprised free wifi in public places wasn't already openly available. In the UK Mcdonalds, many pubs/ Restaurants and phoneshops have free wifi which you can use. Theres also something called BT openzone though you have be a BT customer or have a contract phone to use that.
 

Mike Cash

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Last time I went to Europe I was surprised by the ubiquity of rubbish bins and free WiFi services. I was equally surprised by the absence of public toilets. And quite frequently, you have to pay for these scarce facilities, but I don't want to abduct your thread, Davey.

I'm using this gadget provided by Softbank, a "pocket WiFi" (C01HW):
View attachment 10951

I don't understand how you pee in that thing.
 

KirinMan

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Last time I went to Europe I was surprised by the ubiquity of rubbish bins and free WiFi services. I was equally surprised by the absence of public toilets. And quite frequently, you have to pay for these scarce facilities, but I don't want to abduct your thread, Davey.
I'm using this gadget provided by Softbank, a "pocket WiFi" (C01HW):
View attachment 10951
DoCoMo has them as well, how much per month does Softbank hit you up for it?
 

thomas

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DoCoMo has them as well, how much per month does Softbank hit you up for it?
Going through the documents, I couldn't believe it: in 2010, Softbank's pocket wee-wee knocked me back 33,600 yen, payable in 24 installments.
 
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Davey

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Haha, that's a lot of money! You could wee wee a lot at McDonalds for that!
 

KirinMan

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A friend of mine got one from DoCoMo and she said she pays around 2,500 yen per month.
 

cacophony

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Just find a wep secured hotspot, takes 2 minutes to crack :)
Free Wi-Fi anywhere <3
 

Glenski

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Your link no longer works. See here instead (picture shows the Wifi glowing sign atop the vending machine).
Japan Gets Wi-Fi Dispensing Vending Machines | TechCrunch

I was equally surprised going through Chicago's O'Hare airport and Minneapolis's international airport...no free wifi. what? One pays so much for vending machine crap there (not to mention the airfare alone), that I was astonished we had to pay inside an airport. Stupid, really.

There is always FON sites in Japan, but I've found their quality less than stellar.
 

visser300

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This is very surprised! In Vietnam, internet is totally free in public places, cafeteria, hotels, restaurants, cテュnema etc. I thought that Japan's infrastructure is pretty good !?!
 
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Davey

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Found this article about "why good Wi-Fi is so hard to find":

Why good Wi-Fi is so hard to find in Japan

By AKKY AKIMOTO

Friends visiting Japan often ask me why there are no, or very few, Wi-Fi hotspots available at hotels and cafes in Tokyo. They mention that in their countries, many places offer free Wi-Fi for guests — often it is completely open, or you simply need to ask the staff for the password.

In Tokyo, even when you can find a Wi-Fi signal, you'll more often than not be faced with the provider's log-in page, usually completely in Japanese. "Isn't Japan a country with advanced Internet?" ask my friends...

...In the West, people carry their laptops around assuming that there will be Wi-Fi on hand. In Japan, people in the same category tend to carry their own 3G data cards or a Wi-Fi router to which they can connect their laptop, smartphone, tablet, etc. They don't need free Wi-Fi that much...

...As a result, major carriers have now begun offering their own free or low-cost Wi-Fi hotspots, but of course they can not provide Wi-Fi at every single location where it may be needed. If free Wi-Fi spots proliferate it will be a major plus for smartphone/tablet users.

So it seems that after a decade of disfavor, the demand for free Wi-Fi is now at a historic high in Japan. Probably because of that, more companies are entering the free Wi-Fi provider business recently.

Read the whole article here:
Why good Wi-Fi is so hard to find in Japan | The Japan Times Online



Why good Wi-Fi is so hard to find in Japan | The Japan Times Online
 

Supercords

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I discovered a strong FON signal in my apartment after I moved in. (I've been in Japan a month) Internet was high on my list of "needs". I was amazed to discover that I could access all Google sites, but nothing else. The good news is I can do A LOT through Google. Translator, money conversion, search, email, blog, maps, etc.

Still, I needed the full Internet. After some online research (at a friends), I decided to go with the Yahoo BB service, which is the one available at all McDonalds. It's available other places, but I can't read their friggin Japanese hot spot page. Signing up is a pain in the ***. You have to purchase time at an ATM at the convenience store, then confirm your new account on a mobile device using a mobile email address (I had a friend do it), and then you can log in at the McDonalds. I was thrilled when it actually worked.

I paid 4,000 Yen for 3 months. I'm only limited for how long I want to be at McDonalds or the life of my battery, unless I'm lucky enough to find one with outlets. The one by my apartment won't allow you to plug in. It's a strong signal most of the time, unless a lot of people are logged in. That's about as cheap as you can get without a contract. You can also buy a day pass, or 1 month. 3 months has the best overall rate.
 

Glenski

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Have tried FON with my netbook. Connection sucks. Initially it looks like a nice deal because it isn't password protected, but it took forever to establish a link. I'd rather live without than try to survive with that nightmare. And, that's exactly what happens when I visit my in-laws (who have no wifi). I live without.
 

Supercords

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There are a number of conditions that can determine the strength of the FON signal you are connecting to. Keep in mind I'm not paying a cent for accessing Google sites, so I can't complain. The one I connect to never drops and is very fast. These are people's personal wifi connections they are purposely leaving open so they can access other hotspots on the road. Therefore, each one will be different from the next.

I don't use this in place of wifi, I use it in addition to a paid account. Glenski, if you can live without Internet access, odds are you don't really need it. For the other 99% of the world, finding a decent connection is very important.
 

Glenski

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Glenski, if you can live without Internet access, odds are you don't really need it. For the other 99% of the world, finding a decent connection is very important.
I think you misunderstood/misread my post. I have paid internet at home, but when I visit my in-laws I don't have any access to it there. Not a biggie to me. I'm not addicted and can survive a few days without.
 

inbetweenem

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JimmySeal

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It seems to me like yet again, cell phone companies are stifling technological normalcy in Japan.

We've got SoftBank providing widespread Wi-Fi as an exclusive service for its customers. AU has a similar service, though its coverage seems a lot more limited. DoCoMo, as usual, couldn't care less about its customers.
Most establishments seems to have the stance that as long as they've got the SoftBank service, there's not much benefit in providing their own.

Meanwhile, smartphones are abundant, and you can use them to access the internet anywhere, if you don't mind having a 9000 yen phone bill. And for an additional 2000 or so, you can use your phone as a wireless hotspot.

So it doesn't seem to me like we're likely to see much free wireless in Japan anytime soon.
 

Glenn

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9000 yen a month for unlimited data sounds pretty close to what it is here. Well... actually with the current exchange rates I guess it's more, but it's still not that far off.
 

akiyamine

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A friend there told me the pocket wi-fi is a must, and really fast, why we don't have that stuff outside Japan??!!
 

Petaris

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A friend there told me the pocket wi-fi is a must, and really fast, why we don't have that stuff outside Japan??!!

We have those devices in the US. The MiFi and similar are available from Verizon and I'm sure most, if not all, of the others too.
 
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