Pocket WiFi rental?

3monkeys4me

Mouseketeer
Joined
Apr 2, 2010
Did anyone rent a pocket WiFi unit while in Japan? If so did you purchase it ahead of time or when you arrived? Also, if you purchased online did you pick up at the airport or have it delivered to your hotel?

I am trying to decide what would be the easiest. I like to pre-purchase when we can but on our last trip (South Korea) we had a very difficult time finding the place we were supposed to pick up our pre paid sim cards. On the trip prior to that (Bangkok) we just bought sim cards at the airport, but looking at the prices of sim cards in Japan I think a pocket WiFi is the way to go. Anyway, I think having it delivered to the hotel would be awesome! But I am worried it wont arrive or we will have some other issue with it.

Thanks!
 

NavFam5

Earning My Ears
Joined
Jun 1, 2008
We just returned from our first trip to Japan and rented a pocket wifi from https://www.globaladvancedcomm.com. I ordered the device a week before our trip. Since it was our first time in Japan, I didn't want to deal with picking a device from the airport and had it delivered to our hotel in Shibuya with no extra charge. It was waiting for us when we got there. We stayed at Hilton Bay the last few days of our trip and there was a red post office on site that you can mail back the device. It comes with a prepaid envelope and I received a confirmation e-mail from them that they received the device. We rented the highest speed and all our devices (5) were able to connect to it when we were out and about. I looked at other sites, but this was recommended by a friend who travels often to Japan and thought the pricing was reasonable for the 10 days we were there. My only recommendation is to have a portable charger for the wifi as it didn't last all day for us. Granted, we were out from morning to evening.
 

disneydan55

Earning My Ears
Joined
Jul 26, 2006
We used Global Advanced Communications as well. It was waiting at our hotel when we got there and worked perfectly. We dropped it off in the prepaid envelope at the airport before our flight home. Could not have been easier!
 
  • 3monkeys4me

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Apr 2, 2010
    Perfect! Thanks for the recommendation, I will look them up.

    It sounds like hotel delivery is the way to go. I will be arriving on my own with the kids so one less thing to worry about at the airport is a plus! We will be leaving out of Osaka but I am sure that we will have no difficulty finding at post office box there.
     

    ten6mom

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 28, 2012
    We are trying to decide between a pocket wifi and just adding on an International Package (or something) through Verizon. My brother in law thinks the pocket wifi will be the better option, and my husband thinks the International package will be better. Verizon says it's supposed to make our phones work exactly like they do at home (we are data hogs, for sure). Does anyone have any input on the Verizon (or other cell phone provider) option?
     

    CourtGW

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jan 27, 2016
    We are trying to decide between a pocket wifi and just adding on an International Package (or something) through Verizon. My brother in law thinks the pocket wifi will be the better option, and my husband thinks the International package will be better. Verizon says it's supposed to make our phones work exactly like they do at home (we are data hogs, for sure). Does anyone have any input on the Verizon (or other cell phone provider) option?
    I didn't use the Verizon international package, but my husband did (we're on separate plans and I had decided to get a Japanese sim card.)

    My husband really liked it and said he planned on doing that with any international trip we take in the future. He said that his phone worked exactly like it does at home and he had no problems using it for everything while we were there. I'm not sure how the price compares to wifi, but I think his worked out to about $10 a day.
     

    3monkeys4me

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Apr 2, 2010
    Yes, I think my mother in law is adding an international plan to her normal phone plan, I think she has sprint. She has done that before when she meets us places and it has been great for her. The 5 in my family live in a U.S territory that doesn't have the common carriers in the mainland United States. The phone company we use doesn't have any add on for us though they have a reasonable roaming rate for calls and texts. But data rates are pretty high so we think the pocket wifi will be useful.
     
  • 3monkeys4me

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Apr 2, 2010
    Oh, I will say that one disadvantage to the pocket wifi is you have to be somewhat close together in order to share one. Which is fine most of the time but could be an issue if someone gets separated from the group or you get split up. We had a little snafu in Hong Kong our very first day with my older two kids getting on the metro while the rest of us didn't. Thankfully the sim cards were cheap and I had purchased one for my oldest (but not the middle) and we were able to text up a meeting. Now we have a plan of what to do if we are separated, all the kids get a sim card or shown how to turn the roaming on for an emergency call, the get a card from the hotel desk with hotel information written in whatever the local language is and a small amount of local currency (they put it in their phone case usually). That doesn't account for every situation, but it covers the basics and it makes me feel better.
     

    NavFam5

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jun 1, 2008
    We are trying to decide between a pocket wifi and just adding on an International Package (or something) through Verizon. My brother in law thinks the pocket wifi will be the better option, and my husband thinks the International package will be better. Verizon says it's supposed to make our phones work exactly like they do at home (we are data hogs, for sure). Does anyone have any input on the Verizon (or other cell phone provider) option?
    I have T-Mobile that includes free international roaming. We felt it was too slow when we didn’t have the pocket WiFi on and wasn’t as effective. The rental was about $9 a day, which is probably the same as some international plans.
     

    MSH518

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jun 16, 2017
    We also used https://www.globaladvancedcomm.com/ earlier this year, and we elected to have it sent to Narita. We picked it up at the post office in the airport, which wasn't too hard to find. We will be in Japan again in September and will definitely reserve through them again.
     
  • Haley R

    With all the strength of a raging fire
    Joined
    Sep 3, 2017
    I have T-Mobile that includes free international roaming. We felt it was too slow when we didn’t have the pocket WiFi on and wasn’t as effective. The rental was about $9 a day, which is probably the same as some international plans.
    That’s good to know. We just switched over to T-Mobile and I saw we get international roaming but I think we will still plan on getting a picket WiFi.
     

    Haley R

    With all the strength of a raging fire
    Joined
    Sep 3, 2017
    I got the boosted speed when I switched from Simple Choice to a One+ plan.
    I’m not sure what we have because it’s under my father in law’s account. All I know is we have unlimited data.
     

    maxiv

    the guy from overseas
    Joined
    Apr 13, 2005
    What's the advantage of the pocket WiFi over just buying a Japanese SIM-card at the airport?
     

    karly101

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jul 5, 2014
    What's the advantage of the pocket WiFi over just buying a Japanese SIM-card at the airport?
    Multiple people can share it - we had 6 people using ours on a trip and so it was so cheap. Negative is you can't travel too far away from it so if you get separated and don't have it then you have to use your phone data/roaming. Also the one we rented came with an additional battery so lasted the whole day.
     

    Bobb_o

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jul 12, 2015
    If you're one person a SIM may be a better option but as karly101 pointed out if you're with a group it's nice to be able to share and split the cost. Another thing for me was with T-Mobile WiFi calls are free so if I had a data sim I wouldn't have been able to call (I actually needed to use my phone a few times including when I lost a bag on a train) from my phone. I also think that if you wanted lots of data WiFis were much more economical than SIM cards.
     

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