How to Choose Internet Service in Japan

How to Choose Internet Service in Japan Tips

One of the most important things that a foreigner coming to Japan will need when living alone is an internet connection. Depending on the apartment you live in, you may be able to use the Internet in some places, but the communication may be poor. Also, many of you may want to lower your Internet bill. So, in this article, I will explain how to choose an Internet service.

Advantages of using an Internet connection at home

Many people today do most of their Internet usage on their smartphones and tablets, which are equipped with call functions. However, when using the Internet with a smartphone or tablet, most of the contracts are based on the following conditions. You pay a combination of basic charges and a data communication plan. If you exceed the upper limit of the contracted data communication volume plan, the communication speed will drop drastically.

It is possible to purchase additional data communication volume, but the cost will be quite expensive. Because of this system, if you watch videos on the Internet, you will consume a large amount of data communication before you know it, resulting in communication restrictions and high communication fees.

In particular, since video transmits and receives a large amount of data, systems such as online meetings introduced for telework, etc., can use an astonishing amount of data traffic in just a few days when conducted on a smartphone.

In such cases, a home Internet connection with no upper limit on data traffic is the best solution. You don’t have to worry about how much data you have left, and there are no additional fees to pay.

However, as long as you sign up for an additional line, the monthly fee and other costs will definitely increase, so you will want to keep the price as low as possible. Especially if you are living alone in a rented apartment, the cost burden will be a major concern.

Types of Internet connection

Types of Internet connection

There are two main types of Internet lines, but the price differs slightly depending on the company or provider you contract with, and the conditions for contracting and cancelling vary from company to company. There are two types of Internet connection: fixed line and mobile Wi-Fi router. Of the two, the latter is not designed to be shared by multiple people in the home, so it is mainly beneficial for a single user.

The first one is the fixed line, which is a wired line such as optical fiber that is connected to each home. The features of a fixed line are the communication speed is fast and stable. Construction work is required to open the line, so you may have to bear the construction cost. If you want to use a wireless communication function such as Wi-Fi, you will need a separate Wi-Fi router. There are plans that offer discounts when combined with your existing cell phone line.

In general, you have to sign a contract for both the communication line and the provider contract. Depending on the rental property, some properties can be used only with a provider contract, while others are fully equipped with an Internet environment. On the other hand, “mobile Wi-Fi router” is a line that uses the data communication network for cell phones.

The features of a mobile Wi-Fi router are as the word “mobile” suggests, the device is small and portable. The device runs on battery, so you will need to have an environment where you can recharge the battery for long time use. The device is battery powered, so you will need to be able to charge it for long periods of time.

Since it is a communication line using radio waves similar to cell phones, the communication speed may be unstable depending on where it is used. If you are using a computer that does not have a “Wi-Fi” function, you may not be able to use it. You can use it with multiple people, but it is not recommended for security reasons.

Things to check when considering a line contract. First of all, you should check the Internet environment of the property you are living in. If you are unsure, it is recommended that you check with the management company. In the case of “internet ready” or “fiber optic ready” properties. This means that the Internet connection has already been installed.

You can’t choose the line you want to use because it has already been installed, but there are no installation costs and no need for a large initial investment. In some cases, all you need is a contract with a provider to access the Internet, and plans for apartment complexes have low monthly fees. Some properties require you to sign a contract with a specific provider, so you should consult with the management company about the contract.

In the case of properties that do not allow installation of fixed internet lines, etc.

If you are not allowed to install a fixed-line Internet connection, you will have to choose a mobile Wi-Fi router. Also, even if construction is allowed, you need to consider the cost of removal if you need to return the property to its original state when you move out. If construction work is required, please consult with the management company about what will happen afterwards.

If the property is equipped with internet access. Some rental properties are equipped with an Internet connection. Since the monthly rent includes the Internet usage fee, it would be a waste not to use it. For more information on how to use the Internet, please check the contract you receive.

Focus on price

Focus on price

The cheapest “mobile Wi-Fi router” is quite affordable. If you are looking for convenience and monthly fees rather than communication speed and stability, the low initial and monthly fees are a big advantage.

Since there are various line providers, the best deals change depending on the time of year, but if a campaign is running, the monthly fee can be around 3,000 yen and the initial cost can be less than 3,000 yen.

As mentioned earlier, there is also the advantage of being able to use the service outside of your home, so you can lower your monthly phone bill by lowering the data plan you are contracted to on your phone to a cheaper plan, which will reduce your total cost burden.

However, you need to make sure that you have the right contract. The contract is based on the premise of a long-term contract (2 or 3 years), and cancellation during the contract period will incur a high penalty fee. The discount is only available during the long-term contract period, after which the price will be normal. The cheapest contract plan has a cap on the amount of data communication.

In many cases, the cost of the handset required for communication is separate from the communication cost. This is the same kind of discount service that is often found in smartphone contracts. You can think of it as a conditional discount service.

If the conditions are not suitable for your usage and you only want to use it for a year, for example, you may have to pay a little more. “Mobile Wi-Fi router” is recommended for people with the following conditions. Long term contract is suitable for your usage. In case you live in a rental property that does not allow you to install a fixed line. If you frequently use the internet connection outside of your home. People who do not necessarily need high and stable communication speed.

Focus on Internet speed and stability

Focus on Internet speed and stability

Fiber optics is currently the mainstream for fixed lines. The most widespread fiber optic line in the Kansai area is “eo hikari” provided by Kansai Electric Power Company. Many rental properties have already installed or are compatible with this service, and you can often see signs at the entrance of the properties indicating that they are compatible.

If you have already installed the line, you can use the service for about 4,000 yen per month for an apartment complex plan. If you want to install the line directly to your own residence, you will have to pay for the installation and the higher monthly fee for the detached plan, but you can choose a high-speed plan such as 5 or 10 gigabytes while the multi-family plan is only 1 gigabyte.

For those who want to install a high-speed line for speed, there is the option of installing a separate line instead of a pre-installed line. In this case, you may have to pay about 30,000 yen for the installation of a typical optical fiber line. Although the cost will be a little higher, the merit of fiber optic lines is their high transmission speed and stability.

In online meetings, most of the people who are experiencing delays or interruptions in video or unstable communication are using smartphones or mobile Wi-Fi routers. Also, if you are watching high quality videos from video streaming services or playing online games on your computer or game console, a little speed instability can be the deciding factor in whether or not you can fully enjoy the content.

If you want to enjoy Internet content without stress, a fixed line can be a great advantage.” Fiber-optic lines are recommended for people with the following conditions High speed and stability are important. You mainly use the Internet at home for teleworking or online classes. If you live in a rental property that is already equipped with an Internet connection, or if you are allowed to install an Internet connection.

Home Router

Home Router

If you can’t install a line, but still want high speed, I recommend “Home Router”. It is the same as “Mobile Wi-Fi Router” in terms of content and cost, but instead of a battery-powered device, you will be using a device that is connected to a household outlet.

The power of the signal is stronger due to the ample power, and it uses the same cellular network as the mobile Wi-Fi router, but the speed when using it will be faster than the home router.

Although it is not as fast as a fixed line, it is fast enough for watching high quality videos and online meetings with many people. However, since the device is not portable, it is a middle ground between fixed line and mobile Wi-Fi router.

“Home Router” is recommended for people with the following conditions. You are not allowed to install a line at your property. You mainly use the Internet at home and want to focus on high speed and stability.