For those wondering how not to burn a hole in your wallet while remaining connected in Japan, I covered some great tips and alternatives in one of my earlier post. This is a follow up article where I share my experience using a Pocket Wifi Router that I got from Changi Recommends.
Collection of Pocket Wifi Router at Changi Airport Terminals
A really seamless process. Just order online and head over to the booth at the airport terminal. Place a deposit and you are done. Returning the device is likewise straightforward.
The kit comes in a pouch with the router (pre-charged) and a power charger. The power charger appears to have been set up for the region you are travelling to (i.e. with the correct socket plug type):
Value for money
For those lost, these routers are small little gadgets that emit a wifi signal that your phone / laptop can tap into such that you have a mobile unlimited data wifi hotspot with you all the time. The data allowance for such routers are generally unlimited (subject maybe to a speed throttle in cases where the fair usage amount is consumed). While such routers are generally expensive (averaging USD100 for around 9 days of use), Changi Recommends offers a very reasonably priced router (unlimited data) at just SGD5 per day with the first day rental being free. This is a bargain at SGD40/USD30 for 9 days of unlimited data coverage!
Easy to use
Unlike other fanciful travel hacks (e.g. flexiroam – a sort of international data roaming service which I also use from time to time – check out my post here), there isn’t much fiddling to do to start using the router. It is as simple as turning it on and finding it on your phone’s/laptops wifi list and keying in the password that is located at the back of the router. Nothing complicated.
I don’t know whether you feel the same way but hotel wifi connections are terrible. Even for 5 star hotels, you sometimes have trouble getting a decent and fast connection.
The pocket wifi router solved all of that. The connection was fast and during my stay in Japan we used it for not only the most basic of things (emails/social media/google maps) but also the more data intensive applications like watching youtube videos and given the odd game or two of Mobile Legends (Side note: Japanese Mobile Legend players are insane ><)
The connection also held up away from Tokyo and worked spectacularly while we were in Hokkaido.
While the connection was generally good on the Shinkansen, there were certain times when the connection was weak. This is to be expected as the train was passing through tunnels with poor signal strength.
While there are other reviews claiming the battery life is awesome, my experience is that it actually depends on your use. Sure, if you just turn it off after each use, the router can definitely last for ages. But if you are like me and would prefer to feel like you are back at your home country (i.e. free access to data the whole day), you will likely keep the router on the whole day. Expect it to last approximately 8 hours before it goes flat (assuming two users). Less if there are more users tapping into the router. So be sure to have a power bank or two to juice up your device in the late afternoon.
I hope my review is helpful. If you are heading to Japan anytime soon, be sure to get one router for yourself.
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