When I first moved into my new apartment, I had the pleasant bonus of free internet from a mysterious, magical and unsecured “CG guest” wifi network. Yeah it wasn’t all that “safe”, but hell it was free! And anything sensitive like banking I did using the data plan on my iPhone.
So anyway I hooked up and began surfing like a champ, downloading music, videos and movies until one day, just as magically as it appeared, the CG guest network disappeared forcing me to face the frightening task of getting my own internet hookup… in Japanese.
I did a lot of research, and mostly all it did was hurt my head. After hearing about Flex Hikari this and ASDL that, methods that would take two to three weeks to set up (and I wanted my internet back NOW!) there was only one clear choice — WiMax.
WiMax is the next generation in mobile internet; that means it’s wireless. No one had to come to my house to install anything. I went to Bic Camera, found someone who spoke English, showed them three pieces of ID that confirmed my address, filled out some forms and I walked out with the modem in the picture above. I pressed “on” and I was back in business that day.
The speed will depend on how close you live to the server, but say you lived right next door, the max is 40 kb/s, which today is pretty fast for a personal hook up. I gave the Bic Camera dudes my address and they did some kind of test to see how good the signal would be in my area, and they said it would be pretty good. However, according to speedtest.net I’m getting something like 5kb/s, but that’s still enough to stream videos at a reasonable rate. I can also take the modem with me anywhere, it’ll get a signal pretty much anywhere in metropolitan Tokyo. It’s just under 4,000 yen a month for unlimited usage.
I think I made the right choice and I’m happy with it so far, but if you’re looking for other internet options I found this site called BBApply. If you fill out a form they’ll give you a breakdown of the internet options available to you and how much they’ll cost They’ll also work with the providers on your behalf to get you set up, and it doesn’t cost you anything extra. Check it out.