Internet Service in JAPANIn Japan, Internet service providers rarely have any type of assistance for anyone that doesn’t speak Japanese. Of course there are third party services that will assist you with finding an internet provider (プロバイダ), but they usually charge you extra and usually do not give you the best service provider nor best plan available. In Japan there is are multiple different internet providers to choose from, each with their own unique plan, speed availability, and stability. Here we are committed to finding you the best possible service provider within your budget.
From ADSL, Cable-TV and internet, Mobile Wi-Fi, and most recently fiber optic internet are some of the choices you have as a consumer in Japan. Japan has a huge selection of internet service providers to choose from no matter where you are staying in Japan. Let’s just say that there is a lot of competition in Japan and that will benefit you, the consumer.
The only problem with Japanese service providers is the fact that most of them have little to not support for their foreign consumer base that is living here in Japan. Even if they do have assistance available, they will usually just show you one of their plans (usually the premium, or more costly version) with none of the benefits that they would give you when you sign up through their Japanese home page. We will show you how accurate choose the plan that is right for you and your needs! We do this by looking at all the providers and find the best deals for you!
And no worries as all the necessary information will be accurately translated through our set-by-step guide. Here is a list of all the information that you will need in order to set up your internet at home.
The Four Main Types of Internet Services Available in JapanJapan has 4 internet inclusive services available. ADSL, Fiber-Optic, Cable-TV, and mobile Wi-Fi. Each option has their own benefits and faults. Before you choose a plan, it is wise to at least know a little bit about each of these options and what you are getting once you enter a specific plan since changing plans and or changing internet providers can be quite a hassle in Japan.
ADSL, the most common plan within Japanese households. It is usually the cheapest option due to the rise in Fiber-Optic users in Japan is causing a decrease in ADSL users throughout Japan. ADSL has been in the market for a long time and compared to other options, most recently Fiber optic, ADSL will be all but gone in the next couple of years in certain areas (starting in central Kanto). This is due to its relatively outdated performance in speed and stability due to the server limits it has. As an example, the biggest line connection in Japan, NTT, is planning to completely get rid of ADSL in the next couple of years.
Fiber Optic internet connect is quickly rising in Japan and will soon take the number one spot for the most used internet connection medium in Japan. There are two main factors as to why Fiber-Optics as become so popular. Fiber Optic internet is able to output 1Gbps! Stability is also quite strong as it doesn’t rely on outside servers like ADSL. With dedicated internet, speeds beyond 1Gbps and reasonably prices just slightly above an ADSL connection. It’s no wonder why it is spreading throughout your house.
Depending on where you live and the access points that are available in your area, you can get one of two different options. There is the Home-type version and Mansion-type (Apartments). Usually the Apartment based fiber optic internet set up is a bit cheaper, but there is a possibility that the Apartment may not have the necessary connections to give you access. On the contrary, getting fiber optic internet in a house is a lot easier to install due to easier access to main connectors.
Here we have a cable television and internet connection set that, overall is cheaper than getting them separate. This set does not come with Fiber optic internet at the moment, but it will surely be added soon!
mobile Wi-Fi (Wireless internet)
The are two big players in Japan when it comes to pocket Wi-Fi service providers. There is WiMax or LTE approved providers. This section of the internet market is still growing due to the fact that speeds have steadily been increasing and are now close if not on par with ADSL speeds! Due to this increase in user base, there has been a more aggressive marketing move by the portable Wi-Fi providers. WiMax is currently the biggest portable mobile provider in Japan because they are the cheapest and give the users unlimited internet access while most other providers usually have a set limit of either 7gb or 9gb.
Wired? Or Wireless?Wired or Wireless internet. It is recommended that you have both services as it would be extremely convenient for any user to have 24 hour internet access. If you are wondering which one you should get, it really depends on your needs and your daily internet consumption. Below you will see what each service has to offer.
|Choosing what works best for you|
Choosing between the two can be a little difficult as the internet service market in Japan has a lot of competition. It’s not just choosing between having a Pocket Wi-Fi or in-house internet connection. Prices, speeds, stability, and usability are also important. That’s where we come and give you insight as to which plan is best for you. No bias here, just honest research to assist you in getting the internet plan you want.
Fiber Optic internet
- fast speeds
(ex: want to download a high quality movie in less than an hour.)
- stable internet
(never want to feel frustrated with an unstable connection)
- unlimited high speed internet with no slowdowns during the day or night time
- Enjoy having internet in the house at all times
- A lower premium cost
- Personal internet access
- internet speeds fast enough to do regular tasks like browse the internet and watch youtube
The list above is just some of the many different benefits both sides might have. In Japan, contracts can be a hassle, so making sure that you get the best option for you. To find what you are looking for, make sure you go through all the options available. Below is more info on both options regarding internet providers, contracts, and prices of each plan available with information different areas of Japan and what are the best providers for the area that you live are currently living in or an area that you plan on moving into in the near future.
Set purchase for wired internet (fixed internet) in JapanPlease keep in mind that in Japan things might be done a little (or a big) different from your home country. As an American, I got used to just contacting one company to install my internet, but in Japan companies are separated by the internet provider and the internet access provider!
“Access provider? Internet provider? Aren’t they the same?” Well, they should be the same, but in Japan they are not. In Japan the homes and apartment is run by a few large companies. They have control all internet lines across Japan. Then there are the ISP or the Internet Service Providers, which manage the type of internet you will receive where it’ll be regular ADSL or Fiber Optic High Speed internet. ISP usually already have contracts with the line connection company, but there are some cases they do not and you will have to contact them directly.
trending in Japan
If you are a power hungry internet user (usually gamers), going with a set plan between the ISP and internet access providers is one way to make the process that much simpler. In Japan, luckily there are only four internet connection companies, NTT Flets, au Hikari, NURO Hikari, and Commufa Hikari. Deciding the line connection company should be no problem, the hassle is choosing the internet service providers, or agents of these companies. Choosing the right internet service provider might save you up to 30,000JPY or more depending on what agent you choose to sign a contract with. Here we provide up to date rankings on the best internet services depending on your needs.
1) If local line connection is available at your house, here are the choices.
・NURO Hikari (Tokyo, Saitama, Kanagawa, Chiba, Tochigi, Gunma, Ibaraki)
・Commufa Hikari (Aichi, Mie, Gifu, Shizuoka)
2) If you can’t use the first option the most likely the area you live in has au Hikari.
3) NTT which is the most popular line connection company in Japan and is most likely available throughout Japan.
Within the 3 options listed above, the first 3 options are easy to choose as they are set in different areas around Japan. NTT on the other hand can be a little tricky as they will require you to choose the agent that they have contracts with while the first three options let you choose freely which agent works best for you. Ever since NTT created HIkari collaboration group in 2015, agents that have contracts with NTT are allowed to give customers set packages that only need one contract to provide them with internet access at their homes.
This is about the same time that NTT really went all out and is changing all connections to be fiber optic to increase speeds across Japan. Including the agents that are signed with NTT, there are over 20 different internet providers available for your choosing! If you want to know more about the Hikari collaboration by NTT you can look below with detail descriptions of all 4 major internet access companies!
the best Wireless mobile Wi-FiIn the mobile internet sector there are 2 main type of mobile Wi-Fi internet service, WiMAX and LTE. LTE is managed by several mobile phone companies and they occupy each frequency band across Japan. On the other hand, WiMAX is operated by UQ communications Inc. and there are more 20agents that use UQ communication and their internet access. In Japan we also have roughly 20 different agents that use these two internet access points in Japan.
In Japan most wireless internet providers have data limits of 7gb. This limits the access of their high speed internet. Once the limit is reached speeds will be lowered to 128kbps (speeds that would barely load a website page). I’m sure many would like an unlimited plan. If so you would have the option of going with one of the two wireless internet providers that give their users unlimited access to their high speed internet from their portable Wi-Fi packages.
The two recommended companies in Japan are WiMAX or Sumamoba LTE(スマモバ).
WiMAX or LTEWiMax and LTE access points have improved dramatically in the past few years in terms of speed and stability of their internet connection. Providers are now offering connection speeds of up to 300Mbps! To put that into perspective, that is roughly 6 times faster than a regular ADSL connection.
LTE is currently being shared by varies wireless internet providers in Japan, so the speed can change depending on the provider and plan you sign up for. In terms of stability and unlimited internet access, Sumamoba LTE has a current max speed of 150 mbps. It is half of some of the other companies like Docomo LTE, but with unlimited internet access, you can be certain that these speeds will be consistent. The only downside is that it can be a little pricy choosing the unlimited plan with a LTE provider.
In terms of price WiMAX in is more affordable than LTE providers in Japan. Speeds can reach 440mbps and have plans that are very competitive. WiMAX is also known for having providers with easy to sign up plans available.