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[Explained] What is Pocket WiFi? How does it work?

In our increasingly interconnected world, one of the most essential yet challenging aspects of travel is ensuring you have access to a fast and stable internet connection at all times. While your home cellular company probably offers travel data plans for such needs, a more effective solution in Japan is a handy little device called Pocket WiFi which has gained popularity among modern travelers as one of the best and most reliable ways to get online and stay connected.

In this article, we cover the basics such as what Pocket WiFi is and how it provides internet connectivity.

eConnect Japan offers reliable and affordable Pocket WiFi rental service in Japan for your mobile internet needs.

What is Pocket WiFi?

First thing first; whenever you see or hear any of the following terms:

  • Mobile hotspot
  • MiFi
  • Portable WiFi
  • WiFi dongle
  • Mobile WiFi
  • WiFi egg

... know that all of these terms refer to the exact same thing, POCKET WIFI.

Pocket WiFi 501HW by SoftBank

A Pocket WiFi, as its name suggests, is a portable WiFi router that provides wireless internet access on the go. Unlike the traditional WiFi routers we have at home or in the office, Pocket WiFi is designed to travel with you.

Pocket WiFi devices are typically as compact as a small mobile battery. For example, the one shown in the image above measures approximately 10cm x 6cm x 2cm and weighs about 150g.

Small and light enough to fit easily in your pocket; these devices make it simple to stay connected anywhere without having to worry about lugging around a bulky gadget. Just make sure to bring a spare mobile battery so that you and your family or travel companions can stay connected 24/7.

Fun fact: "Pocket WiFi" is a registered trademark by SoftBank's subsidiary company Y!mobile. However, because of the term's popularity, it is now commonly used to refer to pretty much any portable device that provides the same functionality.

How does Pocket WiFi get you connected?

From a user's perspective, a Pocket WiFi works just like any WiFi device, but it is a lot smaller and portable than your traditional home WiFi router. Unlike the latter, Pocket WiFi is designed for use without location constraint, allowing you to stay connected to the web no matter where your travels take you.

From a bit more technical perspective, the Pocket WiFi operates using a Subscriber Identity Module or how it's more commonly referred to, a SIM card. This SIM card connects to a mobile / cellular network in the exact same way as smartphones do. Once the device is connected to the internet via the SIM card it gains internet connectivity via the cellular network. The device then emits a WiFi signal just like your home WiFi does, allowing any of your internet capable devices to connect via WiFi. As a result, these devices can access the internet through the cellular network, maintaining connectivity even while on the move.

Simple set-up

Connecting to a Pocket WiFi device is straightforward. Simply follow these steps:

  1. Power on the Pocket WiFi device
  2. Find its SSID (Network Name) and Password (*These details are typically provided with the device itself.)
  3. Connect to it via WiFi

It's basically the same way you do with your home WiFi. Find the network username, enter the password, and boom - instant access to high speed, reliable mobile internet.

You can find more detailed guide with images in the link below.

Set Up Pocket WiFi | Pocket WiFi and SIM provider - eConnect Japan
A step by step guide to set up and start using a Pocket WiFi device provided by eConnect Japan.

Compact yet powerful

The Pocket WiFi device itself might be small but its connectivity power is anything but tiny. Within a radius of 30 to 50 feet, up to 10 devices can be connected at one time (or even more depending on the model). You'll be blown away at the sheer convenience of this connectivity. Everyone in the family or the group you're traveling with will be able to use the internet for his or her specific needs.

It's especially handy if you travel with kids with iPads as they can stay entertained with their favorite online games and educational apps during long journeys.

Also, because your Pocket WiFi device can only be accessed with a password, you can ensure that only those within your group are provided with a secure and fast internet connection.

Your Handy Internet Travel Buddy

Pocket WiFi boasts several notable benefits for travelers, and is truly a traveler’s best friend when it comes to staying connected during your trip to Japan.

It’s coverage, simplicity, and reliability are what really make this device outshine your other options like SIM cards and international roaming data plans from your carrier back home.

Speaking of coverage, aside from the deep countryside, you’ll never have to worry about a lack of coverage due to the fact that Pocket WiFi devices are connected to a cellular network, in most cases covering more than 99% of the population.

eConnect Japan provides reliable Pocket WiFi rental service

Here at eConnect Japan, we understand how important it is for travelers coming to Japan to be able to have access fast, reliable, and affordable internet connection in the country.

Traveling in an unfamiliar region that's so different from many other countries can be quite challenging, and Japan can sometimes prove difficult and complex to navigate. Lacking access to navigation apps due to an unstable, slow, or unreliable mobile internet connection can indeed turn the situation into a potential nightmare.

For this reason we at eConnect Japan have made it our mission to provide reliable, safe, and affordable internet connections via Pocket WiFi. Check out eConnect Japan’s specially tailored Pocket WiFi plans geared for all types of travelers 👇.

Top-Rated Pocket WiFi Rental & SIM Card for Japan Travel | eConnect
Over 5,000 Reviews! Reliable and Affordable Pocket WiFi Rental and Prepaid SIM in Japan. Easy pick up and Best prices. Go wireless and stay online in Japan.

We’re positive we have a plan that will suit you!