Unless you have been sleeping through the electronic revolution, you have probably heard that all the cool kids on the block are using wireless connections to access their net connection. While ISPs love to try in rope you into paying a monthly fee for renting their own wireless modems, you can easily save some cash and bring your own modem.

Renting Versus Buying
Many carriers and providers (see our past article about ISP terminology for details) like to try and trick you into renting a wireless router from them. While this may seem tempting at first, rental fees can be over 1000 yen a month which makes buying a basic router much more economical. The only foreseeable advantage to renting is that the carriers will generally do all the set up for you.

Despite the general lack of public wireless access points in Japan, there is a bounty of home-use wireless routers (musen roota 無線ルータ) to choose from at your local electronics store. However, as is usually the case, most wireless routers have instructions and software that is all in Japanese.

Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications compliance mark (giteki 技適マーク)
With this in mind, you might be tempted to bring your own router. However, unless it has the above mark of official approval then your wireless device is technically not legal. Even if your router has FCC, Ofcom, or what ever your national certification of choice, unless its made with the Japanese market in mind then its technically off limits. However, some routers allow you to tweak your frequencies to make them Japan friendly. 

Setting Up Your Router
With minimal Japanese and basic home networking knowledge, you should be able to set up your own wireless router in no time.

The good news is that most routers in sold in big electronics stores have easy set-up software built into them that is compatible with most major fiber optic, DSL, and cable networks. In some case you need a separate CD, while other times the set up software is built into the router itself. All you will need is the user name (yuuza mei ユーザ名) and password (paasuwaado パースワード) sent to you by your provider.

If you opt to set up your router manually then use the following instructions:

  1. You need to know your router's IP address, which you can easily find using your computer's network properties or simply looking for the address in the manual (it usually starts with 192). Also, its a good idea to keep your computer hooked up to the router directly since not all routers allow for setup over wireless networks.
  2. Find out your router's defult user name password. This differs for ever router. For some it is simply something simple like "admin" or "user," while other have no password or user name at all. Since these are usually easy to guess, its advisable to change your router access info sooner or later.
  3. Once you have accessed the router, look for the connection property. Usually this is listed under under something like 接続 (setsuzoku "connection") or 設定 (setei "set-up).
  4. Once you find this, look for a drop down box or check box with multipe types of connections. If you are using NTT-based DSL or NTT based fiber optics, then you need to look for an option called PPPoE (Point-to-Point Protocol Over Ethernet). While not all provider/carriers use this protocol, it is by far the most popular means of authenticating internet connections in Japan.
  5. After selecting PPPoE, you need to enter your user name and password from your provider. In the case of DSL and NTT-based fiber optics, user names usually look like an email address. Make sure you enter the info before and after the @ mark when typing in your user name. Passwords are usually a jumble of letters and numbers but make sure to mind the upper and lower case characters when typing.
  6. All that is left is hitting "connect" and making sure your connection is up and running. It is recommend that you also put on wireless security (WPA-- Wi-fi Protected Access) to provent any eves dropping or unauthorized network use.
That wasn't so hard, right? If language is tripping you up then ask friends who have experience setting up your internet or get a Japanese speaker to help you out. 

And that brings us to the end of our Japanese internet super feature. If you have any further questions, comments, or concerns, feel free to contact that internet wizards here at AccessJ. 

Other Posts in this Series
#2 Carriers and Providers 
#3 Shopping for Service 
#4 Signing up
#5 Set-up
#6 Optional Services

Enjoy our articles? Follow us on Twitter or Facebook for our Monday, Wednesday and Friday updates.

Follow Me on Pinterest