One consequence of the 3/11 earthquake and tsunami is that so many of us now commonly travel to Tohoku for ministry. It is great to be used by the Lord there, to encourage people and to help them rebuild their lives. But one difficulty we may find as we travel is maintaining full digital communication. Yes, we have our cell phones, or even smart phones that allow us to communicate through cellular phone networks. But to connect to a more functional WiFi hot spot can be difficult. This article explores two effective ways of connecting fully while traveling to Tohoku or anywhere else.
Mobile WiFi Devices
All major Japanese cell phone providers, Softbank, au–KDDI, and NTT–Docomo, can provide you with a pocket WiFi device, essentially a cell phone dedicated to providing its own WiFi hotspot. Turn on the WiFi device and then through it connect your laptop or up to five separate devices to the Internet. Alternatively, consider a device that plugs into a computer’s USB port to connect that computer to the Internet through the cellular network. As with any phone or cellular device make sure that you understand the terms and conditions of the plan as costs will apply accordingly. Here are three website addresses you may consider, depending on services you already have.
A different means of connecting your laptop to a WiFi network utilizes your smartphone. Both the Apple iPhone and the Samsung Galaxy can be set up this way in a process referred to as tethering. Remember that with tethering you will still be using your smartphone’s data plan. So minutes and bandwidth used will be charged to your data plan. Here are two online helps if you want to consider this option.
- Costello, Sam. What is iPhone Tethering? http://ipod.about.com/od/iphonesoftwareterms/g/iphone-tethering-definition.htm
- “How To” Tethering—Samsung Galaxy S3. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CNoO2JDeYp8
Remember that although these mobile WiFi devices are convenient they probably should not replace your home DSL– or cable–based Internet connection. You will always get better service and speed using your home service. However, when you are in a situation where you cannot access your regular Internet provider using one of these mobile WiFi devices is a good alternative.