It’s the second long trip I take to Osaka, Japan. I use ‘Japan WiFi Buddy‘ Diamond Pocket WiFi package. This is their most recommended package and it great for those who need lots of download/upload data bandwidth. By this I mean, uploading photos and videos to YouTube, sharing lots of photos on Instagram, downloading movies, etc.
Let’s Talk Actual Download/Upload Speeds
If you are a heavy Internet user, the Diamond package of JapanWiFiBuddy (dubbed “The Diamond Pocket Wifi Buddy”) will be perfect for you. But what about the actual download/upload speed of this pocket wifi here in Japan?
The website (japanwifibuddy.com) says: “Up to 187.5 Mbps download speeds“. I asked JapanWiFiBuddy and the said that it is Megabytes per second, not Megabits. If it was megabits, we would have an up to ~23.5 megabytes/s, but it’s not the case.
Maximum speed aside, what you really want to know is the actual download and upload speed of the Pocket WiFi. Well, I tried it out today several times.
Using Softbank Network Carrier at 4G LTE Connectivity
My Pocket WiFi uses Softbank. Keep in mind that the speed might vary for various reasons. I had a good battery charge, located at high elevation (not undergrown, e.g. metro), in a central location in Shin-imamiya, and the connection showed 4G LTE. Even with that, if many people are watching an important sports event, like Rugby, for example, the connection might not be optimal in the area.
JapanWifiBuddy actually said it when I asked them about why my Pocket Wifi automatically restarting. Their reply was:
“..but due to the recent overcrowd for the rugby games, the networks are being used quite often so the WifiBuddy is just rebooting so you have a good signal.”
Actual Speed Test Results
A bit of test environment information:
- Ping: ~8-22ms (Very good ping)
- Jitter: ~2-4ms
- End location: IPA Cyberlab Bunkyo / Gatolabo MAibara
- Carrier Network: Softbank
- Test Location: Shin-imamiya, Osaka, Japan
- Reception: Maximum (4 bars)
- VPN: Not using VPN
- Package loss: between 0.7% -1.5%
I got speeds around 5-26 Megabits download speed and around 16-23 Megabits/s upload speed. Keep in mind that the Speed Test app shows the speed in megabits per second, not megabytes per second.
This means, that the maximum download speed I got with JapanWifiBuddy (Diamond) Pocket WiFi using Softbank is 26 Mbits/s, equal to 3.25 Megabytes per second maximum download speed.
Regarding upload speed, I got 23 Megabits per second, equal to around 2.88 Megabytes per second maximum upload speed.
In practice, the speed was in the mid spot, but more towards the higher measured speed. Sometimes it picked even higher, but that pick was short living.
I have 100GB upload/download bandwidth capacity, but I remember passing that bandwidth and still being able to continue using it at great speeds.
Overall, I am satisfied with the speed. It’s way better than what I get in the hostel. It serves me well when I need to upload videos to YouTube, share lots of images on Instagram, browse the web, read email, watch videos on YouTube, navigate using Google Maps, etc.
The Pocket Wifi is always with me in the backpack, and I am always connected to the Internet. I carry a 20,000mAh external battery pack with me, so I don’t need to worry about the battery dying on me during the day. In the package of the Diamond JapanWiFiBuddy, you get a 3000mAh battery pack, but I left it in the hotel and carry mine.
I didn’t encounter any significant issues that make me recommend not using their service. On the contrary, they have a fantastic service, even online chat, and their Pocket WiFi serves me well as a very heavy Internet user.