Wi-Fi Column: Staying connected in Japan

Basic Usage of Free Wi-Fi - And Tips for Safe Use

This article was translated from Japanese to English using AI. Click here to view the original article (in Japanese).


Free Wi-Fi in various locations is very convenient.

In this article, we will tell you how to connect to and safely use common types of free Wi-Fi.

What is "login" for free Wi-Fi? Do I need to register to use it?

The most common way to use free Wi-Fi is to "register" on the free Wi-Fi "login screen. This is sometimes called "user authentication" or "sign-in. Free Wi-Fi at Lawson, Tokyo Metro stations, and JR East stations, as well as free Wi-Fi provided by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, Osaka Prefecture, and other municipalities, are of this type.

Let's take a look at the connection procedure.

Basic Free Wi-Fi Connection Procedure

1) Turn on Wi-Fi from the settings screen. Open the screen to select a list of networks and tap the network (SSID) you wish to connect to. Choose the correct network name by referring to the sticker on the store. If a password is also listed, enter it here.

2) The method of displaying the user authentication (login) screen differs depending on the operating system.

The user authentication (login) screen will appear automatically.


As shown in the figure, a message will appear prompting you to log in. Tap to display the user authentication (login) screen.


3) Once the login screen for the free Wi-Fi service appears, you will then see the terms and conditions of use, as well as the time and number of times you can use the service. After carefully checking, enter your e-mail address or register using your SNS account.
*From here, we will show you the actual screen of OdakyuBUS_FREE_Wi-Fi, a free Wi-Fi service provided by Odakyu Bus Co.


In case of registering an e-mail address

3) Enter your e-mail address and tap "Done" on the temporary registration completion page.


4) A registration verification email will be sent to the registered email address. Please confirm the contents and tap the URL in the e-mail.
If you fail to tap the URL in the e-mail, you will not be able to use the Internet after a certain period of time. In that case, please turn off Wi-Fi once and start over from 1).

Also, if you close the screen using the Home button or other buttons without tapping "Done" in the upper right corner of the screen, the Internet via Wi-Fi may be interrupted, so please be sure to tap "Done".


If you do not receive an email, please check the following.

  1. Depending on your environment, the e-mail may have been received in your spam folder or other folder.
  2. If you have blocked the receipt of e-mails containing URLs or e-mails from PCs, please cancel these settings.
  3. If you have restricted the reception of domain names, please allow the Wi-Fi service to receive e-mails.

5) Connection completed


SNSWhen registering with an SNS account

3) The screen of the SNS you selected will be launched.


5) Connection completed


Once you have used the service, the next time you connect to the same Wi-Fi spot, you can skip the registration of your e-mail address or SNS account, making the service even more convenient.

If you have trouble logging in to free Wi-Fi

If you are connected to Wi-Fi but cannot use the Internet, or if the login screen does not appear and you cannot register for use, please check the following.

Related link:The free Wi-Fi login screen doesn't come up!? 5 things to try when you can't connect

Why do I have to register for use? What will the personal information I enter be used for?

The following explanation uses the free Wi-Fi provided by NTTBP as an example. The usage registration is established based on the "Guidelines for Wi-Fi Provision" recommended by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications from the viewpoint of crime deterrence. Your personal information is securely managed, so you will not receive any unwanted e-mails because of your registration for free Wi-Fi.

However, the conditions of service vary from free Wi-Fi to free Wi-Fi. Some require you to register as a member of the store's service, while others do not require you to register your contact information as long as you check the terms of use. In most cases, the conditions of use are written on the login screen. Please check them carefully before using the service.


Can I use Wi-Fi in stores with a key mark?

Wi-Fi with a key mark is Wi-Fi that requires a password to connect.

If the password is written on a sticker on the store, you can use the Wi-Fi by entering it when connecting to the Wi-Fi. Otherwise, it cannot be used.

Also, just because a Wi-Fi has a key symbol does not necessarily mean it is safe. Be careful.

Related link:本当に大丈夫? その鍵付きのフリーWi-Fi ~パスワードがあっても実は危ない!? 無料Wi-Fiスポットの意外な落とし穴

Type of Free Wi-Fi without a login screen

When using free Wi-Fi, there is also a type that does not have a login screen to register for use.

  1. Type where you enter the posted password
  2. A type that can be used immediately without a password.

In either case, be sure to check the conditions of use on stickers and posters before using the service.

Do not simply connect to Wi-Fi of an unknown provider just because it is easy to do so.

Free Wi-Fi that can be used immediately without a password

Free Wi-Fi at some stores may contain malicious "spoofed Wi-Fi" that pretends to be the Wi-Fi provided by the store.

For more information on the dangers of spoofed Wi-Fi, please see the following article.

Related link:なりすましWi-Fiってなに? ~映画「スマホを落としただけなのに 囚われの殺人鬼」をWi-Fi会社の視点で観てみた

Wi-Fi provided by mobile carriers

Finally, although not free Wi-Fi, here are some Wi-Fi spots provided by mobile carriers.



For example, "d Wi-Fi" can be used by d Point Club members even if they do not have NTT DOCOMO cell phone lines. Various locations throughout Japan, including cafes, convenience stores, and fast food restaurants, are Wi-Fi spots and are provided under the SSID (network name) "0001docomo" or "0000docomo".

Related link:d Wi-Fi | サービス・機能 | NTTドコモ

Related link:ソフトバンクWi-Fiスポット | スマートフォン・携帯電話 | ソフトバンク

Related link:au Wi-Fi | サービス・機能 | au

If you want to use Wi-Fi with higher security than free Wi-Fi, these services are a good choice. In particular, we recommend "d Wi-Fi"; even if you are not an NTT DOCOMO user, you can use this highly secure Wi-Fi.

How to use free Wi-Fi safely When using free Wi-Fi, be aware of the following three points.

Use only Wi-Fi that is legitimately provided by stores and other establishments.

  • Use only Wi-Fi that is legitimately provided by stores and other establishments.
  • Use only sites that begin with "https.
  • Refrain from exchanging personal information.

Especially when using Wi-Fi for the first time, be sure to check the store's sticker to confirm that the Wi-Fi is provided legitimately.

Please refer to the following article for a detailed explanation of how to use free Wi-Fi safely.

Related link:フリーWi-Fiって危険じゃないの?安全に使うには

Recommended apps for using free Wi-Fi in Japan

Japan Wi-Fi auto-connect

Automatic Connection App For Free Wi-Fi

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