FAQs
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Questions About the Service

What kind of service is FREESPOT?
  • FREESPOT is a service that allows the hosting of free and open wireless access to the internet. It offers high-speed internet access using an 11, 54, or 300 Mbps wireless LAN router combined with a broadband line. You can use a wireless-enabled PC or mobile device to access broadband internet at a cafe, hotel, or other FREESPOT location. The access system benefits both hotspot owners and users, and has been spreading as a new form of infrastructure for Japan's emerging highly networked society.
What are the features of FREESPOT?
  • (1) Can be used with any PC, PDA, mobile phone, portable games console, or other device equipped with 11 Mbps (IEEE802.11b), 54 Mbps (IEEE802.11g), or 300 Mbps (IEEE802.11n) Wi-Fi capability. Both free and pay services are available, but most are offered for free. For details, please refer to individual locations on the FREESPOT map.

    (2) Users' security is protected.
    * FREESPOTs can be used openly and securely as each access point is equipped with security features such as Privacy Separator. These features prevent data from being visible to other computers on the network, impose access restrictions, and in other ways allow you to use the internet safely.

    * Applies only to access points that use the FREESPOT kit.
What is the current FREESPOT service area?
How much does the service cost?
  • The service is basically free, but some hotspot locations offer the service to guests or customers only.
    For details check the FREESPOT map.
What are the requirements to use a FREESPOT?
  • You will need a wireless LAN card or device (including PCs) equipped with IEEE802.11b or IEEE802.11g wireless capability.
Can any device use the access point?
  • FREESPOT points can be used by any type of Windows PC, Macintosh, PDA, mobile phone, portable games console, or other mobile device.
Are power outlets available at FREESPOTs?
  • Some locations make power outlets available. For details, check the FREESPOT map and look for the mark that indicates power availability.
Are there any other things I need to know about using a FREESPOT?
  • Basically, the service can be used freely, but please refrain from posting abusive comments on forums, sending fraudulent emails, or hacking into other systems. A log of a FREESPOT user's connections may be automatically recorded. FREESPOT, when offered by a public institution, is a public service that requires no compensation (the capital for wireless service is paid for by taxes); when offered by a shop or hotel it is a service for customers, so while FREESPOT itself is a free service, it is good etiquette to compensate the shop or hotel for its use (e.g. by dining there, using the accommodations, or purchasing a product).
I tried using a FREESPOT to connect to the internet and an email authentication screen came up. What is email authentication?
  • With the vast proliferation of the internet, crimes taking place through the internet have also increased greatly. Such cyber-crimes include ID/password theft and malicious use for illegal access, fictitious sales on online auction sites, the violation of child prostitution and child pornography laws, and the posting or transmission of messages threatening to commit crimes. A dedicated FREESPOT router powerfully deters such crimes through the implementation of email authentication. Email authentication is a system that obtains the user's email address to quickly identify the user from the usage log when an incident occurs. That information can be useful for police investigations. Also, because email authentication obtains a user's email address, which is personal information, it provides a psychological deterrent to illegal activity. Email addresses obtained through email authentication are useful in police investigations when a crime occurs, and are used to blacklist users who are causing trouble or to blacklist a FREESPOT that has been set up for malicious ends, based on complaints from hotspot owners or users. *1*2

    *1 FREESPOTs with the and marks use email authentication and may also be used to distribute ads to email addresses if the user gives consent.
    No ad distribution service is currently being used (and none is planned).
    *2 FREESPOT points with the mark may require authentication at the discretion of the owner. Because the system is designed so that the owner collects the email addresses, the Group does not vouch for how that information will be used. If the owner notifies users of the implementation of email authentication, the content of that notice applies.
I want to avoid the hassle of email authentication at a FREESPOT.
  • FREESPOT points with the or marks offer a way to avoid the hassle of email authentication when connecting to the internet. Pre-register the MAC address of the device that you will be using at the FREESPOT with your email address using the form below.

    Pre-Registration Form
    Click to unregister a device
Is a contract with a provider needed to use FREESPOT?
  • Users do not need a contract with a provider. You only need a computer or device capable of connecting via Wi-Fi.
  • Locations without one of these marks may not be a FREESPOT-compliant access point. Check with the owner about how to connect or what standards are in use. For a legend of the marks, visit here

Questions About Security

How secure is FREESPOT?
  • Installation of a dedicated FREESPOT router equipped with the Privacy Separator feature is recommended for those who are concerned about security. However, not all hotspots use a dedicated FREESPOT router. Spots that use the dedicated equipment display these marks: , , , .
    Please check the FREESPOT map. With the Privacy Separator feature, your data is not visible to other computers on the network, so you can relax and enjoy using the internet. If using a spot without the , , , marks, set up a firewall on your computer or turn off your sharing settings.
How do I get the encryption string (WEP key)?
  • Some FREESPOTs employ a WEP key to encrypt the data communications. Ask the staff at the shop for the encryption string (WEP key) or look for a sign posted on a wall or other area inside the shop. There are also many locations that do not use an encryption string (WEP key). Furthermore, note that the WEP key is different for each location.

Troubleshooting Questions

What happens if I go to a FREESPOT and the service is down?
  • Inquire with the staff at the FREESPOT location. If the location is no longer in operation or the FREESPOT has been taken down, please let us know using the inquiry form.
Does FREESPOT block me from viewing certain sites or posting to certain forums?
  • Hotspots that display or may use a site filtering feature to filter out harmful sites at the discretion of the owner, in which case you may be blocked from viewing certain sites or posting to certain forums. On April 1, 2009, the Act on Establishment of Enhanced Environment for Youth's Safe and Secure Internet Use went into effect in Japan. People engaged in business that involves young people using the internet are obliged to strive to reduce the chances that young people will view content harmful to them such as information that induces criminal activity or suicide, content that excessively stimulates sexual desire, or extremely cruel content.In consideration of this law, the FS-HP-G300N and FS-G300N routers are equipped with a harmful-site filtering feature, which may prevent users from viewing certain sites or posting to certain forums. If the harmful-site filtering feature is active, you will be redirected to a Blocked URL page.
I tried to connect at a different FREESPOT but the connection method was different.
  • The security policy of each FREESPOT location is different, and how to use or connect to the access point may differ at the discretion of the owner. Check with the owner regarding how to connect when you want to use the service.
I tried to use a FREESPOT that had email authentication but couldn't connect.
  • 1.If your email address is not registered and the email authentication screen doesn't appear when trying to connect for the first time.

    Temporarily turn off any virus protection software (security software) during the registration process. If the device you are using to connect is a notebook PC, any installed virus software can affect the email authentication and the authentication screen may not be displayed properly. In such a case, try turning off the virus software temporarily. After connecting, you can turn it on again and it will not affect the connection.

    If you have proxy settings turned on, turn them off If the proxy settings in the web browser you are using (Internet Explorer, Safari, etc.) are on, turn them off.

    2.On the email authentication screen I entered my email address, but the password hasn't arrived.

    Confirm that you have entered your email address correctly. A common cause of problems like this during email authentication is an incorrectly entered address. When typing in your address, make sure you don't make any mistakes.

    Check your spam or junk mail filter settings. On a computer or mobile phone, spam or junk mail filter settings can keep you from receiving the email. If that is the case, turn off those settings.