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My good and bad experience with @ iVideo Pocket WiFi Rental

If you have been following my Instagram, you would have known that I am finally back from my 2 weeks graduation trip in Hokkaido, Japan with 4 friends.

For young teenagers like us, WiFi connection definitely tops our must-have list! Since Japan has a relatively high living expenses, thus we tried to cut down our initial budget from WiFi rental, car rental and accommodation. This led me to chance upon iVideo service after a long research.

What is iVideo?

iVideo is a Taiwan wireless internet access rental shop that offers a cheap pocket WiFi to Taiwan, Japan, Europe, Asia, North America and Australia since the year 1999. What makes them special is that they do provide a MONTHLY rental deal which is extremely great for a long business trip. 

Honestly speaking, renting from iVideo is like taking a bet for me. This is because I have only read about other bloggers 100% positive experience with iVideo (featured on iVideo website here) with no negative reviews to consider the worst case scenario. Also, I have not heard any of my non-blogging friends used or recommended this brand before. However, their super cheap rental fee for 2 weeks of UNLIMITED WiFi tempted us to give them a try, instead of getting the usual famous and commonly used Changi Recommend in Singapore *which I've tried it in my previous Bangkok trip here*.


How to online booking with iVideo?

1. Visit iVideo website and select a device

Simply visit iVideo official website, register a free account, choose your travel destination and click "RENT" on your preferred device. A popup screen will appear where I highly recommend you to take note of the International Fair Usage Policy (FUP) rules which must abide by all IPs of router devices. A brief summary is that despite the stated unlimited data, FUP will limit your data usage / temporary blocks data access if there's an excessively large amount of data used in a short period of time. I will talk about our experience with Japan AU 4G LTE Pocket WiFi Unlimited Data below.

2. Select pick-up location and date

Next, click on the "Checkout" button to be directed to a 4-step form. For us, we opted to pickup at Japan Airport Post Office-- New Chitose Airport Terminal 2F on the 17th June 2017. This is to ensure that we will have smooth WiFi connection all the way to our car rental place, as well as to prevent any possibility of our rental package being bounced back by our first Airbnb host (yes, they do SEAL their mailbox. Continue reading to learn more about this). 

3. Payment and confirm order

Finally, confirm your rental date, check the total fee in USD ($10 shipping fee is already included in the rental fee) before making a payment via debit card or credit card. If you have pre-entered some promotional codes under "My Account -> Enter Promo Code", the coupons will be redeemed and deducted automatically from the overall payment during checkout. How fuss-free is that!

Upon successful checkout, you will receive an order confirmation email as well as the procedures to pickup and return your rented travel router. You can keep track of the status of your payment and rental history via "My Account -> Payment History or Rental History".


Our Experience with iVideo!

1. Collecting letterpack at New Chitose Airport Post Office

Upon collecting our luggage, the first thing we did was to ask the nearest information counter to New Chitose Post Office which is located at the another end of the airport (2F, but I think it was at the same level). Once the post office clerk understood that we were there for parcel collection, she matched my passport name with the parcel before handing me a cupboard delivery parcel.


2. Testing iVideo Pocket WiFi for 14 days

There's one zippable small blue polo travel bag containing our ordered WiFi router, 1 USB cable, 1 Japan charger and 1 guide book. Be sure to take out the half-folded returned envelope from the parcel if you're going to dispose of it right away. 

Connecting to the router was easy. Simply long press on the button to power it up, search for the network from your device and key in the authentication details at the back of the router. 

All 5 of us successfully connected our device to our WiFi right away and started spamming Instagram stories and Snapchat snaps (no, for once I'm not the one using Snapchat~). I would say that our iVideo pocket WiFi lives true to its description on the site, because...

Pros

  1. In the day time, our router was able to support 5 devices at the same time (up to 10 devices), yet maintaining a damn fast and strong network speed with an average of 75Mbps, sometimes at its peak of 105Mbps and 120Mbps! At night, it has to connect 5 mobile devices and 1 laptop instead.
  2. The battery lasted throughout the whole day from 8am to 9pm (up to 18 hours), without a single second of shutting it down because there would be someone uploading something on whatever social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Line, Snow, Whatsapp, etc), WhatsApp calling back home, searching routes on Google Map, playing music on Youtube or Spotify in car... You get it.
  3. Zero internet interruption in viewing Youtube at night because there's simply nothing to do at night besides streaming videos to watch, else playing cards while drinking beers when we were not in Sapporo.
  4. It's pocket-sized and has quite a wide area coverage because... ehem, when the person holding the router visited a washroom, we were still able to use the WiFi at the corridor outside. 
  5. It's way cheaper than getting a local sim card in Japan or to activate our data roaming plans.
  6. By now you should be able to see that our portable router does have unlimited WiFi access!

Cons

  1. It got too hot to be kept in the pocket so we kept in one of our bags instead. 

3. Urgent need of iVideo customer service

As I have not read the SUP beforehand (please refer back to step 1 in placing an order above), we did not know that the stated unlimited WiFi is not as unlimited as our usual WiFi access at home. Moreover, my email mobile application failed to synchronise emails that went into my Spam folder such that I did not receive the automatic emails by iVideo which warned me about high data usage (I found the emails today only when I am in Singapore).

Thus, we have simply no idea why we had lesser and lesser internet connection although our devices display a super high network connection. All this while we had thought that it was because we were driving at rocky and steep mountain areas thus the sudden lost of internet connection. *This explains why most of the WiFi routers always have a limited data usage per day.*

Therefore, on day 5 when we were at Asahikawa, SUP decided to block our data access completely and left us in a dilemma. Luckily, we were staying at a hotel instead of an Airbnb for that night, thus I was able to catch the free WiFi available at their lobby to email iVideo customer service. 

And... I'm going to rate them FIVE STARS for their prompt replies and arrangement! Within 30 minutes upon my first email, I'd gotten a reply for further instructions. Next, within 1 hour, iVideo has mailed out a second pocket WiFi replacement from Tokyo to our next Airbnb with a letterpack tracking number for reference! Super fast and effective!

However, upon reaching our next Airbnb at Sapporo, we found out that the letterbox was sealed and the host has no intention of collecting the parcel for us nor allowing us to use the mailbox at all. Thanks to the letterpack reference number, we were able to rearrange for the parcel to be redelivered to Odori post office after its failed delivery. This explains the reason why 5 of us were unable to update our Instagram for 3 days (bounce back took 1 extra day).

And, the WiFi was fast and smooth once again! We did not dare to watch any 1 hour Youtube video at night for the rest of our trip anymore...

4. Returning of parcel

Returning of the travel WiFi was also a breeze! Once again, I missed out both the reminder emails (that went into spam inbox) by iVideo regarding the return procedures. Anyway, we remembered to insert everything into the prepaid LetterPack Light envelope and dropped it into any of the red mailbox located in Japan, in which ours was at New Chitose Airport. 

If you have lost the envelope, you would have to repurchase again at a nearby post office or Lawson convenience store for 360 yen. Refer to this and this link to follow all necessary shipping information.


My Thoughts on iVideo!

Despite the sudden hiccup which I think iVideo might not be at fault (since I missed out the reminder emails and didn't read the T&C myself), I am thankful that I did give iVideo a try on our 2 weeks graduation trip in Hokkaido, Japan!

Based on my experience with both iVideo and Changi Recommend, I will choose iVideo in the future mainly because of the unlimited WiFi and its incredibly fast speed available. Unlike Changi Recommend, iVideo travel router really did not slow down the loading speed after reaching a certain data usage cap. Not to mention the long-lasting battery life that did not require troublesome toggling between power on and off, as well as any recharge using a power bank.

Thank you iVideo for your WiFi rental service this time!


$2 rental discount until 31st August 2017!

iVideo is kind enough to give you all MORE discount! Simply check out with "AMDZZZECWHCWEJBB" to enjoy an additional $2 off the bill when you drop an order with iVideo before 31st August 2017.
"AMDZZZECWHCWEJBB" for extra $2 off rental fee!
Rest assure about them forgetting your order! I ordered in March (without any extra discount code :( so appreciate this!) for my July trip and had a smooth deal at the airport. You can use hashtags #ivideowifi and #pocketwifi on social medias for a chance of a feature on their Instagram too!


You can learn more about iVideo at:

Facebook: iVideoPocket Wifi Rental
Instagram: iVideoWifi
Twitter: iVideo_en
Email: ivideo.en@gmail.com

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