Disclaimer: this technical note is probably outdated. It was written in 2013 when I faced this issue and has not been maintained since. The instructions are provided as-is, don't expect any support here. Good luck!
I've just finished setting up my fiber optics connection at home, and with all the official documents in Japanese, it wasn't straightforward ;) My Internet Service Provider (ISP) is BIGLOBE, and the fiber optics plan is FLETS Hikari Next (フレッツ光ネクスト) contracted with NTT East Corporation (NTT東日本), the national telephone company. Here are setup instructions for Windows and Linux based on my experience.
You need only two pieces of information to get the connection working:
- your Connection User ID (お申し込みコースでの入力方法)
- your Password (接続パスワード)
Both are in the document BIGLOBE会員証会員証 that you should have received from BIGLOBE. (The Connection User ID should be your User ID (ユーザID) followed by "@biglobe.ne.jp".)
Do not bother trying to install the software that is on the CD provided by NTT, it will only work on Japanese systems. Just plug the Ethernet cable to your computer and follow the instructions from Create a PPPoE connection to the Internet to configure the connection. Your username and password are the Connection User ID and Password from above.
Assuming you use the NetworkManager applet:
- right-click on the applet icon
- Edit Connections
- Choose a Connection Type: DSL
- Username: your Connection User ID (User ID followed by "@biglobe.ne.jp")
- Service: BIGLOBE
- Password: from your BIGLOBE会員証会員証
In tab "General", you may want to check "Automatically connect to this network when it is available".
Partial connection issue¶
On a typical router, you can go to the WAN (Wide-Area Network) section and follow the Linux instructions above (connection type will be "PPPoE"). However, when I did this a weird problem occurred: "most" of my Internet connections would work fine, but some would fail systematically. For instance, I could use DuckDuckGo or watch YouTube, yet my web browser would keep hanging at Amazon.co.jp, nor could I connect to the PSN. In other words, I had a partial Internet connection, and the difference between what would go through or not was far from obvious.
My WiFi router was a Netgear LAN-WH300N/RE. Netgear routers are known to give such problems when the MTU (Maximum Transmission Unit) parameter is not set properly. The standard MTU for PPPoE connections is 1492, but the MTU used by Hikari NEXT is 1454! My router should have detected that, but it did not. Worse, the LAN-WH300N/RE does not allow you to set the MTU directly. My alternative was thus to flash its firmware with dd-wrt or use another router. I had another router at hand, so I chose the latter, set the MTU to 1454, and that solved the issue.
Thanks to all those who have contributed to the conversation so far. Feel free to leave a reply using the form below, or subscribe to the Discussion's atom feed to stay tuned.
To add to this post that is very informative (Merci!!!), for those who do not have MTU as an option, some more professional routers, such as UDM or UDM-Pro (Ubiquiti Dream Machine) will not accept MTU, but instead will only offer you MSS Clamping as an alternative. And the correct value will not be 1454 but 1414 in this case!
Rules of thumbs MSS = MTU - 40. So With an MTU of 1454 your MSS is 1414 ;-)... It turned me mad for a while to figure this out!
Thanks for sharing your findings with future travelers 😀
Is the Biglobe service available to foreign nationals who do not have Japan residency?
I have no clue 😅 Sorry it was missing but I added a disclaimer at the top of this post: this is just a technical note I wrote in 2013 when I faced this configuration issue. For information or support you should go to the ISP's website directly.