How Does NOWO Internet Compare to Other Portuguese ISPs? 

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Last updated on June 4, 2024 | Est. Reading Time: 3 minutes

If you’re trying to decide on the best home internet, you may have come across a company called NOWO. It’s one of four ISPs in Portugal, with the others being MEO, NOS, and Vodafone. 

However, here’s the thing: NOWO is typically the cheapest option out of the three. So should you go with NOWOW?

NOWO is one of several companies that offers cable internet and not fibre internet, and it’s important to understand the difference.

According to telecommunications engineer Fernando Mendes, “cable internet is half the price, yes, but the quality isn’t the same, particularly in terms of consistency. We have cases of clients who might have 500 gbps one minute and 30 minutes later, they’ve dropped to half the speed or even as low as 30 mbps.”

These fluctuations can make a big difference when you’re working online, or even using streaming services like YouTube or Netflix. 

So, how much does it cost to go with fibre internet instead? The difference isn’t huge: as an example, based on February 2024 pricing, you might pay an average of €37.5 per month for cable internet with NOWO and €44 per month for fibre internet with a different provider. These prices are based on home internet only, and don’t include additional add-ons, such as a mobile phone contract.

 

For those that need super high speed internet, it’s also possible to get up to 8 gbps home internet. This comes at a premium, costing at least double that of 1 gbps, and isn’t typically needed for most home internet users. However, if you work from home in certain industries or there are several people doing the same, it may be worth considering. 

However, Fernando Mendes suggests it’s better to start with 1 gbps. 

“Very few people need 8 gbps and many people don’t even have a computer that can handle it. What I normally suggest to people is that they start with 1 gbps and see how that works for them. If it’s not suitable, they can always upgrade after a few weeks. The difference is that you can’t downgrade from 8 gbps: you can always upgrade (and start a new contract) but you can’t downgrade as you’re locked into the price you agreed to.”

So does this mean you shouldn’t go with NOWO? If price is your main focus, NOWO is typically the cheapest. However, if speed and reliability is important it may be better to focus on a company that offers fibre internet rather than cable internet.

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James Cave is the founder of Portugalist and the author of the bestselling book, Moving to Portugal Made Simple. He has visited just about every part of Portugal, including Madeira and all nine islands of the Azores, and lived in several parts of Portugal including Lisbon, the Algarve, and Northern Portugal.

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