Mobile Internet in Portugal: How to stay connected while visiting

If you’re a frequent internet user, even while you’re abroad, there’s no need to rack up expensive data roaming charges by using your phone’s 3G abroad. Several companies in Portugal rent out mobile internet (or mifi) devices.

These devices create a Wi-Fi network that you and your party can use to stay connected while you’re in Portugal.

Below you’ll find an overview of the companies that offer these, sample pricing, and some of their pros and cons. Prices are accurate in April 2017. We haven’t used any of these personally, so we’re asking people to leave their reviews in the comments.

Portugal Internet

Link: Portugalinternet.com

  • €60 for 14 days
  • Pickup at the airport or have it delivered to your hotel/accommodation
  • Up to 10 devices can be connected at a time
  • Post it back using the prepaid envelope when you’re done
  • A data sim card option is also available for €47 for 14 days (if you already have a mifi device, or just want to connect your phone)
  • (If you’re visiting the Azores or Madeira, allow 5 working days for arrival)

WiFiAbroad.com (only available in the Algarve)

Link: Wifiabroad.com

  • €65 for 14 days (there are two price plans, this is for the more expensive unlimited plan)
  • Up to 8 devices can be connected at a time
  • Pick up your mobile internet at Faro Airport in the Algarve
  • Hand it back at Faro Airport when you’re leaving

Mobile WiFi router + 30GB

Link: Meo.pt

  • Suggested Retail Price: €54,99 (may vary depending on the store)
  • Pick it up at a MEO store in Portugal (If you don’t want to spend your trip in a mobile phone shop, this may not be the option for you)
  • Limited to 30GB of data
  • Data plan is only valid for 15 days (if you are staying longer you will need to top-up at a cost of €15 for 30GB)
  • At the end you get to keep the mobile router. It is unlocked and can be used in other countries with other mobile networks

MyWebSpot

Link: My-WebSpot.com

  • €138.60 for 14 days
  • Delivered to your hotel/accommodation
  • Up to 6 devices can be connected at a time
  • Post it back using the prepaid envelope when you’re done
  • Unlike the other plans, the my-webspot can be used in any European country (select multi-country plan)

Getting online with a Portuguese Sim Card

If your phone or tablet is unlocked, you could get online by putting a Portuguese PAYG data sim card into it. This is probably the cheapest option, particularly if you’re planning on staying in Portugal for more than a fortnight. Portugal has several mobile networks (e.g. MEO, Vodafone, and NOS) and they each offer tariffs with mobile data included.

The downside to this option is that you’ll have to take sim card in and out, which if you aren’t the most technically savvy isn’t as easy as simply connecting to the mifi device.

Prepaid with Data is a very useful website for seeing which mobile networks offer the best tariffs both in Portugal and worldwide.

Tip: While having internet on your phone is great, a mi-fi device is better as you can connect several devices at once. If you travel a lot, it’s worth investing in an unlocked mi-fi dongle. These can be purchased fairly cheaply on Amazon. That way, you can just pick up a data sim whenever you arrive at a new place and you’ll be able to connect all your devices (phones, iPads, laptops, etc). 

Does your mobile network allow data roaming?

Believe it or not, there are some mobile networks that don’t charge you exorbitant amounts for using your mobile internet abroad. Three’s ‘Feel at Home’ program allows you to use your mobile phone in several countries, including Spain and Portugal. They charge the same amount as you would be charged at home so, if you travel a lot, it’s worth looking into.

‘Feel at Home’ is available to Three PAYG and Contract customers in the UK and Ireland.

Other ways to stay connected

    • Cafés: You won’t have any trouble finding a café or restaurant with Wi-Fi particularly in the more touristy parts of the Algarve, Lisbon, and Porto.
    • Government buildings: Many government buildings in Portugal, for example the library, will have free Wi-Fi that you can use.
    • Your hotel: Most hotels, apartments, and villas have Wi-Fi these days. I usually use booking.com to search for hotels with Wi-Fi, as you can see in the reviews what score the Wi-Fi was given. If you want to double-check to see how good it is, look that hotel up on Tripadvisor and search the reviews for the word wifi.

Your reviews

Have you used mobile internet in Portugal? Can you help others out by leaving a review or comment. Just fill in the comment form below and let us know which companies you recommend (and don’t). 

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