Can I Upgrade My Home Internet in Portugal?

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

If you have home internet in Portugal and are unhappy with the speeds, you may be wondering if you can upgrade it. The answer is yes, although with some stipulations. 

Let’s say you have 200 mbps, which is typically the slowest speed available from most ISPs in Portugal, and it’s not working out for you. This is common if you have several people using the internet at once, particularly if they’re streaming on YouTube or using it for calls on WhatsApp or Zoom. It’s even more likely if someone in the household is using it for downloading or gaming. 

According to telecommunications engineer Fenando Mendes, 

“You can always upgrade your contract but not downgrade it. So, you could upgrade to 500mbps, 1,000mbps, or even, in some cases, 8gbps, assuming this is available at your location. It’s important to note that a new two-year contract begins every time you make a change to your contract. Of course, it is possible to keep your contract if you move home and if you leave Portugal permanently, to cancel your internet contract.”

Generally speaking, Fernando recommends choosing 500mbps rather than the slightly more affordable 200mbps and upgrading at a later date. There are a few reasons for this. Firstly, the price of 500mbps vs 200mbps is usually only a few euros per month more, but offers significantly better speeds. 

Part of this is the speed available in that package but the other part is the router: the router supplied for 500 mbps or greater is better than the one offered for 200mbps home internet. This is important if you live in a property with thick walls or you have several people in the property connected to the same internet connection. 

Should you start with the fastest possible internet then? 

It depends on your needs and the number of people using it. Again, there isn’t a huge difference in price between the 200mbs, 500mbps, and 1gbps options: the difference between 200mbps and 1gbps is around €7 or €8 on average. However, Fernando cautions against getting the 8gbps fibre internet, which typically costs at least double that of the 1gbps option. 

“Most people don’t need this, and a lot of people don’t even have a computer or tablet that’s fast enough. I’ve had clients before who selected this option only to discover that their laptop, which might only be a few years old, wasn’t fast enough to get the full benefit of the 8gbps internet. For this reason, I normally suggest people looking for super fast internet start with 1gbps and if it’s not suitable, then upgrade, as it’s easy to upgrade but not possible to downgrade.”

Currently, 8gbps home internet is only available through MEO, so you would need to be on a MEO plan in order to upgrade. 

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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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