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[Solved] Internet speed in Portugal

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Posts: 51
Topic starter
(@colin-and-hakim)
Member
Joined: 6 months ago

Please put your location, provider and internet speed

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Posts: 51
Topic starter
(@colin-and-hakim)
Member
Joined: 6 months ago

sweet

MEO 80MBps and you are in Porto?

but intermittent.....

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Posts: 176
 MaxG
Premium Member
(@maxgravy)
Estimable Member
Joined: 1 year ago

Lisbon, MEO Fiber

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Posts: 377
Ask Our Expats Consultant
(@thomasribatejo)
Member
Joined: 4 years ago

Guys, you might also want people to specify the type of connection, as this could make a lot of difference.  Areas without fibre are no longer routinely connected with older means, so you have new fibre, old cables/phone lines, and mobile broadband.

Distance from your hub/router and means of connection to it can also affect speed tests.  If I use the test on my phone next to the router, I get 5x what I get at my PC in the next room; and I know if I plug a cable into the router, I get even more.

Then, with fibre broadband, you contract based on minimum speed - I have at least three levels available to me with my provider, and I only need the lowest of them - so my speed doesn't tell you what's available, only what I am getting.  Suppliers shouldn't offer what they can't supply; and action can be taken (and support exists for this) against suppliers providing much less than you're paying for.

You should also be aware that minor location differences can make a complete difference, so one person in Town X can have a wonderful experience, and another person in Town X a terrible one, even with the same provider.  Fibre can be available in some zones not others; a different side of the same hill can significantly impact mobile data.  In my next post below, I will share the information to the independent coverage maps.

In Santarém, on Vodafone fibre, but through a couple of walls, I am getting around 40Mbps.  By the router, my phone gets 200Mbps upload/100Mbps download.  They would sell me up to 1Gbps, but 40Mbps comfortably does my work cloud system, video calls, Netflix for two people simultaneously.

Outside Chamusca, on my Vodafone mobile broadband hotspot (inside - it's higher outside!)  I usually get ~30Mbps.  Instability (which may be weather related) can see this drop to 20; it rarely approaches 40.

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6 Replies
 Zoom
(@zoom)
Joined: 8 months ago

Member
Posts: 91

@thomasribatejo Do you happen to know what sort of wifi routers are typically provided by the various providers? We also live in a rather old house, and the newer Wifi 6 routers made a big difference (1gbps service still provides 750mbps or higher in most areas - before it would go down to 50-60 in some areas!). Of course both sides must support the newer tech (the phone/laptop AND the router), but if the WAN (incoming) signal is strong, it may be worth a bit of a splurge on a personal router to get closer to the bandwidth you're paying for.

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Ask Our Expats Consultant
(@thomasribatejo)
Joined: 4 years ago

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Posts: 377

@zoom I am probably insufficiently expert to be sure, but the one Vodafone gave us (and were still displaying in my nearest branch a month ago) has 2.4 and 5 (so I presume 6 would be more advanced). Here is Vodafone's page about that router (in Portuguese, but may be of use)

https://www.vodafone.pt/pacotes/internet/smart-router.html

Apparently Vodafone Italy brought in a new (6) router last December, so it may be only a matter of time before it happens here.

Meo has trailed one since 2019 but it's not clear it's available yet. Nos seem to have made one available to some customers since May this year. I can't independently verify this. However, it seems this will soon be more widely available here.

 

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Community Member
(@comfortapaul)
Joined: 12 months ago

Eminent Member
Posts: 40

@thomasribatejo 

Hi there, just looked at our Nos router and it is a cat:4.

Works fine, even with our thick old xisto walls. The range is pretty good too - 15 metres with a good signal strength.

PLL

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 Zoom
(@zoom)
Joined: 8 months ago

Member
Posts: 91

@thomasribatejo Actually the WiFi 6 (technically 802.11AC) refers to the generation of the WiFi technology - the 2.4 (GHZ) and 5 (GHZ) refer to the frequency band used by the routers to propagate the signal. WiFi 6 routers are better at getting through walls etc and reduce the signal drop. In general the 2.4 band is the older one and has lower speeds but better distance, while the 5 band has higher speeds with a distance trade-off. If you have BOTH bands turned on (the default on most multi-band routers), it can reduce the speeds for 5ghz connections, for example if your new iPhone uses the 5 ghz band, but you have Alexa devices that can only use 2.4ghz, the iPhone will get reduced bandwidth from the router, especially if they are using the same network (SSID). One trick you can try, if you're comfortable with changing router settings, is to turn off the 5ghz band - you might actually get better speeds in other rooms. Another trick is to raise the router - the top of a cupboard or a wall shelf - this reduces the number of things the signal has to travel through. Also, if you can't put the router close to the middle of the house, run an Ethernet cable to a central spot and put a cheap WiFi repeater/access point there (they just plug into a power socket) - this will also improve the signal greatly. If you have an older laptop, the built-in WiFi is probably 2.4ghz tech - a little 5ghz dongle (now I'm getting really technical) plugged into a USB port will also improve the speed.

Anyway, sorry about the descent into nerdiness - this stuff shouldn't be this hard, but the tech companies ignore usability.

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Ask Our Expats Consultant
(@thomasribatejo)
Joined: 4 years ago

Member
Posts: 377

@zoom Ah you see, I suspected the 2.4/5 weren't the same thing... however the bits under the link should be relevant to your question, I believe.

We initially rented ("free" as part of a package) a repeater/extender, and then bought identical second-hand ones when the free period ran out.  Even without ethernet between them, they get wifi to the harder to reach places (albeit with reduced speed - but fine for Netflix, Zoom, etc).

On the 2.4/5 thing, I recall a lot of googling and fiddling to get some apps on my android phone to work on wi-fi when they worked on data, which I vaguely remember related to this. It made no sense (to me!  I know there is a logical reason!) that Spotify was fine on phone data but not on wifi... and whatever I did then meant everything is fine!  I am guessing I may not want a category 6 even if I could get one... but we'll see!

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 Zoom
(@zoom)
Joined: 8 months ago

Member
Posts: 91

@thomasribatejo The vodaphone router in the link you sent is a modern/current version, and should provide a strong signal which can only be improved upon by installing extenders or "Mesh" networks. The main thing of course is if things work reliably, then let it be!

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Posts: 377
Ask Our Expats Consultant
(@thomasribatejo)
Member
Joined: 4 years ago

Here is my previous post with the mapping links:

https://expatsportugal.com/community/postid/184668/

These are likely to give you a better picture than even a large sampling of individuals - notably, the second link (mobile data) seems very accurate.

(On the former - fibre - when you have a specific address in mind, use the three providers' online tools to test for coverage - the maps are less good, more a general guide.  Also, look out for what telecoms boxes are in a given street.).

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Posts: 40
Community Member
(@comfortapaul)
Eminent Member
Joined: 12 months ago

Hi all,

We have had an interesting week trying out Meo, Vodafone and Nos. We asked our neighbours (only 3 of them have internet) which provider they have and it was a mixture but very much based on the strength of the local transmitter signal and the neighbours location in the aldeia - top of the valley Meo; in the valley Nos.  We have no DSL line and no fibre (yet).

The Meo engineer came to install the wifi router but on the speed test only got 7.6Mbps - so we decided not to go ahead with the installation and cancelled the Meo contract. The Meo engineer recommended that we try Nos. We then tried a Vodafone sim only card €15 for 15 days - a better signal at 15.2Mbps but not a permanent solution. Finally to Nos, we bought the wifi router and were amazed at the staggering (in comparison) 27Mbps.  The strength of the signal does vary around the casa depending on the thickness of the walls so Nos is our best option currently.

Most providers need you to sign a contract but you do have 14 days in which to cancel - especially if you decide not to install their system due to lack of signal strength. Ask the installation engineer to test the signal strengh before they do any installation.

Hope this assists,

PLL

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3 Replies
Community Member
(@rocketracoon)
Joined: 6 months ago

Trusted Member
Posts: 54

@comfortapaul If you are on 4G the positioning of the router can make a massive difference. I get about 8mbp on one side and 40mbp on the other (note vodafone is capped to 40mbp, so i was told by the chap in the shop anyway).

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Premium Member
(@stephenwonders)
Joined: 7 years ago

Trusted Member
Posts: 71

@comfortapaul 

Ola PLL,

 

With the 15 day sim deal, do these cards expire after 15 days from first use even if there are days when no data is used? 

Obrigado

 

Stephen

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Ask Our Expats Consultant
(@thomasribatejo)
Joined: 4 years ago

Member
Posts: 377

@stephenwonders

Yes, the clock starts on the day you pay, and you lose any days you don't use.  You can then renew them (you don't need to buy a new card, you should be able to buy more days by phone, internet or in store).  

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