Setting up broadband in Portugal

Setting up broadband in Portugal

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Portugal has some cutting edge options for getting on the web. Blogger Sam Milner outlines the basics for setting up internet in Portugal.

When you move to Portugal one of the first necessities will be getting your broadband set up.  Before you start doing this, however, I would advise you first open a bank account, as without one you will find that you will pay a higher rate. This is just like in the UK where you pay more if you don't use direct debit.

The amount of people in Portugal who use a broadband internet connection is far lower than the rest of Europe but it is quickly catching up due to the fact that there have been massive upgrades in both the cable and DSL sectors over the past couple of years.

Portugal Telecom controls most of the DSL market but, due to the latest regulatory rules, other companies have now entered the market which have made the pricing more competitive. All of the providers have concentrated on increasing the broadband speed and offering a better all ‘round service and the regulator has actively encouraged this.

Cable has also showed strong growth in 2009 and this can be mainly put down to the efforts of the supplier ZON Multimedia.

There are several ADSL and broadband providers as well as ZON in Portugal and they are:

  • ARTelecom
  • Cabovisao
  • Vodafone
  • CLIX
  • Telepac
  • Claranet


When you have decided on the service that you require you must fill in a Formulario de Adedao, which is a subscription form. Note that you must be a resident to be allowed to subscribe to an Internet service.  Regardless of the company you choose you will have to supply the following details.

  • Your name
  • Your permanent or temporary address
  • Tax number
  • Proof of residence
  • Passport information
  • Telephone number


Whilst you are waiting to get your broadband connection set up you can rely on any of the many Internet cafes that have been set up in Portugal.  There is also a brilliant service that is funded by the Portuguese government which enables anyone to surf the internet for free in certain spaces.  It is called Espaco Internet and, regardless of whether you are a resident in Portugal or are simply visiting on holiday, it is free for everyone.

Broadband in Portugal is called banda larga and it is widely considered to be better than the broadband service that is available in England due to the fact that Portugal was one of the last countries to embrace broadband technology and, therefore, the system they have in place is of the latest design and technology.

Because of the geography and population in Portugal, you will find that it is a common occurrence for companies who are involved in the Internet technology to use the country to trial the latest developments in this industry.

Because of this you will find that it is often the case that the latest Internet devices will be on the market way before they arrive in the shops of the United Kingdom. A case in point is mobile broadband, which is used by many people in Portugal because it allows them Internet connection whilst they are out and about. You can take advantage of this when you move to Portugal and are still finding your feet because it means that you don't have to sign up for a static broadband contract. This especially applies if you are renting a property whilst you are looking to purchase

Portugal also has a massive network of over 850 Wifi hotspots all the way through the country and these include hotels, football stadiums and airports amongst others, which means that you can log into to the Internet using your laptop or notebook computer.

As in your home country, it is advised that you ask friends and colleagues for their broadband recommendations before you decide who you are going to sign up with.  Be sure to do your research before committing to a provider!

Samantha Milner / Expatica
Samantha Milner is an expat blogger who lives in the Algarve in southern Portugal with her family. This is an extract from one of her articles called “Setting up broadband in Portugal”. You can read it in full by clicking here.


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2 Comments To This Article

  • Bruno posted:

    on 11th November 2015, 19:09:43 - Reply

    Now there's a website that rents data SIM Cards and Wifi / Mifi Hotspots with unlimited traffic. It's a good option for getting internet everywhere in Portugal. With low cost prices, they have options starting in 3 days time.

  • Keith posted:

    on 4th March 2013, 22:26:05 - Reply

    [Edited by moderator. Please post (elaborate) questions on Ask the Expert or on our Forums. If you have questions for the Expatica staff, please contact us directly.]