Updated: Current 3G and 4G mobile internet Contract tariffs in Portugal @ September 2016
Summer 2016 Update: After Algarve customer feedback reporting the NOS 3G and 4G networks continue to struggle, unfortunately the exceptionally busy summer period seems to have taken its toll on the Vodafone network also - delivering poor evening internet performance and many seeing upload speeds sub-1Mbps where they would normally see 20+Mbps. Alot of IPTV customers have been pushed onto the Vodafone network by local companies (expat focused) which will not be helping the situation however our feeling is the shear number of mobile device users (not necessarily the amount of data they are consuming) are causing the degradation of service - if this is the case then we should see service return to normal after the holiday period.
One of the main reasons to purchase an unlocked router (see our 4G Router Buying Guide) is to benefit from the competition between the various mobile internet service providers here in Portugal. You can sign up for the best 3G or 4G internet deal in your area and, after the contract expires (usually 12 months) you can shop around the best deal for the next year.
Don't be fooled by the relatively low cost of 3G and 4G routers from service providers - they subsidise the cost of the router but it is locked to their network ONLY. If, at a later date, you decide to move to another service provider, the original router becomes useless and you will need to purchase new kit. With an unlocked router from Algarve Connect you can move between service providers without issue saving you money in the long run.
Vodafone prices are increasing slightly for the unlimited GB+ deal (30,99 to 31,50).
MEO (formerly Portugal Telecom)
MEO prices have dropped sharply (with a 12 month contract) but data allowances are still capped.
NOS (formerly Optimus) (aka Kanguru)
Holiday home in Portugal?
If you only need internet access for a few weeks a year then, with an unlocked router, you can purchase a Pay as You Go type SIM from ANY service provider, plug in the SIM card and away you go.