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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, we are looking into the options for broadband for our house nr Loule, and getting confused! We need pay as you go access, as it is currently a holiday home, to use the Internet, and for TV for the children. We will presumably need some kind of set top box for TV? As we were previously using a dish. Any advice would be greatly appreciated
 

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You need to research which GSM provider offers the best 3G/4G signal for your property. (Check using a UK Mobile - it will indicate the strongest when roaming).

Then either buy a 3G WiFi Router from Ebay (so as to own it without it being locked to any particular provider) and visit the shop of the provider with the best signal to get an account with a PAYG card that offers the best package for your use. (Beware the monthly download limit as 1hr of streaming TV uses 600-750mb of data - more if you want to watch in HD).

If you don't have a Smart TV then you will need a MAG 250 IPTV box - again from Ebay (cheapest) or from easyuktv who will sell you one and set it up locally.

If you have a Smart TV then you could manage without the IPTV Box and just use Filmon to view UK TV Programmes.

All websites mentioned are .com
 

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Discussion Starter #3
thanks for responding to my post, when we were there last week I was on Meo, my husband on Nos, so we can look into both, though I cash see that download limits may be an issue, with the children used to unlimited at home. we will have to weigh up the costs. Is a fixed connection very expensive? through I guess it may not be possible without a phone connection.
 

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It may be worth looking at satellite broadband as you will get a better download speed&they seem to be compatible price wise on the monthly fee but maybe a little expensive on the installation but there are various packages to look at.
 

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pay as you go net normally available only with the pens (dongles).

landmine adsl or fibre requires a contract full time, sometimes with a period of fidelization
 

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You don't say whether terrestrial broadband is available in your area. If it is you have the same choice as the UK - fibre or ADSL. Both of these are available in various packages from all of the big providers. Fibre is the best choice but a if you can get good ADSL speed (ask your neighbours), then that will be cheaper. You'll need at least £2-3mbit/s to stream TV.

If you can't get terrestrial connection then as has been suggested, you need a 4G or 3G mobile internet connection. The satellite option is very expensive and gives you very limited amounts of monthly data which you will use up quickly with streaming.

The problem you will have with a mobile connection is that most of the pre-pay deals are either time (no. of days) or data restricted. Streaming TV will probably consume somewhere in the region of 250MB per hour - or a 1/4 GByte per hour. So for a rough and ready comparison, just times the GByte data allowance quoted in the tariff information by 4 and you will get the number of hours your kids can watch TV before you have to top up. Obviously, other types of internet usage are lighter.

In the end, after messing around with PAYG for a while, we bit the bullet and went for a monthly deal with WoW Optimus (now NOS). For Eur 25 per month you get unlimited data (I think subject to a fair use clause) 4G connection:

Tarifários Internet - NOS

They also provide a Wi-Fi router that takes the sim card so you don't need a dongle.

However, I rarely get more than about 2mb/sec download speed with this despite the contract saying 20mbit/s! But I can stream Filmon for UK TV with this using either a Chromecast stick or Roku stick -see related post:

http://www.expatforum.com/expats/po...ts-living-portugal/707113-one-tv-experts.html

I am not sure if any of the other mobile providers does anything similar but will investigate when my 2 year deal comes to an end in March. I will also buy a PAYG sim to test the speed before signing up for a 2 year lock in!

Mike
 

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Looks like Vodafone do a monthly tariff called +GB which is unlimited for Eur 35 per month. Couldn't see any unlimited tariff with Meo.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thank you, our neighbours do have a standard internet connection, but we currently have no phone connected, though the cabling is there. We will look a mobile contract, it may be easier in the long term. Will also look at having phone connected, though I suspect the options will be limited, and slow as we are in a rural area.
 

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The NOS deal comes with a cheap phone and the monthly cost is reasonable.

I also went into Vodafone in Aqua Portimao about a month ago and the guy was really helpful. If you give them your post code they have an application in store which shows you where their nearest mast is and whether it's 3 or 4G. It also estimates the download speed you will get. In my case though the nearest mast is only 3G with no plans to upgrade :-(. He also confirmed the approx Eur 25 /month tariff.
 

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Just came back to the ALgarve after one month away. NOS service is dire. Can no longer get 4G - just 3G and speeds are unstable and mostly between .04-1.5Mb/s. Went into the NOS shop who said that there were too many people using it at the moment (tourists I assume she meant).

In contrast I purchased a PAYG Vodafone 4G card and although I can only get 3G at my place I'm seeing around 3.5-5Mb/s. Streamed HD on ipl;ayer and it looks great.
 

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I have the same problem. Visits to the shop and discussions with customer support confirm that the problem is the huge number of visitors from Lisboa! They all have free 4G roaming on their packages.
 

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Yes, two of my neighbours in Monchique also have the issue. I asked about cancelling the contract but you need to contect them by telephone to get an engineer down to check it out before they will let you cancel. I will soak test the Vodafone PAYG service before doing this.

If anyone wants to try Vodafone BTW they have a deal in August for a 4G sim preloaded with a 15GB credit for Eur15 valid for one month after purchase.
 

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Ok. After a call from NOS today, I have established that the process is; Make a complaint in the shop. Get a call from the commercial dept. They will refer you to the technical team. They can do remote tests and once they agree your speed in rubbish they send a report to commercial. They then phone back and you can negotiate a discount on your bill for July and August.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
We are currently in the Algarve, we brought over a TP link router, and when we got here we seemed to be getting a good MEO reception, so bought a data sim, we are getting 4G with really good speeds, able to stream live TV from film on. We got 15GB for €25, a deal currently running. The router is unlocked, so we can change next time. We have had no issues with loss of speed, we are in the hills close to Loule. All good, thanks for all the previous advice. Next investment a smart TV!
 

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That's good news em2cv. The only problem with Meo is that they don't have a pay monthly unlimited package but hopefully the 15GB should last a while. I guess it's a deal like Vodafone and only available in August?
 

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My neighbour got a eur 2 per month discount. He's spoilt for choice as to what he's going to spend it on!
As with many suppliers in the UK the magic pass phrase is 'terminate my account'. You get through to a separate department who will give you 50% off for six months.
 
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