Choosing an Internet Service in Brazil – ADSL or ?

Having an Internet connection these days is synonymous with survival and a must rather then a luxury option.

We use the Internet for e-mails, social media, watching TV, listening to music, Skype and it’s hard to live without.

So what kind of wired Internet options are available for you in Brazil?

I will break them down for you and help you figure out which one suites you best.

But first a little disclaimer…

The stability, quality, price and customer service of Internet service providers will never match those back home.

So the best thing you can do is to throw out any comparisons and expectations based on the first world and do you best to look at Brazilian Internet as belonging in its own category.

You can expect instabilities at time, possible poor customer service, low speeds at peak times and a bit of frustration.

And I will do my best to help you eliminate as much as the above as possible!

Choosing a Home Internet Connection

The first and most important thing to define is whether you live in a small, medium or large Brazilian city.

Internet in Large to Medium Brazilian Cities



If you live in a medium to large city then getting an ok package for a decent price should not be a problem.

This is because the larger cities are wired pretty well making it pretty easy to get a fast connection.

1. TIM Live

TIM has recently begun offering a product called TIM Live, this is for people who live in São Paulo and possibly Rio de Janeiro and Brasília (I can’t confirm this as they don’t show a map, you have to look it up for yourself and see if it is available in your area.)

The story is that the company TIM bought up a whole bunch of underground fiber optics and they since have decided to offer the country’s fastest and cheapest Internet connection.

I would have to agree, 35mps for R$35 is unheard of cheap for Brazil!

Note: since this is a limited time offer, the price could have changed by the time you read this blog post.  You can see their recent prices at

2. Oi Velox

The company Oi offers Oi Velox, which is an ADSL product with several different speed options.

I get quite a few mixed reactions about Oi, some love them some hate them.

I have been a customer of OI in the past and will confirm the neutral reaction about them; they were just “ok”.  But being that this is Brazil and it is an ADSL product (goes over the phone lines), you can expect downtimes whenever a big”ish” storm hits.

So have a backup plan if that happens, like 3G internet.

Here are their plans pricing:

The prices are competitive and ok for Brazilian standards.

Make sure and ask around to find out what your neighbors are using because if you have the possibility of getting underground Internet via “fiber optics”, then you want to choose this over ADSL any day.

Internet in Small Cities



If you are living in a smaller city, then be careful with your Internet provider.

I say this because the quality of the company and connection varies a LOT from city to city.

I could tell you that Oi Velox works great for me in one city but it could be that it is terrible in another.

This is why I always recommend that you dig around a bit and find out what people are using and are happy with.

I once lived in the outskirts of a small city and signed up for a plan with Oi and after receiving the Internet connection, I realized that it was terribly slow – about 15% of what they promised.

I hastily called customer support and then had to navigate through the endless menu selections, when I finally reached someone to talk with they told me that they only guaranteed that I would receive 10% of the advertised connection speed… 10%!

So I made the decision to cancel the account and sign up for a business ADSL line at double the price.

After switching to a business line, the connection was stable and faster but still wasn’t optimal.

The moral of the story is that you should ask your neighbors right where you live what they are using, rather then browsing different plans on the Internet.

Some Important Tips

I have put together a few important tips that should help you in choosing your Internet connection.

Get a CPF number



You will need a CPF number to sign up for an Internet package, so make sure you check out my guide and get one.

See my guide on Getting a CPF Number

A little note about Internet packages

You will notice that the different Internet service providers offer several packages on their sites.

For example:

Some Internet companies will offer a package deal, where you get Internet + TV + a house telephone for R$149 (for example).

I personally never go for those packages.  This is because your TV channels will all be dubbed and I personally never use a fixed telephone.

So I generally recommend (and subscribe to my own theory) just going with a good and stable Internet connection and Netflix, lovefilm (UK) or the like.

Yes, I am aware that if you try to watch Netflix or other TV from Brazil that you will either get the Brazilian Netflix (with dubbing or no English subtitles) or be locked out.  No worries as I made a guide to show you how to get around that.

See my guide on why I use HideMyAss! For all my T.V. watching.

If you are determined to get some type of Brazilian T.V. at home, then I would recommend .  They let you switch between Portuguese and English in the Audio options so that the dubbing goes away.

What to do in case of terrible customer service

If the company you signed up for is terrible and has really let you down but aren’t willing to work with you, what are your options?

This is unfortunately quite a common experience and something that despite having improved a lot, is still quite poor in many areas.

Fortunately, the Brazilian government has set up an Agency called ANATEL who is in charge of holding Brazilian communication companies in line.

And ANATEL has been becoming more and more aggressive lately with these companies (thank goodness!) and are willing to take your case up.

Here is what you do:

  1. Call the Internet company’s help desk (or have a Brazilian friend do it).
  2. Ask for a protocol number (numero de protocol)
  3. Go to and follow the online guide to report them.

Final Words

Finding the right Internet provider can be proven to be quite a jungle with no real 1, 2, 3 solution and my hope is that this little blog post was helpful for you.

Do you have any experiences or enlightenment about Internet in Brazil that you can share about?

Please make sure that you like and share this post!

Valeu – Cheers!

Kevin

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3 Comments

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  • There's also Vivo Fibra, up to 200mbit. Available in Grande-SP and some other big cities if I'm not mistaken.

    ps. I rarely see a tv show/movie without dual-language. I have NET and they always let me switch. Megapix is one of the few channels I know of that airs movies in Portuguese.

    • 200mbit, not too shabby! Thanks for the heads up Stephan.

      It's great that we are moving towards the digital era where we can choose the audio track.

      In the older days, it was either dubbed Portuguese or dubbed portuguese….

  • i have a girlfriend in santa luzia ma brazil . the sevice is horrible at best . it is sometimes offline for days at a time . video calls you can forget it . i think the provider is oi .

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