Roaming on your phone
With roaming on your mobile, you are in the danger zone. The costs for roaming are enormous, and so it is not advisable unless you don’t care about incurring bills in the thousands. It is wiser to purchase a sim card in Spain using a Spanish Internet provider or opt for only using your mobile at free Wi-Fi hotspots. There are plenty of web shops ‘locutorios’ in Spain that will sell you a sim card such as ones from Lebara, Jazztel or Lyca that offer competitive prepaid plans for 5, 10 or 20 Euros. Also at most of the airports and some train stations you can see a booth that sells prepaid sim cards at the arrival terminal.
Wi-Fi Hotspots in Spain
Typically these can be found in coffee shops and even at some newsstands, but you may need the password, and some hotspots may even require a credit card payment through a browser before you can gain access.
MiFi Rentals (Wi-Fi Rentals)
Some car rental companies like Hertz offer Wi-Fi rental devices at the airports of Barcelona, Madrid, Alicante, Malaga, and Seville. Just make sure you return it back to them before your departure.
Other companies like Easy MiFi will rent you out a Wi-Fi device to which you can connect multiple terminals. They even offer free delivery to your hotel (receptionist) or apartment in which you will be staying in Spain. Upon leaving all you have to do is return the device back to the hotel receptionist inside a sealed envelope and they will take off the rest for you.
For those living in Spain
How to get an internet connection at home
Nothing too complicated in getting connected, your options are much as they are anywhere else: ADSL, Cable and Fibre Optic internet. The only problem will be the time it takes to have a high-speed connection such as ADSL set up.
There is usually a signup fee (cuota de alta), which covers the installation and the device, but if you shop around you may find some special offers as competition is getting quite fierce. After the installation, there is a monthly fee which will be a basic cost around €30 to €40 per month. You can also add a Wi-Fi router.
Years ago there was only Telefonica (now known as Movistar) so the internet and phone services used to be more expensive. Nowadays that there are more phone companies that offer great bundle packages that include high-speed fibre optic line with a home telephone line and mobile service plan. Movistar offers a deal called Fusion which includes Fibre Optic internet line + home telephone line + mobile telephone line + television channels that include BBC, CNN, Canal + and much more for a special rate. Inquire with them since they keep changing their rates of offering new promotions.
Be sure that you are happy to take on a year contract as this is usual with these connections. Be sure that you can take on the contract as there are very stiff penalties for terminating your contract.
If you want to get a price comparison between the different internet rates out there, you can inquire here.
Spanish Internet Service Provider Lists
Main Broadband and Internet providers in Spain are:
If you are out in a rural area, this may be your only option. However, set-up and service costs for this connection is usually much higher than the more conventional internet set-ups, but they can be reasonably fast(around 10Mbps) but your upload speeds will be much lower, and there can be signal delays.
You will require a satellite dish, modem, and broadband router so if you are in a rented property make sure that you have your landlord’s permission to install a satellite dish. When setting up the dish make sure that it has a clear line to the south.
Set-up and monthly service costs charged by the individual provider are much higher than conventional broadband. Download speeds can be quite fast, with speeds of around 10 Mbps, but upload speeds are much slower, and there can be a delay in the signal.
As a non-Spanish citizen, you must be over 18, and you must have:
- ID Card and an NIE
- A bank card and Spanish bank account details
- A completed and signed the application form. If you request the service through the phone, a recorded conversation with the sales person and your acknowledgment of home address is enough.
While some contracts may be provided in English be aware that technical support and customer service will be in Spanish.