Internet in Spain

Internet in Spain
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Updated 2021-06-11 14:15

Whether for work or play or keeping in touch with friends and relatives abroad, getting online will most likely be one of your priorities once you have settled in Spain. The country boasts high-quality and fast internet services with high coverage and access to the internet via 3G and 4G networks. The new generation of mobile networking, 5G, is also available but currently only in the largest cities and with reduced coverage. Among the areas where you can access 5G are Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Seville, Malaga and Bilbao. As of 2021, approximately 96% of Spanish homes have internet access.

Numerous internet providers serve the country. Check out the various plans they offer by popping into one of their branches or visiting their websites.

Types of Internet connection in Spain

The most common types of internet connections in Spain include ADSL, WIMAX and Wi-Fi. Fibre optic connectivity is increasing all the time and is available across the country, delivering some of the fastest internet connections. However, note that whichever connection type you opt for, speeds are often slower in some rural areas than in towns and cities.

Devote time to researching internet providers for the best deals and packages. Some offer cable and broadband TV as well as special plans with unlimited phone calls to local or national landlines. Find good deals near you by typing “best internet deals in my area” into a search engine.

You will also be able to choose the type of access you want - billing according to the number of hours used, a monthly subscription with a fixed data plan or unlimited connectivity.

Digital connectivity

Digitisation is a key government priority in Spain, a lever for economic recovery and modernisation. The Spain Digital 2025 Agenda contains approximately 50 measures to promote the country's digital transformation. They include:

  • Extend ultrafast network coverage to the entire population
  • Prepare 100% of the radio spectrum for 5G by 2025
  • Guarantee 100 Mbps broadband coverage for the whole population by closing the digital gap between urban and rural areas

Getting connected in Spain

A new installation is usually not required if your Spanish home was previously connected to the internet. You simply ask to reactivate the service. Otherwise, you will need to get the internet installed. 

Once you've signed your contract, you may have to wait a week or two weeks before an engineer comes to your home, depending on the company. 

To sign up for a service, you will need to provide:

  • Your N.I.E. (Foreigners' Identity Number)
  • Your identity card or passport
  • Some providers will also want the details of your Spanish bank account if you pay by monthly direct debit

The typical length of a contract for connectivity is one year. If you cancel before it expires, you may have to pay a penalty.

Good to know:

You may have to pay installation fees at the time of registering. However, some suppliers will waive this cost during promotional periods, or they might offer you discounted monthly payments for the first couple of months.

Internet cafés in Spain

If you don't have access to a computer or the internet, you can get online at an internet café. These are dotted all over major towns and cities. There are also small shops or call centres known as locutorios, where you can access the internet and make international calls. Internet rates are approximately two euros per hour.

Good to know:

You can also get access to computers and the internet at local libraries. Take your NIE card with you to register for free.

Wi-Fi access

There are lots of free Wi-Fi spots all over the country, in coffee shops, bars, plazas, airports, shopping malls, city centres and so on. More are coming online all the time. You can search for them using Wi-Fi finder apps such as WiFi Map.

Useful links:

Movistar

Orange

Vodafone

Jazztel

Yoigo

Eurona

O2 España

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.