Internet Availability in Spain

For my first article I was asked to write more a “what is available” rather than a “how to” regarding the Internet in Spain, as a sort of icebreaker to this new column. TRADER 45




When we first move to Spain, its was for the better climate and lifestyle; however, when it comes to setting those simple things in life up, that we used to take for granted back in the UK, the good old fashion telephone and our new best friend the Internet.  Many obstacles are put in our way, and 90% of us end up with massive mobile telephone bills every month and NO home Internet access.

However technology has given us a few options. If you are desperate for communications, and are without the use of a standard telephone line to connect to the Internet, there are 3 main choices, GPRS via a mobile, Satellite or WiFi, with many variations on the themes
           
GPRS: This is a connection made via a mobile telephone, and is available through most of the mobile operators (Telefonica, Vodafone,  Amena).  Most of these operators can supply you with a fixed radiotelephone setup with GPRS Internet link, which has more power than the normal handheld mobile telephone.

The usage of this type of system tends to be very expensive, and extremely slow, if you only want to send a few emails, and maybe look at a few pages of information on the Web once in a while then it’s acceptable.

SATELITE:  Initial setup and running costs can be quite costly, with initial equipment costs and installation in the region of €1000 and minimum monthly costs of around €100, However if you have several friends close by that also require connection most companies will link everyone up to the satellite system using wireless technology (WiFi) thus splitting the costs.

The speeds available for this type of network are very good, with upload (sending email / pictures) and download being very consistent.

Though not directly connected with speed, latency of a network plays a big part in the overall experience of using the internet, latency is the time it takes a piece of information to travel from you computer to its destination, with a satellite system it has to travel 23,000 miles up to the satellite and then a further 23,000 miles back down to the main internet backbone, and then back again with the requested data.

Although not that important for normal web browsing, email or file transfer, the impact is more with the newer application like using Voice over IP, which is a way to talk to your friends via the internet or make a telephone call from your computer to a telephone landline.  The delay is similar to that of an on location television news report when the 2 presenters are talking to each other.

Now to confuse matters even more, be aware that some Internet satellite systems require you to have some sort of modem connection (telephone landline) and an account with an Internet Service Provider (ISP). So do your research prior to parting with your cash.

WiFi: is the fastest growing segment of the Internet industry and there are already millions of people using Wi-Fi enabled computers and devices.  WiFi refers to technology that enables two or more computers to communicate with each other or the Internet (biggest group of computers). 

Many Internet companies have realized there is a great-untapped market with demand increasing daily from inland rural locations. Spain especially is embracing this technology; with the only restrictions to where the network can reach is, power and antenna location.

This is by far the best option, and can be compared to an ADSL/Cable broadband connection in the UK. Perfect for all applications including Voice and Online Gaming. Initial setup and running costs are also comparable to a broadband connection starting at around €200 for the equipment and installation, with monthly recurring charges in the region of €35.

Anyone that needs more in-depth information or details of companies that can provide the various services mentioned above, send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or telephone 660565738 / 965482238 and ask for Darren.

In the next issue we will cover Internet telephony in more detail, and who we recommend to use to help save you hundreds on your telephone bills.

Over the coming months we would also like to hear from you with computer or Internet problems that you would like us to help you with.



Additional information