spain.pngHello, this is StuFF mc from Alarm. Ortwin invited me to write about my experience getting 3G internet access in Spain. I recently spent a few days in the original village of my mum, and so, as any “professional geek” like me, I needed to be sure I had an Internet connection.

I recommend using Vodafone. Actually, I tried Movistar (by market leading Telefónica) first – they offer a €10, 100 MB for 30 days prepaid tariff (translated) – but my experience with Movistar/Telefónica was not ideal, to say the least. Internet access was blocked on my SIM card and it took 5 (!) calls to their hotline until they finally found that out – even though the SMS message said I was good to go.

vodafone.pngSo I went to a Vodafone store. Vodafone offers a prepaid Internet tariff for €3.50 per week. Traffic is unlimited but you’ll be throttled to 128 kbps after 20 MB/day. First, I had to buy a SIM card (XS8 pack) for €9 which basically gives you credit for 2 weeks of Internet usage (that would be €7). The SIM card also has voice calling enabled with 8 cents per minute/SMS.

However, there’s one major catch: You have to activate the Internet option first by texting TPTarjeta to 22521. If you forget this, you’ll surf at a ridiculously expensive tariff. I actually sent the activation SMS but never received a confirmation message ruining my €9 credit in only half a day… (and don’t even try to get a reimbursement for that!). So my advice is to let the sales rep activate the Internet option for you right at the shop.

For larger downloads or if you’re mainly staying at a single place, it makes sense to resort to a café or pub with Wi-Fi which is very common in Spain. Usually you’ll get the (static) Wi-Fi password at your first order and are able to use it later on if you walk by again 😉

Update: Florian Albrecht wrote about his experience with the carrier Yoigo. A bit more expensive but more inclusive traffic.

All articles how to get 3G data access internationally


  • StuFF mc

    wrote on September 6, 2011 at 5:16pm

    Note that instead of using something like a Huawei modem you can also use any webOS phone. I have a Pre Plus, a Pre 2 and a Veer, and they all work perfectly as a modem. Most carrier will tell you those tariff are “only for mobile phone, not for computer”, but they just can’t tell you’re not surfing from your phone. If your Contract allows it you can also do the same with your iPhone, but mine doesn’t, since I still rely on an first generation T-Mobile contract.

  • Rachel

    wrote on April 11, 2012 at 10:37pm

    Internet in Spain is ridiculously expensive and the tariffs are a rip-off. I travel all over the world and Spain has the slowest internet and the most expensive. And don’t go with Movistar. What an expensive nightmare that is.

Comments are closed.

Subscribe to the FutureTap Newsletter

View previous newsletters

We will use your name and email address to provide news and offers about our apps. We will treat your information with respect. By clicking below, you agree that we may process your information in accordance with our privacy policy.