It used to take 3-4 weeks to get internet and TV in Barcelona, but things have improved and the process is now much quicker. Movistar will connect your internet within a couple of days. I’ve included TV in this section because most internet providers include TV deals with their internet packages and it’s a great way to get UK and US channels, especially if you have fibre optic.
Internet, ADSL and Fibre Optic
Most providers, and certainly the big companies here, only install fibre optic internet now, unless it’s really not possible because of the infrastructure. Most parts of Barcelona city have fibre optic available. If you take out a contract your installation is free. The biggest providers are Movistar and Vodafone, both offer internet and TV in Barcelona
Many of the providers insist you have a NIE before they will give you a service – including Vodafone. However, Movistar don’t require that you have an NIE to connect a landline and fibre optic internet. They do ask for a NIE for a package which includes a contract with your mobile though. But this means you can get online fast, even if you don’t already have your NIE.
Adamo is a relatively new supplier of internet in Barcelona. They don’t yet cover the whole city, however, you live in Poblenou, Diagonal Mar, Port Olimpic and the Sant Martí areas then you will be able to contract internet with Adamo. Personally, I can’t wait until they reach Sant Gervasi because they offer fast fibre optic internet for a very good price.
You can also get packs from Adamo which include your landline and mobile calls. Installation included. Their website can be switched into English.
I have used Movistar (formerly Telefonica) in the past for my phone and, at that time, ADSL and they gave a good service. They are not the cheapest but give a fast installation time and offer good TV channels if that’s an important part of what you’re looking for.
Back in August 2005 my internet connection took over a month to be connected, but a few years ago I had an fibre optic connection within a few days from Movistar and it was 100Mb.
Movistar have English speakers so if you don’t speak Spanish this is a huge help.
Vodafone also provide fibre optic internet with good prices on combined deals: fibre optic internet and TV, landline and mobile. They have different online and shop based deals, and their contract terms can vary from 3 months to 18 months. Vodafone are currently my service provider and I have a package including a mobile phone, fibre optic internet and a landline.
I don’t have any experience of Jazztel (part of Movistar), but they offer very competitive prices. At the moment they have good offers if you change from your existing provider and sign up with them. The offers include internet, a router, free installation and fee calls to landlines and mobiles during the day.
Pepephone are offering some interesting deals for internet, and for mobile phone deals which include plenty of data. You can order internet on its own (no need to contract a mobile) and choose your internet speed.
Orange offer very good prices for their packages, but I had a very bad experience with Orange several years ago, so I prefer not to use them. I’ve also heard that their customer service is bad from other people.
After initially starting my internet contract with Orange, I cancelled it because of problems and delays in getting connected. Their offer of mobile internet pay-as-you-go whilst I was waiting for the internet connection never materialised. When I eventually cancelled because of a long delay, Orange blocked the line for 15 days.
My problems with Orange happened several years ago, so maybe things have improved. However, the other service providers equal them on prices now, so I prefer not to risk it.
Mobile Internet in Spain
wifivox offer mobile internet in Spain. This service is ideal for visits to Barcelona or is a good solution while waiting for internet to be connected to your new home.
You are supplied with a wi-fi device that can be delivered to wherever you’re staying or collected from a pickup point. You pay for the data coverage that you need, and when you leave Barcelona or no longer need the device you return it or post it back.
My Expat Network
Once you have your internet connection set up, you can use a great service called MyExpatNetwork to connect to either UK, American, Australian or Canadian television. This allows you to watch TV on your computer or tablet. The UK service is £5 per month for a UK IP address and the US service costs $5 per month. Moreover, you can pay yearly to get a cheaper price.
The IP is activated as and when you need it, so doesn’t run all the time. The application works on both PC and Mac, as well as tablets and mobiles. Using My Expat Network also encrypts your browser.
UK service: www.my-expat-network.co.uk
US service: www.my-expat-network.com
Hide My Ass
Hide My Ass is another service which lets you watch country restricted TV channels. Again you get an IP number for your internet connection. It works across all devices, so you can use it on your mobile, iPad and laptop.
The best thing about Hide My Ass is that they have one subscription which grants you access to all countries. They also encrypt your internet access so your browsing is secure and private. There are three payment methods: monthly, 6 monthly and 12 months. At the moment the cost for monthly payments is $11.52.
Free Wi-Fi Access in Barcelona Libraries
The libraries in Barcelona provide free wireless internet access to library members. It’s relatively easy to join your nearest library, so it’s worth doing, even if it’s just a backup plan for when your internet access at home goes down (it happens).
To join the library you need to show your passport and give your name, address, phone number and email address. You will then be issued with a library card. I’ve used my local library in Gràcia and connected easily to their wi-fi network.
Once you have joined your local library you have access to all libraries in Barcelona.
Co-working Office Space
This is big in Barcelona now with several companies offering work space with internet and facilities. From hot desking – renting a desk space – from a hour to several days, to renting an office for a half day or on a more permanent basis.
It’s a great solution if you work from home but prefer some days with more people around you. It’s also great for those days when you’ve moved into your new flat and you’re still waiting for that internet connection to happen.
A search for “co-working Barcelona” will show you several options. I’m going to mention Coco Coffice here, as I know they’re good.