Cheapest way to access email occasionally while in Spain

  AlecFry 16:31 30 Mar 2015

I need to access email while in Spain, which is only for 3 weeks twice annually. Nowhere else. There is no local internet cafe where I stay, but a good 4G signal. I therefore want a pay-as-you-go system, which doesn't expire and can be topped up only when I need it. I would consider a plug-in USB dongle for my netbook, or a new (but cheap) smartphone. Am I asking for the impossible, please...? Many thanks, Alec.

  alanrwood 09:20 31 Mar 2015

If you have a mobile internet dongle buy a cheap Spanish data sim on ebay and then dispose of it when you come home. Alternatively look for a local free cWi-Fi spot in a cafe or hotel etc.

  canarieslover 10:29 31 Mar 2015

Go to a McDonald's or Burger King and take advantage of their free wifi and check your email while having a coffee. Works for me when in Spain.

  AlecFry 11:49 31 Mar 2015

Many thanks for your suggestions. Sadly there's no McDonald's within an hour's drive, nor a local hotspot because it's far away from civilisation up in the mountains. A friend who also visits there occasionally, and who has permanent internet in his holiday home nearby, lets me park outside and use his service while he's away - but trying to work for any length of time with a laptop balanced in the car is hardly a comfortable long-term solution! I'll try the SIM card dongle, I think - thanks for the tip to buy a cheap Spanish data SIM card on ebay. But where can I buy an unlocked dongle?

  alanrwood 19:40 31 Mar 2015


  Batch 10:53 02 Apr 2015

Take a look at 3's PAYG offering (

It has a Feel At Home capability for a 18 countries (lucky for you, Spain was added to the list yesterday) whereby (pretty much) you can get use your UK allowances whilst in those countries.

The current UK offering is 3ppm talk, 2p text, 1ppMB data. But in the EU Feel At Home countries, the cost is the standard EU tarriff.

But you can also buy ad-hoc one month bundles with PAYG credit. £10 - All-in-one 10 (100 minutes talk, 3,000 texts, 500MB data). £15 - All-in-one 15 (300 minutes talk, 3,000 texts, unlimited data). With these, when in a Feel At Home country, for calls / texts back to the UK and also data you can use the allowance from the bundle (with one caveat - see below). Calls to the local country (e.g. to a Spanish number) are charged (e.g. at standard EU rates).

Caveat: on the £15 bundle it seems you are limited to 25GB (should be well enough for checking email).

Also worth checking out 3's coverage in the part of Spain your interested in.

  Batch 11:15 02 Apr 2015

One clarification - without a bundle, the Feel at Home data is (probably) 10ppMB. Only 'probably' as 3 haven't updated the price document yet for Spain, but 10ppMB seems to be the going rate elsewhere.

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