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Portable Wifi / internet / dongle from Spain?

Pierre Julian

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances, Ingles, VdP, San Salvador, Aragonese & Northern. Sections of Portuguese & Mozarabic.
Hello, I need to get some reliable internet so I can speak to family at home regularly and bits of work.
Is it possible to get portable wifi in Spain? Where from? What's it called? In England they call it a dongle (I think). Something that I can connect my phone to easily. Many thanks for an info anyone could tell me please.
 
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Hello, I need to get some reliable internet so I can speak to family at home regularly and bits of work.
Is it possible to get portable wifi in Spain? Where from? What's it called? In England they call it a dongle (I think). Something that I can connect my phone to easily. Many thanks for an info anyone could tell me please.
In most of albergues in Spain, you will find Wifi. In some bars, too.
 
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Hello, I need to get some reliable internet so I can speak to family at home regularly and bits of work.
Is it possible to get portable wifi in Spain? Where from? What's it called? In England they call it a dongle (I think). Something that I can connect my phone to easily. Many thanks for an info anyone could tell me please.
Does your phone deal include roaming/data in EU countries.
 
Also if you go into any mobile phone store, they can sell you one of these and a sim card to go with it. What I don't know is if this is also available with a pay-as-you-go plan. I know they sell them with the contracts.
 
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Should work with a prepaid SIM. It only uses data.

Personally, I'd grab a local SIM and use your phone. Then hotspot to allow your laptop access. That's how I do it. I went with Vodafone and got 100gb data for 15 euros/month.
 
I just use an esim data plan (Nomad works for me), Google Fi and Whatsapp for phoning, and hotspot to my tablet if I can't find a signal elsewhere. Never been an issue.
 
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Using a mobile WiFi router or the like is certainly one way of achieving what you say you want to do. But like @Robo and @Dennis Pack, I would suggest that there are other, potentially less expensive, approaches.

I do use one of these here in Australia for places where WiFi internet access isn't available and where there is no or poor data service from my telco. Not everywhere here has good 4G coverage, and in some places the only mobile coverage is provided by another telco. So having a pre-paid data service using a portable router is a good option.

But that isn't the circumstance you will find in Spain and Portugal. I have walked there several times since 2016, and I don't ever recall anywhere where I couldn't get WiFi where I was eating or staying the night, and if I needed it while I was walking, it was available on my mobile on the data plan I was using.
 
Hello Pierre ,
I see you are based in the U K so please look at 1p mobile sim cards .
I have used 1p mobile for about 2 years now both on the caminos in Spain , whilst travelling in Eastern Europe and of course in the U K and it works perfectly .The cost is 1p per call minute , 1p per text and 1p per MB of data both in the uk and Europe .
The cost is only £10 every 4 months so well worth a look at their website .

Regards....John
 
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Maybe just put a Spanish SIM card in your phone?
Use that, or use it as a hot spot for another device.
Yes, that's a good option I'll explore, I was wondering about that. Many thanks
 
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Hello Pierre ,
I see you are based in the U K so please look at 1p mobile sim cards .
I have used 1p mobile for about 2 years now both on the caminos in Spain , whilst travelling in Eastern Europe and of course in the U K and it works perfectly .The cost is 1p per call minute , 1p per text and 1p per MB of data both in the uk and Europe .
The cost is only £10 every 4 months so well worth a look at their website .

Regards....John
Oh thanks very much, another good idea, I'd never heard of that one. I'm reading about it now (I actually find the bold text much easier to read!)
 
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This article might be useful to those for whom it is as easy as abc. Good luck!
It is in the business section of the Irish Times today. It is not restricted to Ireland. I copy amd paste articles because there can/might/will be a firewall preventing some people from accessing it via internet.

Get on board with eSims, the future for mobile phones​


This is the year I discovered mobile phone eSims for travel, and maybe you should too. Mobile roaming is now an EU-mandated, no-additional-cost “roam like at home” feature when Irish people travel to another EU country. Post-Brexit, Irish providers generally still offer free mobile roaming in the UK too. However, data is usually capped in both cases.
Travelling elsewhere for work or pleasure can still bring alarming roaming bills on return. Or, it can create occasional headaches for people like me, on a very low cost Sim-only plan which doesn’t offer roaming for non-EU destinations like the US. In the past, I’ve muddled along using wifi for FaceTime, Skype or Signal for free or low-cost calls when in the US (you can also use free options like WhatsApp or Messenger), using wifi networks at airports, hotels, or someone’s home.
Last month I was heading for my mother’s home state of Wisconsin for a big family celebration and for a couple of days prior, I’d planned a little road trip on my own. First, I’d be driving north from Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport to just north of Milwaukee to the historic town of Cedarburg (built largely by Irish and German immigrants in the 19th century along what is referred to as a “creek” with atypical American understatement; it’s the width of the river Liffey).
Then, I was heading west across a rural, forested part of the state to the tiny town of Spring Green, where legendary architect and Wisconsin native Frank Lloyd Wright grew up and later built his huge home, Taliesin, nestled into the crest of a hill. Though constructed in the early-1900s, the home remains astonishingly modern to 21st century eyes in a comfortably human way and speaks to many current values in its incorporation of nature and light, earth tones, landscape and art.
I wanted the ease of a data connection to drive with Apple or Google maps to this unfamiliar area across routes so rural and still-wild that at one point, I came across a bald eagle feasting on roadkill. Happily, I’d stumbled across eSim data plans online. Most modern smartphones have eSims built in, a small bit of code that can be utilised to supply mobile services.
Download an app
There’s nothing physical to install. You simply download an app from one of numerous providers (third party, or big operators like T-Mobile), then buy and download the desired eSim package. Follow the provider’s instructions to install and activate it in the mobile data settings on your handset, either just before departure or on arrival (you’ll need a wifi connection, so you can do this in the airport on landing). Most eSim plans are data-only, though you can also get plans that give you a local number. Or, if your home mobile contract has roaming, you can activate the eSim for data and use your Irish physical Sim and number for calls and texts. Your handset settings enable you to manage both simultaneously (who knew? Not me). I used the provider Airolo.com, which supplies eSim packages for just about everywhere, and went for the entry-level US option, 1GB of data for seven days, costing $4.50 (opting for higher-data or longer plans lowers the per-GB cost). Over my six-day visit, I used about 1.5GB, requiring an easy, seamless top-up to my existing eSim plan, so I didn’t need to do any additional installations. After a week, the eSim uninstalls itself. Compared to the costs incurred for data roaming on my old mobile account bills, this was a pittance and the service was easy to buy and use, although I had to do a little fiddling to make sure I got a signal on arrival, not surprising as I hadn’t a clue what I was doing. But Airolo provides simple instructions, helpful videos and support. The minor downside was, on a data plan, I could only receive texts from those using iPhones.
Handy for EU travel
I’ll definitely be using good-value eSims again for my travels, and they could be handy for EU travel too, given those data caps. Intrigued? An online search will yield eSim provider comparison sites to find options that might work best for you.The obvious next question is, why don’t we just use eSims generally now instead of physical Sims, given eSims are built in to most smartphones? In Ireland, the answer is mixed. Vodafone is the only operator currently offering eSims as an option. You can even use both at the same time, and have two different numbers based on one handset, useful for those with a separate business number. Eligible Vodafone customers can request a domestic eSim using their My Vodafone online account.
 
Get a spanish phone number with Airalo. eSim, so no physical SIM card. Easy to use app to add more funds if needed.

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