The Best VPNs for Spain
Over the past few years, people have flocked to Spain, making it the second most visited country in the world. In 2018, Spain saw its best tourism season with over 83 million international visitors sampling paella and soaking up the unique culture.
Although Spain’s recent Digital Security Law gives authorities powers that could curtail freedom in cyberspace, overall, there is widespread internet access and a general lack of government censorship and surveillance.
While using a VPN in Spain may not be as crucial as it is in heavily restricted areas like North Korea, it will nonetheless enable you to leap over geographical restrictions and access the same sites you do at home. Similarly, Spanish citizens living in other countries may want a Spanish IP address so they can access local news and streaming sites like the online cinema platform, Filmin.
So, which is the best VPN for Spain and why?
If you don’t want to read the whole article, here’s our list of the best VPNs for Spain:
- ExpressVPN – Combines super speeds and superior security with cutting-edge technology and strict privacy measures
- Surfshark – Affordable plans and unlimited simultaneous connections enhanced by advanced features and dedicated activity modes
- CyberGhost – Extensive server network, preconfigured, activity-focused profiles, and competitively priced long-term plans
- ZenMate – Strong European server network, good security, fast connections, and affordable prices, marred only by its logging policy
- ProtonVPN – Everything from free VPN protection to comprehensive cybersecurity and plentiful Spanish servers.
Our pick for Best VPN For Spain: ExpressVPN
The Best VPNs for Spain
ExpressVPN’s server network is one of the most geographically diverse, covering 94 different countries and 160 locations. ExpressVPN has over 3,000 servers worldwide, including numerous ones in Barcelona, Madrid and two other locations in Spain, so users always have access to a fast and secure connection, whether it’s for streaming Spanish news from Buffalo or watching US Netflix while visiting Barcelona.
Based in the British Virgin Islands, ExpressVPN operates a strict no-logging policy and shows a greater commitment to user privacy than any of its rivals. Its zero-knowledge architecture protects your data and browsing history from everyone while keeping your original IP address under wraps.
Privacy means nothing without security and ExpressVPN’s is second to none. Using the latest 256-bit AES encryption coupled with advanced DNS leak protection, ExpressVPN keeps your data as safe as houses. ExpressVPN is as agile as it is secure and offers both the high-speed connections essential for streaming and the ability to access geo-blocked content on all the most popular streaming sites.
If you’re planning a trip to Spain and want the fastest and most secure way of exploring cyberspace, sign up with ExpressVPN today. Alternatively, find out more about this cybersecurity tool by checking out our full review here.
Surfshark is still building its server network but, since its launch a few years ago, it’s grown rapidly from around 400 servers to over 1,000 today. While Surfshark doesn’t have quite the geographical range of ExpressVPN, with servers in just 61 locations, it does have servers in Barcelona, Madrid, and Valencia that ensure nationwide coverage for all its Spanish users.
Whether Surfshark’s claims that it’s “eating other VPN deals alive” is true or not, the fact that it is an excellent budget VPN for Spain is undeniable. Not only does it offer cost-effective plans, but it also allows for unlimited simultaneous connections, which is virtually unheard of in the VPN industry.
Like ExpressVPN, Surfshark is based in the privacy-friendly British Virgin Islands where the lack of mandatory data retention laws allows VPNs to operate under a strict no-logging policy. Surfshark is a stickler for user privacy and has a multi-hop mode available for those who want to hide their activities by two secure servers, rather than just one.
While not as fast as the best VPN for Spain, Surfshark’s connections are both secure and speedy enough to allow for safe streaming and P2P traffic. It also has split-tunneling, adblocking, and a range of other advanced features available.
If you like the sound of a budget VPN that can keep you safe while in Spanish cyberspace, sign up with Surfshark here. If you’d rather find out more about this VPN’s strengths and weaknesses, however, check out our full review here.
CyberGhost is one of the most reliable and consistent names in the world of VPNs. Its enormous server network spans 111 locations in 88 countries and is made of no less than 5698 servers. While size matters, it’s not the only thing CyberGhost has going for it – it’s secure, easy to use, fast, and dependable.
While CyberGhost’s track record with logging isn’t without its black marks, since dropping its free VPN, CyberGhost no longer keeps any logs of your browsing history, connection timestamps, original IP address, or which servers you connect to. You can even pay with cryptocurrency if you want to remain completely invisible to both CyberGhost and the rest of the virtual world.
Depending on whether you want to access Spanish streaming sites from overseas, or watch BBC iPlayer while holidaying in Madrid, CyberGhost can set you in the click of a button. Streaming, P2P, and standard browsing profiles have been pre-configured so CyberGhost will connect you to the best server and use the most effective security protocols for that particular activity.
CyberGhost has a kill switch, DNS leak protection, excellent customer support, and an automatic public Wi-Fi connection feature that will keep you safe even if you forget to. Hanging in between ExpressVPN’s five simultaneous connections and Surfshark’s unlimited alternative, CyberGhost allows users to connect up to seven devices at the same time, which should be more than adequate for most.
If CyberGhost sounds like the answer to your Spanish VPN woes, sign up with this versatile VPN today and make the most of its free trial and generous 45-day money-back guarantee. Alternatively, read our full review here.
Although ZenMate has its restrictions, both in terms of its user experience and its logging policy, it still manages to sneak its way into our list of the best VPNs for Spain.
It’s important to bear in mind that ZenMate’s free browser extension is a very different beast to its paid apps, offering substandard AES 128-bit encryption and failing to support the fast and furious OpenVPN security protocol.
If you want a real live VPN from ZenMate that will protect you sufficiently in cyberspace, you need to commit to a paid subscription and download the appropriate app. Only in this way will you get the latest military-grade encryption, the best speeds, and the highest level of security.
ZenMate has over 3,600 servers in 73 so it can certainly compete with the big guns in that respect, even if it isn’t as geographically diverse. Users wanting to access US streaming sites may battle to find as fast a connection with ZenMate as they might with CyberGhost, for example, but for European sites, like BBC iPlayer or the popular German sport site, DAZN, ZenMate is a reliable choice.
Its competitive prices nevertheless make it cost-effective, so, if you’re willing to trust this German VPN with those bits of information, even though ZenMate isn’t the best VPN for Spain, it’s reliable and affordable enough to protect you in Spanish cyberspace.
If you fancy giving this VPN a test drive, sign up with ZenMate VPN here.
VPN providers that offer free protection are a dying breed, but ProtonVPN is still mustering on. Its free version may be limited to one device, three server locations, and medium speeds, it’s nevertheless better than a kick in the teeth.
For those wanting to harness the full power of ProtonVPN’s global server network and highest speeds, there are three paid plans to choose from, all of which offer P2P support, and the benefit’s of ProtonVPN’s no-logging policy. Visionary users get the additional benefits of an encrypted email service and up to 10 simultaneous connections.
Although ProtonVPN’s server network is more limited than some of the others discussed in this article, it boasts an impressive 12 servers in Spain, making it ideal for those wanting a fake Spanish IP address to stream from overseas. It also has hundreds of servers in the US so connecting to Amazon Prime or Hulu should be a breeze.
Despite its small network, ProtonVPN produces surprisingly competitive speeds, while protecting user data with the latest military-grade encryption. ProtonVPN uses only the most secure protocols of OpenVPN and IKEv2/IPsec while its no-logging policy means it won’t collect anything other than “the timestamp of the last successful login attempt”.
While ProtonVPN may have a few drawbacks when compared to feature-rich VPNs like Surfshark, what it does, it does well, and it’s certainly got enough speed and security to make it a solid alternative to the best VPN for Spain. If that appeals to you, why not sign up with ProtonVPN here? If you still need a bit more detail so you can make an informed decision, read this review before taking the plunge.
Security and Surveillance in Spanish Cyberspace
Although Spain has a good track record of respecting the importance of both online privacy and freedom of access, when it comes to tackling cybercrime, things aren’t looking quite so rosy. Back in 2018, one report revealed that Spain had a notoriously “high proportion of internet connections exposed to potential threats (76%) as well as a very middling commitment to cybersecurity legislation and initiatives”.
Spanish authorities are seeking to combat that “middling commitment” with the introduction of its National Cyber Security Strategy last year. The new strategy aims to “promote a secure and reliable cyberspace” while boosting cybersecurity for citizens and businesses alike.
The government expanded cybersecurity controls even further with the Royal Decree-Law 14/2019, also known as both the Digital Security Act and, more disparagingly, the Digital Gag Act. The European Digital Rights advocacy group, EDRi, says the new law “modifies the regulation on the internet and electronic communications in order to grant the government greater powers to control these technologies in a range of vaguely defined situations”.
Others, including Amnesty International, fear the Decree “may confer excessive powers to the Government to intervene, suspend or control electronic communication networks and services on grounds of national security, public security, and public order, without the use of mechanisms that would avoid its disproportionate application”.
While this is unlikely to affect international visitors to the country, it is indicative of a government willing to compromise privacy to maintain security and doesn’t necessarily paint a bright future for internet freedom in Spain.
Even before the introduction of the latest act, Spanish ISPs were already required to retain browsing data for 12 months, making a VPN the only way to prevent authorities tracking your digital footprint and keep cybercriminals at bay.
Spain’s Top Streaming Sites
Since Netflix finally made its way across the Mediterranean and into the Iberian peninsula, it’s secured a large proportion of Spain’s streaming traffic for itself. There are some awesome homegrown streaming sites around, if you’ve got a VPN, you can even watch Spanish-language shows from Cuba and Mexico as well as Spain.
With a secure Spanish IP address, you could enjoy any of the following Spanish streaming sites for a few cents less than you spend on a monthly US Netflix subscription and a few completely free of charge:
- Filmin – a large collection of classic and blockbuster movies from all the major international contributors
- Telecincos – a host of popular TV shows, news, and entertainment
- Sport – the best of Spanish premier league soccer and other live sports coverage
- Elmundo – the latest news and topical commentary
- PrimeroPeliculas – watch free movies and Spanish TV series in HD
- TV3 Catalan – the latest news and events from the Catalan region
Spain is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, so you’re just as likely to want to head over there as any of the other 80 million people who pour into the country every year. While you’re there, the likelihood is you’ll want to use social media to stay in touch with friends and family and access US streaming sites. There’s nothing to stop you doing that, except a very unhealthy dose of cybercrime and a few geographical restrictions. The best VPN for Spain can combat both of these issues, giving you the benefit of private and anonymous online activities.
Although there is little government interference in Spanish cyberspace currently, new laws could begin to impinge on users’ rights, making a VPN even more essential than it is already. Many of us rely on unsecured public Wi-Fi connections when we travel, leaving both ourselves and our devices vulnerable to a wide range of cyberthreats which can be beaten back with the best VPNs for Spain.
Whether you’re muddling your way through Madrid with your mom, boozing it up in Barcelona, or soaking up the culture in Valencia, any of the best VPNs for Spain can keep you safe and connected. You can’t go wrong with ExpressVPN which gives you the fastest speeds, the best security, and, ultimately, the best all-round service.