If you're a British expat in Spain, then a VPN is practically an essential tool if you want to keep up to date with the world of UK entertainment.
Accessing TV shows from BBC iPlayer, Sky Go, ITV Player, BT Sport and a whole host of other UK streaming services is one of the biggest reasons why most expats in Spain want to use a VPN service. There are, however, a whole host of other good reasons too.
In this guide we've been testing a range of VPN services to find you the very best and save you time and money in your hunt for the best VPN service.
Finding a good VPN for Spain can be time-consuming process, but we've done the hard work for you. So you can select one of the below providers and be assured they're the very best for use in Spain as an expat.
How to choose an Expat ‘friendly' VPN
There are a few areas you need to consider when signing up to a VPN service for use in Spain as an expat and below I've quickly detailed the most critical.
Has a UK “Server”
Having a UK “server” is essential if you want to access content from the UK. A UK server is your connection point and allows you to pretend you're in the UK even though in reality you're in Spain.
You need a UK server to be able to watch UK TV and access other websites and services that are restricted to use from within the UK such as the National Lottery etc.
Without the VPN service having a UK server you won't be able to access any UK content, remember – it's essential!
Works with UK services
Even though many VPN providers offer UK “servers”, they don't all necessarily work with UK services.
In recent years services like BBC iPlayer have attempted to block users who make use of VPN services. Some VPN services remain blocked, so it's important to know that the VPN service you're about to pay for works with the services that you want to use.
The ones we've selected below all work with the most popular services.
Fast download speeds
Equally as important as the other features, the VPN service you use should be fast. Streaming video from the UK to Spain requires fast speeds, and without good speed, you'll be plagued with buffering issues which will ruin your enjoyment of viewing.
If you're not interested in TV services then speed is still critical because any downloading or websites you access could display slowly if you pick a lousy VPN service.
No matter which VPN service you end up selecting below they'll all be suitable for use as an expat in Spain. So pick one and sign-up, you really can't go wrong!
1. ExpressVPN – #1 for Expats in Spain
If you've tested VPN services in the past and been a little disappointed, then ExpressVPN is the best place to start. They offer a 30-day money back guarantee to allow you to test the service for a range of different reasons. If you're not happy, then you can get a refund.
With one of the biggest server selections of any VPN company, the 94 countries give you a lot of scope as an expat in Spain to access all kinds of services from all over the world.
Servers are available in Spain if you need a local connection and will give you the best possible speeds while protecting your privacy – great for use on Wi-Fi.
There's no limit on how much bandwidth you can transfer or how many times you can switch servers. With this kind of unlimited usage, it means you can connect to the VPN service and forget about it.
Our #1 Recommended VPN for Spain
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If you're looking for a quality service at an affordable price, then NordVPN ticks the box. In our latest review, we loved NordVPN and is one of the reasons they've made our guide.
The service offers excellent speeds which are especially useful for streaming TV from the UK or other countries. It's also great for other tasks like downloading or even just visiting websites.
A range of software and apps are available all which are beginner-friendly and will allow you to get connected and protected in seconds.
Connection points are available in some 60 countries with more than 5,600+ individual VPN servers. This gives you plenty of scope to connect overseas or in Spain itself.
Spain is covered with 29 servers in the country. So for all your domestic needs such as protecting your privacy at home, when using public Wi-Fi or whatever else, NordVPN has you covered.
IPVanish is without a doubt one of the fastest and most reliable VPN services I've used, making it a good choice in Spain.
They offer a completely no-log VPN service, and with strong encryption across their network, it means what you do while connected remains private. This is great to stop pesky hackers and snoopers but also prevents governments from spying on what you do online.
In recent years the service has struggled the most popular UK TV services like iPlayer and can be a bit hit and miss. If TV is your main reason for using a VPN, then sticking with ExpressVPN would be a better bet.
With 60 countries around the world available to connect to it's possible to watch content from other countries too such as the US, Australia, Canada and more.
There are two server locations in Spain in Madrid and Valencia. So if you want to protect your privacy with the best possible speeds, then these have you covered.
4. CyberGhost VPN
CyberGhost VPN is one of the most improved VPN services in recent years, offering an overall reliable VPN service with plenty of features.
If streaming TV is your main aim, then their apps even point you in the correct direction of where to connect to watch what service. All the main ones like UK Netflix, iPlayer, Sky Go, ITV and others are supported.
A standout feature is the enormous 45-day money back guarantee they offer. It's longer than any other service we've seen so if you're worried about it not working or the quality changing you've got an entire month and a half to see it in action.
Spanish VPN servers are available in both Madrid and Barcelona, so you've got plenty of options to connect whether you're in the city or on the coast.
VyprVPN is a beginner's dream. The software and apps are some of the best I've seen from a VPN service and it's the main reason why they've made this guide this year.
If you're new to VPN use, then you'll appreciate the simple layout of their clients. Pick a server, hit connect, and you can forget the VPN service is even running. They're one of the easiest to use that I've tested.
They don't offer a 3-day trial anymore which is a shame, but they have a lengthy 30-day money back guarantee. So you've got plenty of time to test it without risk.
Servers are also available in Madrid, Spain so for all your location connection needs you're well catered for. They've also massively improved for accessing UK TV services so you can keep up with all your favourite programmes.
The prices of the VyprVPN were recently restructured, and they're now cheaper than ever and offer more features than previous so it's a good time to take a look at their service.
How we ranked the VPN services
There are over 500 commercially available VPN services out there.
A quick search of Google will give you a bewildering number of choices. As they all have similar marketing spiel, it's challenging to know which to choose.
For the past six years, we've been monitoring, testing and investigating some of the most popular VPN services in the world.
From this, we've been able to whittle that vast list of providers down to just five.
We looked at areas like security and speed, but we also considered expat specific features such as being able to stream TV from the UK (or your home country).
Local VPN servers in Spain itself was another significant consideration so you can stay secure in the local cafe or protect your browsing or streaming history at home.
What about using a ‘free' VPN in Spain?
There are a few ‘free' VPN services floating about out there, and they've probably crossed your mind. After all – why pay if you can get something for free?
By all means, give a free VPN a whirl, but I can guarantee after trying it you'll be back to this guide picking a premium VPN service. For less than the price of a Cerveza per month, you get access to a reliable service.
Free VPN services are slow, which means you can forget streaming the latest Coronation Street or Question Time. They also don't work with most UK TV services so if you got to stream anything at all, even slowly – it would be a bonus.
The next negative is the privacy risk.
All of your internet data is being funnelled through the VPN service. Do you trust a random VPN service who you haven't paid to keep your information secure?
If you were thinking about it, have a look at these eight valid reasons why giving a free VPN a miss is the best thing you'll ever do.
Whether you want to watch your favourite UK TV programmes or channels in Spain, access a betting site, bingo or the National Lottery or keep your internet connection safe and secure a VPN is undoubtedly the answer.
We've picked the five VPN services above specifically for expats who are living in Spain or spending some time there.
We recommend ExpressVPN but if you've got some time to shop around then check out the other four options too.
Don't forget, if you don't like the service you signed up to they all have money back guarantee periods and you can just get a refund.
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