Spain is rich in culture, history, beauty and nature. But its internet is also rich in danger — which is why you need a VPN in Spain.
It’s not immediately obvious to the average internet user, but going online in Spain means facing threats from all directions. Thankfully, a VPN can protect you from just about all of them.
Here are 10 reasons to get a VPN in Spain. Whether you’re a permanent resident or just visiting, you can never be too careful!
Top 10 Reasons Why You Need a VPN While in Spain
1. Spain Censors and Blocks Political Websites
For the most part, Spain doesn’t censor the internet, and most websites can be accessed freely. The exception is a particular subset of political websites: those pertaining to the Catalan Independence Referendum.
In 2017, the Spanish government blocked over 140 websites relating to Catalan independence. These included both official and non-official sites, effectively preventing Spanish citizens from learning anything about the issue.
Spain’s willingness to censor these sites suggests that it will do so again during times of future political dissent. Should that happen, using a VPN will be the only way to access sites that the government doesn’t approve of.
2. Doing the Wrong Thing Online Could Land You in Jail
In Spain, accessing websites that relate to terrorism or other illegal activities can result in up to a five-year prison sentence.
The problem is that the government defines “terrorism” very loosely: simply expressing that you don’t like the Spanish monarchy counts as terrorism.
The law even applies to jokes: in 2017, a 21-year-old student named Cassandra Vera tweeted several jokes about the death of a Spanish dictator in 1973. Cassandra was arrested and sentenced to one year in prison for her tweets.
So whether you’re a diehard activist or a periodic Twitter jokester, a VPN is a necessity in Spain. It encrypts your data and masks your IP address, making it much, much harder for the government to track you down.
3. Spain Is Developing a Massive Digital Surveillance System
In 2015, Spain approached several computer companies with a job offer: designing mass surveillance software for the government.
The software would be used capture massive amounts of web traffic from Spain’s citizens. Targeted data types include social media posts, forum posts, personal blogs, online videos and search engine queries.
Spain’s program bears an eerie similarity to the US’s infamous PRISM program. Ironically, at the time that PRISM became public knowledge, Spain expressed outrage at its existence — but it seems the tables have turned.
Encrypting all of your web traffic with a VPN is your best bet at avoiding this surveillance and keeping your data private.
4. Other Countries Spy on Spanish Citizens — with Spain’s Blessing
As if that weren’t enough, the NSA and its British equivalent, the GCHQ, have both been caught spying on Spanish internet users.
Additionally, Spain is a member of the so-called 14 Eyes surveillance alliance. This group of 14 countries shares digital intelligence with one another and each member assists others in spying on citizens.
Don’t let yourself get caught in the crossfire of these overreaching intelligence operations. Encrypt your web activity with a VPN to limit any government’s ability to see what you’re doing online.
5. You Can’t Stream International Content in Spain Without a VPN
Netflix, Spotify, Hulu and most other streaming sites geo-restrict their content libraries. Depending on your IP address, you’ll only be able to access certain videos and music from Spain — if you can access it at all.
But you can change your IP address to one from another country by using a VPN. Accessing international streaming content is as easy as picking a new server and clicking “connect.”
6. VPNs Protect You While Torrenting
Spain is one of the safer countries in the world to torrent from. While it’s technically illegal to download copyrighted content, Spain doesn’t generally prosecute torrenters unless they’re financially profiting from their torrenting.
That doesn’t mean you’re in the clear, though. Copyright trolls can still collect your IP address from your torrent peerlists and try to hit you with fines and civil lawsuits.
That’s why we recommend obscuring your IP address with a VPN while torrenting. Without your real IP, nobody will be able to track you down via your torrent activity.
7. You Can Unblock Websites at Work and School with a VPN
Workplace and school networks typically block so-called “unproductive” sites, including social media sites, YouTube, Netflix and online shopping sites.
However, with a VPN, you’ll no longer be subject to these restrictions. Since a VPN encrypts your traffic, the network filters won’t be able to detect that you’re trying to access blocked sites.
8. A VPN Keeps You Safe on Public WiFi
Public WiFi is everywhere these days, but its convenience comes at a cost. Hackers can spoof networks or use man-in-the-middle attacks to view and steal any data you transmit over public WiFi.
A VPN protects your identity and your private data on public WiFi. Thanks to its high-grade encryption, anything a hacker happens to nab will be utterly useless.
9. VPNs Prevent Activity-Based ISP Throttling
Ever been surfing the web at lightning speeds, but then had to wait half an hour for your Netflix video to load?
If so, you were probably having your speeds throttled by your ISP. ISPs can tell what you’re doing online, and if you’re streaming, gaming or torrenting, they may choose to limit your bandwidth, slowing your connection to a crawl.
But a VPN prevents your ISP from seeing your web activity. You’ll no longer be at risk of throttling based on what you’re doing online.
10. Web Trackers Lose Their Power when You Use a VPN
Personalized ads and trackers are annoying and inescapable. Among other things, they use your IP address to follow you around the web, logging every site you visit and every link you click.
Don’t like this invasion of privacy? Then browse with a VPN: it lets you mask your IP address and change it with a couple of clicks, taking the power away from pushy web trackers.