Apart from putting up with a huge dish on your roof and worrying whether it will still work in six months time, there are other ways to get British TV in Spain.
1. Europa networks offer ADSL packages which include 20 channels of British TV and radio to your computer and/or to a set top box if you wish. I’m investigating this option at the moment to see if it would work for us.
The important things to find out for me are; a) whether Europa complete the transfer from Telefonica (I don’t want to end up paying twice for the same thing), b) how reliable they are in the long term and c) whether I could still use my existing router which cost me a fair bit and gives excellent wifi coverage throughout the house (I don’t want to rely on some cheap give-away router that doesn’t do the job).
2. BBC iPlayer is available on the iPad. Although this is not the same as iPlayer in Britain in that you have to pay for it and it doesn’t have all the programme coverage of the UK version, it works well. Obviously, if you don’t have an iPad this is a no-no!
3. You can use BBC iPlayer and other internet TV services in the UK by subscribing to a Virtual Private Network or a proxy service. These work by directing your internet connection via a server which has a UK internet protocol address. In the case of a proxy it is your browser that is connected to the virtual IP address; a VPN directs all of your traffic through a local server.
Although there are free VPN services, they all seem to push adverts at you and can slow down your connection. A paid for service should be more reliable and will come without adverts. With either though you may find that access to secure websites like your bank account will not work. In those cases, you would have to disconnect from the VPN and use your normal connection. Even your email won’t work through the VPN server if you use an email client rather than web based email services.
If anyone has experience of Europa networks, good or bad, I would be pleased to hear their comments.