Staying connected in Tenerife

Vista de Santa Cruz de Tenerife

Tenerife is the largest and most populated of the Canary Islands. The island offers a wide range of activities, from lazing on the beach to adventure sports to nature hikes to some of it’s secluded peaks which you’ll even find snow on despite the fact that the nearby beaches are warm enough for swimming. One of the best ways to explore Tenerife is through a great walking holiday with www.headwater.com

Despite aspirations to be the NAP (Network Access Point) for global communications linking Europe, Africa and Latin America, Tenerife still hasn’t fully embraced the Internet with open arms.

Although 5 million tourists visit here annually, most businesses still don’t have websites let alone utilise social media channels such as Twitter and Facebook. In IT terms, businesses and officialdom may not have moved forward as much as some other EEC destinations but they know that Internet access can be a deal-breaker as far as attracting visitors is concerned.

However, that doesn’t mean the digital nomad who needs access to the Internet is going to struggle if they want to spend some time in Tenerife. In IT terms, businesses and officialdom may not have moved forward as much as some other EEC destinations but they know that Internet access can be a deal-breaker as far as attracting visitors is concerned. So while most guesthouses and restaurants won’t have website, they will have WIFI. Telecommunication networks are readily available across the island, if a little patchy in places.
Fanabe beach sunset 2

Subsequently, there are a number of options available for staying online while in Tenerife.

ADSL Packages

If staying in Tenerife long term, signing up for an ADSL package is the most convenient way to guarantee quick internet access whenever you want.

But it is expensive. Even the introductory monthly rates to attract new customers are much higher than average standard rates in the UK. Suppliers promise broadband speeds of anything from 3MB to 30MB at prices that range from €20 to €25 per month (these can rise after a set period so check the small print). Often the advertised connection speed is more of a ‘best case scenario’ than a reality.

Previously one telecommunications company held a monopoly on the market with all other companies just reselling their infrastructure but this is changing, and changing rapidly. Because things are changing so rapidly rather than giving you advice on the best plan or provider, it really is best if you do your own research once you get there. Ask locals and other expats who they would recommend, particularly in the area that you are living.
Tenerife

Dongle

A dongle might be the best solution for anyone planning  a short stay. Pay as you go dongles are available at mobile phone shops and at main branches of the Correos (Spanish Post Office) for about €20.

Wi-Fi Availability

Free Wi-Fi (pronounced wee-fee in Spain) is available in many bars and cafés across Tenerife, especially in resort areas, along the beach front promenades and in bigger towns. However, it’s always worth asking if it actually exists and checking whether it’s working before settling down with some churros and chocolate. A couple of beaches are Wi-Fi zones (Playa de la Arena and Playa Socorro) so you can even work and top up the tan at the same time.

Playa de las Teresitas

Many hotels, guesthouses and hostels also offer WIFI. If you are just in Tenerife on a short visit, it’s always a good idea to look for somewhere with WIFI to save you the hassle of having to go out to find somewhere to work. There’s nothing worse than wasting half your day looking for a place to work, rather than just being able to get in and do your work before sightseeing and enjoying your nomadic life.

A number of service providers, including WIFI Mundo provide Wi-Fi hotpots throughout the city with reasonable packages starting from 25 euros for 7 days access with 2 Gig of data that can be used at any of their access points through the city.

Internet Cafés

In the absence of Wi-Fi there are plenty of internet cafés. The cost of using them varies significantly, with those in tourist zones being more expensive than those in Canarian towns.

Accommodation

Tenerife has loads of rental accommodation choices. The monthly rent for a decent small apartment can be as low as €250 but around €500 is about average. If a luxury villa is preferred, there are plenty of those as well. Generally, it’s more expensive to stay in resort areas near the sea. Head inland to traditional communities for the best deals and check Spanish immobilaria websites as well as estate agent sites aimed at English speaking customers. One thing to be aware of is that many properties don’t have phone lines.

Las Caletillas Tenerife

Overall, staying connected in Tenerife is easy but knowing a bit of Spanish can help ease the process and might even keep costs down.

9 Comments

  1. Great job. enige tijd als we reizen vind ik sommige villa’s die niet over internet of Wi-fi faciliteiten of we verbreken met de mensen gemakkelijk kunnen communiceren. dankzij deze villa dienst aan te bieden u graag snel boeken. vakantie spanje appartement

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  2. I smiled when you included how to pronounce WiFi in Tenerife. 🙂 It’s a good thing that not many places have internet connection so that we can truly relax and not worry about work. 🙂 Just my opinion…

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    • By the way, isn’t it amazing to see other places because of the internet? But during travel, I don’t want my children to play with gadgets so that they can enjoy the scenery. And I hope they will enjoy their summer vacation in Manila, Philippines, even though we are not having cheap luxury holidays.

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  3. dongles are mentioned here but not portable wifi devices [sometimes called ‘mifi’] are mobile data cards for these widely available? Cost?

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    • SIM cards for “mifi” devices are the same as mobile phones and USB dongles. Some take micro-SIMS while others take full size. So the only thing you need to look out for is whether the SIM you’re buying is the right size for your device. Other than that they work in exactly the same way a mobile phone or USB dongle would.

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  4. I am looking at having a land line with wifi connection in our apartment in Los Cristianos can you let us know what offers are about please

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  5. Hi, I’m looking for the best deal for a phone line/internet/TV package at my house in Agua Garcia, I have Orange pre-pay MI-FI but it’s almost useless up here in the national park.

    I have a line to the property but it hasn’t been connected for years, I’ve had a quote from one provider today which nearly gave me a heart attack! Any advice would be much appreciated.

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  6. I wouldn’t recommend anyone go to Tenerife if they actually need to get online and get some work done.

    I’m currently trapped on the island for 3 more weeks and internet access is terrible. In a 5 star hotel, it only works ‘now and again’. In cafes, it barely works at all. And even with the Dongle I bought it’s abysmal.

    It’s my first time on Tenerife and I certainly won’t be back as it’s killing my business just being here.

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    • Hi, I was planning on going for some months to live and work online. Have you actually made some research on the areas surrounding? Where is it exactly that you are located?

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