One thing that many ex pats miss about home is the TV. Spanish TV is notoriously bad, and even after the introduction of digital channels a few years back, the rubbish just seems to have multiplied. Being from the UK, I have SKY in my home as the satellite signal can reach Spain here (not the same for US channels for example). However, even then there are certain things that are broadcast or repeated online on such sites like BBC iplayer. Being in Spain, the site detects your computer's IP address, and the content is blocked. Which has been very annoying, until now.
Step up Expat Shield. I've been using this for a few months and was going to blog about it, but just never seemed to get around to it. It's a simple program which you install on your computer and it assigns a UK IP address to your browsing. You have to put up with a few banner ads, but it's definitely worth it.
Another great use it has is for watching movies online. There are many good blogs with cinema released movies which are streamed online. Some of the video hosting sites such as Megavideo and videobb annoyingly only allow you to watch 72 minutes of a movie, and then you have to wait for 30 minutes before you can re-start. There are various ways around this trick (opening various browser tabs and starting the movie at 20 minute intervals, etc.) but with expat shield, it's even easier - you can just "turn it on" and then watch the rest of the movie as the video host registers a new IP address (and you'll see all the ads turn from Spanish to English, too!). Go ahead and give it a try, I'm sure you'll be pleased!
Coming to Barcelona this month? Check out BCN Rentals apartments for a great saving on hotel rooms. And their Barcelona guide is a quick flick through the best sights, too.