There are various reasons you may want to arm yourself with a VPN connection in Sweden, such as to keep your internet activity private, safely torrent files, or watch a localized version of Netflix. Whatever the reason might be, it’s clear that using a VPN has sufficient advantages in the privacy minefield that comprises the internet today. As such, this article will discuss the reasons why residents of Sweden or those visiting the country should opt for a VPN, and the most ideal ones for this purpose.
Sweden is one of the most beautiful countries in Europe that has flocks of tourists visiting it every year. The country is also well connected; about 94% of Swedish population uses the internet. It is a place where there is very little internet censorship and a very relaxed copyright laws. This is one of the reasons why you see a lot of VPN providers with servers located in Sweden and many Swedish based VPN services.
The main reason for many VPN services to make Sweden their home base is because they do not have to keep and maintain the user logs or abide by the stringent EU data regulations and rules. Over the years Sweden has gotten strong criticism for its very lenient internet policies and now more government regulations and surveillance systems are being but in place.
More and more governments impose total online censorship in order to preserve social values of the country or political regime. Though not so extreme, sometimes access to some services is banned in Sweden as well. The Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), which was established after WWI, has become the agency, which watches every online act you in the country. With a VPN you can access any blocked content on the internet.
What Makes The Internet Dangerous In Sweden?
All of your internet traffic passes through your ISP’s servers. As such, it’s easy for your ISP to see what you are doing. It can also divert your traffic, block it, log it, or even notify the authorities. A program processes each piece of data that passes through the ISP computer. Small changes in the data processing software can create monitoring opportunities. The ISP uses keywords in its monitoring programs to fish out specific data from your connections.
Every piece of information that traverses the internet has a header at the front. The header and payload structure form the “packet.” The header contains the packet’s source and destination addresses. This information instantly gives the ISP control over what happens to the packet. More sophisticated programs can look inside packets to read their contents. This inspection doesn’t slow down the packet’s journey and is almost undetectable.
The information an ISP gathers doesn’t always stay with them. A court order can force an ISP to hand over all the information they have on you, including your address. Police or the secret service can request that an ISP monitor your traffic to collect data. Court orders can also prevent ISPs from telling the targets of investigations what information they have handed over. Thus, the police can gather data to make a case against you without you knowing.
According to the latest available reports, internet in Sweden is stated to be almost absolutely free. Moreover, the country has gained the best rating for freedom, civil liberties and political rights among more than 200 countries.
However, Sweden faces the same difficulties with hacker attacks and malware as any other highly-developed country with fast internet speeds and all the up-to-date novelties of high-tech life. Thus, as well as other European countries, there were still some cases of the WannaCry ransomware attack in Sweden. Although the number of infected in Sweden was much lower than say in Russia or China, such infections can disrupt very important systems, like healthcare.
Additionally, Sweden is part of the Fourteen Eyes countries. This select group of countries was formed as part the UKUSA Agreement dedicated to collecting, analyzing and sharing data between allies.
Protecting Your Swedish Internet Traffic
After having decided to make your internet connection hidden from all the government surveillance agencies, you should subscribe for the best VPN for Sweden. But when do you need a VPN for Sweden exactly? Here are a few living examples:
- Of course, you should provide your network with top-notch antivirus protection, which is to be timely updated and reloaded if needed. However, the antivirus system is not the only thing you need to make for staying defended. Unfortunately, even if running a strong anti-virus system your IP address and traffic can be easily viewed, or even intercepted. So, if you want to avoid any spying on you, you need a reliable VPN for Sweden.
- Having travelled to Sweden and settled into a hotel, you may face some difficulties with the default internet language and geo-restricted web-resources. To connect to the internet as if you were at home, you’ll need to apply use VPN for your network.
- Using popular applications to exchange messages, photos, videos and make calls, leaves you open be attacked as well. It is well-known, that many organizations prefer communicating via apps like Telegram, Skype, WhatsApp and others. On the one hand, it is very handy, but on the hand hackers may steal confidential information and sell it rivals. VPNs serve to protect Swedish companies against such attacks. On the off chance fraudsters managed to steal something, they will not be able to use the data as it will be reliably encrypted.
- Having taken a cup of coffee in your favorite coffee shop, you have decided to top up your phone over the Wi-Fi. At this very moment a computer fraudster has already detected your connected device and stolen your credit card information. While paying via internet services, you need to be protected as well. Computer fraudsters target your credentials in unprotected traffic to steal your money, not from your pocket but directly from your account. Using a VPN in Sweden helps to prevent such troubles with theft.
Now that you can see the benefits of using a VPN in Sweden, here’s a guide to help you select the best one to use.
BEST VPNs For Sweden
ExpressVPN tops our list as the best VPN for Sweden due to several factors. It’s one of the hardiest VPN providers out there, incorporating military-grade encryption standards, while maintaining fast speeds, and a truly global network.
At the time of writing, this provider offers more than 1,500 servers to choose from, including options in Sweden. It’s based in the British Virgin Islands and isn’t subject to state-mandated data retention laws. ExpressVPN reliably unblocks a variety of geo-restricted streaming media services, including US Netflix, HBO, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and BBC iPlayer. If you’re stuck on a technical issue, its live chat service provides instantaneous support.
ExpressVPN is designed to keep your internet activity safe and secure. It uses 256-bit AES encryption; that’s considered to be an industry-leading standard, also referred to as ‘military-grade.’ There’s an in-built internet kill switch, along with DNS leak protection, so you always remain secure within the encrypted tunnel. This provider has a policy of not storing any detailed user logs, including IP addresses. It offers slick, easy-to-use apps for Android and iOS, as well as modern, intuitive desktop versions for Windows and MacOS. A single subscription allows for three simultaneous connections.
PrivateVPN is actually headquartered in Sweden. It’s a fairly new entrant to the VPN landscape but it punches above its weight with fast, robust speeds and the ability to unblock geo-restricted content. Some of the sites it manages to access are Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, HBO, and Amazon Prime Video.
At the moment, PrivateVPN’s server offering is relatively tiny with a little over 80 servers in 56 locations. Two of these are located in Sweden. But the provider performed admirably in our user review when judged from a speed and encryption standpoint; this makes it a good choice for the entire gamut of web activity.
Strong security and privacy features are embedded into PrivateVPN’s product. Users can choose between 128 and 256-bit encryption and are also offered perfect forward secrecy, an internet kill switch, and DNS leak protection. A basic plan allows for five devices to connect simultaneously.
Romania-headquartered CyberGhost has been through some management shuffles over the past year. But that’s only helped its cause, and the service is now significantly souped-up. The number of servers has risen exponentially from just a few dozen to almost 2,500. They’re housed in 60 countries, including Sweden which hosts 50.
CyberGhost can help you pick a server to unblock a specific streaming service, including US Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and Amazon Prime Video. Just select Unblock Streaming mode within the VPN client.
This provider takes security and privacy very seriously; 256-bit encryption, perfect forward secrecy, an internet kill switch, and DNS leak protection are all included. Again, the enhancements in system architecture have come after robust investments in the core offering. It’s likely that CyberGhost’s product will become even more advanced in the near future.
The fact that it’s headquartered in Romania means it’s not required to store any user data. It backs that up with an internal policy of not logging any IP addresses or other data points that could identify web activity. Additional security features include an ad blocker, and anti-malware defense.
You can access the service on Android, iOS, Windows, or MacOS. At the moment, a single subscription allows for seven devices to connect concurrently. This is an increase from its earlier policy of five and is valid at the time of writing.
Although Sweden is among the countries with the lowest censorship levels, nobody can be 100% assured in their privacy and security while networking. The current market of services is full of such technical applications for protection such as proxy servers, anonymizers, onion routers, but none of them can give privacy, security and anonymity all-in-one which makes a VPN your best shot at achieving all this level of protection.