Sweden’s Gone Global
These days, Swedish television is more than just a national pastime—it’s a worldwide sensation. Encompassing dark psychological thrillers and hard-hitting police procedurals, the Nordic noir genre has risen to fame over the past few years, with viewers all over the world tuning into shows like Modus, Lilyhammer, and The Bridge. Of course, noir isn’t all Swedish television has to offer. For native Swedes, some of the most popular shows include dramas like Bonus Family, celebrity gameshows like På Spåret, and Melodifestivalen—the music competition that chooses Sweden’s entry for the Eurovision Song Contest.
Unfortunately, while some Swedish thrillers and procedurals are available on international viewing platforms (such as Netflix), the majority of them aren’t exported outside of Sweden. Swedish dramas, comedies, and news programmes are even harder to find on global viewing platforms. So, what can you do?
How to watch Swedish TV shows outside Sweden
While international platforms are lacking Swedish content, many Swedish websites allow you to watch your favorite shows online, either live or on demand.
SVT Play is one of the most popular examples. It includes content from multiple Swedish channels, including SVT1, SVT2, SVT24, Barnkanalen, and Kunskapskanalen. You can watch SVT Play online or via one of their mobile apps for free. Other popular Swedish TV websites include TV4 Play, DPlay, TV3 Sverige, ViaPlay and C-More, as well as popular paid services with Netflix Sweden and HBO Sweden.
However, if you’ve ever tried to visit one of these websites, you’ve probably noticed that you can’t access any of the shows outside Sweden by default.
Thankfully, that doesn’t mean there’s no way for expats and international Sweden enthusiasts to get their TV fix. There is a simple solution, but first, you need to understand the problem: geo-blocking.
What is geo-blocking?
The reason you get an error message every time you try to access a Swedish TV website is that these platforms use geo-blocking measures. Geo-blocking restricts access for people in foreign countries, ensuring only people living in Sweden can access the viewing libraries on these websites. It may seem like a harsh and unnecessary move at first, but it’s actually a legal issue. Swedish TV channels only have licenses to air their shows in Sweden, so they don’t have the rights to let you watch them online if you’re not in the country.
Luckily, there is a way around geo-blocking that’s simple and affordable—using a VPN.
What is a VPN, and why do you need one?
Simply put, a VPN (virtual private network) is a service that reroutes your internet connection to another location. VPNs are essential for watching Swedish TV channels online because Swedish television websites look at your IP address to see where you’re currently located. If your IP isn’t a Swedish one, the geo-blocking measures will kick in and block your access to the show library.
Using a VPN masks your IP address and tricks the website into thinking you’re in Sweden, allowing you to watch your favorite shows to your heart’s content. Better yet, VPNs also protect your identity online, allowing you to browse and view content anonymously without being tracked. These days, there are thousands of VPN providers available to choose from, but some are much better for watching Swedish TV than others.
Which VPN is the best?
When it comes to finding the right VPN to get your Swedish TV fix, the first thing you need to look for is a VPN service that has servers in Sweden. Alongside Swedish servers, the two most important features are superfast connection speeds and unlimited bandwidth. A speedy connection ensures you can watch videos without buffering and lagging, while unlimited bandwidth is essential if you want to binge-watch tons of shows every month. Finally, for your privacy and security, you’ll also want a VPN with strong encryption measures as well as features like a no-logs policy, leak protection, and a “kill switch” that keeps you anonymous even if your VPN connection drops.
If you’re new to VPNs or you just need some assistance in finding the right one, we’ve put together a list of the top 3 VPNs for watching Swedish TV.
Out of all the VPNs we looked at, NordVPN came out as the top choice for watching Swedish TV abroad. NordVPN has over 150 servers in Sweden, each one with lightning-fast speeds that are perfect for watching lag-free TV. To make your experience even smoother, NordVPN’s SmartPlay Technology eliminates video buffering, so you’ll never have to deal with an interruption right in the middle of a show. On top of that, NordVPN gives you unlimited bandwidth, plus extra security thanks to their Double VPN feature which encrypts data twice.
Read our full overview of NordVPN
Another one among the best choices is ExpressVPN. With their super fast connection speeds, you’ll have no problem watching your favorite shows in HD. In fact, their users recommend it for video and audio streaming specifically. It also features military-grade encryption, and they have a helpful, friendly customer service team available to answer your questions 24/7.
Read our full ExpressVPN review
If you’re a newcomer to VPNs, you might want to try CyberGhost. This VPN service has one of the most straightforward, easy-to-use interfaces on the market, so even a complete newbie will have no problem getting to grips with it. This VPN service has 50 optimized servers in Sweden and offers unlimited bandwidth. They also take security seriously with a no logs policy and a kill switch feature.
Read our full CyberGhost review
So, now you know how to watch Swedish TV without heading to Sweden in person. Whether you choose one of the VPNs listed above or another provider of your choice, you’ll find that watching Swedish TV online becomes as easy as pie. All you need to do is sign up for a subscription with your chosen VPN provider, connect to one of their servers, then head to any Swedish TV website. You’ll quickly find that all those geo-blocking error messages have disappeared, allowing you to watch whatever you want, whenever you want. And, as long as you have unlimited bandwidth and a high-speed connection, it will feel just like you’re sitting in front of a TV in Sverige.