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vpnMentor was established in 2014 to review VPN services and cover privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.
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vpnMentor was established in 2014 to review VPN services and cover privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.

How to Watch ZDF Germany Online With a VPN in 2024

Lawrence Wachira Senior Writer

ZDF is my go-to Germany platform, but you can’t stream it if you’re outside German borders. The zdf.de website checks your IP address to see if you’re in Germany. If you’re not, you won’t be able to watch live TV or on-demand ZDF content.

Theoretically, you could use a VPN with German servers to watch the channel online. However, it’s not recommended as this can breach ZDF’s terms and conditions. Using a VPN in this way can also constitute copyright infringement.

A VPN can help you watch ZDF in full HD though. That’s because they encrypt everything you do online — so not even your internet service provider can see your activity. This puts an end to ISP speed throttling so you can stream ZDF in its highest quality. I tested over 40 VPNs, and ExpressVPN came out on top thanks to its fast speeds for a buffer-free experience. You can test ExpressVPN risk-free as it has a reliable 30-day refund period. Editors' Note: Expressvpn and this site are in the same ownership group.

Start Watching ZDF in HD Today

Quick Guide: How to Watch ZDF Online With a VPN in 3 Easy Steps

  1. Get a VPN. I recommend ExpressVPN because of its ultra-fast speeds, allowing you to stream ZDF in HD.
  2. Connect to a server in Germany. From Germany, connecting to a local server allows you to watch ZDF with the best speeds.
  3. Start watching ZDF. Head over to ZDF, sign in, and watch your favorite content.
My colleagues and I do not condone copyright infringement. The VPN services we recommend below have strict no-logging policies that prevent them from keeping track of (or even seeing) what you do online. This means you’re responsible for how you choose to use a VPN, so please be sure to follow all applicable rules and regulations.

Best VPNs to Watch ZDF Online in HD in 2024

1. ExpressVPN — Ultra-Fast Speeds for Watching ZDF in HD

Editors' Note: Expressvpn and this site are in the same ownership group.
  • Lightning-fast speeds
  • 3,000 servers in 105 countries
  • Native apps for Windows, Android devices, and Fire TV
  • Works with: ZDF, Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Vudu, and more
  • Compatible with: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, routers, Apple TV, and more

ExpressVPN has super-fast speeds and unlimited bandwidth so you can binge-watch ZDF. From Germany, I tested the Frankfurt and Nuremberg servers and got an average of 40Mbps. That’s only a 10% drop from my normal connection (most VPNs slow you down by 20% or more), so I watched London Boulevard and Suburra without lag. Considering you only need 5Mbps for HD streaming, this VPN is great for watching ZDF without buffering.

A screenshot showing ExpressVPN circumvented ZDF pesky geo-restrictions.My speeds were more than fast enough to watch ZDF on its highest quality setting

The large server network provides good coverage in Germany for watching ZDF while in the country. From Hamburg, I tested the ExpressVPN servers in Frankfurt and Nuremberg and they all worked with every ZDF show or movie I tried. You won’t have any problems tuning into the channel with such reliable servers.

I found ExpressVPN’s native apps for Windows, Android devices, and Fire TV straightforward to install. I spent roughly 3 minutes installing each app on my devices. I could get straight to streaming after installing them and connecting to a server in Germany. Even if you’re new to VPNs, I can guarantee you won’t need any guidance to install and use any of these apps.

My only complaint is that ExpressVPN has pricey subscription plans, starting at $6.67/month. However, I got a 49% discount when I signed up for its long-term plan, which even gave me a few months for free.

You can try ExpressVPN risk-free, and you have up to 30 days to request a refund. I tested if ExpressVPN keeps its word via the 24/7 live chat feature. The agent I got in contact with asked a few basic questions before approving my request. I saw the money in my account after 5 business days.

ExpressVPN Offer June 2024: For a limited time only, you can get an ExpressVPN subscription for up to 49% off! Don't miss out!

2. CyberGhost — Special Streaming Servers For Watching ZDF

Editors' Note: CyberGhost VPN and this site are in the same ownership group.
  • Dedicated streaming servers designed to work with ZDF specifically
  • Great speeds
  • over 900 servers in Germany
  • Works with: ZDF, Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Vudu, and more
  • Compatible with: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, routers, Apple TV, and more

CyberGhost has special streaming servers made for watching ZDF. Its support team told me that the ZDF dedicated server is regularly maintained to make sure it works with the platform. On top of that, there are plenty of regular servers in Germany as well. I tested over 15 German servers when I was in Hamburg. No matter which server I used, each worked with ZDF on the first try.

A screenshot showing CyberGhost bypassed ZDF strict geo-blocks. Once you connect to a server in Germany, streaming ZDF in HD will be fun

The VPN’s fast speeds impressed me. I could watch ZDF without any buffering, even when streaming in the platform's highest quality. I used CyberGhost’s German servers across Frankfurt, and the speed remained sufficient for streaming in 4K despite registering a 16% drop. My connection remained around 32Mbps and the Frankfurt server let me watch Westwall without any problems.

I found CyberGhost's apps to have a user-friendly interface that made it a breeze to find the best servers for streaming ZDF. I easily connected to a German server and instantly started watching my favorite comedies. You don’t need to be tech-savvy to use this VPN. Even if it’s your first time using one, I can assure you won’t have any challenges using CyberGhost’s apps regardless of the device you have.

The only thing I didn’t like about CyberGhost is its short-term subscription plan. I expected it to be cheaper and decided to take the long-term one as it was a better deal. To me, this plan was heaven-sent as it was just $2.03/month. If you’re on a tight budget, I recommend you consider this plan when signing up.

You can take CyberGhost for a test drive risk-free with a 45-day money-back guarantee. If it’s not for you, it’s easy to cancel your subscription via the live chat feature. I claimed a refund via the live chat option. The agent I got in contact with only asked a few questions and processed my request after confirming I wanted out. I received all my money back after 72 hours.

June 2024 Deal: CyberGhost is currently offering 83% off its most popular plan! Take advantage of this offer now and save more on your CyberGhost subscription.

3. Private Internet Access — A Ton of Servers in Germany to Watch ZDF

Editors' Note: Private Internet Access and this site are in the same ownership group.
  • Extensive server network
  • Unlimited simultaneous device connections
  • Rapid speeds
  • Works with: ZDF, Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Vudu, and more
  • Compatible with: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, routers, Apple TV, and more

Private Internet Access has a massive server network, including a ton of servers in Germany. That means you can always find a server for watching ZDF while in the country. During my PIA tests, all the German servers I tried worked with the platform for both live and on-demand content. I didn’t experience any downtime or loss of connection.

A screenshot showing PIA unblocking ZDFI tested multiple German servers and they were all reliable

The VPN allows unlimited simultaneous connections at once. That makes it ideal for a large household. Whenever I want to stream something different to my family, PIA comes in handy as it allows me to watch my favorite shows on one device while the others stream on theirs. For example, I streamed ZDF news on my laptop while my children watched their favorite German cartoons on their tablets. I didn’t experience any buffering problems the entire time.

The fast speeds allow you to watch ZDF in HD when connected to any German server. I took PIA for a test drive by connecting to over 20 servers during my test, and I was happy that the speed dropped only slightly. On average, the servers delivered 32Mbps on a 40Mbps normal connection. That was more than enough for watching my favorite thrillers with zero lags (you only need at least 5Mbps to stream in HD).

What I didn’t like was its somewhat advanced interface. It has many customization options that may confuse first-time users. But this shouldn’t be a problem as it comes pre-configured and is a great option for advanced users. It worked for me without any further customization.

PIA subscriptions are not too pricey, and you can save more by choosing its longest plan, which also gave me when I signed up a few months of free access. For just $2.03/month, this plan gives you enough time to unblock and watch ZDF from countries where it isn’t allowed to broadcast its content.

If you wish to test PIA risk-free with its 30-day money guarantee, I recommend signing up for the long-term plan. If you're not completely satisfied with it, you can easily claim a refund within that period. I tested this guarantee after 26 days using the live chat option to see if PIA lives up to its word. The agent asked a few questions and tried to offer a better deal but processed my request right away after confirming I wanted out. I saw the money in my account after 3 days.

June 2024 Update: PIA doesn't usually have deals or discounts (it's already so affordable), but right now you can get a new subscription for a crazy 82% off!

Editors' Note: Intego, Private Internet Access, CyberGhost and Expressvpn are owned by Kape Technologies, our parent company.

FAQ on Watching ZDF With a VPN

Can I watch ZDF outside Germany?

ZDF is blocked to viewers outside Germany. The website can tell where you are based on your IP address. It’s hypothetically possible to use a VPN to watch ZDF but this can go against the platform’s ts & cs — and even amount to copyright infringement. It’s best to use a VPN to watch ZDF in HD from within Germany instead. VPNs can get around internet connection issues like ISP speed throttling so you can stream ZDF content in its best quality.

If you try to watch ZDF but you don’t have a German IP, zdf.de will display the error message, “Aus rechtlichen Gründen kann dieser Beitrag nur in Deutschland gezeigt werden.” This means that the platform’s content can only be streamed in Germany for legal reasons.

Is the ZDF library free?

ZDF’s media library is completely free and accessible if you’re in Germany. However, you won’t be able to watch it if you’re outside of Germany. If you just want to watch all of ZDF’s free content in HD from Germany, a VPN can help.

Can I watch ZDF in the USA, Poland, and Turkey?

No, ZDF is only available in Germany. Theoretically, it’s possible to use a VPN to watch ZDF in the USA, Poland, or Turkey but it’s not recommended. It’s best to stick to using a VPN to watch ZDF in HD from within Germany. That’s because using a VPN to watch ZDF content from another country can go against the platform’s terms and conditions — or even get you in trouble for copyright infringement.

Start Watching ZDF in HD Now

Watching ZDF in HD shouldn’t be a pain anymore if you get a top-tier VPN. It will help you get past internet issues like speed throttling by encrypting your connection so your ISP can’t see that you’re streaming. Importantly, this also secures your traffic against plenty of other cyber threats like hacking or phishing.

All the VPNs in my list are up to the task, but my top pick is ExpressVPN. With its lightning speeds for streaming in HD to ultra HD, you can trust it to watch ZDF in the best quality. You can also take ExpressVPN for a test drive since it offers a generous 30-day money-back guarantee. If not completely happy, you can easily request a full refund. Customer support is available 24/7 to help with that.

To summarize, the best VPNs for watching ZDF in HD are…

Rank
Provider
Our Score
Discount
Visit Website
1
medal
9.9 /10
9.9 Our Score
Save 49%!
2
9.7 /10
9.7 Our Score
Save 83%!
3
9.5 /10
9.5 Our Score
Save 82%!

Editors' Note: Intego, Private Internet Access, CyberGhost and Expressvpn are owned by Kape Technologies, our parent company.

Privacy Alert!

Your data is exposed to the websites you visit!

Your IP Address:

Your Location:

Your Internet Provider:

The information above can be used to track you, target you for ads, and monitor what you do online.

VPNs can help you hide this information from websites so that you are protected at all times. We recommend ExpressVPN — the #1 VPN out of over 350 providers we've tested. It has military-grade encryption and privacy features that will ensure your digital security, plus — it's currently offering 49% off.

Visit ExpressVPN

We review vendors based on rigorous testing and research but also take into account your feedback and our affiliate commission with providers. Some providers are owned by our parent company.
Learn more
vpnMentor was established in 2014 to review VPN services and cover privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.

About the Author

Lawrence Wachira, a Senior Writer at vpnMentor, is passionate about making the internet safer. Lawrence writes insightful product reviews, comparison pages, and blog posts to help readers protect their online privacy and choose the best VPNs.

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