How to Easily Watch All of ZDF Germany from Anywhere in 2020


For the best in German television, you need full access to ZDF networks. Intense thrillers like Ruhe Sanft (“Rest in Peace”), stirring documentaries like In the Land of the Taliban, and smart political talk shows propel ZDF to the top of German TV ratings year after year.

Both live streams and catch-up viewing are available on the ZDF website – as long as you’re in Germany. A few shows are also offered in Austria and Switzerland, but the website will tell you you’re out of luck if you want to access ZDF shows anywhere else.

Whether you’re a German traveling abroad or just a fan of some of the best shows on German TV, the easiest way to bypass these geo-restrictions is to use a virtual private network (VPN).

We’ll take you through everything you need to know to watch ALL of ZDF from anyplace in the world.

How to Watch ZDF Germany: Quick Guide

  1. Pick a VPN provider that can unblock ZDF streams. (We’ve tested a bunch of them to come up with our top picks below, such as CyberGhostand ExpressVPN.)
  2. Download, install, and open the VPN app on your preferred device.
  3. Sign in and connect to a German server.
  4. Open the ZDF website,
  5. Pick a channel or show and start streaming!

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Why You Need a VPN to Watch ZDF Germany

A VPN with German server locations allows you to watch the full range of ZDF content. A few catch-up shows like Berlin und wir are available worldwide, but live channels like ZDF HD are geoblocked outside Germany.

Even Swiss and Austrian viewers can’t get access to most ZDF live streams. The youth-oriented ZDFneo can be watched in both countries, and the children’s network KiKa in Austria, but you need a German IP to unlock all the shows that have made ZDF famous.

By masking your true location and replacing it with the IP address of a server in Germany, a VPN tricks the ZDF website into letting you in as a local viewer.

As well as ZDF streams, the best VPNs will give you access to numerous blocked websites and services like German Netflix and RTL, as well as other international broadcasters like BBC iPlayer and Hulu Live TV.

Make sure to choose a VPN with ultrafast, stable connections. It won’t do you any good to access ZDF if your video streaming is ruined by lagging and buffering.

Along with the ability to unblock content, look for a VPN that will keep your online data safe. With the right security features, you’ll be able to browse without being tracked by your government or ISP, an attractive prospect in countries where privacy isn’t guaranteed.

The Best VPNs for Watching ZDF Germany from Anywhere

These VPN providers have all passed our extensive tests for security, speed, and unblocking power.

1. CyberGhost

cyberghost multiple devices

Our top pick overall for speed, reliability, and price, CyberGhost is perfect for watching German TV streams no matter where you are. CyberGhost’s network includes 448 server locations in Germany, and over 5,700 across the globe.

This VPN can be used for P2P file sharing with no issues, and dedicated servers for streaming allow you to get high-quality live video on your device without lag.

It’s easy to sign up, and installation is a breeze. You can use the same account to connect up to 7 devices simultaneously.

AES-256 encryption protects your data, backed up by additional privacy features like an automatic kill switch, DNS leak protection, and double encryption. Users agree that CyberGhost is one of the best VPNs for a wide range of online tasks.

Money-back guarantee: 45 days
Free trial: Yes, 7-day trial on Android and iOS; available trial for Windows

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2. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN devices

ExpressVPN has the quickest connection speeds of all the services we’ve tested. Despite having only 4 German servers, fewer than most VPNs on this list, this British Virgin Islands-based VPN seamlessly delivers ZDF streams in high quality.

ExpressVPN is slightly more expensive than the others on this list, but you definitely get the premium service that you pay for.

Encryption and network security are as sturdy as you would expect from a top-rated VPN, with features that include a kill switch, DNS leak protection, and double encryption. ExpressVPN also has 24/7 support via live chat with responsive, knowledgeable agents.

When you add everything up, it’s easy to see why ExpressVPN scores so highly with users aiming to stream online content.

Money-back guarantee: 30 days
Free trial: 7-day trial for iOs and Android only

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3. NordVPN


NordVPN is another ideal provider for streaming, offering great speeds and a range of security options. The network’s server count now tops 5,000, with 287 to choose from in Germany, and long-term subscriptions come at affordable prices.

For security, this Panama-based VPN is one of the best picks overall. The strict no-logging policy ensures that all your session data is swiftly deleted, and AES encryption with a 256-bit key keep it safe and secure during your session on up to 6 devices.

The user interface is simple to master – to access all of ZDF, just click on Germany on the world map. NordVPN has definitely earned its place as a top-rated VPN, ranked first for overall performance out of over 300 providers we’ve researched in depth.

Money-back guarantee: 30 days
Free trial: 3-day “all-access” trial available

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4. PrivateVPN

privatevpn devices

PrivateVPN is a smaller, budget-friendly provider that competes well with the big boys. High speeds, reliability, a lot of great extra features, and a firm commitment to online privacy have earned it one of the highest overall user scores among premium VPN services.

The Swedish VPN allows for up to 6 simultaneous connections, and keeps no user information aside from an account number. You can even pay anonymously, making PrivateVPN ideal if you want to leave no trace on the web.

The network’s high-speed German servers (two physical and one virtual) are good for streaming, and 2048-bit encryption with AES-256 will keep your data safe.

Customer support won’t be as quick to respond as with our top three, but if you’re looking for a cheaper option, PrivateVPN is well worth considering.

Money-back guarantee: 30 days
Free trial: Yes – contact support for a gift code

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5. IPVanish

ipVanish Devices

IPVanish is another great choice, with 57 server locations in Germany – more than enough to get your fix of the latest ZDF content. Features include a standard 256-bit key that keeps your data secure, a simple interface, and a network that is responsive and quick.

If privacy and anonymity are top priorities for you, you should know that this US-based provider shared data logs with the Department of Homeland Security in the past. The company has changed ownership since then, so user protection measures may have changed for the better.

If you’re not too concerned about absolute privacy and just want to catch up with great blocked German shows, however, IPVanish will serve you well. We’ve got a selection of user reviews if you’d like to find out more.

Money-back guarantee: 7-day money-back guarantee
Free trial: No

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Don’t settle for partial access to your favorite German shows, when a good VPN will put the whole ZDF family of networks at your fingertips anywhere in the world. From movies to thoughtful political discussion, you can watch it all where you want, when you want.

Take advantage of free trials and money-back guarantees to try out our recommended providers and see which one works best for you for watching ZDF. When you’re ready to subscribe, check out our hot deals page to get the best possible price on your plan.

If you’re looking to easily stream the best movies and documentaries from providers across the globe, including the UK, US, France, and Italy in addition to Germany, check out our post on the best VPNs for streaming films.

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