How to Watch All of ZDF Germany from Anywhere in 2022
For the best in German television, you need full access to ZDF networks. 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 forbid you from accessing 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 geoblocks is by using a virtual private network (VPN). ExpressVPN is your best option for doing so, but keep reading to find about four more excellent choices.
Quick Guide: How to Watch ZDF From Anywhere in 3 Easy Steps
- Subscribe to ExpressVPN.
- Download and install the app, then connect to a server in Germany.
- Visit the ZDF site, and start watching content!
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 fast, stable connections. It won’t be any fun 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.
Best VPNs for Watching ZDF Outside Germany
- 3,000 servers to choose from
- Lightning-fast server speeds
- 5 simultaneous device connections
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Works with: ZDF, Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Vudu, and more
- Compatible with:
Speed is paramount when you’re trying to watch shows on ZDF. Poor picture quality and constant buffering can ruin the whole experience. With ExpressVPN though, speed should never be a problem.
ExpressVPN has easily some of the fastest connection speeds around right now. Whether you’re near to Germany, or on the other side of the world, you’ll experience far less lag with this VPN compared to most others. Even over the longest distances we experienced a mere 66% slowdown, meaning your connection should still be easily good enough to watch ZDF in HD. Better still, finding the best server for your needs is easy thanks to the handy Smart Location tool.
There’s also plenty here to protect your privacy and overall security. ExpressVPN uses AES-256 encryption on all servers, including its German options in Frankfurt and Nuremberg. There’s also a kill-switch (which immediately cuts your connection if the VPN drops out), a whole range of protocols, private DNS, and a no-logs policy. There’s even a split tunneling tool, which lets you send certain services through the VPN (like ZDF), while allowing other sites to continue as normal.
Finally, ExpressVPN offers a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee.
- 7,680 servers
- Apps are extremely user-friendly
- 7 simultaneous device connections
- 45-day money-back guarantee
- Works with: ZDF, Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, ESPN, Disney+, and more
- Compatible with
All the VPNs on my list are user-friendly, but getting started with CyberGhost is exceptionally easy. If you’ve never used a VPN before, but are desperate to access ZDF while you’re out of Germany, this is an excellent choice. All of its apps are highly intuitive - whether you’re using a computer, mobile device, or even a games console - and finding and connecting to a server is effortless.
CyberGhost might be beginner-friendly, but there’s enough security to satisfy veteran VPN users too. From 256-bit military grade encryption, to one of the strictest no-logs policies around, both your safety and privacy are covered here. There’s also a kill switch, split tunneling, and three different VPN protocols to choose from.
Connection speeds are very fast when using servers in your own country, but do slow down significantly when using international servers. Your connection should still be quick enough to watch ZDF in comfort, but CyberGhost isn’t the quickest option for downloading torrents or playing online games.
Still, this remains an approachable and highly secure VPN which offers great value. With CyberGhost you also get an unusually long 45-day money-back guarantee.
- 29,650 servers available
- Choice of 128-bit or 256-bit encryption
- 10 simultaneous device connections
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Works with: ZDF, Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and more
- Compatible with
The more servers a VPN provider has, the better. As well as giving users more choice, it reduces the risk of any one server being slowed by traffic. In this respect, Private Internet Access is the best option on my list. There are a massive 29,650 choices available, spread across 70 countries. That includes 996 servers in Germany alone, split between Berlin and Frankfurt.
The actual speeds of those servers vary significantly. Even when using the automatic connection feature, you’ll find that alternate servers in the same country can differ by some 20 Mbps. With so many options available however, it still won’t take long to find a German server with a fast and stable enough connection to watch ZDF. There’s also full P2P support on all servers for torrenting.
As its name suggests, PIA takes your privacy very seriously. DNS leak protection, a no-logs policy, IP masking, and malware protection are all in place. You can also choose between two types of AES encryption: 128-bit for faster speeds, or 256-bit for additional safety.
Finally, you may also try out this Private Internet Access risk-free courtesy of a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Can I Use a Free VPN to Watch ZDF?
There are free VPNs out there which will unblock ZDF, and some of them are actually quite good. Using a premium VPN is a much better option, though. It will offer far more protection from snoopers and hackers, faster connection speeds, more server choices, and more reliable geoblock bypassing. Paid VPNs usually offer unlimited bandwidth too, which is not the case with free ones.
Why Am I Blocked From Watching ZDF Outside Germany?
When ZDF buys a show from a production company, it agrees to only screen that content in certain countries: Germany, and sometimes Switzerland and Austria. If ZDF detects that you are outside those countries, they must block you to protect their legal agreement. By using one of the premium VPNs on my list however, you can bypass geoblocks like these effortlessly.
Are VPNs Legal to Use?
It depends where you are. In the vast majority of places, using a VPN is perfectly legal. In certain countries, however - like Russia and Belarus - VPNs are illegal. Other nations use measures like VPN blocking to restrict their usage, like China. The situation in these places and others changes constantly, so be sure to follow all the latest updates.
What Should I Look For in A Good VPN?
A VPN’s first responsibility should be protecting your online safety and privacy. This can be done via encryption, firewalls, leak protection, ‘multi-hop’ (or ‘double protection’), anti-malware tools, and more. If watching ZDF is your priority, both connection speeds and geoblock-bypassing are crucial. The five VPNs on my list tick all these boxes in style.
Don’t settle for partial access to your favorite German shows. A good VPN will put the whole ZDF network at your fingertips, wherever you are 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 my recommended providers, and see which one works best for you. When you’re ready to subscribe, check out our hot deals page to get the best possible price on your plan.
To summarize, the bestVPNs for ZDF in 2022 are…
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