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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 ARD Mediathek Live Online in 2024

Doris Muthuri Updated on 23rd February 2024 Senior Writer

ARD Mediathek has broadcasting restrictions that prevent people outside of Germany from viewing its exclusive content. When you open ARD, it scans your IP address to determine your location.

You can hypothetically watch ARD Live from anywhere by using a VPN to get a German IP address, but you’d be breaking copyright laws doing that. However, if you’re in Germany, a VPN is still a good idea to stream securely without worrying about buffering.

After testing 50+ VPNs, ExpressVPN came out on top for watching ARD Mediathek online from Germany. It impressed me because of its fast speeds and extensive server network, with several server locations in Germany. You can try ExpressVPN risk-free. You have up to 30 days to claim a refund if unsatisfied. Editors' Note: Expressvpn and this site are in the same ownership group.

Watch ARD Live in HD >>

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

  1. Download a VPN. I recommend ExpressVPN because of its lightning-fast servers in Germany (and worldwide), allowing you to watch ARD Mediathek without interruptions.
  2. If you’re in Germany, connect to a nearby server. Servers near you reduce the physical distance your data has to travel, resulting in faster load times and no buffering.
  3. Start watching ARD Mediathek. Get your popcorn, open ARD Mediathek, and watch your favorite shows and programs.
Important. The team at vpnMentor stands resolutely against copyright infringement of any kind. The VPN services featured below are committed to strict no-logging practices, so nothing you do online while connected to a VPN can be linked back to you. It is your responsibility to comply with all relevant streaming regulations and guidelines when using a VPN.

Best VPNs to Watch Mediathek ARD Live Online in 2024

I have shortlisted the best VPNs that work reliably with ARD Mediathek.

Plus, they're compatible with most devices and operating systems and offer multiple simultaneous device connections. They also come with trustworthy money-back guarantees, so you can try them out with peace of mind.

1.ExpressVPN — Outstanding Speeds to Watch ARD Mediathek Live in UltraHD

Editors' Note: Expressvpn and this site are in the same ownership group.
  • The fastest VPN I tested for streaming ARD Mediathek without buffering
  • 3,000+ servers in 105 countries, including Frankfurt and Nuremberg
  • 8 simultaneous device connections to watch German content on all your devices
  • Works with: ARD Mediathek, Netflix Germany, ZDF, RTL+, Norddeutscher Rundfunk, Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk, and more
  • Compatible with: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, routers, Apple TV, and more

ExpressVPN's impressive speeds ensure you can enjoy your favorite ARD tiles in high-quality without buffering. I connected to several German servers from Frankfurt, and my speeds never dropped below 46Mbps. Considering you only need at least 5 Mbps to stream in HD and 25 Mbps in 4k, you can watch ARD Mediathek live in picture-perfect quality.

The VPN gives you multiple German servers to pick from, including ones located in Frankfurt and Nuremberg. With such a broad selection, you’ll unlikely experience slow-downs due to overcrowding, and you can switch to a different server in seconds. I tested various servers in Frankfurt and Nuremberg from Germany and comfortably streamed several episodes of Die Kanzlei without issues.

With its custom router firmware, you can stream ARD Mediathek on any WiFi-connected device. I set it up on my PlayStation and smart TV in around 15 minutes by following the extensive guides on its website. The process wasn't complicated, so you should be able to watch ARD Mediathek on any of your devices.

It also uses top-tier security features to protect you while streaming ARD online. For instance, it uses AES 256-bit encryption and advanced protocols (like OpenVPN), which makes it nearly impossible for even the most sophisticated hacker to unscramble and read your data.

The only downside of this VPN is that its plans are slightly expensive, starting at $6.67/month. While it is pricey, ExpressVPN usually offers excellent discounts and sometimes even months of service for free. I got 3 free months when I signed up for a long-term plan, along with a 49% discount.

What ultimately sold me about this VPN was that it also comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee to try it without risk. I tested its refund policy by canceling my subscription via the 24/7 live chat support. The whole process was straightforward. My request was instantly approved, and I received the money in my bank account 3 days later.

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 — Optimized Streaming Servers to Easily Stream ARD Mediathek From Germany

Editors' Note: CyberGhost VPN and this site are in the same ownership group.
  • Fast connections to watch ARD live uninterrupted
  • 11,690 servers in 100 countries, many optimized for German streaming platforms
  • Watch ARD on up to 7 devices simultaneously
  • Works with: ARD Mediathek, Netflix Germany, ZDF, RTL+, Norddeutscher Rundfunk, Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk, and more
  • Compatible with: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, routers, Apple TV, and more

CyberGhost has servers optimized for ARD, so can reliably stream it from Germany. With these servers, it took just a few seconds to load ARD and start watching my favorite shows from Frankfurt. It also has specialized servers for other popular German streaming services such as RTL+ (TV NOW), ZDF, DAZN DE, Zattoo DE, and Amazon Prime DE. When I tested ARD Mediathek from Germany, I could easily watch several You Shall Not Lie episodes. Click "For Streaming" and type "ARD" into the search bar to find the servers optimized for ARD.

A screenshot showing CyberGhost's German streaming-optimized servers on its Windows app

You can add your preferred server to “favorite” by clicking the star iconWith its fast speeds, you won’t have to deal with lag or buffering while watching live ARD content. I ran a speed test on several of its German servers (Berlin, Dusseldorf, and Frankfurt) from Germany and averaged 45 Mbps which is more than enough for streaming in HD and even 4k. Each server I tested connected in under 10 seconds, so I could load my shows instantly.

I was also impressed by how seamless and uncomplicated the user interface is. Like ExpressVPN, CyberGhost allows you to set it up on your router and watch ARD on any WiFi-enabled device. This means that you’ll be able to keep up with the latest ARD news directly on the big screen.

My one complaint with this VPN is its pricey short-term subscription options. However, you can save money if you sign up for the longest plan. For just $2.03/month, it gives you access to all of CyberGhost’s premium features.

You can try CyberGhost free for 45 days using its money-back guarantee to claim a full refund if you change your mind. After trying it for a couple of weeks, I contacted one of its agents via 24/7 support and asked for a refund. The agent only asked a few questions about my experience with the VPN but approved my request after a 2 minute's chat. I received all my money in my PayPal account in 5 days

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 — Many Servers in Germany to Reliably Watch ARD

Editors' Note: Private Internet Access and this site are in the same ownership group.
  • 29,650 servers in 91 countries, including Frankfurt and Berlin
  • Good speeds for streaming ARD without delays
  • Watch ARD on all your devices with up to Unlimited simultaneous connections
  • Works with: ARD Mediathek, Netflix Germany, ZDF, RTL+, Norddeutscher Rundfunk, Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk, and more
  • Compatible with: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, routers, Apple TV, and more

PIA’s large server network makes it a breeze to find the best servers for watching ARD Mediathek. When I tested its German locations from Frankfurt, I enjoyed the best shows with steady connections. If the server you’re connected to malfunctions, you’ll be able to quickly find another one and resume where you left off. During my tests of the Frankfurt and Berlin servers from Germany, they all connected in less than 5 seconds.

The servers' high speeds guarantee smooth streaming. My connection speed consistently stayed above 43 Mbps, ample for Ultra HD viewing. I experienced neither lag nor buffering on any of the German servers I tried within the country, allowing me to enjoy hours of uninterrupted viewing on ARD.

One minor downside is that apps could be more beginner-friendly because of its many customization options. However, it comes pre-configured, so you can watch ARD live without changing settings.

The VPN is very affordable. With its long-term plan, you can sign up for as low as $2.03/month. All its subscriptions have the same features, but the longer ones offer much better value.

Each plan has a money-back guarantee, so you can try PIA risk-free. You can get a full refund within 30 days if you don't like it. I submitted my request via the 24/7 live chat feature to test this guarantee. After explaining why I wanted to cancel, the agent approved my request. My money was refunded to my credit card that same week.

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.

Tips on Choosing the Best VPNs to Live Stream ARD

Using the specified criteria to evaluate VPNs for watching ARD Mediathek from Germany, every VPN mentioned embodies these critical characteristics. Nonetheless, if you wish to undertake your own investigation, consider this as a useful reference.

  • Servers in Germany — You need a VPN with servers in the country, otherwise you won’t be able to watch ARD Mediathek securely from Germany.
  • Fast speeds — Typically, a VPN slows down your internet speeds due to traffic being sent through a server further away from your actual location. But with the best VPNs, like those on my list, you won't notice the difference and can stream ARD live uninterrupted.
  • Easy to use — Choose a VPN with an intuitive interface to watch your favorite ARD content from Germany without problems.
  • Trustworthy money-back guarantee — Ideally, a VPN will offer you a refund period to get your money back should you not like it.

Where Can I Watch ARD Mediathek?

ARD Mediathek is only available in Germany. If you try to view it outside the country, you get the error message below, which translates to “Unfortunately, this video cannot be played. We ask for your understanding. Important: Content with geoblocking can only be accessed from Germany.”

Screenshot of ARD's error message when trying to view its content outside of Germany.You can’t watch ARD from abroad

Note: You could hypothetically use a VPN to watch ARD Mediathek from anywhere, but you’d be breaking the platform’s T&Cs and could get in trouble for copyright violation. We do not support this.

FAQs on Watching ARD Mediathek With a VPN

Which countries can I watch ARD from?

Due to copyright laws and geo-restrictions, ARD is only available in Germany. Even when watching ARD from Germany, consider using a robust VPN to stream safely and protect yourself from snoops, hackers, and other online threats.

Can I watch ARD for free with a VPN?

Yes, ARD is not a subscription service — it’s a free-to-air public broadcasting platform, but you must be in Germany to take advantage of it. However, note that free services can sometimes be hubs for hackers, so it’s advisable to use a premium VPN like ExpressVPN to keep your data safe when streaming on ARD.

On which devices can I watch ARD?

You can watch ARD Mediathek live on most modern devices, including computers, smartphones, tablets, smart TVs, and Amazon Fire Stick. However, the content library is geo-restricted to Germany. A VPN can help you access ARD on the most popular operating systems if you're abroad.

Can I use a free VPN to watch ARD

Probably not, as free VPNs limit server networks and speed, so you'll upgrade to their paid plan. So, you'll unlikely find a free VPN with servers in Germany. A premium VPN with a money-back guarantee is a better alternative.

What can I watch on ARD Mediathek?

ARD Mediathek broadcasts live sports and news and host a mix of series, documentaries, children’s programming, and more. However, note that you can only watch ARD if you’re in Germany. Here are some of the most popular od-demand shows on the platform:

  • Die Baumhaus Könige
  • Beforeigners
  • Tsatsiki
  • Gut Zu wissen
  • Liebenslieder
  • Hanne
  • Stephen Hawking — Genie der Physik

Can I watch the FIFA World Cup on ARD?

Yes, ARD will stream World Cup 2022 for free. But due to broadcasting restrictions, you need a German IP address. To watch the FIFA World Cup live on ARD, from Germany, use a premium VPN. This way your data is protected without resulting in buffering.

Start Watching ARD Live Now

Unfortunately, you can only watch shows on ARD if you’re in Germany. While it’s theoretically possible to get a German IP using a VPN and watch ARD from abroad, this goes against the platform’s regulations and copyright. However, you can still use a VPN to encrypt your connection and ensure your online safety while streaming from Germany.

I recommend using ExpressVPN to securely stream ARD from Germany because it has fast speeds for seamless streaming in UHD. You can try ExpressVPN risk-free as it's backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee — if you change your mind, you can easily get a full refund.

To summarize, the best VPNs for watching ARD live 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%!
Privacy Alert!

Your data is exposed to the websites you visit!

Your IP Address:

Your Location:

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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

Doris is a tech writer and a cybersecurity researcher for vpnMentor. She is enthusiastic about educating people about their rights to online freedom and provides actionable ways to protect their data.

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