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How to Watch ARD Mediathek Outside Germany in 2022

ARD Mediathek has tough geoblocks and immediately detects anyone who's not in the country. So, in order to access it while I travel, I had to find a way to change my IP address to make it look like I’m still in Germany.

The best way to change your IP address and watch ARD from anywhere is with a VPN. This app conceals your real location by assigning a new IP address from a country of your choice, that makes you appear to be in a different region – such as Germany. This leads ARD into thinking you’re actually there, so you can watch all of its content from anywhere.

After testing over 30 VPNs, ExpressVPN came out on top. It impressed me because of its superfast speeds and large server network that unblocked ARD with ease. You can test ExpressVPN out risk-free. If you’re not satisfied, you have up to 30 days to claim a refund.

Start Watching ARD Today

Quick Guide: How to Watch ARD From Anywhere in 3 Easy Steps

  1. Get a VPN. I recommend ExpressVPN for its superfast speeds and large server network that allows you to bypass ARD Mediathek's geoblocks from anywhere.
  2. Connect to a server in Germany. You’ll need to connect there since ARD is only available in Germany.
  3. Start watching ARD! Head to ARD Mediathek, create an account, and you’re good to go.

Why You Need a VPN to Watch ARD

Due to licensing rights and regulations, ARD prevents people from outside of Germany accessing its content. This means that whenever you try to watch it from anywhere else, you’ll get an onscreen error. However, you can bypass this issue with a VPN.

A VPN helps get around geo-restrictions so you can watch the content you want from anywhere. It does so by swapping your actual IP address with one from a German server of your choice. This makes it seem like you’re accessing the website from inside Germany, and gives you access to normally geoblocked ARD shows.

However, not every VPN is powerful enough to get past ARD’s geo-restriction technology. To save you time, I have shortlisted the ones that reliably bypassed detection in my tests.

Try ExpressVPN Today

Best VPNs to Watch ARD From Anywhere in 2022

1.ExpressVPN — Superfast Speeds to Watch ARD Mediathek in UltraHD

  • Lightning-fast speeds
  • 3,000+ servers in 94+ countries
  • 5 simultaneous device connections
  • Can unblock: ARD, Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Vudu, and more
  • Compatible with: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, routers, Apple TV, and more
ExpressVPN Offer May 2022: For a limited time only, you can get an ExpressVPN subscription for up to 49% off! Don't miss out!

ExpressVPN’s lightning-fast speeds ensure you can enjoy your favorite ARD titles in high-quality without any buffering. I connected to servers across Germany, and my speed never dropped below 56 Mbps. Considering you only need at least 5 Mbps to stream in HD and 25 Mbps to stream in 4k, you can watch ARD Mediathek in picture-perfect quality.

A screenshot showing ExpressVPN unblocked ARD Mediathek

ExpressVPN instantly got past ARD’s geo-blocks and I didn't have to deal with lag or interruptions

I found its extensive server network very reliable for unblocking geo-restricted content. In my tests, I had no problem getting past ARD’s geo-blocks with all the servers I tried, and could easily find a new one to connect to. With such a broad selection, you’ll be unlikely to experience slow-downs due to overcrowding, and you can switch to a different server in seconds.

With its MediaStreamer feature, you can also configure it to your router so you can stream ARD Mediathek on any device you own. 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.

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

You can try ExpressVPN completely risk-free. If you don’t like it, you’ve got up to 30 days to get a refund. I’m always somewhat skeptical about refunds, so I contacted customer support to see if ExpressVPN keeps its word. The rep I spoke with wanted to know why I was leaving and, after a 5 minute chat, processed my request. I got all my money back in 5 business days.

Watch ARD With ExpressVPN

2. CyberGhost — Optimized Streaming Servers to Easily Access ARD Mediathek

  • Superfast speeds
  • 8,002+ servers in 91+ countries
  • 7 simultaneous device connections
  • Can unblock: ARD, Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Vudu, and more
  • Compatible with: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, routers, Apple TV, and more
May 2022 Deal: CyberGhost is currently offering 82% off its most popular plan! Take advantage of this offer now and save more on your CyberGhost subscription.

CyberGhost has specialized servers for unblocking and watching ARD Mediathek in HD. When I tested 10 of its servers, I watched several platforms, including ARD Mediathek, ZDF, and ProSieben, without any lag or buffering. This means that you’ll have no problems accessing ARD Mediathek and keeping up with your favorite titles from anywhere.

A screenshot showing CyberGhost is fast enough to watch ARD Mediathek in HD

Finding and connecting to a specialized server took less than 1 minute

With its fast speeds, you won’t have to deal with lag or buffering while watching live ARD content. During my tests, I had an average of 50 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 access my shows instantly.

Like ExpressVPN, CyberGhost allows you to set it up on your router and watch ARD on any WiFi-enabled device. I followed the guides on its website to set it up. It only took about 15 minutes, and I had my smart TV and PS4 connected to it in no time. 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 some money if you sign up for the longest plan. For just $2.29/month, it gives you access to all of CyberGhost’s premium features.

Try CyberGhost for free with its 45-day money-back guarantee and claim a full refund if you change your mind. After trying it for 24 days, I got in contact with one of its support agents and asked for a refund. The agent only asked a few questions about my experience with the VPN, but approved my request after a 5 minute chat. I received all my money 3 days later.

Watch ARD With CyberGhost

3. Private Internet Access — Large Server Network to Watch ARD From Anywhere

  • 29,650+ servers in 84+ countries
  • High-speed servers
  • 10 simultaneous device connections
  • Can unblock: ARD, Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Vudu, and more
  • Compatible with: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, routers, Apple TV, and more
May 2022 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!

PIA’s large server network makes it a breeze to find the best servers for watching ARD Mediathek. When I tested its German locations, I had instant access to ARD and 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. All the servers connected in less than 10 seconds, so you’ll have fast, easy access to ARD from anywhere.

A screenshot showing PIA let me watch ARD without any lag

PIA’s Berlin server connected in just a few seconds and ARD Mediathek never detected the VPN connection

Its high-speed servers ensure you can binge-watch without lag, no matter where you are. My speed never dropped below 46 Mbps, which was more than enough for watching in Ultra HD. There was no lag or buffering on any of the German servers I tested, and I watched ARD for hours without any interruptions.

One minor downside is that it operates in the US, a country with strict data sharing laws. But this shouldn’t be a cause for concern as PIA doesn’t keep any logs. So, you don’t have to worry about your information falling into the hands of 3rd parties.

The VPN is very affordable. You can sign up for as low as $2.19/month with its longest plan, which includes an extra 3 months of free access. All its plans have the same features, but the longer ones offer much better value.

Each plan comes with a money-back guarantee, so you can take it for a risk-free test drive. If you don’t like it, you can get a full refund within 30 days. To test this guarantee, I submitted my request via the live chat feature. After a 2 minute chat where I explained why I wanted to cancel, the agent approved my request. My money was refunded in full 4 days later.

Watch ARD With PIA

FAQs on Watching ARD With a VPN

Is the ARD library free?

ARD’s media library is free, but you can only access it when you're in Germany. To bypass these blocks while you travel, I recommend you use a VPN. The VPNs on my list reliably unblock ARD, so you can watch it from anywhere.

Which countries can I watch ARD from?

You can only access ARD if you're in Germany. Its strong geo-blocks prevent anyone from other countries accessing it.

However, I found a safe workaround that allows you to watch it from wherever you are. All you need is a VPN. I recommend ExpressVPN since it has superfast speeds and reliable German servers.

Can I watch ARD for free with a VPN?

Yes, technically you can watch ARD for free with a VPN. ARD offers all its content for free, but you must be in Germany to take advantage of it. To watch ARD from another country, you need a reliable VPN with fast speeds and quality German servers. These recommended VPNs come with fantastic subscription deals. Each one is backed by a risk-free money-back guarantee, so you can get a full refund if you find you don’t like it.

Try ExpressVPN Risk-Free Now

Start Watching ARD Now

The easiest and safest way to watch ARD outside Germany is with a VPN. Simply connect to a server in Germany, and you’ll be able to watch your favorite shows and movies from anywhere in the world.

My VPN of choice is ExpressVPN because it reliably gets past ARD’s geo-blocks and guarantees seamless streaming in HD. You can test ExpressVPN out completely 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 are…

9.8/10
9.8/10
9.6/10

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.

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About the Author

Lawrence is a tech writer who's passionate about cybersecurity, renewable energy, and SEO. He always talks about online privacy, loves testing VPNs, and enjoys learning new technologies.

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