6 Best VPNs for ARTE so you can watch it anywhere

ARTE is a joint collaboration between France and Germany. Its programming has a decidedly cultural tilt, focusing on topics like language, identity, and ethnicity across Europe and surrounding regions. While it’s free to stream ARTE TV online, you must have either a French or German IP address. Some of the content is available for international audiences, but the premium segments are reserved for French and German users.

To access the full roster you’ll need to port your location to either France or Germany. That’s possible if you connect to a Virtual Private Network (VPN).

VPNs encrypt your internet connection by routing it via a server in a remote location that you pick. If you choose a server in France or Germany, your actual IP address will be flipped with one from the country you select. Plus, the encryption aspect means any potential snoopers are kept at arm’s length, unable to monitor your digital footprint.

If you want to skip to our recommendations, here are our top six VPNs for watching ARTE TV online:

  1. ExpressVPN: Our top choice to unblock ARTE. This service utilizes military-grade encryption protocols and makes use of fast speeds, superior leak protection, split tunneling, and other hardy features.
  2. NordVPN: Great budget option. Well-protected connections secured by solid encryption mean accessing ARTE TV online is a breeze.
  3. CyberGhost: One of the fastest VPNs we’ve tested and optimized for beginner users. Easy-to-use apps will get you online in a matter of minutes.
  4. IPVanish: Firm location-evading features including encryption protocols and privacy settings. Is able to flip your IP address for a new one at preset intervals. Good speeds and doesn’t store any logs.
  5. Surfshark: An unlimited number of simultaneous connections and fast speeds. A great option if you want to share a plan with friends and family.
  6. PrivateVPN: Blazing fast speeds and superior encryption. Well-regarded for its ability to unblock geo-restricted content.

How do I access ARTE TV online from outside Germany or France?

The best part of streaming content on ARTE is you don’t need to sign up with a local address or payment method. Here’s how to get started:

  1. Register for one of the VPN providers mentioned below (our recommendation is ExpressVPN).
  2. Once the payment formalities are out of the way, proceed to download and install the app directly from the provider’s site or an app marketplace.
  3. Select a server in Germany or France. If you’re unsure, be sure to check with customer support first.
  4. Connect to the VPN and wait for the notification that the encrypted tunnel is set up. Once that’s done, navigate to ARTE’s website.
  5. Congratulations! You should now be able to stream all the content you want. If it doesn’t work immediately, just clear your browser cookies, restart your device, and try again.

There are lots of VPNs to choose from, but not all are up to the task of unblocking ARTE. Our recommendations are based on the following factors:

  • Speed and stability of service along with reliable uptime
  • Ability to stream HD video with minimal buffering
  • Enough server options in Germany and France
  • Support for all the major platforms
  • Superior encryption parameters so your location is guarded
  • Allows for simultaneous connections

Best VPNs to watch ARTE TV online

Below you’ll find our list of the best VPNs on the market you can use to watch ARTE TV online. For a short overview check out the pros and cons at the end of each section:

1. ExpressVPN

Express VPNAug 2019unblocks ARTETested Aug 2019

ExpressVPN occupies our top spot to unblock ARTE. That’s due to its remarkable service quality levels, consistent customer support, fast speeds, and tough encryption.

It offers a server network of over 3,000 servers around the globe, with lots of options in both France and Germany. Other than ARTE, you can use ExpressVPN to access Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, ESPN, Adult Swim, and more.

256-bit AES encryption, also referred to as ‘military-grade’ is enabled by default. Additional security measures include DNS and IPv6 leak protection, an internet kill switch, perfect forward secrecy, and split tunneling. What’s more, it doesn’t store any logs that could potentially identify a user.

There’s support for all the major platforms, including Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, and Linux. Firmware for some wifi routers is available too. Five devices can connect at the same time with one account. Customer support is available 24/7 via live chat so you can expect quick answers to all problems.


  • Extremely fast download/streaming speeds
  • Best in class security and privacy
  • Unblocks Netflix US, UK, and others
  • Offers 24/7 live chat
  • Excellent multi-platform support


  • Slightly more expensive than some other options

BEST VPN FOR ARTE:ExpressVPN is our top pick to watch ARTE TV online due to its fast speeds, military-grade encryption, and unparalleled unblocking capabilities. Try it risk-free with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Here’s our review of ExpressVPN.

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2. NordVPN

NordVPNunblocks ARTETested Aug 2019

NordVPN deploys uncrackable encryption protocols and boosts this security offering with a rigid no-logs policy. This means your data stays within the encrypted tunnel and it’s next to impossible for any entity to eavesdrop on your online behavior.

This provider’s server network is the largest on this list — with over 5,000 servers in 60 countries including hundreds in Germany and France, you’re covered for a speedy connection to stream ARTE. It’s also proven to work with many additional streaming services such as US Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and more.

Users are granted an option to pick a server for a specific purpose, such as HD streaming, double encryption, Tor over VPN, and more. You can also check each server’s existing load and connect to a different one if you think it’s crowded.

NordVPN uses 256-bit AES encryption, an internet kill switch, and DNS, IPv6, and WebRTC leak protection to secure user traffic. Payments via Bitcoin are permitted.

Apps for Windows, MacOS, Linux, Android, and iOS are available. One account allows for six simultaneous connections and customer support is present 24/7.


  • A great low-cost alternative for streaming
  • Excellent unblocking ability
  • Top-notch security and privacy protection
  • 24/7 live chat support on offer


  • Not the most beginner-friendly apps

AFFORDABLE PROVIDER:NordVPN is fast and cheap, and appeals to power users because of its customizability. It ships with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full review of NordVPN.

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3. CyberGhost

Cyberghostunblocks ARTETested Aug 2019

CyberGhost is designed for beginner users, but that doesn’t mean it compromises on any of the facets of a modern-day provider: scoring points on both privacy and speed. At the time of writing, CyberGhost offers access to more than 3,800 servers in 60 countries including over 800 options in France and Germany. Other than ARTE, it’s proven to unblock Netflix, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer.

CyberGhost is really easy to set up and use; reliable customer support lends an additional helping hand if you run into any problems.

Speeds are very fast and HD video streaming is effortless. This service doesn’t track or store any user logs, thereby keeping your connection private at all times. Additional security features include an adblocker, anti-malware defense, and anti-tracking capabilities.

One account grants simultaneous access for seven devices. Apps are included for all the mainstream platforms such as Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android. Customer support is available 24/7.


  • Streams HD video seamlessly
  • Unblocks Netflix US, UK, and others
  • Keeps no logs
  • Some of the fastest servers we’ve tested


  • Not suitable for those that need control of advanced features

WELL-DESIGNED:CyberGhost is fast, easy to set up, and an excellent option for streaming. All plans come with a 45-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full review of CyberGhost.

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4. IPVanish

IPVanishunblocks ARTETested Aug 2019

IPVanish deploys rigid encryption to secure your connection but that doesn’t come at the cost of speed, which is consistent and enables HD streaming.

Currently, this provider gives you an option of more than 1,300 servers spread across 60 countries. Germany and France host over 60 servers, so there are plenty of ways to watch ARTE TV online, as well as other streaming sites, such as Netflix US.

IPVanish doesn’t store any data that could identify users. It personally owns and operates all the servers in its network, thereby giving it much more control over user traffic. The industry standard is to rent space in server farms or outsource management to a third party.

Apps are available for both Android and iOS, and there’s desktop software for Windows and MacOS. A single account allows for 10 simultaneous connections and customer support is accessible 24/7.


  • Operates a network of more than 1,300 servers from 75 city locations around the globe
  • Owns rather than rents its servers
  • Impressive speeds


  • Customer support is a little slow

GOOD FOR STREAMING:IPVanish will keep your internet connection private. Try it with a 7-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full review of IPVanish.

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5. Surfshark

SurfShark VPNunblocks ARTETested Aug 2019

Surfshark is relatively new but it does its job very well. Its registration in the British Virgin Islands shields it from any mandatory data logs and it follows that up with a ‘no-logs’ policy.

The service delivers fast speeds and top-tier encryption. It was easily able to unblock both US Netflix and BBC iPlayer during our extensive user tests. With lots of server options in Germany and France, unblocking ARTE won’t pose a challenge. What’s more, Surfshark provides unlimited data and bandwidth and supports torrenting too.

This service employs 256-bit AES encryption, perfect forward secrecy, an internet kill switch, and DNS leak protection to protect all user traffic.

Apps are included for Windows, MacOS, Android, and iOS. One account allows for an unlimited number of simultaneous connections, making it an excellent choice to split with friends and family. Customer support is 24/7.


  • Decent, reliable speeds
  • No limit on the number of devices connected
  • No data caps


  • The server network is smaller than most other VPNs

HARDY:Surfshark is fast and reliably unblocks lots of streaming services, plus it allows an unlimited number of connections at one time. It ships with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read our Surfshark review.

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6. PrivateVPN

PrivateVPNunblocks ARTETested Aug 2019

PrivateVPN provides a secure, encrypted connection as it’s optimized for both speed and location-evading tech.

While its server network is relatively smaller compared to the other providers on this list, the roughly 150 servers it does operate won’t disappoint. Options in Germany and France mean it’s easy to unblock ARTE. Plus, this provider can easily thwart restrictions on other streaming sites like Netflix USAmazon Prime VideoHulu, and more.

All traffic is secured with 256-bit AES encryption on the OpenVPN platform. Additional security measures include perfect forward secrecy, an internet kill switch (for Windows), and protection against DNS, WebRTC, and IPv6 leaks.

Apps are available for Android, iOS, Windows, and MacOS. A single subscription allows for six devices to connect simultaneously.


  • Gaining a reputation for unblocking popular streaming sites
  • Strong security and privacy protection features
  • Faster than many other providers


  • A small number of servers to choose from
  • Doesn’t have 24/7 live chat

MULTI-TALENTED:PrivateVPN has an excellent reputation for unblocking and streaming. All plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full review of PrivateVPN.

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Should I use a free VPN to watch ARTE TV online?

Free VPNs are available by the bucketload across the interwebs but that doesn’t make them a suitable choice to stream HD video. Such providers don’t invest in robust encryption or location evading-tech so it’s possible that ARTE’s filters will be able to detect that you’re trying to access the site from outside Germany or France and prevent you from streaming your favorite content.

What’s more, it’s more than likely that you’ll only be given the choice of a few server locations and there’s no guarantee that France or Germany will be included in the list. Even if you manage to obtain a German or French IP address, you’ll likely be subjected to bandwidth throttling, data caps, and non-existent customer service.

We understand why such services can be tempting, but the resulting headaches can be detrimental to your peace of mind. Free VPNs have been known to track user data and sell it to third-party advertisers. Some ship with pre-installed malware while others subject you to incessant pop-up advertisements just to make a quick buck or two.

If you’re trying to watch ARTE TV online from outside France or Germany, we recommend that you utilize a paid service that’s known for its ability to circumvent geo-restrictions and offers helpful customer support if you run into any issues.

What content can I stream on ARTE?

Some of the popular titles on ARTE are:

  • Concrete Feeling
  • Kosovo Youngsters
  • When Dad is Not Your Dad – Children of Sperm Banks
  • Fracking Boom in Texas
  • The Istanbul Underground
  • Beauty in a Dark Place

What else can I do with a VPN?

While VPNs are an excellent method to get around barriers on geo-restricted streaming media, they’re capable of other tasks too.

The encrypted tunnel set up by a VPN connection, as we mentioned earlier, keeps all nosy entities at bay. Since this new connection is nearly impenetrable, it’s now a hassle-free process to access public wifi networks. Said wifi networks are the ones you typically find at coffee shops, malls, and airports. Since, as the name suggests, these networks are public and accessible to all, they attract lots of would-be hackers who use things like phishing attempts and man-in-the-middle attacks to try and extract your data. Using a VPN will protect you from such attacks.

A VPN also ensures that you have a hack-proof connection when you’re trying to access online banking services. This helps quell fraud and unauthorized use of your account. Plus, when you’re traveling, if you log on from a location that’s not your home country, it could result in a compliance red flag and a temporary block of your account. A VPN will make it seem as if you never left home, negating this possibility.