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:
- NordVPN: Our top choice to unblock ARTE. Well-protected connections secured by solid encryption mean accessing ARTE TV online is a breeze. Offers a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Surfshark: Great budget option. An unlimited number of simultaneous connections and fast speeds. A great option if you want to share a plan with friends and family.
- ExpressVPN: This service utilizes military-grade encryption protocols and makes use of fast speeds, superior leak protection, split tunneling, and other hardy features.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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:
- Register for one of the VPN providers mentioned below (our recommendation is NordVPN).
- 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.
- Select a server in Germany or France. If you’re unsure, be sure to check with customer support first.
- 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.
- 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.
Best VPNs to watch ARTE TV online
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:
Criteria for selecting the best ARTE TV VPNs:
- 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
Later in this article, we will go into more details about how our experts test and choose VPN recommendations for services like ARTE. For now, check our list of the best VPNs to watch ARTE TV online. For a short overview, check out the pros and cons at the end of each section:
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
NordVPN deploys effectively 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.
- Faster than any other VPN we’ve tested
- Excellent unblocking ability
- Top-notch security
- Zero-logs policy
- 24/7 live chat support on offer
- Desktop apps can take a while to connect
BEST VPN FOR ARTE:NordVPN is our top pick for Arte. It’s quick, privacy-conscious, and appeals to power users because of its customizability. Best of all, it offers a 30-day money-back guarantee so you can try it risk-free.
Read our full review of NordVPN.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
Surfshark 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. This 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, Linux, 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.
- Consistently high speeds
- Great unblocking potential
- Powerful security and privacy features
- No limit on the number of devices connected
- Customer support could be improved
BEST BUDGET OPTION:Surfshark is fast, affordable, able to reliably unblock 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.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
ExpressVPN offers a 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, ESPN, Adult Swim, and more.
256-bit AES encryption (often 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
- Unblocks Netflix US, UK, and others
- Impressive security and privacy offering
- Offers 24/7 live chat
- Slightly more expensive than some other options
GOOD ALL-ROUNDER:ExpressVPN is a solid choice for watching ARTE TV online due to its fast speeds, military-grade encryption, and unparalleled unblocking capabilities. What’s more, it comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Here’s our review of ExpressVPN.
Money-back guarantee: 45 DAYS
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 6,800 servers in 89 countries including over 1,300 in France and Germany alone. Other than ARTE, it’s proven to unblock Netflix, Hulu, and ITV Hub.
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, Linux, MacOS, iOS, and Android. Customer support is available 24/7.
- Streams HD video seamlessly
- Unblocks Netflix US, UK, and others
- Keeps no logs
- Fast, reliable connections
- Less 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.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
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 any number of simultaneous connections and customer support is accessible 24/7.
- Operates a network of more than 1,300 servers from 75 locations around the globe
- Impressive speeds
- Very strong on security and privacy
- Struggles with some larger streaming services
GOOD FOR STREAMING:IPVanish is speedy, secure, and able to protect all of your devices at once. Try it with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full review of IPVanish.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
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 US, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, 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, Linux, 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.
Our methodology for recommending ARTE TV VPNs
There are tons of consumer-facing VPNs on the market, and they are mostly useless services that we wouldn’t recommend to our worst enemy! Many VPNs fail to invest in fast servers, have vulnerable or outdated apps, implement lousy data practices, and fail to unblock the content that users need. This can make choosing a VPN that isn’t a rip off tricky.
At Comparitech, our reviewers test VPNs using a carefully thought out, scientific methodology. This allows us to pinpoint the very best VPNs for gaining privacy and freedom online. Our tests check the apps for important features, and ensure that the encryption is robust. We also test for vulnerabilities such as DNS, IP, and WebRTC leaks that would betray your privacy and give you a false sense of security.
To ensure the VPN is valid for the proscribed use case, we test that the VPN can unblock ARTE TV. And to make sure the VPN is versatile, we also check that it unblocks popular services like Netflix, Disney+, iPlayer, Hulu, and HBO Max. Finally, we test the VPNs speeds to make sure it can cope with HD streams, and do other tasks such as video calling and gaming.
Below, we have included all the criteria that our experts used to pick the VPNs recommended for ARTE:
- Servers in France. We only recommend VPNs with fast French servers capable of unblocking ARTE TV and other important French services.
- A global server network. We look for VPNs that have a wide choice of servers, to let you unblock websites and bypass restrictions no matter where you go.
- Apps for all platforms. The best VPNs have apps for Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Amazon Fire devices, Smart TVs, routers and more! We always check to ensure we pick VPNs that can be used on as many devices as possible.
- Robust military grade encryption. This protects your data against interception, and ensures that what you do online remains safe against cybercriminals.
- A no logs policy. This is the best VPN policy available, and ensures that all your online habits remain completely private.
- Torrenting permitted. We choose VPNs that have servers for torrenting and that allow P2P throughout their network.
- Advanced VPN privacy features. We recommend VPNs that have a kill-switch, leak protection, obfuscation, and other advanced features (check the summaries and our VPN reviews for details).
- Fast connection speeds. To stream ARTE TV, you need a fast connection. Our recommendations have fast servers optimized for streaming.
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 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.
As we mentioned earlier, the encrypted tunnel set up by a VPN keeps all nosy entities at bay. Since this new connection is impenetrable, it’s now a hassle-free process to access public wifi networks safely. Said Wi-Fi 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 nasty tricks to try and steal 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, preventing this.
What content can I stream on ARTE?
Some of the popular titles on ARTE are:
- Concrete Feeling
- Kosovo Youngsters
- Revitalising the Earth
- Fracking Boom in Texas
- The Istanbul Underground
- Beauty in a Dark Place
Why isn't my VPN working with ARTE TV?
Streaming services know that some people use VPNs to get around regional restrictions, so they'll update their detection methods from time to time. This is why a service that works one day may simply result in an error message the next.
If you're having problems, we recommend trying a different European server or getting in touch with your VPN provider directly for more advice.