watch German TV abroad

If you’re traveling abroad (outside Germany), you’ll find that some websites from home are region-locked. This is particularly common with TV platforms and streaming services. To watch German TV from the US, the UK, or anywhere else abroad, you’ll therefore need to acquire a German IP address. You can do this by connecting to a VPN.

A VPN, or Virtual Private Network, uses encryption to secure your internet traffic. This is then routed to a VPN server in the location of your choosing. What’s more, once you connect to a server you’ll receive a new IP address. This makes it look as if you’re browsing from another location, allowing you to unblock geo-restricted websites and services (such as those for watching German TV).

We’ll review each of the best VPNs for watching German TV abroad further below. However, here’s a quick summary of each in case you don’t have time to read the full article.

Best VPNs for German TV:

  1. NordVPN: The best VPN for German TV. 240 servers in Germany. Works with ProSieben and DMAX. Secure with a no-logs policy and Double VPN servers. Plans include a 30-day money-back guarantee.
  2. Surfshark: The best budget alternative. Unlimited simultaneous connections. Works with TV Now and ProSieben. Protect your privacy with a strict no-logs policy. Offers 24/7 live chat support.
  3. ExpressVPN: Fast and reliable speeds for streaming. Unblocks TV Now and Zattoo. User-friendly apps, 24/7 support, and uses encryption.
  4. CyberGhost: Over 1,000 servers in Germany for watching German TV abroad. Unblock ARD and TV Now. Very fast servers and operates a strict no-logs policy.
  5. IPVanish: Dozens of servers for streaming DMAX and 7TV. Connect all of your devices simultaneously. No-logs VPN with encryption and a kill switch feature.
  6. PrivateVPN: Very fast speeds for streaming and torrenting. Unblock Zattoo and ZDF. Easy-to-use desktop and mobile apps. Keeps your data secure with encryption.
  7. Hotspot Shield: Watch TV Now outside Germany. Consistent speeds and unlimited bandwidth for streaming. 24/7 chat support. Keeps data secure with encryption.

How to watch German TV abroad with a VPN

Not sure where to start? You might be surprised to learn that VPNs are actually very simple and easy to use. All you need to do is follow the steps below to unblock and watch German TV online from abroad:

Here’s how to watch German TV channels online from anywhere:

  1. Start by signing up with one of the VPNs reviewed below. We particularly recommend NordVPN.
  2. Next, download and install the VPN software. Be sure that you’re downloading the appropriate app for your operating system.
  3. Open the VPN app (or browser extension) and connect to a server in Germany for a German IP address.
  4. Clear your browser’s cache and cookies before refreshing your browser. This ensures that your previous IP address (and location) are forgotten.
  5. Go to a geo-blocked German website. The content should now be accessible. If not, it’s worth trying another server. Alternatively, contact your VPN’s customer support for further assistance.

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How to choose the best VPN for unblocking German TV channels

We know that a quality VPN service offers many advantages including speed, security, and strong unblocking ability. The problem is that when it comes to VPNs with servers in Germany, there’s no shortage of options. Below you’ll find the key criteria that helped us decide upon the best VPNs for watching German TV overseas:

  • Fast, consistent servers in Germany
  • Unblocks popular streaming services
  • Secures your data with high-end encryption
  • Doesn’t log personally identifiable data
  • User-friendly apps for desktop and mobile
  • Customer support via live chat and email

Best VPNs for German TV

Here’s our list of the best VPNs for watching German TV online from abroad:

1. NordVPN

NordVPN Aug 2021

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.NordVPN.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

NordVPN is our top recommendation for accessing German TV. It’s known for its particularly impressive server network which consists of nearly 6,000 high-speed servers, some 240 of which are located in Germany. Some of these servers are optimized for P2P file-sharing or you can choose an obfuscated server, which allows you to bypass strict internet restrictions. A major advantage of NordVPN is that it offers unlimited bandwidth which means you can enjoy watching DMAX and Now TV (it unblocks both) with absolutely no throttling.

When you use NordVPN, you’ll be able to secure as many as six devices at once. There’s also 24/7 live chat and email support should you have any difficulties. This VPN is headquartered in Panama and, as such, isn’t subject to any mandatory data retention laws. Regardless, it operates a strict no-logs policy. Security is further bolstered with 256-bit AES encryption, a kill switch, and DNS and IPv6 leak protection.

Connect to a server in Germany via NordVPN’s apps which are available for the following: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, and Android TV. Chrome and Firefox browser extensions are also included. Routers can be configured manually.

Pros:

  • 300 servers in Germany and 6,000 worldwide
  • Very fast speeds for seamless viewing
  • Unlimited bandwidth for streaming DMAX and Now TV
  • Includes 24/7 live chat support
  • Strong security includes encryption and a strict no-logs policy
  • Connect six devices at once via a single account

Cons:

  • Server switching can be slow at times

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

BEST VPN FOR GERMAN TV:NordVPN is our top pick. It offers 200+ servers in Germany for streaming DMAX and ProSieben. Over 5,000 servers worldwide. Unlimited bandwidth with no throttling. Offers Double VPN servers and has a strict no-logs policy. 24/7 support. A 30-day money-back guarantee makes it risk-free.

Read our full NordVPN review.

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2. Surfshark

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.Surfshark.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

Surfshark has a rapidly growing network of over 3,000 servers. This includes servers in Berlin, Frankfurt, Munich, and Nuremberg. This service is particularly suitable for streaming because it offers consistent speeds as well as unlimited bandwidth. It’s also very good at unblocking region-locked streaming services including ProSieben. Better still, Surfshark lets you connect an unlimited number of devices simultaneously.

One area in which Surfshark is particularly strong is security. You can choose to connect to a MultiHop (Double VPN) server should you want an extra layer of encryption. However, there’s also 256-bit AES encryption, a kill switch, and DNS leak protection. This VPN has a strict no-logs policy and even blocks ads, trackers, malware, and phishing attempts. You’ll also have access to live chat support which is available 24/7.

Downloading a Surfshark app lets you connect to a server in Germany. Apps are available for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, and Amazon Fire TV. There’s also Chrome and Firefox browser extensions. Manual installation is required for use with compatible routers.

Pros:

  • Servers in three German cities for streaming DMAX and ProSieben
  • Offers unlimited simultaneous connections per account
  • Keeps data secure with encryption and strict no-logs policy
  • Beginner-friendly apps and browser extensions
  • 24/7 live chat and email support

Cons:

  • Fairly small network of just over 1,000 servers
  • Connecting to nearest or fastest server isn’t always accurate

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

BEST BUDGET VPN:Surfshark offers unlimited simultaneous  connections — ideal for families. Watch DMAX, ProSieben, and Zattoo. Apps are easy to use and 24/7 support is available. Strong security with Double VPN servers. 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full Surfshark review.

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3. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.ExpressVPN.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

ExpressVPN is another solid choice for watching German TV overseas. This is thanks to the high-speed servers and consistent connections offered. Overall, this VPN’s network is made up of around 3,000 servers in 94 countries, including some in Frankfurt and Nuremberg. You’ll be able to use ExpressVPN on five devices simultaneously and as a bonus, it’s very good at unblocking geo-restricted content. Indeed, this service even unblocks DMAX, TV Now, and Zattoo.

You’ll be able to browse and stream securely with ExpressVPN as it uses 256-bit AES encryption and protects you from DNS, IPv6, and WebRTC leaks. There’s also a kill switch that cuts your internet traffic in the event that the VPN connection drops. This VPN doesn’t keep any logs by which you can be identified. It’s a very beginner-friendly service, with apps that are particularly easy to use. 24/7 live chat support is available in case of any issues.

Watch German TV abroad by connecting to ExpressVPN’s apps for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS. Chrome and Firefox browser extensions are also offered, as is custom firmware for routers.

Pros:

  • Very fast and consistent servers for streaming German TV
  • Impressive network of 3,000 servers across 94 countries
  • Unblocks TV Now, DMAX, and more
  • Highly secure with encryption
  • Doesn’t keep identifying logs of users

Cons:

  • One of the more expensive VPNs on the market

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

SOLID ALL-ROUNDER:ExpressVPN is another great choice. It has high-speed servers in Germany for lag-free streaming of TV Now. Very easy-to-use apps and browser extensions. Includes 24/7 support via live chat. Uses encryption to secure your data. Plans include a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full ExpressVPN review.

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4. CyberGhost

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.Cyberghost.com

Money-back guarantee: 45 DAYS

CyberGhost has the advantage of offering far more servers in Germany than any other VPN on this list. Some 1,000 servers are spread across the cities of Berlin, Dusseldorf, and Frankfurt, letting you stream ZDF and ARD from abroad. In total, CyberGhost has approximately 6,900 servers in 89 countries which means you can use it to unblock geo-blocked services worldwide. Users can secure up to seven devices simultaneously.

Another reason to choose CyberGhost is the high level of security it provides. Featuring 256-bit AES encryption, it ensures your data is protected from hackers and snoopers. What’s more, you can expect protection from DNS and IPv6 leaks, as well as a kill switch. CyberGhost has a strict no-logs policy and is headquartered in Romania which isn’t a member of 5 Eyes, 9 Eyes, or 14 Eyes. This means it’s under no obligation to collaborate with intelligence alliances.

Signing up with CyberGhost provides you with access to the apps for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, Amazon Fire TV, and Android. You can also download browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox. Manual installation is required for use with routers.

Pros:

  • 6,000 servers worldwide, including 700 servers in Germany
  • Very fast connections for lag-free streaming of German TV
  • Secure up to seven devices simultaneously
  • Protects your privacy with encryption and no-logs policy
  • Includes 24/7 live chat support

Cons:

  • Not so reliable in the UAE

Our score:

4 out of 5

700 SERVERS IN GERMANY:CyberGhost has 1,000 servers in Germany and fast servers for streaming DMAX and Zattoo. Secure up to seven devices simultaneously. Protects your privacy with its use of high-end encryption and strict no-logs policy. 45-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full CyberGhost review.

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5. IPVanish

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.IPVanish.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

IPVanish lets you connect any number of devices at once via a single account. As such, you can easily share it with family. When it comes to watching German TV from anywhere, IPVanish works very well. It has over 60 servers in Frankfurt plus there’s unlimited bandwidth, meaning it’s ideal for consistent, lag-free streaming. If you want to access geo-restricted services from abroad, you’ll be pleased to know that this VPN has servers in dozens of countries.

With IPVanish, you’ll have access to 24/7 live chat support. That said, you shouldn’t have many issues given that the apps are so user-friendly (there’s even an option to quickly connect to the best available server). A zero-logs policy serves to protect your identity, but there’s also 256-bit AES encryption, DNS leak protection, and a kill switch. IPVanish plans now also come with 250GB of SugarSync cloud storage.

IPVanish offers apps for the following operating systems: Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. There’s also an app for Amazon Fire TV although Linux and routers require manual setup.

Pros:

  • Good speeds for streaming German TV
  • Servers in dozens of countries for unblocking content worldwide
  • Allows any number of simultaneous connections per account
  • Live chat support is available 24/7
  • Operates a no-logs policy to protect your privacy

Cons:

  • Headquarters in the US — a member of Five Eyes alliance
  • Doesn’t offer browser extensions or an app for Linux

Our score:

3 out of 5

SECURE EVERY DEVICE:IPVanish has good speeds and dozens of servers in Frankfurt, Germany. Easy-to-use apps and works well with the likes of ARD and ZDF. Strong security offering includes high-end encryption and zero-logs policy. 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full IPVanish review.

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6. PrivateVPN

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.PrivateVPN.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

PrivateVPN has servers in Frankfurt and Nuremberg, meaning it’s perfect for streaming your favorite German TV shows abroad. Indeed, this VPN is excellent at unblocking geo-blocked services such as TV Now and DMAX. What’s more, PrivateVPN boasts far higher speeds than many of its rivals, as well as unlimited bandwidth. This means you’re unlikely to encounter irritating performance issues such as buffering or lag.

This particular VPN is recommended for beginners due to its ease of use. You can connect to a server in a single click, although if you do have any problems, you can reach support 24/7 over live chat. When it comes to your online security, PrivateVPN doesn’t take any shortcuts: there’s 256-bit AES encryption, DNS leak protection, and a kill switch built-in. Last but not least, your privacy is protected with a no-logs policy.

To use PrivateVPN, you’ll need to download one of the apps which are available for Windows, Android, Mac, iOS, and Linux. It can also be installed manually on supported routers.

Pros:

  • Very fast servers for uninterrupted streaming of TV Now
  • Easy-to-use apps for desktop and mobile platforms
  • Keeps you safe online with encryption and no-logs policy
  • Live chat support as well as remote help and installation

Cons:

  • Small network of just 150 servers
  • Limited selection of apps on offer

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

USER-FRIENDLY SERVICE:PrivateVPN has strong unblocking ability (works with DMAX and TV Now) and offers fast servers for streaming German TV. Very beginner-friendly desktop and mobile apps. Live chat support available. 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full PrivateVPN review.

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7. Hotspot Shield

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.Hotspotshield.com

Money-back guarantee: 45 DAYS

Hotspot Shield makes it easy to stream your favorite German TV shows abroad with its fast servers in Germany. In fact, this VPN service has more than 1,800 servers in 80 countries. This means that not only can you use it to watch TV Now and DMAX, you’ll also be able to unblock the likes of Amazon Prime Video and Hulu. Furthermore, with unlimited bandwidth, you’ll be able to stream and torrent without restriction.

This VPN has particularly good customer support which is available 24/7 via live chat as well as email. You’ll also be pleased to know that you can secure up to five devices at once. Hotspot Shield doesn’t keep any identifying logs of its users while 256-bit AES encryption is used to keep your data safe. There’s also protection from DNS leaks and a kill switch feature, allowing you to browse the web anonymously.

Protect your devices with the Hotspot Shield apps for Windows, Linux Mac, Android, and iOS. You can also download a browser extension for Chrome. However, the service must be manually configured for use with home routers.

Pros:

  • Large network of high-speed servers
  • Unblocks TV Now, DMAX, and more
  • Includes 24/7 live chat support
  • Uses encryption to protect your data from hackers

Cons:

  • No anonymous payment options
  • Questionable privacy record

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

LAG-FREE STREAMING:Hotspot Shield lets you stream 7TV and TV Now overseas. Offers 1,800 servers in 80 countries, including Germany. Unlimited bandwidth and 24/7 live chat support. Keeps your data secure with encryption. 45-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full Hotspot Shield review.

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Streaming German TV FAQs

Can I watch German TV abroad with a free VPN?

While you can watch some German TV with a free VPN, the fact is that they’re simply not as effective at unblocking geo-restricted websites and services. This is particularly the case with those that use anti-VPN measures such as Netflix. You’ll also find your streaming experience is frequently interrupted by lag and buffering. That’s because free VPNs have only a small number of servers. With so many users on each server, performance suffers as a result.

As if poor streaming performance wasn’t bad enough, free VPNs don’t keep you all that safe either. Some don’t even encrypt your data while others might not provide features that prevent your data from being leaked. Consider also how free VPNs make their money. This may be through the use of advertising. However, it’s also possible that your online activities are being tracked and your data then logged and sold to third parties.

What German TV can I watch online for free?

While some streaming services require a paid subscription, many are available to watch for free. Connect to a VPN server in Germany and you’ll be able to access the following:

  • 7TV
  • Zattoo
  • ProSieben
  • DMAX
  • ARD
  • ZDF
  • TV Now

What German content can I stream with a VPN?

Connect to a server in Germany and you’ll be able to unblock geo-blocked platforms and stream German TV shows on the likes of 7TV and Zattoo. Here are some examples of what you can watch online from overseas:

  • Deutschland sucht den Superstar
  • Tannbach
  • Alarm für Cobra
  • Die Geissens
  • Tatort
  • Gute Zeiten, Schlechte Zeiten
  • Ein Starkes Team
  • Germany’s Next Topmodel
  • Die Sendung mit der Maus
  • Planet Wissen

Are VPNs legal in Germany?

VPNs are completely legal in Germany, and in fact, most other parts of the world. As such, as long as you're not using these services for nefarious purposes, there's no reason you'd get into any legal trouble.

Can I watch German TV on Firestick?

If you're in Germany, there should already be a good range of streaming apps in the Amazon app store. However, one of the great things about Amazon Firesticks and Fire TVs is that you can sideload whatever you want onto them.

As such, you  should be able to install German TV apps from anywhere, assuming you can find a safe version of the .APK file. Before attempting to do this, though, we'd recommend scanning it thoroughly for malware. Additionally, as most German streaming apps are geo-blocked, you'll also need to install a VPN on your Firestick. Some providers already offer a Firestick app, but if yours doesn't, here's a one-minute guide to installing a VPN manually.