Online streaming is definitely one of the most widespread activities in recent times. Since the rise of Netflix, Hulu, the BBC iPlayer, Pop Corn Time, Amazon Prime Video, and other similar platforms, people from all over the world have had no shortage of options to catch up with their favorite TV series or to spend a couple of hours watching an excellent movie.
In addition to the mentioned platforms, each country has a list of local streaming sites that are only available in those locations. Licensing and geographical reasons are behind the fact that, say, German online streaming channels are not available in Japan or Australia, just to cite an example.
Fortunately for users and netizens around the planet, the Internet provides several ways to bypass geo-blocking measures and enjoy international content from anywhere. With tools such as Smart DNS services or proxies, people can “pretend” to be in a different country to unblock the local streaming and browsing sites.
The key to entertainment
However, there is no better tool than a Virtual Private Network or VPN. On top of serving as a location “spoofing” tool, paid VPN brands can also offer security, privacy, and anonymity in the process, because it protects whoever implements it from hackers and other Internet-related threats.
So, to follow up on the German online streaming channels, one of the most famous and entertaining of all is ZDF. It offers all kinds of content to all audiences, including soap operas, talk shows, news networks, and the most complete sports coverage.
Sadly, it is limited only for German users, as the geo-blocking laws explained above apply. Under normal circumstances, the system recognizes foreign connection requests by using the person’s IP address, and when it doesn’t come from Germany, a blocking comes into place.
But make no mistake: if you get geo-blocked and can’t access ZDF from your current location, try signing up for a VPN service with servers in Germany. That way, you can borrow a German IP address and bypass the ban to unblock all the shows that the network offers.
German Television: best options
The Germans are one of the most prosperous countries in the world. They have the means, the money to invest, the infrastructure, the talent, and the preparation to create awesome TV shows, movies, documentaries, series, and productions. And they do.
Here are some of the best and most widely acclaimed TV channels in Germany:
- Pro Sieben
- Kino TV
The country has options for every taste: there are entertainment channels, news networks, all-content signals, and even sports services to satisfy the high standards of the German people. In addition, technology and the widespread use of computers, laptops, tablets, and smartphones provide a great ecosystem for online streaming services.
Watch the 2018 FIFA World Cup from anywhere!
In less than a week’s time, the football world will be paralyzed for a month: the FIFA World Cup is back after four long years! It will be played in Russia, and 32 teams will fight until the end for the right to be called world champions.
After defeating Argentina 1-0 in extra time in Brazil 2014, Germany is the current holder of the trophy. Once again, the Mannschaft is one of the strongest candidates to win it all, led by stars such as Timo Werner, Thomas Muller, Julian Draxler, Toni Kroos, and company.
However, the Germans will have robust competition. Spain is always a threat, as it Tite’s Brazilian squad. Italy is not around this time, but France, Argentina, Portugal, and England are all good sides with a chance to lift the trophy.
Germans currently living in the country will get to enjoy the 2018 FIFA World Cup via the ZDF’s streaming signal, with German voices and commentary. However, German expats or those currently outside the country on vacation will be unable to connect to ZDF under normal circumstances.
However, a VPN service provider is the only thing separating those living outside the country from having access to all the matches that the Joachim Low-led squad participates in.
VPN technology: encryption for convenience
Virtual Private Networks, or VPN, are Internet resources that encrypt and reroute the user’s IP address and generated online content, with the intention of sending that information to remote servers in which it will be off-limits to hackers, cybercriminals, advertising agencies, online stores, government surveillance agencies, and virtually anyone who threatens to use those against the customer.
VPN technology uses protocols to create the virtual tunnels in which the information will travel. By “hiding” your connection details from the world, you could gain privacy to browse the web in peace; anonymity, and security, as hackers will have a much harder time tracking you.
However, the most exciting fact about VPN technology is its ability to make people virtually change their location, no matter where they are. How does that work? Most VPN brands, at least the paid ones, have a list of servers and countries available for connection. If you are, say, in Brazil, and want to watch ZDF from there, all you have to do is hire a reliable VPN company and borrow a German IP address. The system won’t recognize your connection request as a Brazilian one, because it will spot it as a German one, thus granting you all access to the channel’s grid.
How to watch ZDF outside Germany
- Choose a quality VPN provider. To watch ZDF from outside of Germany, the brand you select has to have German servers.
- Go to the VPN website.
- Register for the VPN service.
- Create a username and a password to log in at any time you desire.
- Sign in to your recently created VPN account.
- Once logged in, establish a connection with a German server. It will give you a German IP address to spoof your real location.
- After connecting to the German server, open the ZDF’s website and streaming signal. It should open and reproduce content without any issues.
Best VPN to watch ZDF outside Germany: TorGuard
Granted, there are hundreds of VPN companies out there in the market that you could use to watch ZDF from outside of Germany. However, the most efficient and reliable is TorGuard, an American brand with more than 3,000 servers in 55 countries, including Germany.
TorGuard is known for the responsiveness and effectiveness of its customer service. It has a very active live chat feature that is ready to take on your questions 24/7 and also has email support. This option has unlimited bandwidth, speeds, and server switching, availability for all major protocols including OpenVPN, five simultaneous connections, a kill switch, and DNS leak protection; all for $10 per month.
In conclusion, when browsing the web to watch good German TV, you will find that ZDF has the most complete schedule and grid, suitable for all ages and accessible via an online streaming site.
However, the service may be geoblocked for users outside of Germany. To overcome this issue, a VPN provider is the smartest solution, as it also provides security, privacy, anonymity, and accessibility to the country’s entire list of online channels.
ZDF: TV for all tastes
ZDF is arguably the best German TV broadcaster in a country that is full of quality options. The ZDF letters stand for Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen, which means Second German Television when translated to English.
The public service TV broadcaster has its operational base in the city of Mainz, in Germany. An independent, non-profit organization is in charge of managing it after the country’s federal states founded it in 1963.
Among the most famous shows are heute, which is a news network, and Wetten, dass..? an entertainment show that ended in 2014 after 33 years on air. The channel has programs and shows for every audience. Here are the most prominent offerings:
- 1, 2 oder 3 (1977–present)
- ALF (1988-1993)
- Die Kinder von Bullerbü (Alla vi barn i Bullerbyn)
- Fraggle Rock (Die Fraggles) (1983-1995)
- Hals über Kopf (1987-1993, 1997)
- Löwenzahn (1981–present)
- Pippi Langstrumpf (Pippi Långstrump) (1969–present)
- Tabaluga (1997-2007)
- Tabaluga tivi (1997-2011)
- The Muppet Show (Die Muppet Show) (1977-1989)
- The Simpsons (The Simpsons) (1991-1994)
- aspekte (1965–present)
- Das Literarische Quartett (1998–2006, 2015–present)
- 37 Grad (1994–present)
- Terra X (1982–present)
- ZDFzeit (2012–present)
- ZDF-History (2000–present)
- Bares für Rares, hosted by Horst Lichter (2013–present)
- Dance Academy (2010)
- Das große Los – Die Show für die Aktion Sorgenkind, hosted by Dieter Thomas Heck (1996-2000)
- Die goldene Stimmgabel, by Dieter Thomas Heck (1993, 1995, 1997, 1999, 2001-2007)
- Die Helene Fischer Show, hosted by Helene Fischer (2013–present)
- Die Pyramide, German version of Pyramid hosted by Dieter Thomas Heck (1979-1994)
- Die ZDF-Hitparade, hosted by Dieter Thomas Heck/Viktor Worms/Uwe Hübner (1969-2000)
- Die ZDF-Kultnacht (2002–present)
- Disco (1971-1982)
- heute-show, hosted by Oliver Welke (2009–present)
- Lafer! Lichter! Lecker!, cooking show hosted by Johann Lafer and Horst Lichter (2006–2017)
- Mainz bleibt Mainz, wie es singt und lacht (Carnival) (1973–present)
- Melodien für Millionen (1985-2007)
- Neues aus der Anstalt (2007-2013)
- Nicht nachmachen! (2012-2013)
- Wetten, dass..?, hosted by Frank Elstner/Thomas Gottschalk (1981–2014)
- Willkommen bei Carmen Nebel (2004–present)
- ZDF-Fernsehgarten (1986–present)
- auslandsjournal (1973–present)
- Berlin direkt (1999–present)
- Chronik der Woche (1965-1984)
- Die Drehscheibe (1964-1982)
- drehscheibe (1998–present)
- Frontal21 (2001–present)
- hallo Deutschland (1997–present)
- heute (newscast) (1963–present)
- heute journal (newscast) (1978–present)
- heute Nacht (newscast) (1994-2015)
- heute Xpress (newscast) (2015–present)
- Kennzeichen D (1971-2001)
- Leute heute (1997–present)
- ML Mona Lisa (1988–present)
- Politbarometer (1977–present)
- tele-illustrierte (1982-1991)
- Volle Kanne – Service täglich (1999–present)
- WISO (1984–present)
- ZDF-Magazin, hosted by Gerhard Löwenthal/Fritz Schenk/Wolfgang Weinert/Hans Scheicher (1969–1988)
- ZDF-Mittagsmagazin (1989–present)
- ZDF-Morgenmagazin (1992–present)
- ZDFzoom (2011–present)
- ALF (1988-1996)
- Bella Block (1994–present)
- The Bridge (2011), co-producers Sveriges Television and DR
- Das Traumschiff (1981–present)
- Der Adler – Die Spur des Verbrechens (Ørnen) (2005-2007, 2009-2010, 2012, 2014, 2017)
- Der Alte (The Old Fox) (1977–present)
- Der Bergdoktor (2008–present)
- Der Kommissar und das Meer (Kommissarien och havet) (2007–present)
- Der Kriminalist (2006–present)
- Der Landarzt (1987-2016)
- Ein starkes Team (1994–present)
- Forsthaus Falkenau (1989-2016)
- Freunde fürs Leben (1992-2005, 2008)
- Friesland (2015–present)
- Highway to Heaven (Ein Engel auf Erden) (1987-1990)
- Hotel Paradies (1990-1992, 1995-1996, 1998, 2000-2001, 2009)
- Ich heirate eine Familie (1987-1992, 1998-2008, 2013)
- Inga Lindström (2004–present)
- Jack Taylor (2013, 2017)
- Jede Menge Leben (1995-1996)
- Kidnap and Ransom (Der Jäger – Geld oder Leben) (2016–present)
- Ku’damm 56 (2016)
- Küstenwache (1997-2016)
- Letzte Spur Berlin (2012–present)
- Lotta & … (2010–present)
- Matlock (1998-1992)
- Midsomer Murders (Inspector Barnaby) (2005–present)
- Mordkommission Königswinkel (2017–present)
- Morgen hör ich auf (2016)
- Notruf Hafenkante (2007–present)
- Ray Donovan (2014-2016)
- Sibel&Max (2015-2016)
- Siska (2002-2010)
- SOKO 5113 (1978–present)
- SOKO Donau/SOKO Wien (2005–present)
- SOKO Hamburg (2018–present)
- SOKO Kitzbühel (2003–present)
- SOKO Köln (2003–present)
- SOKO Leipzig (2001–present)
- SOKO Rhein-Main (2006-2008, 2010)
- SOKO Stuttgart (2009–present)
- SOKO Wismar (2004–present)
- Sperling (1996-2013)
- Star Trek (Raumschiff Enterprise) (1972-1982)
- Stubbe – Von Fall zu Fall (1995-2016)
- The Bold and the Beautiful (Reich und Schön) (2002-2008, 2010-2011)
- The Five (2017)
- The Simpsons (Die Simpsons) (1991-1993)
- Unsere Mütter, unsere Väter (Generation War) (2013)
- Welcome Back, Kotter (1979-1980)
- Wilsberg (1999–present)
- das aktuelle sportstudio (1963–present)
- Dunja Hayali, hosted by Dunja Hayali (2015–present)
- Markus Lanz, talk show hosted by Markus Lanz (2008–present)
- Maybrit Illner, a political talk show hosted by Maybrit Illner (1999–present)
- Peter Hahne, hosted by Peter Hahne (2010–2017)
- Willemsens Woche, hosted by Roger Willemsen (1994-1998)
- Zeugen des Jahrhunderts (1979–present)