How to watch ZDF live outside Germany with a VPN

ZDF is one of Germany’s largest TV stations, covering current events, TV series/movies, comedic entertainment, and, most notably, sporting events such as FIFA 2022, EUFA Cups, and so on.

Fortunately, most of the ZDF information is accessible internationally. However, ZDF restricts its live streaming to German territory exclusively. In other words, it is very likely to miss live events such as the forthcoming FIFA 2022 Qatar, as well as a variety of other live sporting events. I understand your frustration, and I am here to assist you to watch ZDF Live from anywhere in the world.

We will simply use a VPN provider to change our virtual location to Germany and fool ZDF into thinking we are presently in Germany, allowing us to effortlessly bypass their geo-restriction. Naturally, legally!

Analysis: The EU zone, particularly Germany, places a high value on intellectual property rights. Because each online material is subject to broadcasting rights for each nation, ZDF may only show its streaming in Germany. Such restrictions are applied by examining visitors’ IP addresses when they attempt to access “”

Solution: A VPN might be a useful tool for getting around the IP address limitation. You may easily change your current IP address to a German one by connecting to one of the offered VPN servers in Germany. As a result, you can start streaming ZDF Live like a local.

A quick guide to streaming ZDF live outside Germany:

  1. Visit Surfshark VPN -it has plenty of powerful servers in Germany (Berlin and Frankfurt)
  2. Grab the deal by hitting the “Get Surfshark” button.
  3. Choose a plan to your liking and make the payment with a preferred method.
  4. Upon payment, Surfshark will send you the credentials. With the given details log in to’s official website.
  5. Navigate to “Apps and extensions” and download the VPN app on which you want to watch ZDF.
  6. Once the installation is complete, log in to the Surfshark app with the same credentials and click on the “Locations” menu.
  7. Search for “Germany” and connect one of the available servers from Berlin or Frankfurt.

If you followed the steps correctly, you will see that the Surfshark button has turned green, indicating that your VPN connection is now operational. In other words, you are now accessing the internet using a German IP address and may therefore watch ZDF Live outside of Germany. As shown below…

Unblock and start streaming ZDF live outside Germany with a VPN.

If you are unfamiliar with VPN services, let us first properly assess our present dilemma and demonstrate how a VPN may assist us in such a difficult circumstance.

Understanding ZDF live geo-restriction

Copyright is one of the most significant subjects in the EU zone, and nations must follow the rules. During sporting events, stations like ZDF and ARD take extra precautions to prohibit people who attempt to access their platform from using a non-German IP address.

The primary reason stems from licensing agreements. Taking UEFA matches or the FIFA 2022 World Cup as examples, ZDF and ARD are only allowed to broadcast such events in Germany. Even if you attempt to access ZDF from outside Germany, you will see the following notice…

ZDF Live geo-restriction notification when you try to access the website outside Germany.

Original text: “Aus rechtlichen Gründen kann dieser Beitrag nur in Deutschland gezeigt werden.”

Translation of the text: “For legal reasons, this content can only be seen in Germany”

ZDF adds a secondtier warning to users for no apparent reason, as follows:

The ZDF live notice on streaming the service abroad.

Original text: Die Rund-um-die-Uhr Livestreams unter “Live-TV” sind aus rechtlichen Gründen nur in Deutschland abrufbar. Das ZDF bietet für ausgewählte Sendungen exklusive Livestreams an, die außerhalb Deutschlands genutzt werden können.”

Translation of the text: “For legal reasons, the round-the-clock livestreams under “Live TV” can only be accessed in Germany. ZDF offers exclusive livestreams for selected programs that can be used outside Germany.”

That is known as geo-restriction, and it is time to address it!

Watch ZDF live outside Germany via VPN

VPN services are really useful tools for increasing our online privacy. The method works by establishing a connection to a distant server, encrypting our online traffic, and providing us with a new IP address.

Let’s assume we’re on a business trip to France. We don’t want to miss an important live sporting event on ZDF. Because we cannot be in Germany right now, we may use a VPN service with a German server, connect to it using a VPN app, and virtually be in Germany.

That’s all! We cannot, however, rely on a random VPN service to view ZDF outside of Germany. We certainly need a reliable one.

Choosing the right VPN

We must ensure that the chosen VPN service will not let us down. That is why we should be going after a reliable, stable, and capable of handling the ZDF embargo.

After doing thorough research, Surfshark stands out to be the best-performing VPN provider to help us watch ZDF anywhere in the world.

Currently, the company has hundreds of servers located in Berlin and Frankfurt. You can get a download speed of 170+ Mbps -that is enough to stream ZDF with the best quality possible.

  • Go to the official SurfShark website.
  • Choose the VPN subscription package that best suits your needs and fill out the purchase form.
  • You may use any payment option you like to complete the transaction.

After a successful purchase, SurfShark will provide your login information for the service through email.

VPN app installation

After obtaining your login credentials, you may install the SurfShark app on the device from which you want to stream ZDF Live.

  • Navigate to the SurfShark website.
  • In the top right corner, click the “Login” button.
  • Enter your information and then click “Log in”
  • Choose your device to install the VPN app.

To properly install the SurfShark application, follow the on-screen instructions. It is critical to permit all VPN requests during this process to avoid issues while using the service in the future.

Connecting to the Germany server

If you have completed all of the above steps, the VPN service you have just purchased is now available for use. To stream ZDF Live without restrictions at this time, you must connect to the German server.

To do this, follow the steps below:

  • Launch the SurfShark app on your device.
  • Go to “Location” in the menu on the left.
  • Enter “Germany” in the search bar and select a server in Berlin or Frankfurt.

A reliable VPN service such as Surfshark can help you unblock ZDF Live streamings anywhere in the world.

Streaming ZDF Live

When you connect to the specified server, the Surfshark button turns green, indicating that your connection is now safe through the VPN server and you have a German IP address.

That also means you’re virtually in Germany and ready to watch ZDF Live like a native.

Once you have established a VPN connection via the German server, you can start watching the ZDF live right away.

Just a polite reminder that ZDF is quite effective at preventing VPN services. You may sometimes encounter a VPN blockade in addition to geo-restriction embargoes. As a result, I felt it would be prudent to provide a list of alternative VPN providers for ZDF live in the eventuality that Surfshark IP addresses are restricted.

ZDF VPNs (3 working alternatives)

Because Germany takes licensing violations so seriously, you may encounter IP blocking difficulties with your existing VPN service. That is why I want to enlighten you about other VPN services that can circumvent the ZDF embargo.

This way, you will never miss any ZDF live events.


Cyberghost is a VPN company established in Romania that focuses not only on privacy but also on global streaming services. The corporation has a lot of servers all around the globe, and Germany is one of them.

The firm now has over 1600 servers in three separate German cities: Berlin, Frankfurt, and Düsseldorf. Under the “For streaming” option, Cyberghost provides specialized streaming servers for ZDF Live in addition to privacy-oriented servers.

After connecting to the streaming server, you will be able to watch ZDF Live in the highest quality possible from anywhere in the world using Cyberghost.

Cyberghost has streaming servers dedicated to ZDF live.

It has a speed of roughly 165+ Mbps and can handle any ZDF Live video format.

Finally, Cyberghost can unblock all German-based streaming services such as ARD, ZDF, DAZN, Zattoo, TV Now, Amazon Prime De, Netflix DE, and others…

If you are outside Germany, Cyberghost can be your number one streaming VPN to unlock any German content. The sweetest part is that a single account will grant you 7 simultaneous connections and the cheapest plan starts at just 2.29$ per month.


In terms of privacy and server coverage, ExpressVPN is one of the largest VPN companies on the market. In 94 different countries, the firm operates both dedicated and virtual servers. It also has hundreds of servers in Frankfurt and Nuremberg, Germany.

Apart from being more concerned with privacy, ExpressVPN is also capable of unblocking global streaming services such as ZDF Live Germany. You will be able to watch ZDF Live from anywhere in the world after you connect to one of the available German servers using the VPN software.

You can also watch ZDF Live with ExpressVPN. However, the service is quite expensive.

However, ExpressVPN has two disadvantages. In comparison to other VPN companies with download speeds of 160+ Mbps, ExpressVPN performance hovers around 40 Mbps. That should be more than enough to watch ZDF Live in high quality. However, if the performance falls below 20 Mbps, you may have some difficulties.

Aside from the performance problem, ExpressVPN is one of the most costly VPN service providers on the market. A single account allows for just 5 simultaneous connections, and the lowest plan costs $6.67 per month.


On our website, VeePN is a rising star. This new provider has the least amount of server coverage on our list. However, since our major priority is German servers, VeePN covers the country with servers in Berlin, Düsseldorf, and Frankfurt.

VeePN’s M247 hosting service provides an exceptional download speed performance of 120 Mbps. With the results provided, you may watch ZDF Live in full HD format no matter where you are.

The cheapest option to stream ZDF Live is to use VeePN.

Furthermore, VeePN works hard to get a larger share of the VPN market by offering its service at a fair price.

After purchasing a single account, you may use the service on up to ten different devices. Make sure to take advantage of VeePN’s 5-year offer and start using the service for as little as 1.67$/month.

Summing up the ZDF Live streaming

ZDF is a German national TV channel airing the latest news as well as international sports events. Anyone in Germany has the right to watch this channel for free so long as they are located in German territory. However, if you are outside the country, then you will face geo-restriction issues.

The problem lies in the fact that ZDF can only provide live service to German IP addresses. As a result, if you visit the platform from outside Germany (through a non-German IP address), you simply cannot stream ZDF Live. A VPN service is useful in this situation.

VPNs function as a tunnel, encrypting your internet traffic and providing you with a new IP address from the server location of your choice. In other words, if you connect to a VPN server in Germany, you will both have German IP addresses and the ability to watch ZDF live from anywhere around the globe.

To do this, just choose a reputable VPN service such as Surfshark, Cyberghost, ExpressVPN, or VeePN.

Never miss out on your favorite events again! Have fun streaming!

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