German viewers have a wealth of TV streaming options.
In addition to international options like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, the country also boasts a number of homegrown streaming services, such as Sport1, TVNow.de, 3sat, ProSieben, TV Now, 7TV, Zattoo, and numerous others.
Unfortunately, most German-based streaming services are geo-restricted, meaning they are not available outside of the country. This leaves international travelers and German ex-pats high and dry when they need more than just their mutter’s Sauerbraten for a taste of home.
Luckily, there is a way to view your favorite German TV content when you’re traveling or living abroad. A Virtual Private Network (VPN) can make it appear as if you’re still inside German borders, enabling you to view the streaming TV services that are restricted to inside the country.
A VPN can “spoof” a connected device’s location, making it appear as if they are inside German borders by temporarily routing their connection through a German VPN server that has a German IP address. This causes the rest of the internet, German streaming services included, to see the device as being located inside Germany.
Not all VPNs are created equally, and it’s important to find a VPN provider that offers the best ability to unblock German TV streams, as well as protect and enhance all of your other online activities.
The Best Way to View German TV From Abroad.
German streaming services, much like those offered in other countries, restrict access to viewers inside the country.
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) opens access to German streaming services from anywhere around the globe, providing German travelers and ex-pats easy access to their favorite shows and movies.
A VPN unblocks your favorite streaming content by connecting you to a VPN server located in the same country as the streaming services, making it appear that your device is connecting from inside that same country.
ExpressVPN is the best VPN provider around for providing access to geo-blocked content in nearly any country, Germany included. The provider offers reliable, fast connections, an extensive global server network, and top-notch online privacy and security.
ExpressVPN offers a risk-free, 30-day money-back guarantee.
Most streaming video services will either limit the viewing of their live content to specific countries or regions or if they’re available in multiple countries, their content can vary from country to country. This means you may not have access to your favorite streaming content when you’re traveling or living abroad.
However, by using a VPN provider, you can open up access to all of your favorite online streaming content, no matter where you might happen to be located.
Why Do German Streaming Services Ban International Viewers?
While you may pay for access to your favorite German streaming services, you’ll find you can’t view your favorite shows and movies from those services when you’re outside the borders of Germany.
Streaming services aren’t trying to be jerks when they block the viewing of their content to viewers outside of German borders. Sadly, the contracts they sign with movie and TV studios limit the geographical area where the content is available.
Agreements such as this serve a dual purpose. First, it allows content producers to sell access to their content more than once, and it also helps eliminate issues with governments and religious groups that may have guidelines that run counter to that of the content.
How Geo-Restriction Blockades Work
Each connected device you own is identified online by an IP address.
An IP address acts as an identifier for your device on the internet or any other network (much like your home or office postal address). This allows other devices to identify where an information request came from, and where the reply needs to go.
Also just like your postal address, an IP address can be used to identify your device’s geographical location.
This allows streaming services to detect whether or not your device is located inside their allowed viewing area. If it’s not in the allowed viewing area, the device is blocked from accessing their content.
How Can I View German TV If It’s Blocked?
If you’re traveling around the world, or you’re a German ex-pat living outside of Germany, the only way to appear to still be located inside of your native country is to “spoof” your device’s real IP address to make it appear to be a local IP address located inside German borders.
The most reliable way to “spoof” a German IP address is to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN).
A VPN connects your device to the internet via a VPN server located in a different country (in this case, Germany), thereby channeling your connection through a German IP address. The rest of the internet will then see you and your device as being located inside of Germany.
Since the German streaming service will see your device as residing in Germany, they will happily allow a connection to their servers and the content they contain.
While the focus of this article is connecting to German streaming services while you’re abroad, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the other benefits a VPN has to offer.
A VPN also encases your internet connection in a tunnel of encryption, which hides your online activities from the prying eyes of your Internet Service Provider (ISP), the government and hackers.
That same encryption also helps prevent your ISP from throttling or blocking your connection simply because you’re streaming movies from an “unapproved” source or engaging in other frowned-upon activities, like BitTorrenting.
Which VPN Should I Use to Unblock German TV?
Just a few years back, you could have used nearly any reputable VPN service to unblock most of the German streaming TV services.
However, streaming services – including Netflix, Sport1, TVNow.de, 3sat, ProSieben, TV Now and others – have become good at detecting and blocking VPN access to their servers.
When this happens, it’s up to the VPN provider to set up new VPN servers, which sport fresh, unblocked IP addresses to restore their customers’ access to the streaming service – at least until the streamer detects the new IP address, and the whole vicious cycle begins anew.
This means you’ll want to subscribe to a VPN service that has both the resources and the willingness to keep access open to your favorite streaming services.
I’ve found one provider that offers fast, reliable and efficient access to TV streaming services in Germany and elsewhere.
ExpressVPN provides reliable access to streaming services around the globe, including those based in Germany.
The VPN boasts a comprehensive global server network, with servers around the globe delivering fast, well-protected connections. The service provides excellent multi-platform support (including support for many routers), allowing users to enhance and protect all of their favorite devices’ connections.
Read the full ExpressVPN review here.
1. Connection Speed
When you’re considering a VPN service for use with any type of streaming service, connection speed is a feature that requires a close look.
ExpressVPN scores well in this category. As a matter of fact, the provider offered the fastest downloads in our most recent round of speed tests, delivering more than enough bandwidth to handle HD and 4K streaming, gaming, sharing of large files and much more.
Also, the provider never restricts your viewing or other online activities with daily or monthly data caps. So you can stream your favorite TV series with the unlimited bandwidth they provide.
2. Multi-Platform Support
Most streaming services are available on multiple platforms, including mobile devices, desktop, set-top and gaming devices. This makes multi-platform support an important consideration for any VPN.
ExpressVPN offers native app support for Amazon Fire, Android, iOS, Linux, macOS, and Windows devices. It also offers excellent compatibility with numerous router makes and models.
In addition, it offers a MediaStreamer DNS service that opens access to blocked content on Chromecast, Apple TV, game consoles, Smart TV and other streaming-capable devices.
Up to 5 devices can concurrently connect to the service using the same set of login credentials.
3. Customer Support
If you have any issues, or even simply a billing question, you’re not going to want to wait a long time to receive assistance.
That won’t be a problem with ExpressVPN’s customer support offerings. The provider offers around-the-clock support thanks to 24/7 live support chat, email support, a trouble ticket system, and a searchable support and troubleshooting library.
4. Global Server Coverage
While we’re concentrating on Germany in this article, you’ll find that a VPN’s global server coverage is a consideration to keep in mind. The larger the global server network that a VPN offers, the more content and services that you can access from around the globe.
ExpressVPN has more than 3,000 servers stationed in 94 countries around the world. That includes servers stationed in Germany.
ExpressVPN may be priced a bit more expensively than some of its competitors, but you’ll find that the level of protection and other services you receive in return makes it an excellent value.
ExpressVPN offers a no-risk, 30-day money-back guarantee.
German TV Streaming FAQ
⭐Is streaming TV using a VPN legal in Germany?
VPNs are legal in Germany. There are no laws that explicitly ban the use of VPNs inside German borders.
That said, if the streaming TV service detects you are using a VPN, they can block the IP address your VPN is using to allow access to the streaming TV service. This makes using a VPN that’s quick to respond – like ExpressVPN – more important than ever.
⭐Which streaming services can I watch the Bundesliga?
The Bundesliga, which is Germany’s top soccer league, are being broadcast on Fox Sports 1, Fox Sports 2, Fox Deportes and Univision Deportes. Live streams of the games will be available on AT&T TV, Hulu+ Live, Sling Blue, FuboTV and other streaming services.
⭐Can I not use a free VPN service to watch German TV?
While you might find a free VPN that will give you access to German TV, I can almost guarantee that the experience will be unsatisfactory. Free VPNs throttle their users’ connection speeds and enforce daily or monthly data caps, severely reducing your viewing time.