The popular streaming platform Zattoo can be used free of charge, and the offer in Switzerland is particularly plentiful. There you can watch around 200 channels for free in the live stream. COMPUTER BILD shows how you receive them in Germany.
The TV streaming service Zattoo has a lot more to offer its audience in Switzerland than here in Germany. Swiss viewers can look forward to almost 200 free TV channels, while in this country we only get around 130 free channels. In addition, important private broadcasters such as RTL, ProSieben, Sat.1 and Vox are missing from Zattoo Germany.
The Swiss Zattoo program does not have these restrictions. ARD, ZDF & Co. are also there, as well as broadcasters such as ORF and SRF. The range of sports and news channels is also much broader than ours. This gap can be closed by using a VPN to travel virtually to the Confederates and bypass the restrictions. In the guide, COMPUTER BILD explains how to do this and which VPN providers are suitable for streaming Zattoo Free from Switzerland.
Zattoo for free: Override country blocking via VPN
The Zattoo streaming platform is free in the basic version, the service is available in Germany and Switzerland, among other places. The service has acquired different broadcasting rights for each country, which is why it is not allowed to present the full program to its audience everywhere. In order to comply with the licensing requirements, the provider separates the different regional programs from each other and uses technical barriers, so-called geoblocking, for this purpose.
The country block uses the IP address of a Zattoo user to identify the country in which he or she is currently located. It is therefore not easily possible to receive the Zattoo program from Switzerland in Germany. This is where a VPN provider steps in for you. The camouflage service picks up the Zattoo live streams from Switzerland and transports them to you in Germany. Since the provider’s VPN server has a Swiss IP address, Zattoo doesn’t notice this little scam and releases the entire TV program.
Zattoo Switzerland: How to get it in Germany
Swiss television attracts many sports fans, because here you can see top-class sporting events live on free TV, for example on SRF. These include Formula 1, soccer and alpine skiing. Even film and series junkies don’t miss out in the alpine country.
The free package from Zattoo Switzerland not only includes the three SRF channels. The free version currently includes 193 live TV channels, including many German private channels and the channels of the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation ORF, which, among other things, broadcasts many first-class sporting events live and free of charge. You have to follow the following steps to use the Swiss free package from Zattoo in Germany.
Zattoo Switzerland: Create a free account
First you need a new user account at Zattoo. An account created with Zattoo Germany only shows the programs from Germany despite the Swiss VPN. It is therefore necessary to set up a fresh access – there are no costs with the free version. To do this, proceed as follows:
- Launch the VPN software and connect to a VPN server located in Switzerland.
- As soon as the VPN connection is established, start the browser (preferably in incognito mode) and open the Zattoo homepage. The camouflage service automatically redirects you to the Swiss website zattoo.com/ch. It is important here that the address shows the “ch” abbreviation. If a different country code is visible, the VPN connection is not working properly! In this case, close the browser and repeat steps 1 and 2 to reconnect.
- On the Swiss homepage of Zattoo, click on offers in the menu selection at the top.
- There are three offers to choose from. For the Free plan, click Register Now.
- On the next page, first click on Free at the top and then on the Continue with Free button at the bottom.
- In the final step, enter your e-mail address and a password and confirm your entry by clicking on Register. You will then receive your access data by e-mail, which you can use to log in to Zattoo.
Zattoo Free is then activated for you. Please note that you always need an active VPN connection to Switzerland to log in and stream Zattoo Switzerland. In other words: Always start the VPN client first and establish a connection to a Swiss VPN server before you start Zattoo streaming. Zattoo Switzerland’s range of channels can now be used with various methods.
Look at Zattoo in the browser
Streaming via browser on the computer is simple: start the VPN client on your computer and first establish a connection to a Swiss VPN server. Then open the Internet browser and call up the Zattoo website. This Zattoo web app works with all current internet browsers without any problems. There you log in and start the desired stream in the channel selection. Alternatively, there is a separate Windows app from Zattoo.
If the streaming doesn’t work the first time, close the browser or the Zattoo app and renew the VPN connection to Switzerland. After that, the stream should work without a murmur.
Zattoo on mobile phones and tablets
When you’re on the go, simply use the Zattoo app on your cell phone or tablet. The VPN services presented below provide suitable apps for mobile devices with iOS and Android. Launch the VPN app and connect to a VPN server in Switzerland. Then open the Zattoo app, log in and select the desired live stream.
If Zattoo refuses to play the stream right away, the VPN connection is probably to blame. In this case, close the Zattoo app completely and establish a VPN connection to Switzerland again. After that, the streaming should work.
Zattoo on the Smart TV
Zattoo also offers its streaming app for many Smart TV and Android TV models. The best way to check whether the service supports your device is to go to the provider’s website. Using the app store on your smart TV, first install the Zattoo app and then that of your VPN provider. As usual, first start the VPN client and establish a connection to Switzerland. Then open the Zattoo app, enter your access data and start the live stream.
Zattoo on Amazon Fire TV
If there is no suitable VPN app for your television – this is the case, for example, with smart TVs from LG with WebOS – then the screen does not have to remain dark. If you have a Fire TV Stick from Amazon, install a VPN service from the integrated Amazon Appstore on the Fire TV Stick and use it to get the desired Swiss IP address. Then install and start the Zattoo app from the app store and log in with the login data from the registry.
Bypass the Zattoo device limit
If you want to make several devices capable of streaming for Zattoo Switzerland in one fell swoop, or you cannot install a suitable VPN app on the device you want, installing the VPN service on a VPN router is a good idea. Because the router distributes the IP address of the VPN server to all devices connected to it at the same time. A small downside: It doesn’t work with the popular FritzBox, you have to switch in a suitable VPN router – for example a model from Asus, Netgear or Linksys. You can read more about this topic in the guide “Setting up a VPN router in your home network”. Setting it up is particularly easy with the ExpressVPN router app.
Limitations of Zattoo Free
The free version has some limitations compared to the paid subscription. For example, neither the pause function nor the recording are possible, and when switching, there is an advertisement. If you’re using the app on smart TVs or streaming devices like the Fire TV Stick, you’re limited to 10 hours of playback per month.
On the other hand, viewing pleasure is unlimited via the browser on the computer, mobile phone or tablet. In the free tariff, however, you can only use one stream on all devices at the same time. In addition, some channels such as RTL and ORF are only available in SD quality.
The paid tariffs Premium and Ultimate do not have these limitations and offer more channels in HD quality. Up to four simultaneous streams per account are also possible here.
These VPNs are suitable for free Zattoo
COMPUTER BILD has determined the best VPN services in a comparison test and presents you with six services that harmonize with Zattoo Switzerland and do well overall when it comes to streaming.
CyberGhost VPN and Surfshark are characterized by good performance on Zattoo and other streaming platforms. On top of that, both candidates unlock foreign media libraries, such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. Another plus: The two services are among the cheapest representatives among VPN services.
If you want a little more and you value a lavish set of features, then you should shortlist NordVPN. The VPN all-rounder leaves nothing to be desired and it is not without reason that it is the test winner at COMPUTER BILD again and again. Hide.me VPN, ExpressVPN and Proton VPN are also recommended. All three each have their own strengths and are in no way inferior to the test winner in terms of streaming and performance, but are slightly more expensive than the competition.
Zattoo for free with VPN: is it legal?
Zattoo’s general terms and conditions state that users undertake “not to circumvent the technical measures used by Zattoo”. The streaming service uses geoblocking as a technical measure to restrict the offer regionally. Zattoo reserves the right to terminate the user contract if the user acts against applicable law or contractual obligations.
What does that mean for you now? If you violate Zattoo’s terms and conditions by using a VPN, you may have to expect termination. If you only use the free version of Zattoo, the damage to you is limited, since Zattoo will at best block your account. From a legal point of view, however, you are moving in a gray area, since it has not been finally decided legally whether circumventing geo-blocking is legal.