5 Best VPN For Steam For A Smooth Gaming Experience
Steam is a digital distribution platform for video games that offers its users a variety of games to download. It was developed by Valve Corporation and first released in 2003. Since then, it has become hugely popular among gamers and now boasts over 150 million active users.
However, Steam may be banned by the ISP on your work or school network for all valid reasons. It’ll also disappoint you to know that access to your favorite games from back home would be impossible if you’re traveling abroad.
But don’t worry. Because the best VPN for Steam can help. A VPN or virtual private network encrypts your internet traffic by routing it through a server in another location. This allows you to bypass restrictions and access Steam (and any other blocked websites) from anywhere in the world.
Other than bypassing restrictions, a Steam VPN can improve your gaming experience by reducing lag and improving connection speeds, it can protect your privacy while gaming, and you can always avoid DDoS attacks.
However, not all VPNs are suitable for use with Steam. Some do not offer fast enough speeds, while others do not provide adequate security.
And to solve that problem, we have mentioned the best VPN services in this article to use with Steam. Moreover, you can also check out the methodology on how to choose the best VPN later in this article.
Best VPN For Steam: A Quick Guide
Here is a quick overview of the 5 best VPNs for Steam, in case you don’t have time to read the entire article.
- ExpressVPN: Our top choice for Steam. ExpressVPN boasts incredible speeds and highly adept at bypassing blocks.
- NordVPN: NordVPN is fast, reliable, and has an expansive network.
- Surfshark: Best budget pick with clean and modern apps. Doesn’t impose limitations on multilogins.
- CyberGhost: The service boasts a massive server network, maximized security, and user-friendly apps.
- Private Internet Access: A good gaming VPN with decent speed, solid security features, and 10 simultaneous connections.
Best VPN For Steam: Detailed Guide
The best 5 options for downloading Steam games while remaining secure are as follows.
1. ExpressVPN: Our Top Choice for Steam
ExpressVPN is the best VPN for Steam offering the best speeds and unbreakable security from which you can download and play your favorite games with a smooth experience.
The provider is based in the British Virgin Islands and has a strict no-logs policy audited by PwC, one of the big fours.
The service has a large pool of 3000+ servers in 94+ countries and ExpressVPN servers are rotated regularly so you’ll be given the best possible IP every time you connect to ExpressVPN.
Upon testing ExpressVPN for Steam, the speedometer touched the 93 Mbps point and the best ping rate recorded while gaming was 5 ms.
ExpressVPN apps work on all operating systems including Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and, iOS. It can also be configured on your router by using the dedicated router app it offers from which you can cover devices like Apple TV, Roku, and Chromecast.
ExpressVPN offers 5 simultaneous connections which is less compared to other VPN providers but setting it up on your router will only count as 1 connection.
If you only want to secure your browser traffic then ExpressVPN offers extensions for Chrome and Firefox which you can download from their respective stores.
Also, you can easily bypass restrictions on your school or company’s network by just connecting to the app. It even works in China if you download and install it beforehand.
ExpressVPN features include; Network Lock, MediaStreamer, Split Tunneling, DNS/WebRTC/IP Leak Protection, and the Lightway Protocol, which is ExpressVPN’s custom protocol with improved speed and security.
To use ExpressVPN free for 30 days, you can hack into its money-back guarantee offer or you can use the 7-day free trial, but the trial is for Android and iOS devices only.
For queries and technical support, you can contact ExpressVPN via the 24/7 live chat support on the official website at any time of the day.
Get to know more about the provider by visiting our detailed guide for ExpressVPN!
2. NordVPN: Fast, Secure & Reliable for Steam
The Panama-based NordVPN is fast, secure, and it has a large network of 5600+ servers in 59+ countries that offer reliable connections for downloading on Steam and play games like Dota2, Rust, and CS: GO with ease.
Torrenting is allowed on specific servers with P2P support and the VPN also works in China if you configure it on your phone before reaching there.
NordVPN offers apps for all platforms including Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS. Browser extensions are also available for Firefox and Chrome. If you want to set it up on a router, manual configuration is the way to go.
The protocols that NordVPN offers include OpenVPN, IKEv2, and NordLynx which is based on the technology of WireGuard and is top-class in terms of speed and security.
Upon testing NordVPN, the results were astonishing. We achieved an average speed of 92 Mbps with a ping rate between 5 – 8 ms.
NordVPN works on all major streaming platforms including Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, and more. We could easily unblock 15+ Netflix libraries and watch the content in 4K without any buffering screens.
The service offers a 7-day free trial on iOS and Android devices but you can use it free for 30 days if you hack into the NordVPN money-back offer.
For queries, contact NordVPN customer support which is available 24/7 via the live chat option on the official page.
Get to know more about the provider by visiting our detailed guide for NordVPN!
3. Surfshark: The Best Budget Pick for Steam
Surfshark is the best pocket-friendly VPN for Steam and with the NoBorders feature, you can use Surfshark in restrictive regions. The app will automatically activate the mode when someone (school firewall or ISP) is restricting your network.
Surfshark is based in the British Virgin Islands which is a safe jurisdiction since it’s far from the reach of 14 eyes members. And the no-logs policy of Surfshark is audited by Cure53, an independent third party.
The Surfshark test resulted in an average speed of 92 Mbps and the ping rate was only 2 or 3 ms, we could play games with no lags and smooth movements.
Surfshark works on almost all devices including Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS. The provider offers browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox too.
And being the best VPN for multiple devices, Surfshark has no limits on simultaneous connections. You can use it on as many devices as you want.
If you spend time watching movies and TV shows a lot then you’ll be glad to know that Surfshark servers can easily unblock major streaming platforms like Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, HBO Max, and more.
The money-back-guarantee of Surfshark allows you to use 30 days risk-free. You can also test it by using the 7-day free trial on Android, iOS, and macOS devices.
More features of Surshark include; Bypasser — a split tunneling tool, CleanWeb — blocks ads and malware, MultiHop — double encryption, Kill Switch, DNS/IP/WebRTC Leak Protection, Camouflage Mode, and Smart DNS.
For technical guidance, contact Surfshark’s customer support via the 24/7 live chat option on the official website.
Get to know more about the provider by visiting our detailed guide for Surfshark!
4. CyberGhost: The User-Friendly Service for Steam
CyberGhost has a classic yellow-black theme and the service offers user-friendly apps from which you can conveniently use Steam and download games with no hassles.
The provider is based in Romania, which falls out of the 14 Eyes Alliance. CyberGhost has a strict no-logs policy but the independent audit was performed last in 2012.
CyberGhost offers a rich pool of 6000+ servers in 88 countries, optimized for streaming videos, playing online games, and sharing files smoothly.
Upon testing, CyberGhost achieved an average speed of 83 Mbps. The ping rate was a little high as compared to other services but we didn’t experience any lags while playing games.
CyberGhost supports all operating systems including Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS. You can also install the CyberGhost extension on Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox easily.
The provider offers 7 simultaneous connections so you can cover all your devices.
CyberGhost is one of the few VPN providers that offer a 45-day money-back guarantee, so you get extra two weeks to test the service.
The optimized servers of CyberGhost can unblock all major streaming platforms including Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, and more.
Other features of CyberGhost include; Smart Rules, NoSpy, Smart DNS, Two-Mode Kill Switch, Smart DNS, and DNS/IP/WebRTC Leak Protection.
CyberGhost has a 24/7 live chat option so you can easily contact their customer support any time of the day.
Get to know more about the provider by visiting our detailed guide for CyberGhost!
5. Private Internet Access: Solid VPN for Steam
PIA is the solid VPN choice for Steam with an affordable price tag if you’re willing to compromise a little on speed.
The provider is based in the US, the region is a member of the 5, 9, and 14 Eyes Alliance. However, PIA assures that no logs of the users are recorded or stored.
Private Internet Access is supported on Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS. You can also get browser extensions for Firefox, Chrome, and Opera. Additionally, the service offers 10 simultaneous connections.
Upon testing PIA, we achieved an average speed of 62 Mbps with a decent ping rate ranging between 40 – 50 ms. There were no laggy experiences while playing Steam games.
PIA can unblock major streaming platforms including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube TV, Hulu, HBO Max, and more.
More features of PIA include; Kill Switch, Built-in Ad Blocking, Split Tunneling, Custom DNS Settings, Port Forwarding, WireGuard Protocol, Dedicated IPs, and 24/7 Live Chat Support.
Get to know more about the provider by visiting our detailed guide for PIA VPN!
Does Steam Ban You for Using a VPN?
The short answer is: no, Steam does not ban you for using a VPN. However, if you use a VPN to commit fraud or violate Steam’s terms of service, your account may be subject to suspension or termination.
There is a simple rule of thumb to follow to avoid all of this.
Steam can terminate your account if you,
- Use a VPN to get games at lower prices.
- Use a VPN to play games geo-blocked in your region.
- Use a VPN to buy an in-game item not available in your region yet.
- Use a VPN for malicious practices.
However, people are still using VPNs for the first three reasons without any issues. Just be a little careful and you should be fine.
Selecting Best VPN for Steam: Points to Remember
When you’re looking for the best VPN for Steam, here are some factors to consider.
- Server Network: The first thing you want to look for is a large server network. This will ensure that you can always find a server to access your home library if you’ve traveled to a country where Steam is blocked.
- Speed: You’ll want to make sure that the VPN doesn’t slow down your connection too much. You will not be able to download games and playing with a high ping rate is not fun.
- Unblocking Streaming Platforms: It’s good that your VPN works on Steam but it’ll be great if it can also unblock other streaming platforms. Look out for a VPN that can easily unblock popular platforms like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, HBO Max, and more.
- Security: You don’t want your real IP address to be exposed while gaming. A top-tier VPN encrypts your traffic with AES-256 bit encryption. This will protect you from any prying eyes, whether it’s your ISP or the government. It will also help you avoid DDoS attacks while gaming.
- Privacy: The last thing you want is for your data to be collected and sold by your VPN provider. A good VPN will have a strict no-logs policy, ensuring that your data is never stored or monitored.
- User-Friendly: The best VPN for Steam should be easy to use and have a responsive customer support team in case you run into any issues.
- Pricing: You don’t want to break the bank just to get a VPN for gaming. A good VPN will offer a variety of pricing options to suit your budget.
Using a VPN on Steam: 5 Simple Steps
Free VPNs for Steam: Safe or Not Safe?
There are a lot of free VPNs on the market but we would not recommend using one for gaming.
The reason is that free VPNs often have slow speeds, limited server networks, and poor security features. This means that you’re more likely to experience lag while gaming and your data could be at risk of being hacked.
Moreover, free VPNs are known to sell user data to make a profit. So, if you’re looking for a VPN for Steam, it’s best to avoid the free options.
Best VPN for Steam: FAQs
Are players getting banned for using a VPN on Steam?
The Steam VPN rules are very clear. Using a VPN with Steam is against the Steam Terms of Service. The parent company of Steam, Valve reserve the right to terminate or suspend your account if it detects that you’re Steam with a VPN.
Does a VPN affect gaming?
VPNs are powerful tools to hide your online identity on the open web. But even the best VPN services can interfere with the connection and make your favorite PC game laggy.
Can I use a VPN to avoid Steam tax?
There are some digital stores in the US like Steam and Amazon that collect state tax. Using a VPN to pretend you’re living in another to avoid these taxes can be against the rules.
Can I use a VPN to get Steam games cheaper?
Yes, you can. All you need to do is connect to a location server where your Steam game is available and download the game. However, the real challenge is when you need to change your Steam store country to benefit from the best price deal.
Which Steam region is cheapest?
Steam has different prices for its games in every region. Turkey owns the cheapest prices on Steam games globally.
A VPN for Steam is a great way to unblock games that are geo-restricted or blocked by your network administrator. It will also protect your data and help you avoid DDoS attacks.
The best VPN for Steam should have a large server network, fast speeds, and robust security features. And remember, free VPNs are not worth the risk.