Steam is one of the most well-known video game distribution services available. It’s operated by Valve and includes their titles and games from other publishers. It provides numerous benefits for gamers across the globe, such as constant discounts, community support, and more.
However, the platform is not without flaws. Like any other online service, Steam is prone to data leaks and attacks from hackers. Plus, some networks restrict access to the marketplace entirely to prevent excessive data usage.
Luckily a Steam VPN (Virtual Private Network) is the perfect solution to these problems. It can obfuscate your online activities and prevent data throttling and other limitations. Meanwhile, encryption renders your data safe from leaks and surveillance. Choose one of our recommended VPN services to secure your online gaming experience!
Top five VPNs for Steam: shortlist
- The best VPN for Steam9.6
- Steam VPN with unlimited connections9.3
- Affordable VPN for Steam9.0
- Steam VPN with bonus features8.7
- Steam VPN with a free version8.5
How to use a VPN with Steam
- Subscribe to a secure VPN. Our favorite option is NordVPN, currently available for 68% off!
- Download the VPN on your main gaming rig
- Connect to a nearby server for optimal performance
- Log into Steam and start gaming securely!
Why do you need a VPN for Steam in 2023?
Video game marketplaces like Steam are an attractive target for hackers and scammers. Many users on these platforms have game libraries worth hundreds if not thousands of dollars. Therefore, targeting them can be a lucrative venture.
Luckily, a VPN can mitigate the risk of your data being stolen. It masks your home IP address and area, preventing others from knowing where you’re located. Additionally, all of your online activities are hidden with military-grade encryption, preserving your privacy. Such encryption also has the benefit of hiding your activities from your ISP (Internet Service Provider) and curbing data throttling.
Furthermore, using a VPN to change your location can unlock games exclusive to other countries. Alternatively, you can pre-purchase a game and get to play it earlier by switching to a region where it comes out first. Be careful, though. Using a VPN to get lower prices on Steam could get your account banned. The terms of service state that using an IP proxying service, for example, a VPN, is a bannable offense. Here’s an excerpt from the Steam Subscriber Agreement:
You agree that you will not use IP proxying or other methods to disguise the place of your residence, whether to circumvent geographical restrictions on game content, to purchase at pricing not applicable to your geography, or for any other purpose. If you do this, Valve may terminate your access to your Account.
Steam VPN dos and don’ts
Here are a few crucial things to remember when using a VPN with Steam.
|Use a VPN with Steam to||Don’t use a VPN with Steam to|
|✔️Secure your online activities||❌Purchase video games for cheaper|
|✔️Maintain your privacy from snoopers||❌Buy games that are banned in your country|
|✔️Get around ISP data throttling|
|✔️Prevent DDoS attacks while playing online|
Of course, it’s pretty unlikely that Valve will catch you circumventing geo-blocks, especially if you practice caution. For example, creating a new account and always using the same IP address makes it appear that you’re really located in a specific country. A dedicated IP address is ideal in such a scenario.
Best VPNs for Steam: overview
A VPN for Steam should be reliable and well-performing if you want the best experience while gaming online. Some of the crucial features that a virtual private network should have are:
- Fast and modern tunneling protocols
- A vast array of servers worldwide
- IP, DNS, and WebRTC leak protection
- 24/7 customer support
- A trustworthy kill switch
You may also want non-essential bonuses, such as split tunneling or port forwarding. We’ll cover those in more detail below, as each Steam VPN has unique advantages that set it apart from the rest.
1. NordVPN – the best VPN for Steam
24/7 live chat, Email
- Wicked fast
- Independently audited and secure
- Solid device compatibility
- No router app
The ultimate tool to keep your Steam activities secure is NordVPN. It’s loaded with essential security features and grants wicked-fast connectivity.
For starters, NordVPN runs a network of 5500+ servers in 59+ countries. Many of these servers are equipped with RAM-only technology to ensure that data is appropriately handled. Additionally, customers can include a dedicated IP with their subscriptions if they want to avoid shared addresses.
The proprietary NordLynx tunneling protocol guarantees mind-blowing connection speeds when using NordVPN. Meanwhile, the CyberSec feature protects against malicious ads and other digital dangers. Lastly, SmartPlay allows the VPN to unlock geo-restricted content on practically any device, including gaming consoles and smart TVs.
NordVPN subscriptions begin at $2.99/month if you have a discount code at your disposal. However, you also have the option to test the service first, thanks to the 7-day free trial on the Google Play Store.
For a deeper investigation of NordVPN, read our NordVPN review.
2. Surfshark – Steam VPN with unlimited connections
24/7 live chat, FAQ
- Infinite connections with one account
- Antivirus protection
- Swift and secure
- Unaudited no-logs policy
Surfshark is the ideal VPN for Steam users with a ridiculous collection of different gaming devices. It permits unlimited connections with one account and has excellent compatibility.
Firstly, the VPN has 3200+ servers across 100+ countries. The entire fleet is running on RAM-only hardware to guarantee world-class privacy. Plus, static IP servers allow users to maintain a consistent IP address.
Otherworldly connection speeds are provided with the modern and open-source WireGuard tunneling protocol. On the other hand, digital obfuscation is provided with Camouflage Mode, NoBorders Mode, and Multihop. And with Smart DNS, Surfshark can be utilized on almost any device that would benefit from geo-unblocking.
You can unlock Surfshark for a mere $2.05/month when opting for the long-term plan. Additionally, numerous coupon codes provide other deals that are worth considering. Of course, you can opt for the 7-day free trial first, which is available both on the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.
For a deeper investigation of Surfshark VPN, read our Surfshark VPN review.
3. PrivateVPN – affordable VPN for Steam
24/7 live chat
- 7-day free trial
- Cheap and effective
- Solid security features
- Lacks WireGuard
Steam users know the appeal of a good product with a hefty discount. The VPN market is no exception to good deals, with PrivateVPN offering one of the best bang-for-buck services.
PrivateVPN operates a close-knit network of 200+ servers in 63+ countries. It retains complete control over the fleet, maintaining the hardware and software without assistance from third parties.
Even though PrivateVPN doesn’t support WireGuard (yet), it provides acceptable performance with the well-established OpenVPN tunneling protocol. Moreover, it’s packed with other valuable features, such as Stealth VPN and port forwarding.
A PrivateVPN subscription will set you back $2.00/month. You can also find alternative deals by grabbing a VPN discount code. Of course, you can forgo a paid plan and give the 7-day free trial a shot first.
For a deeper investigation of PrivateVPN, read our PrivateVPN review.
4. IPVanish – Steam VPN with bonus features
24/7 live chat, email, knowledge base
- Unlimited connections
- Antivirus protection and cloud storage
- Fast connectivity
- No anonymous payments
A VPN can do much more than secure your online connection while using Steam. A prime example is IPVanish, which can include cloud storage and protection against viruses.
To start, IPVanish is responsible for 2000+ servers across 50+ countries. The service runs the network without third-party hardware providers and maintains everything itself. Additionally, customers can secure an unlimited number of devices with one account.
Top-notch connectivity is ensured with the lightning-fast WireGuard tunneling protocol. Plus, IPVanish is compatible with many devices, such as Android TV and Amazon Fire TV Stick.
Sadly, there’s no free trial to get a feel for the service. However, you can grab an IPVanish coupon code and subscribe for as little as $3.99/month.
For a deeper investigation of IPVanish, read our IPVanish review.
5. Atlas VPN – Steam VPN with a free version
Email, tickets, FAQ
- Free version
- One of the cheapest on the market
- Fast and packed with features
- Subpar device compatibility
PC and mobile gamers will be glad to hear about the exceptionally cheap and secure Atlas VPN. It’s highly affordable and guarantees reliable performance with Steam.
Atlas VPN is equipped with 750+ servers in 37+ countries. Some of these have the unique SafeSwap feature, which alternates your IP address without interrupting the VPN connection.
Breakneck speeds are facilitated by using the well-known WireGuard VPN protocol. Furthermore, Atlas VPN is optimized for streaming with many popular platforms, such as Netflix and Disney Plus.
You can get your hands on Atlas VPN by downloading the app’s free version on desktop or mobile devices. Otherwise, pricing starts at merely $1.83/month when utilizing a discount code.
For a deeper investigation of Atlas VPN, read our Atlas VPN review.
The best aspect of VPNs for Steam
- NordVPN – The Best VPN for Steam
- Surfshark VPN – Steam VPN with unlimited connections
- PrivateVPN – Affordable VPN for Steam
- IPVanish – Steam VPN with bonus features
- Atlas VPN – Steam VPN with a free version
What else can I do with a VPN in Steam?
Even the most die-hard gamers do other things online. Luckily, a VPN can prove beneficial in different situations as well. For example, you can use a VPN to change your Netflix region and watch TV shows and movies from abroad. Unsurprisingly, this method also applies to other streaming platforms, such as HBO Max and Amazon Prime Video.
On the other hand, not all digital storefronts are so stringent about circumventing geo-blocking as Steam. VPNs are commonly used to curb price gouging when purchasing flight tickets or other goods and services. Of course, it’s best to read the terms and conditions carefully before attempting to get better deals.
Lastly, a secure VPN is crucial if you live in a country that’s notorious for online surveillance and censorship. Top-notch encryption and obfuscation are essential for maintaining access to independent media. However, users should be concerned about their privacy no matter where they live.
What should I look for in a VPN for Steam?
With hundreds of VPN services out there, you might be tempted to try a provider that isn’t mentioned here. If that’s the case, pay special attention to these criteria when considering a Steam VPN.
- Speed. Any gaming-focused VPN needs fast tunneling protocols, such as WireGuard, to ensure low latency and lagging. Although many variables can influence connectivity, a good idea is to see how a provider performs on third-party VPN speed tests.
- Servers. A varied country selection guarantees optimal performance by allowing users to connect to nearby and less-crowded servers.
- Confidentiality. VPNs have the potential to collect a lot of data about their customers. Ensure there’s no foul play and that the provider is in privacy-respecting jurisdiction, ideally away from the Nine Eyes alliance. Naturally, it should adhere to a zero-logs policy.
- Security. Virtual private networks can protect you against numerous digital threats, such as phishing attacks, malware, malicious ads, and more.
- Cost. While free services don’t always have your best interests in mind, premium VPNs do. However, there’s no need to overpay, especially since VPN discount codes are readily available.
- Compatibility. High-end VPN services provide apps beyond the usual desktop and mobile ones. Of course, the most versatility is gained when a VPN is manually configurable on routers.
- Customer service. Sometimes VPNs don’t work the way they should. Contacting customer support is the best way of finding out if the issue is on your end or not.
Should I pick a free VPN for Steam?
No-cost VPN providers are a poor choice for securing Steam. They usually have downsides that make them unsuitable for extended gaming sessions. These drawbacks include:
- Monthly or daily data caps
- Poor server selection
- Throttled bandwidth
- Outdated security practices
- High chance of data logging and selling
Overall, you’re better off not using a VPN at all instead of an unverified free VPN. Luckily, most premium services offer a limited-time free trial without any drawbacks. That way, you can test the provider without commitment to see if it lives up to your expectations. Alternatively, freemium options are available if you don’t mind a few limitations.
Using a VPN with Steam is an excellent way to hide your identity and secure yourself against DDoS attacks while gaming. However, it’s crucial to remember that Valve doesn’t approve of using a VPN to circumvent geographical restrictions. Of course, the chances of getting banned are low if you’re using a secure VPN and following the best digital privacy practices.
Do you use a VPN while gaming on Steam? Share your preferences by leaving a comment!
Can I use VPN for Steam?
That depends on what your intentions are. Using a VPN with Steam for general security and privacy is acceptable. However, the Steam terms of service mention that using IP proxying services to get around geographical restrictions could get your subscription terminated.
Which VPN is best for gaming?
NordVPN is the best VPN for gaming. It provides blazing-fast connectivity with the proprietary NordLynx tunneling protocol. It’s also exceptionally secure and will prevent DDoS attacks and other online threats. Plus, there’s a 7-day free trial available on the Google Play Store, allowing you to test the performance before committing for a long-term subscription.
Which country's VPN is best for ping?
Low ping with a VPN can be guaranteed when connecting to servers in your own country. This ensures short travel times for data packets and minimal delay while playing. Naturally, if the VPN doesn’t provide servers in your home country, another neighboring country will do as well.
Can you use a VPN to unlock Steam games early?
Theoretically, it’s possible to use a VPN with Steam to access games earlier. Because most games aren’t released at the same time globally, you can use a VPN to switch to a location that gets an early release of a particular game. However, you should only do this with games you can pre-purchase in your home country to ensure that Steam doesn’t ban you.