Steam is a popular name among avid gamers as this platform is the place to go to if you are looking for the best titles. Created by Valve, Steam is a digital distribution center with a vast selection of games. It also features forums where you can interact with other players and organize teams. You can buy games and manage the titles purchased across multiple devices. There are many well-known games available including Counter Strike, Team Fortress and Left 4 Dead. The downside of Steam (and of many other multiplayer platforms) is that there are some download restrictions and account rules that affect your experience with the platform. Due to some regulations, some of the content is not available in certain locations. Unfortunately, geo-restrictions are a common practice and Steam is only one of the services subject to them. However, you can enjoy online freedom with the help of a VPN. Before we go through the list of the best VPNs for Steam, let’s go through some important aspects that you need to consider when it comes to bypassing geo-blocks on Steam.
How to unblock content on Steam with a VPN
When you connect to a VPN, your IP address (which gives away your location) is disguised. This means that your real location won’t be exposed, but that is not all. You get a different IP address in the location of the server you are connected to. In addition, your internet traffic is routed through the VPN server and the destination servers only see the VPN’s IP address. This allows you to keep your real location hidden and get access to content that is not available in your region. You simply need to connect to a VPN server in the location that hosts the content that you want. VPNs are valuable tools to bypass censorship and geographical restrictions.
Security is another important benefit of VPN services. Your data is encrypted, meaning that third-parties won’t be able to read it. This is why VPNs are also a good solution for people concerned about privacy and security. Although VPNs are convenient for many cases and they can be an option to unblock content on Steam, there are some things to consider before using a VPN for this purpose. Steam and other online gaming platforms have strict policies in place when it comes to the licensing of their content. Their agreements often stipulate that certain games can only be offered in specific regions. This is why Steam doesn’t want users to use VPNs and similar services to bypass the blocks.
Is using a VPN against Steam’s terms of service?
Although you are likely to be able to unblock content that is geo-restricted on Steam, if the platform detects that you are downloading content while using a VPN, your account may be banned. The Steam Subscriber Agreement states that the use of methods to mask your location is not allowed. Whether it is to bypass geographical restrictions to download content or to get a better price in a different location, the Payment Authorization on the Agreement clearly says that Valve may limit the access to your account. Having this in mind, if you decide to use a VPN, you need to be careful. Although many players use VPNs for security and to prevent ISP throttling (which is why it seems like Steam is less harsh in the case of VPNs than in the case of proxies), you should consider the risk of getting your account banned.
It is advisable that you avoid using a VPN for circumventing geo-restrictions to access game content, to purchase media at prices that don’t apply to your location, or for activities that affect other users. It should be noted that the terms “game content” seems to apply to cover a variety of media. It doesn’t seem to refer only to downloads or game purchases. Some users have been banned for accessing games before they were officially released in their region. If you don’t want to risk your account getting banned, it is advisable to avoid using a VPN on Steam, in particular when you are trying to access games that you can’t get in your area.
Shared IP addresses and Shared Servers
Most VPN services use shared IP addresses, meaning that other users have the same IP address when they are connected to the internet. This is a solution that can help to boost your anonymity. If someone tries you, it will be practically impossible for them to do it. This is because the majority of VPN services don’t keep logs of users’ activities so even if they are approached by authorities with information requests, there won’t be anything of value that they can hand over. In addition, given that multiple users are using the same address, it will be very difficult to link a specific activity to a particular user. That being said, if you are trying to unblock content, shared addresses are not the most effective solution.
The issue with shared IP addresses is that they are often known and blacklisted by service providers. If someone misused an IP address and carried out DDoS attacks or other tasks that harm companies and users, that IP address will be marked as dangerous and whenever you try to access a website, the Captcha verification applets may appear. This is why although shared IP addresses are better for anonymity, they may cause hassle when you try to unblock a service that aims to tackle geo-blocking bypassing.
One way to overcome this is to use a VPN that offers a dedicated IP address so that other people don’t use the same IP address. It will only be assigned to you, helping you to prevent issues with your Steam account. Another alternative is to use your own private server. You can set up a Linux VPN server to access content, or get a dedicated server in the cloud. Although these are options that are more complicated than using a VPN, they work very well.
VPN Services for Steam
While as explained, it is important to take into consideration the risks of using a VPN for Steam, if you decide to use this solution, there are some providers that offer the best quality to protect your data and enjoy a more versatile experience on Steam. Here are the leading VPN services for Steam.
ExpressVPN has servers in over 90 countries and it uses high encryption to protect your internet traffic from security threats. One of the main reasons why ExpressVPN is ideal for Steam is that it offer fast speeds that will enable you to download and access content without issues. The service is reliable, effective and secure.
NordVPN is a zero logs provider that takes your privacy very seriously. It uses advanced technology to protect your online activities from eavesdroppers. NordVPN also has ultra fast servers that allow you to bypass restrictions and enjoy your favorite media content from any location.
VyprVPN is a service from Golden Frog, a reputable online company based in Switzerland. The highlight of VyprVPN is its Chameleon technology, which is designed to defeat firewalls and prevent Deep Packet Inspection. VyprVPN offers over 200,000 IP addresses and more than 700 servers in over 70 countries. It is a fast solution that will also be ideal for Steam.
PureVPN is a popular name in the VPN industry and it has over 750 servers in 141 countries. Its remarkable global coverage will help you to access content and disguise your IP address effectively. PureVPN also uses strong encryption and thanks to the good speeds of the service, you will be able to enjoy media without delays.
Buffered is a provider based in Hungary and it is another service that offers fantastic speeds. You can access servers in more than 40 countries and new locations are added on a regular basis. Buffered is a simple and effective way to defeat geo-blocks and protect your online traffic.