Steam is a popular video game digital distribution service operated by Valve. Although it is nominally available around the world, some countries decide to block it. And the same goes for some schools and workplaces.
Luckily, there is a way around these restrictions as you can use a VPN to bypass pretty much any block that could be thrown your way. And yes, that means you can access steam from pretty much any place on the planet.
But that’s not all, as VPN has much more to offer, including the ability to make you (more) anonymous online. We say “more” as no amount of technology can do this if you share what you’re doing and where you are on Facebook.
Alas, that’s another story. You’re on this page to get a good VPN for Steam and here are the best options:
- 5,000+ servers in the network
- Easy to use - install it and forget it
- One license is good for up to 6 devices
- Strict zero-logs policy
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Chrome extension is just a proxy
- You can't pay with PayPal
Its network includes more than 5,000 servers spread across 60 countries, which directly translates into faster speeds. NordVPN is also very secure, relying on the strong 256-bit encryption combined with secure VPN protocols (OpenVPN, WireGuard, IKEv2/IPSec). But as a user, you get a seamless experience with all this technology "doing its thing" in the background.
NordVPN is well suited to pretty much every task you throw at it — whether it's accessing a banned site from some country that filters out the internet, torrenting, accessing streaming services, or just wanting to keep a low profile on the web. It also doesn't keep any logs.
We highly recommend NordVPN to anyone looking for reliable service.
- Good for both torrenting and streaming
- Works in China
- Solid network with servers in 60+ countries
- Easy to use apps on multiple platforms
- Live chat isn't always available
- Fairly pricey
Whether you need a VPN for watching Netflix shows or downloading files via BitTorrent, Astrill can help you out — all while keeping your identity under the radar. And this is especially true if you live or work in China when the company's stealth protocols will kick in to let you access all the popular sites that are by default blocked by the country's censors.
Astrill's apps are easy to use and available on all popular platforms. Nevertheless, they still manage to provide a host of advanced features tech-savvy folks are used to get. Highly recommended, again, especially if you're looking to bypass the Great Firewall of China.
- Feature-rich yet easy to use
- One of the best VPNs around
- Strong no-logging policy
- Reliable support you can reach 24/7
- Limited number of servers in Africa and the Middle East
- Kinda pricey
ExpressVPN has great desktop apps for Windows and Mac, mobile apps and browser extensions. Also, it is well suited for video streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer and others.
However, what makes it stand out is its ease of use. We can't emphasize this enough. One could tell a lot of time has been spent making sure even the advanced features are easily accessible. And we love it for that. Plus, let's not forget ExpressVPN's speed which tends to leave other services in the dust.
- Fast download and upload speeds
- Works with Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, etc.
- Great for torrenting
- Advanced privacy features (i.e. Tor over VPN)
- Relatively small number of servers
- There are no browser extensions
- Live chat support is not always available
Specifically, you can rely on PrivateVPN for both torrenting and streaming, without paying a premium. It is, in fact, one of the most affordable options in its league and we love it for that.
Customer support may not be on par with bigger players but it's not like you should experience many problems anyway. You will get the same level of security and privacy as with other services, and a single license will let you run PrivateVPN on up to 6 devices. Pretty cool.
- Works in China
- Many servers in Asia
- Strict zero-logs policy
- Advanced services like VyprVPN Cloud
- No browser extensions
- Torrenting could be better
It manages to bypass restrictions in high-censorship countries and elsewhere by relying on its proprietary Chameleon protocol, which can easily slide under the radar.
VyprVPN is also great for accessing video streaming services such as Netflix, Disney+, Hulu and so on — delivering the true buffer-free experience every single time. It will also work with BitTorrent, and consequently - Kodi.
VyprVPN has a strict zero-logs policy. Period.
Steam is a video game digital distribution service operated by Valve. Launched as a standalone software client in September 2003 as a way for Valve to provide automatic updates for their games, it was later expanded to include games from other publishers. Moreover, the service was also expanded beyond desktop games to also include web-based and mobile digital storefront.
For game publishers, Steam offers digital rights management (DRM), server hosting, video streaming, and social networking services. On the other hand, users are provided with installation and automatic updating of games, and community features such as friends lists and groups, cloud storage, and in-game voice and chat functionality.
Steam can further be expanded if a developer uses its API, Steamworks, which can integrate many of Steam’s functions into their products — including in-game achievements, microtransactions, and support for user-created content through Steam Workshop.
The Steam platform is the largest digital distribution platform for PC gaming. By 2017, users purchasing games through Steam totaled roughly $4.3 billion, representing at least 18% of global PC game sales. By 2019, the service had over 34,000 games with over 95 million monthly active users.
The success of Steam has led to the development of a line of Steam Machine microconsoles, which include the SteamOS operating system and Steam Controllers, Steam Link devices for local game streaming, and the Steam Deck, a handheld personal computer system tailored for running Steam games.
Steam privacy and security
The popularity of Steam has (naturally?) led to the service’s being attacked by hackers. To protect users against the hijacking of accounts via phishing schemes, Valve introduced the Steam Guard functionality in March 2011. The new feature was advertised to take advantage of the identity protection provided by Intel’s second-generation Core processors and compatible motherboard hardware, which allows users to lock their account to a specific computer. Once locked, activity by that account on other computers must first be approved by the user on the locked computer.
Steam Guard also offers two-factor, risk-based authentication that uses a one-time verification code sent to a verified email address associated with the Steam account; this was later expanded to include two-factor authentication through the Steam mobile application, known as Steam Guard Mobile Authenticator. If Steam Guard is enabled, the verification code is sent each time the account is used from an unknown machine.
In 2015, between Steam-based game inventories, trading cards, and other virtual goods attached to a user’s account – Valve stated that the potential monetary value had drawn hackers to try to access user accounts for financial benefit. To improve security, the company announced that new restrictions would be added in March 2016, under which 15-day holds are placed on traded items unless they activate, and authenticate with Steam Guard Mobile Authenticator.
In April 2018, Valve added new privacy settings for Steam users, who are able to set if their current activity status is private, visible to friends only, or public. A month later, Valve established a HackerOne bug bounty program to test and improve security features of the Steam client.
In August 2019, a security researcher exposed a zero-day vulnerability in the Windows client of Steam, which allowed for any user to run arbitrary code with LocalSystem privileges using just a few simple commands. The vulnerability was then reported to Valve via the program, but it was initially rejected for being “out-of-scope”. Following a second vulnerability found by the same user, Valve apologized and patched them both, and expanded the program’s rules to accept any other similar problems in the future.
You may need a VPN for Steam
Even if you can access Steam from your country and/or workplace/school, you may still want to use it with a VPN just to be sure. There is no need to tell your ISP or an office/school admin what you’re doing on the Internet. Because if you don’t use a VPN, they can find that out.
And that, of course, is not the only reason why you should be using a VPN, which can do many other things for you — ultimately helping you protect your privacy on the Internet. A good VPN service will:
- Protect your privacy from the government and big corporations
- Bypass restrictions imposed by the government or various organizations
- Change your IP address so you get unrestricted access to Netflix, Disney+, iPlayer, HULU, and other video streaming services
- Encrypt and protect private data from cybercriminals
- Download files with BitTorrent anonymously
The top contenders that check all these boxes — while also letting you access social media sites — include the following: