The 5 Best Steam VPN Services That Work in 2020

Whether you're a seasoned veteran or a casual gamer, using a VPN for Steam will ensure your online security, privacy and even let you get games cheaper. VPN services encrypt all the data going to and from your device, which improves your online privacy. It will also change the users IP Address so you can access steam games that are blocked in your region or get games cheaper by appearing to be in another country.

In this guide, we list the best Steam VPN services and give you some top tips on how to unblock games on steam. 

What are the Best Steam VPN services

We have listed the best Steam VPN services below. If you want more information about any of the services in the list, scroll below this list.

  1. ExpressVPN - The best Steam VPN service because it is fast, secure, and has some great added features.
  2. CyberGhost VPN - A VPN for Steam that is great for beginners thanks to its easy apps with outstanding features.
  3. Private Internet Access - Brilliant privacy features to ensure you are secure on Steam. Fast servers that are ideal for gaming
  4. Surfshark - A cheap VPN for Steam, costing less than $2 per month. Although it's cheap it is packed with features and has fast servers.
  5. VyprVPN - Excellent apps that are easy to use and ideal for gamers thanks to good speeds and DDoS protection

In order to access Steam games and keep you secure on Steam, a VPN service must have the following features:

All of the services listed above provide users with these features and more. We take a closer look at each VPNs unique features below.

The Best VPNs for Steam - In-depth analysis

We take a closer look at our recommended Steam VPN services. All of these VPNs have fast and secure servers making them perfect for gaming, but they also have their own unique features. If you want more information about any of the services on the list, why not check out our detailed VPN reviews.

ExpressVPN is the best VPN for Steam because it has super-fast servers, that are reliable. It also has some nifty extra features and servers in over 90 countries.

  • Pricing

    From  $6.67 - $12.95
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer

ExpressVPN is highly regarded as one of the best VPNs in the world. And, it is ideal for gaining access to Steam from anywhere in the world. We enjoy using this VN with Steam due to its consistently fast speeds and high reliability (99.9% uptime guarantee). This is ideal because speed and reliability are the two most important factors when streaming and gaming. Express is perfect for even the most intensive of games, being fast enough to cope with real-time multiplayer games inside the VPN tunnel.


We all know how irritating ping issues, dropped connections and latency are. And with ExpressVPN you get a large network of highly reliable and stable servers that can combat these issues. Express has servers in 94 countries around the world, which means you can easily access foreign game servers and content. And, subscribers are permitted up to five simultaneous connections on any devices they prefer.


Admittedly, Express VPN is a little on the expensive side. However, if you can afford the best this VPN is well worth testing using its 30-day money-back guarantee. 

CyberGhost is a great service for anyone that is new to VPNs. This service is really easy to use, fast, and works reliably with Steam.

  • Pricing

    From  $2.75 - $12.99
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer

CyberGhost is an excellent choice for Steam because it provides fast speeds and high levels of privacy. The VPN is based in Romania, which puts it well out of reach of invasive jurisictions. And, because this is a no-logs VPN it will never have any records about what you do online. Thanks to its servers in over 90 countries, this VPN is ideal for accessing Steam and playing a large range of international game servers.


This VPN is a fantastic all-rounder that can easily unblock Netflix US, hulu and other popular services. And this VPN supports P2P, which means you can use it for torrenting.  In addition, CyberGhost VPN will provide security when you use WiFi, as well as killswitch and DNS leak protection to ensure your privacy is always assured. We love that users can install this VPN on 7 devices simultaneously. And you can test it risk free by using its 45-day money back guarantee.

is a fantastic Steam VPN. They have proven their no logs claim in court, more than once. It's also packed with features and really fast.

  • Pricing

    From  $2.69 - $11.95
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer

Private Internet Access VPN is a US-based provider that keeps zero logs. It is a VPN that is often praised by Reddit users due to its high quality apps. With PIA you get servers in 33 countries that are idea for accessing Steam. And, because those servers are fast, this VPN is perfect for playing data intensive games. PIA has apps for all platforms that come with a killswitch, DNS leak protection, obfuscation, port forwarding, split tunnelling, and a SOCKS5 proxy. That makes PIA extremely advanced, and particularly good for techier users. The VPN permits P2P conection, which means it is suitable for torrenting. And it has live chat support to help you when you need it. With PIA, you are safe to access censored or restricted content thanks to its strong OpenVPN encryption. And, you can trust this VPN to always provide access to sought after services like Netflix US and hulu. A great allrounder that is well worth testing using its 30-day money back guarantee. 

Surfshark is a low cost VPN service great for anyone looking for a budget VPN for steam. Although it is cheap, it's packed with features.

  • Pricing

    From  $1.94 - $11.95
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer

Surfshark is a no-logs VPN service with great technical security and a large choice of useful features. The VPN has servers in over 60 countries, and that network is one of the fastest we have ever encountered. This makes Surfshark perfect for accessing Steam and playing data intensive games online. Surfshark is great for people who like to compete in online gaming tournaments because it will provide DDoS protection. Plus, the price of the VPN is ludicrously low considering what you get.


We are always impressed that this VPN allows its subscribers to install the VPN software on an unlimited number of devices. And, we love that this VPN has 24/7 live chat support. When it comes to unblocking content; this VPN is strong. It can unblock iPlayer, hulu, YouTube TV, and more Netflix catalogs than just about any other VPN. In fact, we have never had trouble unblocking anything. When it comes to privacy, this VPN can protect you at home and on public WiFi thanks to its no logs policy and strong OpenVPN encryption. A superb VPN for Steam that is well worth testing using its 30-day money back guarantee. Extremely versatile. 

VyprVPN has a reliable network of proprietary servers that make it great for gaming and unblocking content in privacy

  • Pricing

    From  $2.50 - $12.95
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer

VyprVPN is based in Switzerland; a location that is great for your data privacy. This VPN provider has apps for all platforms with a lot of advanced features to keep your data secure. It is one of the best VPNs for Steam, because it has a large choice of servers located around the world. And it runs on a proprietary network that is great for gaining DDoS attack protection and unblocking capabilities. Admittedly, VyprVPN is not as fast as our other recommendations. However, if you want something with a lot of reliability - and a large choice of features - this VPN is well worth considering. 


Specfically, it has an excellent obfuscation feature that makes it a little better equipped to circumvent firewalls and VPN blcoks than most other services. There's even a NAT firewall feature and killswitch for added protection, which makes it great for sensitive tasks and torrenting. With servers in 70 countries that work to unblock Netflix US, Prime Video, iPlayer, and anything else you can think of - this VPN is also extremely versatile! And you can compare it to our other recommendations yourself thanks to its 30-day money back guarantee. 

Why you should use a Steam VPN

VPN tunnels help unblock foreign content through a feature called IP address masking. The masking feature allows your computer or device to “borrow” an IP address from a foreign VPN server. The VPN server, which hosts your borrowed address, obtains data on your behalf and then forwards that data to your device. In the reverse direction, the VPN server sends data from your device to the destination server (Steam's servers, in this case) from its own IP address. The destination servers can't see your real IP address. Thus it appears to the Steam servers that they're only interacting with the VPN server.

Since IP addresses are distributed by geographical region, it's possible to circumvent content censorship and account restrictions. Proxy servers work in much the same way. However, VPN tunnels are superior because they encrypt data, making it unreadable to third parties. A proxy server does not. For that reason, I'd recommend sticking with VPN tunnels if you want to access Steam. However, in the interest of full disclosure, I must first offer a warning regarding Steam VPNs.

For more information, check out our What is a proxy server guide, where we take a look at proxy servers and how they differ to VPNs.

Can I get banned from Steam when using a VPN?

Like most other online gaming platforms, Steam is subject to strict regulations and licensing restrictions. These force it to limit liability and dissuade users from using proxy connections and VPN tunnels. Again, this isn't uncommon among gaming platforms. Thankfully, PC gamers aren't as encumbered as console gamers. For instance, on an Xbox 360, Microsoft wrote the operating system to purposefully omit VPN functionality. That way, users can't connect the console to a VPN tunnel directly (though there are other ways to use VPNs with consoles).

On a PC or a Mac, however, it simply isn't feasible (or even possible) to disallow the use of VPN tunnels. As such, Steam users have a much easier time of unblocking content that's been geo-restricted. Nevertheless, I need to warn you: if you get caught downloading games (and other materials) on a VPN connection, you run the risk Steam banning your account. It's all spelled out in great detail in the Steam Subscriber Agreement. More specifically, pay attention to section 3-A: Payment Authorization.

The SSA clearly states the following:

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.

SSA

If you still want to use a VPN tunnel, proceed with caution. It seems that there is some tolerance for the use of VPN tunnels, depending on the reason you're using them, what you do, and whether or not you get caught. However, there are also some definite reasons that will result in a banned account when using a VPN tunnel. When connecting to Steam, make sure you don't use a VPN tunnel or proxy for any of the following purposes without understanding the risk of a ban:

  • To circumvent geographical restrictions on game content
  • To purchase games and media at prices not applicable in your region
  • For any purpose that can harm other Valve users

The term “game content” is rather gray and vague. When I first heard that term, I instantly thought of game purchases, downloadable content and other similar uses. However, there have been plenty of accounts banned because of users connected to regions where a video game had an earlier release date. Even though the game was technically legal in their region (eventually), the users were still punished.

As such, if you don't want to run the risk of getting your account banned, it's best to abstain from using a VPN tunnel with your Steam account, especially when trying to access games that aren't available in your area. Too many users tried to use a Russia VPN for Steam to illegally access content before it was released in Russia, and their accounts were banned as a result.

Shared Servers and Shared IP Addresses

Your average VPN subscription, regardless of which provider you choose, typically uses a shared IP address. This means that many other users can access the internet with the same IP address hosted on the VPN server. This helps protect users' anonymity. If the long arm of the law tried to trace users' online activities, it would be virtually impossible to trace the connection back to the real user for two reasons.

Firstly, most VPN providers don't keep log files of user activity. Thus there wouldn't be a paper trail to follow. Secondly, since multiple users share the same address, it would make it that much more difficult to zero in on which user actually accessed a particular web resource from the shared IP address. However, when trying to access internet resources that try to limit, restrict or completely block the use of VPN tunnels, shared addresses aren't typically your best option.

Shared IP addresses are frequently “blacklisted” by the service provider, and are usually well-known addresses. This is due to the “bad neighbor” effect, whereby someone sharing your VPN-hosted IP address (or a previous user) abused the IP address for spam emails, Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks or other misuses. In turn, this can cause that IP address to be flagged as a dangerous or illegitimate address, and frequently cause Captcha verification applets to appear before you can access a website. As such, even though shared IP addresses offer greater anonymity, they are more often blacklisted.

There are two ways to circumvent this problem. The first solution is to use a VPN provider that offers a dedicated IP address, meaning that no other users will use the IP address that you subscribe to. This is better than a shared address if you don't want a service – such as Steam – to ban your account. The best option, though, in terms of the lowest risk of an account ban, is to use your own private server. If you're a hardcore Steam user and really want a private server, you could do one of the following:

  • Set up a home-brewed Linux VPN server to access game content when you're away from home
  • Lease a dedicated/private server in the cloud

These options aren't as simple as subscribing to a VPN service, but they are highly effective alternatives.

Conclusion

VPN tunnels remain the best way to unblock content securely. They are vastly superior to proxy connections thanks to their encryption. That's why many gamers still turn to VPN services to unblock foreign game content and connect to foreign multiplayer servers. However, use caution: if you use a VPN tunnel with Steam to unblock game content or download games unavailable in your region, your account could be banned.

Written by: Ray Walsh

Digital privacy expert with 5 years experience testing and reviewing VPNs. He's been quoted in The Express, The Times, The Washington Post, The Register, CNET & many more. 

1 Comment

baron_von_fleece
on November 2, 2017
Reply
Steam says in its TAC agreement that if you use VPN to bypass residential or national restrictions they will terminate your account. They are less clear about general VPN use, probably for a reason.
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