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 let you access more games. VPN services encrypt all the data going to and from your device, which improves your online privacy. It will also change your 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 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 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 94 countries.

  • Pricing

    From  $6.67 - $12.95
  • Speeds

    • 57.53 Mbps
  • Server locations

    • 94 countries
  • Tested with

    • Xbox
    • PlayStation
    • Nintendo
    • PC

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 VPN 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. Plus, with its new Lightway protocol, you can benefit from a faster and more secure VPN experience.


We all know how irritating ping issues, dropped connections and latency are. 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. 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  $2.81 - $13.47
  • Speeds

    • 47.19 Mbps
  • Server locations

    • 111 countries
  • Tested with

    • Xbox
    • PlayStation
    • Nintendo
    • PC

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 jurisdictions. 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 a kill-switch 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.

PIA is a fantastic Steam VPN. It has proven its no-logs claim in court more than once, is really fast, and is packed with features.

  • Pricing

    From  $2.84 - $10.51
  • Speeds

    • 41.19 Mbps
  • Server locations

    • 74 countries
  • Tested with

    • Xbox
    • PlayStation
    • Nintendo
    • PC

Private Internet Access (PIA) is a US-based VPN 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 ideal 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 kill-switch, DNS leak protection, obfuscation, port forwarding, split tunneling, and a SOCKS5 proxy. That makes PIA extremely advanced, and particularly good for techier users.


The VPN permits P2P connection, which means it is suitable for torrenting, and it offers 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 all-rounder 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. Despite being cheap, it's packed with features.

  • Pricing

    From  $2.49 - $12.95
  • Speeds

    • 62.03 Mbps
  • Server locations

    • 63 countries
  • Tested with

    • Xbox
    • PlayStation
    • Nintendo
    • PC

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. It's a superb VPN for Steam that is well worth testing using its 30-day money-back guarantee. It's 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
  • Speeds

    • 27.31 Mbps
  • Server locations

    • 70 countries
  • Tested with

    • Xbox
    • PlayStation
    • Nintendo
    • PC

VyprVPN is based in Switzerland; a location 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 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. 


Specifically, it has an excellent obfuscation feature that makes it a little better equipped to circumvent firewalls and VPN blocks than most other services. There's even a NAT firewall feature and kill switch 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! You can compare it to our other recommendations yourself, thanks to its 30-day money-back guarantee. 

Why you should use a Steam VPN

A virtual private network (VPN) is a great tool for any gamer. By encrypting your internet traffic and masking your IP address. It allows you to massively improve your security and prevent hackers from targeting you with distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks - where someone floods your IP address with fake requests and causes lag, or even disconnects you from the game.

With a VPN your IP address is hidden, and a secure tunnel is wrapped around your internet traffic – no one can see what you're doing, and your real location is hidden. This makes it great for spoofing your geolocation. With geo-spoofing, you can benefit from:

  • Unblocking foreign content (such as games and streaming services)
  • Accessing servers in different countries (to play with friends and avoid congestion)
  • Bypassing censorship (to play games that are banned in your country)
  • Get games cheaper (from other countries)

You may be thinking that, since these benefits mostly rely on geo-location, why not use a proxy server? Unfortunately, a proxy server just isn't as secure as a VPN, and is very easily detected due to the lack of encryption. If you want to geo-spoof with peace of mind, then a VPN is the way forward.

Using a VPN with steam is a great way to improve your gaming experience and increase your online security at the same time. However, we must offer a word of warning when it comes to using a VPN with Steam.

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: you run the risk Steam banning your account if you get caught downloading games (and other materials) on a VPN connection. 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 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:

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 Russian 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:

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

Can I use a Free VPN for Steam?

There are plenty of free VPNs available, but that doesn't mean that they will give you the privacy, security, or functionality that a paid-for VPN would provide. Unfortunately, most free VPNs monitor and sell on user information and data to third parties (in other words, you're the product). On top of this, many free VPN services have been known to infect devices with spyware and other malware (which completely voids the point of getting the VPN in the first place). Stick to reliable and trusted VPN services.

Fortunately, there are some free VPNs you can trust. However, you should keep in mind that good free VPN services are usually trials of premium services with some of the features and most of the servers stripped out. As a result, even the best free VPN services come with:

  • Fewer servers and locations to choose from.
  • Speed limits - slowing you down, which isn't good for gaming.
  • Monthly data caps - meaning that you only get a limited amount of use of the VPN each month, and can stop your internet from working altogether.

A good VPN doesn't have to be expensive, and there are plenty of cheap VPNs that really hold their own against the top-shelf brands. Alternatively, the majority of top-tier VPN services offer money-back periods for users, meaning that you can purchase a VPN and claim your money back before that period ends – in essence, a premium VPN for free!

If you want to get the full security, functionality, and peace of mind from a VPN service, then the only way is with a premium subscription. A free VPN will never be as good as a paid-for service.

Troubleshooting a VPN for Steam

If you have got a VPN subscription at the moment and it is not working, you may need to change to a different service. Many online services, including Steam, block access to VPNs. This means that you must stick to the VPNs recommended in this guide. 

If you are using a VPN, you are confident is supposed to work with Steam, we recommend that you try the following troubleshooting ideas:

  1. Restart your VPN and reconnect to a server.
  2. Close and reopen Steam by fully exiting it (don't just press the x in the top right).
  3. Manually change your account profile country location to the location of the VPN server.
  4. Try a different VPN server (ask your VPN which server is best for Steam).

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. If you're still looking to unblock content and protect yourself online, then here's a quick reminder of our top VPNs for Steam:

  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.

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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