5 Best VPNs for Steam in 2021 (That Won’t Get You Banned)

Steam is a multi-platform gaming platform by Valve. Apart from game distribution, it offers other services, including video streaming, cloud storage, server hosting, and social networking services. Due to its popularity, diverse community, large game catalog, and multi-platform compatibility, it is attractive to the average online gamer. However, it is not immune to security and privacy issues. 

Using a VPN for Steam protects you from game hackers and unwanted interference. Also, sometimes, your ISP could throttle your internet speed while you play; a VPN comes in handy here too. In addition, it allows you to bypass geo-restrictions and access games available in other regions.  

This article dwells on the best VPN services you can use for Steam. 

Recommended VPNs for Steam

There are many reasons why people use VPNs. However, the most significant reasons revolve around security, privacy, and bypassing geo-restrictions. Below, we look at five VPN services you can use for Steam. 

ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN devices

Features

  • Number of servers: More than 3,000
  • Speeds: Unlimited
  • Server locations: 160 in 94 countries
  • Maximum devices supported: 5
  • 24 live chat: Yes
  • 30 day money back guarantee: Yes

Pros/Cons

  • Fastest VPN out there
  • Strict no logs policy
  • 256-bit AES encryption
  • Few discounts
Visit ExpressVPN

British Virgin Islands-based ExpressVPN is a highly reputable VPN service provider with a server network of over 3oo0 servers in 160 locations spread across 94 countries. It has servers in New York, Toronto, Paris, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Barcelona, London, Sydney, Mumbai, Tokyo, Jurong, etc. This highly coveted VPN application will protect you from hackers on Steam looking to steal your data.

One reason ExpressVPN is an ideal choice for Steam users is that it delivers reliable and fast speed. However, as speed depends on your ISP and the distance between your location and the server you connect to, individual experiences will vary. Still, most gamers have no issues with ExpressVPN performance-wise. It is also capable of unblocking foreign game servers and supports torrenting

Since ExpressVPN is under the jurisdiction of a country that encourages privacy, you have no fear of your data being in the wrong hands. It also uses TrustedServer technology—which keeps all connection logs on volatile memory (RAM)—to ensure its No-Log Policy always protects your data.

ExpressVPN uses AES-256 encryption, perfect forward secrecy, and a Kill Switch to keep your data away from hackers on Steam. It also uses secure VPN protocols—OpenVPN, IKEv2, and a proprietary Lghtway—to ensure a secure VPN tunnel. You also have the option to use Tor over VPN if you seek absolute anonymity on Steam. 

Subscription plans are a little more expensive than most VPNs on this list, but ExpressVPN is worth every dime. You can also use it on several devices that Steam is available on, including Android, Windows, iOS, macOS, Linux, and consoles. With reliable support and a 30-day refund policy, you can take a risk-free journey with ExpressVPN. Plus, if you have multiple devices, you can use a single account on five devices.

  • Pros: Fastest VPN out there; Strict no logs policy; 256-bit AES encryption;
  • Lowest price: $6.67

NordVPN

NordVPN devices

Features

  • Cryptocurrency accepted? Yes
  • Simultaneous connections: 6
  • Dedicated IP-addresses? Yes
  • Servers: 5342 in 58 countries

Pros/Cons

  • Lots of pricing options
  • Netflix support kept up to date
  • 256-bit AES encryption
  • Slow app
Visit NordVPN

NordVPN, another industry leader, excels in privacy, security, and the sheer number of servers it has in its fleet. It has over 5400 servers in 59 countries, making it an excellent option for unblocking Steam games outside your region. This all-around VPN service provider can also help you unblock geo-restricted games and supports peer-to-peer (P2P) multiplayer games on Steam.

In online gaming, speed is an important factor that determines if you will have an enjoyable experience. NordVPN is a super-fast VPN service and is reliable enough to support playing games on Steam in the best video quality. In some cases, it can even increase your speed, especially if speed throttling is something your ISP does. 

NordVPN is the right choice if you want to remain anonymous and private while using Steam. It has several features that encourage privacy, including obfuscated servers, Tor over VPN, and a strict No-Log Policy. Its headquarters in a privacy-friendly territory (Panama) helps it maintain a strong front when it comes to making you invisible online. 

With AES-256 encryption, perfect forward secrecy, and secure VPN protocols (NordLynx, OpenVPN, and IKEv2), NordVPN protects you from game hackers on Steam by ensuring your data gets to its destination without unwanted interference. It also has a Double VPN implementation and an ad blocker called CyberSec.

Like Steam, NordVPN offers gamers cross-platform compatibility. It also has affordable subscription plans. Its support team is always available and will respond quickly to any questions about its 30-day refund policy. With NordVPN, a single subscriber can use its application on six devices simultaneously. 

  • Pros: Lots of pricing options; Netflix support kept up to date; 256-bit AES encryption;
  • Lowest price: $3.71

Surfshark

Surfshark devices

Features

  • Free trial? Yes
  • Simultaneous connections: Unlimited
  • Ad blocking? Yes
  • Servers: 1000+ in 61 countries

Pros/Cons

  • No footprints
  • Allows torrenting
  • 256-bit AES encryption
  • Not the fastest
Try Surfshark

Compared to most VPNs on this list, Surfshark is a more recent VPN service with just three years of experience under its belt. Despite its late entry into the VPN industry, it is arguably one of the best. This budget-friendly VPN has more than 3000 servers in 65 countries catering to the needs of Steam users worldwide. 

With Surfshark, geo-restrictions cannot prevent you from playing your favorite games. It has a well-equipped server network that will unblock games on Steam and sites that are otherwise inaccessible to you. It is also among the fastest VPN service providers. You can play games on Steam such as Counter-Strike and Dota 2 with little or no lag. 

Surfshark is the VPN to use if you’re looking for a high level of privacy. This British Virgin Islands-based VPN has multiple privacy features, including a NoBorders Mode, Camouflage Mode, warrant canary, and a watertight No-Log Policy. Like most premium VPNs, it also has a cryptocurrency payment option. 

With an impenetrable encryption cipher (AES-256), Surfshark discourages game hackers on Steam looking to intercept your data. It has OpenVPN, Shadowsocks, WireGuard, and IKEv2 as secure VPN protocol options. Other security features include a Kill Switch, Double VPN, leak protection, and a malware blocker known as CleanWeb. 

Surfshark is cross-platform compatible as it supports several operating systems and devices, including those you use Steam on. It is also affordable and cheap, especially when you buy a lengthy plan. Apart from being affordable, you can use an unlimited number of devices with one subscription account, and it has a 30-day refund policy.

  • Pros: No footprints; Allows torrenting; 256-bit AES encryption;
  • Lowest Price: €2.09

PrivateVPN

PrivateVPN devices

Features

  • Killswitch Yes
  • iOS App Yes
  • Data logging No

Pros/Cons

  • Servers in 63 countries
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • 2048-bit Encryption With AES-256
  • App can seem complicated
Visit PrivateVPN

PrivateVPN is another VPN service provider you can check out. Its small server network, which comprises over 200 servers in 60 countries, doesn’t stop PrivateVPN from providing reliable service to Steam users. Its server coverage reaches cities like Seoul, Toronto, Seattle, London, St Petersburg, Budapest, and Dublin. 

It bypasses geo-restriction and censorship to unblock games on Steam in regions its servers are present. In most cases, VPNs with small server networks have slower connections, but PrivateVPN is not one of such. With this VPN, you can stream games on Steam in high quality and with little or no buffering. You are bound to enjoy a reliable service once you decide to use PrivateVPN. 

This VPN service provider has its headquarters in the jurisdiction of a member of the 14 Eyes Alliance. However, it operates under a watertight No-Log Policy and ensures it does not store connection logs. With a cryptocurrency payment option, PrivateVPN allows its users to remain anonymous while playing games on Steam. 

PrivateVPN supports multiple VPN protocols but encourages you to use secure ones, including OpenVPN, IPSec, and IKEv2. Together with any of these protocols, it uses AES-256 encryption to ensure absolute security for data in transit. It also uses in-built leak protection, a Kill Switch, and a Stealth Mode feature you can use to bypass Steam restrictions in regions with heavy censorship. 

Like NordVPN, PrivateVPN allows six devices per user account and supports several operating systems, including those you can use Steam on. All its affordable subscription plans also come along with a 30-day money-back guarantee, allowing you to test its services risk-free before committing.

  • Pros: Servers in 63 countries; 30-day money-back guarantee; 2048-bit Encryption With AES-256;
  • Lowest price: €2.04

ProtonVPN

ProtonVPN devices

Features

  • P2P support? Yes
  • 30-day money-back guarantee? Yes
  • Country of origin? Switzerland
  • Servers: 600+ in over 40 countries
  • Simultaneous devices: 5

Pros/Cons

  • Professional support
  • Modern interface and apps
  • AES-256 encryption
  • Lesser known provider
Try ProtonVPN

Privacy-focused ProtonVPN has Steam gamers covered with over a thousand servers spread across 54 countries. With servers in several cities, including Seattle, Mumbai, Vancouver, Helsinki, Tokyo, Manchester, Berlin, Milan, Hong Kong, and London, gamers on Steam do not need to worry about coverage. Its users can testify to the unblocking power of its servers. 

Since ProtonVPN supports P2P file-sharing, it also supports multiplayer games on Steam that use P2P technology. Apart from its unblocking power, it is also a speedy VPN service. You will be able to play games on Steam with little or no issues. However, note that your ISP and the distance to the VPN server you connect to will majorly influence your speed. 

ProtonVPN has built a reputation around its privacy-focused mission. Its association with ProtonMail further shows its Steam users that privacy is one of its strong fronts. With its airtight No-Log Policy, this Geneva-based VPN service leaves no chance for any spying government to have access to its users’ data. 

To protect your data, ProtonVPN uses military-grade encryption (AES-256) in combination with IKEv2/IPSec or OpenVPN to provide safe passage for your data from your device to its destination. It also uses perfect forward secrecy and NetShield (malware and ads blocker) to keep your security airtight. Hackers on Steam will be wasting their time trying to hack you. Other security components include Tor over VPN, a Kill Switch, and DNS/IPv6/WebRTC leak protection. 

With ProtonVPN, you can choose from four subscription plans depending on your needs, including a free one. It supports several devices, and the simultaneous connection limit per user account varies. ProtonVPN offers a 30-day refund policy on its subscription packages.

  • Pros: Professional support; Modern interface and apps; AES-256 encryption;
  • Lowest price: €4

Why Do I Get Banned for Using a VPN?

Like most online gaming platforms, Steam has rules and regulations it expects users to obey. One such regulation is the Steam Subscriber Agreement (SSA) which every user agrees to before subscribing. As a Steam subscriber, you agree to not using a VPN for any of the following reasons: 

  1. Circumventing geographical restrictions on game content.
  2. Purchasing games and media at prices applicable to another region.
  3. Participating in any activity that is harmful to other Valve users. 

Steam bans any account that it believes violates its SSA. One of the many reasons why people use a VPN is to access games that Steam releases earlier in other regions. This action clearly puts them at the risk of the Steam team banning their accounts. 

Using a shared IP address is another reason some people get banned. Most VPNs use shared IP addresses to help protect users’ anonymity. If Steam discovers someone sharing the same IP address with you violates its SSA, you are likely to be banned. 

Can I Use a Free VPN for Steam?

Due to the increasing demand for VPN services, several free VPN applications are springing up. Most free VPNs will put you at risk of data exposure or sell your data to advertising companies. There are known free VPN services that spread malware, especially spyware.

Since there are several affordable VPN services, using a free VPN might not be the best idea. Besides, free VPNs cannot boast of the sophisticated features that paid VPNs offer. Plus, several premium VPNs offer a refund policy that allows you to test their services before you commit. Subscribing for a premium VPN is a safer bet than using a free VPN. 

What To Consider Before Choosing a VPN for Steam

Getting the right VPN service that meets your expectations is crucial. Like every online gaming platform, there are some requirements you need to pass before you can play games. 

1. Speed and Bandwidth

You need a reliable VPN that is fast and offers unlimited bandwidth to play games in high video quality and without lags or buffering. In most cases, speed and bandwidth are the most critical things gamers look out for when selecting a VPN.

2. Security and Privacy

Security and privacy are vital as several game hackers are looking for vulnerabilities to exploit. It is better to use a reputable VPN that offers sophisticated protection and privacy features. Get a VPN service that will hide your VPN usage if you’re concerned about Steam discovering you’re using a VPN. 

3. Refund Policy

A refund policy is vital because there are premium services that don’t offer free trials. The only way you can test their services is via a refund policy. Always check that your VPN service has one. 

Conclusion

There are several VPN services out there that promise heaven on earth but don’t deliver. These premium VPN services are the best you can use for Steam. Apart from providing security and privacy, they all have a reliable support team that is always ready to help if you encounter any issues. It is now up to you to select one that permits a pleasurable experience with Steam.