Steam doesn’t work with VPN? Here’s what to do

Aleksandar Ognjanovic By: Aleksandar Ognjanovic
3 minute read
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The leader of the game digital distribution market, Steam, has some strict rules on VPN usage. There are various reasons why one would like to hide one’s IP address, but the repercussion can be draconic.

On the other hand, if you combine Steam and VPN for some other things, like avoiding local firewalls in public places, preserving your privacy while gaming, or avoiding ISP’s bandwidth throttling, you should be fine. A lot of VPN solutions won’t work with Steam, and even the ones which support it can fail to amuse.

Instead of the particular set of solutions (even if there are some valid solutions they’re either scarce or against the policy), we advise you to read our insight below and conclude for yourself.

What’s the deal with VPN solutions and Steam?

Even though you’ve probably expected a solution for your problem (or more than one, for that matter), we decided to take our time to inform you about possible consequences of using VPN solution with Steam.

This is the Steam’s Subscriber Agreement and Terms of use rule about IP-meddling tools, like proxies and VPNs:vpn not working steam

”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.”

Basically, there are 2 points about the forbidden use of VPN we got from here:

  • Don’t circumvent geographical restrictions on game content
  • Don’t use VPN to purchase at pricing not applicable to your geography.

However, the third part (probably added for legal purposes) says clearly ”…any other purpose”. Therefore, you’re not allowed to use VPN while accessing Steam, as the banhammer might hit you hard. Never. For any other purpose whatsoever.

On the other hand, and based on the community’s experience, VPN-inflicted bans are quite rare. Basically, if you don’t break the 2 aforementioned steps, you’re in no real danger to get suspended. If you, say, want to tunnel your way through the strict network (school or office), you should be able to do so with VPN but make sure to stay within the borders of the same country. If you don’t cost them money, they’ll let you be, more or less.

Steam uses the IP address you’ve enlisted while registering so there’s almost no way to access the Steam’s Library and buy something from a different region. Also, we all remember the Fallout 4 VPN fiasco, when a lot of users turn to VPN to get the game earlier from a different geo-locations.

Troubleshooting-wise, in case your VPN doesn’t work with Steam, make sure to check your connection, to inspect firewall (third-party firewalls, too) and, finally, to make sure that your VPN supports Steam access. Some do and some don’t. We recommend CyberGhost as the viable solution. With it, you can avoid possible doxing and keep your privacy untouched.

As a side note, if you have a certain specific problem which requires the use of VPN in order to access Steam, it’s much better to contact Steam’s support then to take everything in your own hands.

That should do it. If you’re positive that your VPN is the culprit, make sure to send a ticket to their support and they should address it accordingly. Finally, in case you have some questions or suggestions, feel free to tell us in the comments section below.

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