Steam is the most popular worldwide video game distribution platform. However, depending on your location, new game releases may be unavailable or more expensive. Gamers can also hit other restrictions, such as Steam being blocked on campus and office networks. Additionally, finding bot lobbies for games like Warzone and PUBG can be challenging.
Furthermore, solving those issues can be tricky to accomplish without getting banned by Steam or triggering lagging and buffering. Luckily, you can use a VPN for Steam to accomplish this without causing more problems. With a VPN, you can switch regions to get better deals, unblock Steam games early, access Steam from anywhere, and join bot lobbies.
This guide will show you the best VPN for Steam and teach you how to change Steam regions with a VPN. We’ll also explain why you need a VPN, how to choose the right VPN, how to unlock Steam games early, and much more.
Best VPNs for Steam - Our Shortlist
- ExpressVPN – Our #1-Rated VPN for Steam
- NordVPN – Best VPN for Steam with Enhanced Privacy Features
- CyberGhost – Reliable Steam VPN with Specialized Gaming Servers
- Surfshark – Fast VPN That Helps Change Steam Region
- Private Internet Access – Best VPN for Unlocking Steam Games
How to Change Steam Region with a VPN
To change Steam region with a VPN, you first need to subscribe to a VPN that works for Steam. Then you have to begin the process of making a purchase using a payment method from the country you want to change your Steam region to. Follow these steps to make things easy:
- Sign up for a VPN optimized for Steam (we recommend ExpressVPN).
- Register, download, and install the VPN on your gaming platform.
- Launch and log in to your VPN app.
- Connect to a VPN server in the Steam region of your choice.
- Log in to your Steam account.
- Access the Store and add any item to your shopping cart.
- Click “Purchase for myself” to proceed to the Payment Method screen.
- Choose one of the credit card options from the dropdown box.
- Click on the “Country” dropdown box to change Steam country.
- Follow the prompt to “Convert Store and Wallet” to the new region.
Changing your Steam region requires a payment method from that country and a valid local billing address. Moreover, you can only change Steam location settings once every three months. We recommend connecting to the VPN server closest to the Steam region you want to switch to for the best result—and the lowest ping and most stable latency.
Keep in mind that TechNadu does not support using VPNs against Steam’s regulations to unblock Steam games. Once you unblock Steam and change store locations, buying games from another region at a cheaper price may result in a permanent ban. You should also check your country's VPN regulations, just to be safe.
Best Steam VPNs
To find the best Steam VPN, refer to the criteria we created in our best VPN for gaming guide. First, you need a VPN with a large global network, including servers in countries where Steam games are released earlier, like New Zealand and Australia. Obfuscated servers are crucial to minimize the chance of you getting detected and banned by Steam.
If you play games like Warzone, Fortnite, PUBG, and MW2, look for servers in Serbia, Egypt, Lithuania, and Singapore for access to bot lobbies. Reliable performance and fast speed are also important for reducing ping and stabilizing latency. Another necessary feature is unlimited bandwidth, which you will get the most out of if your VPN has split tunneling.
As far as security, your VPN should also have AES-256 encryption, advanced protocols, and a kill switch. Since Steam is widely available, an ideal VPN should support different devices (like computers, smartphones, tablets, and routers) and allow many simultaneous connections. Lastly, look for 24/7 customer support and a money-back guarantee.
Based on these requirements, here are 5 best VPNs for Steam:
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ExpressVPN is the best VPN for Steam as it has over 3,000 servers in 90+ countries worldwide, including Australia and New Zealand, which get first access to game releases due to time zone differences. This VPN offers automatic obfuscation on many servers, so you’ll be able to avoid detection and a potential Steam VPN ban.
This provider also has plenty of servers in regions with bot lobbies. You can quickly connect to Singapore, Egypt, Lithuania, or Serbia and enjoy easier matches in games like Warzone, Fortnite, MW2, or PUBG. ExpressVPN is the fastest VPN for Steam, so it handily reduces ping and keeps latency under control. Overall, it delivers impressive performance.
Your privacy will never be an issue as ExpressVPN uses military-grade AES 256 encryption. This VPN also has a kill switch that will preserve your identity if the VPN connection fails. When it comes to security, you can choose between four VPN protocols: Lightway, L2TP/IPsec, IKEv2, and OpenVPN.
There is also split tunneling to allow you to choose which traffic is routed through the VPN and which is unprotected. This will help you achieve the fastest speeds possible. Additionally, you’ll enjoy ExpressVPN’s unlimited bandwidth policy, since you’ll be able to download Steam games as much as you want without any data restrictions.
ExpressVPN is available on all platforms that support Steam, such as computers, smartphones, tablets, and Steam Deck. You can also install it on your router to protect home devices that don't directly support VPNs. Moreover, it allows you to establish 5 simultaneous connections.
Lastly, ExpressVPN has a professional 24/7 customer support team to help you solve any problems you encounter. There's also a 30-day refund guarantee in place, so you can try ExpressVPN for gaming without any risks.
- Blazing speeds and stable connections
- Robust worldwide server network
- Provides access to bot lobbies
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Only 5 simultaneous connections
NordVPN is recognized for its high-level security and user-friendly interface. It has more than 5,700 servers spread across 60 countries at its disposal. This includes 190+ servers in Australia and 20+ servers in New Zealand, which will give you earlier access to new Steam games. Moreover, concealing your activities is simple with its obfuscation mode.
Additionally, NordVPN has servers in countries with bot lobbies. You can connect to Egypt, Singapore, Lithuania, or Serbia, which all have easy AI matches for PUBG, Warzone, MW2, and Fortnite. This VPN for Steam offers its NordLynx protocol for fast and stable performance. It is slightly slower than ExpressVPN but still delivers low ping and controlled latency.
For security, NordVPN offers military-grade AES 256-bit encryption, DNS leak protection, and a kill switch that drops your Internet if the VPN disconnects, ensuring your data and activities are always secure. Moreover, it maintains a strict no-logs policy, meaning your online actions are not recorded or shared.
NordVPN offers up to 6 simultaneous connections and places no limits on bandwidth. Since it has split tunneling, you can pass only game traffic through the VPN, improving your overall speed. This VPN is ideal to play Steam games on multiple platforms, as it supports many devices like Steam Deck, computers, tablets, and smartphones—as well as routers.
Last but not least, if you don’t like what NordVPN has to offer, they will gladly offer you a full refund provided it’s within 30 days of your purchase. And if you need help with anything, their 24/7 live chat support is available to you.
- Delivers low latency and ping
- Obfuscated servers available
- Can unlock bot lobby access
- 30-day refund policy
- Available in only 60 countries
CyberGhost is a reliable Steam VPN with over 9,500 servers in 91 countries, including 200+ servers in Australia and 10+ in New Zealand which will give you earlier access to games. Unfortunately, though, this VPN offers no obfuscation. However, there are gaming servers on Windows.
This VPN provides low ping and minimal latency, which gives you an edge when you play Steam games. Moreover, CyberGhost servers are available in countries like Lithuania, Egypt, Serbia, and Singapore, which offer access to bot lobbies for games like Fortnite, PUBG, MW2, and Warzone.
CyberGhost offers 4 VPN protocols: IKEv2, OpenVPN, L2TP/IPsec, and WireGuard. The latter offers the best speed, although it is not the safest option. Overall, this VPN has medium-fast speeds and reliable performance, but can’t quite compete with ExpressVPN.
Things get better when it comes to security. CyberGhost uses AES-256 encryption to protect your data and has various features that’ll protect you from DDoS attacks. This includes IPv6 leak protection and a kill switch as a failsafe if something goes wrong with the VPN connection.
CyberGhost allows up to 7 simultaneous connections and has no bandwidth limits. It is available on all devices compatible with Steam, including computers, Steam Deck, smartphones, and tablets. You can also install it on a router. Furthermore, this VPN has split tunneling, so you can choose to encrypt only your game traffic.
Lastly, CyberGhost offers a 45-day money-back guarantee (on their longer-term plans) if you are not satisfied. But before canceling, make sure to first contact their 24/7 live chat support, which may be able to quickly resolve your problems.
- Massive global server network
- Unlocks early Steam game releases
- Specialized gaming servers for Windows
- 45-day money-back guarantee
- Slower than ExpressVPN and NordVPN
Surfshark is a budget VPN for Steam that offers 3,200+ fast servers in 100 countries. This includes servers in Australia and New Zealand, so you will be able to play new Steam games early. To make sure you aren’t caught doing so, you can completely conceal your network activity with obfuscation (Camouflage Mode).
You can use Surfshark to join bot lobbies for Warzone, Fortnite, MW2, and PUBG by joining servers in Serbia, Egypt, Singapore, and Lithuania. This VPN for Steam is the second-fastest provider on our list. So, you can expect low ping and no latency issues—its overall performance is stellar.
Security is at a very high level with Surfshark, thanks to the combination of AES-256 encryption, a kill switch, and leak protection. It also offers advanced protocol options, including WireGuard, and protects against DDoS attacks. Plus, you can choose which apps receive VPN protection with its split tunneling feature.
Surfshark offers unlimited simultaneous connections. You’ll also get unlimited bandwidth, so you can use Steam as much as you like with VPN protection. The VPN is available on every platform that supports Steam, like smartphones, tablets, computers, and Steam Deck. It can be installed directly on your router, too.
Surfshark is a high-quality service, which is evident from its 24/7 live chat support. That said, if you are not satisfied, you can ask for a refund thanks to their 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Servers in Australia and NZ
- Protects from DDoS attacks
- Offers access to bot lobbies
- 30-day refund period
- Slowly establishes connections
Private Internet Access (PIA) has a global network of thousands of servers in 84 countries. This includes servers in Australia and New Zealand, so you can get the earliest access to new games. You’ll have no issues avoiding detection while changing Steam regions because PIA offers obfuscation through its Shadowsocks proxy.
Conveniently, it has servers in regions where bot lobbies for Steam games are available. For example, you can easily connect to Singapore, Serbia, Egypt, or Lithuania to join bot lobby matches for PUBG, MW2, Fortnite, and Warzone. Compared to other Steam VPNs, PIA offers slower speeds but is very consistent, so latency and ping are handled just fine.
PIA is very customizable, which may be daunting to new users. It offers two encryption levels: AES-128 (to focus on speed and performance) and AES-256 (to get airtight security). It supports OpenVPN, IPsec, and WireGuard protocols. On top of that, this VPN for Steam has a kill switch that will protect your data in the event of a VPN failure.
This VPN supports all Steam devices, including Steam Deck, computers, tablets, and smartphones. Plus, you can set it up on your router. It also offers unlimited bandwidth and simultaneous connections, which is rare. Moreover, with split tunneling, you can choose which of your Internet traffic goes through the VPN to improve your overall speed.
As expected, PIA offers a 30-day refund guarantee to unsatisfied users. But, if you are experiencing technical difficulties, your problems may quickly be resolved by their professional 24/7 chat support.
- Largest server network available
- Allows bot lobby gameplay
- Unlimited simultaneous connections
- 30-day money-back policy
- Can overwhelm casual VPN users
Why Do You Need a VPN for Steam?
You need a VPN for Steam to access geo-restricted games, join bot lobbies, and reduce your ping and latency, among many other reasons. Here are some more benefits of using a Steam VPN:
- Lower Ping and Reduce Lagging – By connecting to a VPN server close to the game server, you can improve ping and lag issues for smoother gameplay.
- Bypass IP Bans – Gamers can receive IP bans for violating game rules. A VPN will let you use a new IP address to trick Steam, so you can keep playing.
- Mask Your IP Address – Being exposed to DDoS attacks and doxxing attempts is common in online gaming. Hide your IP address with a VPN for extra protection.
- Join Bot Lobbies Anywhere – If you want to improve your ranking in games like Warzone or PUBG, you can use a VPN to join bot lobbies for easier matches. Simply connect to servers in Serbia, Egypt, Singapore, or Lithuania.
- Access Geo-Restricted Games – Due to Steam’s region restrictions, some games may be unavailable in your country. This may be permanent or they may simply launch earlier in other regions. Also, Steam itself is often banned on school and workplace networks. A VPN will fix all these issues.
- Game Safely on Public WiFi – Using a public WiFi network leaves you open to hacking. Encryption provided by a premium VPN will keep you safe.
- Bypass Bandwidth Throttling – Some ISPs intentionally slow your speed during heavy bandwidth usage. VPNs bypass ISP throttling, ensuring a fast and stable connection.
- Avoid Overcrowded Servers – Steam games like Warzone automatically connect you to the nearest server, which could be overcrowded, leading to tougher competition and impacting speed. Use a VPN to connect to any server you’d like.
- Get Better Game Prices – Prices can vary greatly based on your location. Accessing Steam from another region may net you better deals.
- Claim Free Weapons and Skins – You can use a Steam VPN to obtain region-specific items and skins in certain games.
How to Choose the Best VPN for Steam
To choose the best VPN for Steam, look for features like a large server network, fast speeds, low ping, minimal latency, airtight security, and more. Let's go through them in more detail:
- Vast Server Network – A good VPN must have a sizeable server network. This will allow you to access bot lobbies and easily change your location on Steam. Plus, you’ll want it to have Steam server locations in countries with earlier time zones so you can access new games sooner.
- Fast Speeds and Stable Performance – To play online games without high ping or latency issues, you’ll need a VPN with high-speed, consistent connections.
- Unlimited Bandwidth and Split Tunneling – Games today are usually quite large and consume a lot of data, so it’s easy to hit bandwidth limits. An unlimited bandwidth policy will avoid this issue. Split tunneling will allow you to use Steam and download games via the VPN connection while funneling the rest of your traffic through your normal Internet connection.
- Reliable VPN Protocols and Robust Encryption – A Steam VPN with military-grade AES-256 encryption will scramble your data and make it unreadable to third parties. It should also employ advanced VPN protocols, such as OpenVPN or WireGuard, for the best speed and security available.
- Obfuscated Servers – Obfuscation makes it harder for Steam to track your activity, so you can change your Steam region and bypass geo-restrictions without getting banned.
- Powerful Kill Switch – A kill switch is your last line of defense that will disable your Internet in case your VPN connection is compromised.
- Numerous Simultaneous Connections – The best VPNs will let you connect multiple devices at once. Ideally, look for unlimited simultaneous connections.
- Gaming Device Support – A solid VPN should have native software for every platform that supports Steam. This includes Steam Deck, computers, smartphones, and tablets. It should also work on routers.
- Generous Money-Back Policy – Any decent VPN will have a money-back guarantee so that you can test it out without committing.
- Helpful Customer Support – A VPN should offer 24/7 live chat to help you solve any problems.
How to Unlock Steam Games Early Using a VPN
You can unlock Steam games early using a VPN by connecting to a server in a region where the game is already released. Usually, this means countries in earlier time zones, like New Zealand or Australia. Since games are usually unlocked at midnight, gamers in the US and Canada can use Steam VPNs to access them up to 10 hours before they are available locally.
Furthermore, some game developers release games early in their country of origin, often for beta testing. This lets them easily monitor the launch and quickly solve any bugs that may arise. This doesn’t happen with every game, though, so we advise you to do your research. To unlock Steam game titles early, just follow these steps:
- Use Steam to pre-order your game.
- Preload your game.
- Exit the Steam application and disconnect entirely from the service.
- Start your VPN app.
- Connect to a VPN server in Australia or New Zealand.
- Restart Steam.
- Download additional game files or updates.
- Now you can play Steam games early!
We highly advise that you don’t purchase and download Steam games from a different region. Steam may detect this and quickly ban your account for violating their Terms of Service.
Can You Use a Free VPN for Steam?
Yes, you can use a free VPN for Steam, but we would advise against it. Since they don't use advanced VPN protocols, you will likely get higher ping and latency, which will negatively impact your gaming. On top of that, they are known for collecting and selling user data to ad agencies.
Free VPNs also impose bandwidth limits, which can be severe. So, you need to be picky when downloading and playing new Steam games, as you can quickly spend your monthly data. Free VPNs offer no obfuscated servers and frequently have terrible encryption. This will easily get your free Steam VPN banned.
It is crucial to get a premium VPN with fast and secure servers in Australia and New Zealand for early game access and optimized performance. This is why we highly recommend using the best VPN services.
Steam is a popular gaming platform that frequently geo-restricts access to new games. It also sells titles at different prices depending on your location. Then there’s the issue of accessing bot lobbies. Plus, Steam can even be blocked entirely on some networks. Luckily, you can use a Steam VPN to solve all these problems without getting banned.
We recommend ExpressVPN as the best VPN for Steam because it has an impressive server network with coverage in time zones that let you access games early. It will also keep your latency and ping in check, allow you to join bot lobbies, and bypass any IP bans, so you can enjoy Steam to the fullest.
Is Steam Region-Locked?
No, Steam itself is not region-locked. Most games and purchases are not region-locked, either. However, some games can only be played in certain countries, and gifts might only be redeemable in specific regions.
Can You Use a VPN for Steam?
Yes, you can use a VPN for Steam for security and to improve your connection speed. While using a VPN is against Steam’s Terms of Service, it is generally not punished. That said, if you use it to change your country on Steam for cheaper gaming deals, you might get banned.
What is the Best VPN for Steam in 2023?
The best VPN for Steam in 2023 is ExpressVPN. It has servers in over 90 countries, including ones in early time zones. It consistently delivers the fastest speeds, low ping, and minimal latency, giving you a competitive edge.
Finally, it has obfuscated servers, which will improve your privacy and help you avoid Steam ban issues. This is why we highly recommend ExpressVPN for gaming.
How Do You Find the Fastest Download Region on Steam?
The fastest download region on Steam is usually the one you are located in. You can find the fastest Steam download server by testing nearby servers and choosing the one with the lowest ping and latency. Ideally, out of the Steam server locations, pick one with the least traffic.
If all servers are slow, try changing your region to download Steam games. In Steam, visit Settings > Downloads > Download Region. Select a new region and start to download Steam games.
Why Can't You Use a VPN on Steam?
You can’t use a VPN on Steam for a number of possible reasons. First, try connecting to a different server to rule that out. Then make sure that IP leak protection is enabled in your VPN’s settings, if available. Next, try disabling your firewall or antivirus to see if that’s interfering.
Clearing out your browser’s cache might help, too, as it can reveal your true location. If none of this works and you still can’t use Steam with VPN protection, contact your VPN’s customer support for further suggestions. If they can’t help, you might need to try a different VPN.
Is It Legal to Buy Steam Games with a VPN?
Yes, it’s legal to buy Steam games with a VPN. However, it’s a direct violation of Steam’s Subscriber Agreement and may result in account termination.
Can Your Steam Account Get Banned for Region Change?
No, changing your region won’t lead to a Steam VPN ban—it’s not against their Terms of Service. Steam actually allows you to switch your region every three months. However, using a VPN to get early game access or purchase them at discounted rates may get you banned.
Now you know everything about selecting the best VPN for Steam. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to comment below. Thank you for reading!