5 Best VPNs for Steam in 2024 — Secure & Fast

Eric Goldstein
Eric Goldstein Chief Editor
Updated on: June 3, 2024
Fact Checked by Hazel Shaw
Eric Goldstein Eric Goldstein
Updated on: June 3, 2024 Chief Editor

Short on time? Here’s the best VPN for Steam in 2024:

  • 🥇 ExpressVPN : Comes with high-end security features, provides the fastest gaming speeds on the market, and has support for cloud gaming platforms like GeForce Now, which you can sync with your Steam library. Also comes with really user-friendly apps and a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Most of the games on Steam are region-free, but there are several instances where this isn’t the case. For example, the Russian version of Borderlands 2 is only playable in countries like Russia, Armenia, Georgia, and Kazakhstan — so if you live outside of these locations and accidentally buy it, you won’t be able to play it. Likewise, some games have DLC content locked to certain regions. Again, Borderlands 2 is a good example of this. If you live in Saudia Arabia, you won’t be able to access everything inside the Deluxe Edition of the game.

In theory, you could change your IP address with a virtual private network (VPN). A VPN allows you to connect to one of its servers around the world and assigns you an IP address that matches that server’s location. However, this is against Steam’s Terms of Service and could lead to your Steam account having restrictions placed on it. That said, a VPN scrambles your traffic to make it unreadable, so nobody will be able to snoop on your gaming session, not even your internet service provider (ISP).

I tested 20+ VPNs and found that the no. 1 VPN for Steam is ExpressVPN. It has servers in 105 countries, it’s the fastest VPN on the market, and it has some useful features that can protect your security when gaming via Steam. Editors' Note: ExpressVPN and this site are in the same ownership group.

Get ExpressVPN Now

Quick summary of the best VPNs for Steam:

  • 1. 🥇 ExpressVPN — Best VPN for Steam in 2024 with a large server network + industry-leading speeds.
  • 2. 🥈Private Internet Access — Excellent pick for customizing VPN settings and fast speeds for lag-free Steam gaming.
  • 3. 🥉 CyberGhost VPN — Great VPN for beginners (with optimized gaming servers and user-friendly apps).
  • 4. NordVPN — Secure connections for gaming on Steam (with excellent gaming features).
  • 5. Surfshark — Large server network (for changing regions on Steam + intuitive apps).

Steam explicitly prohibits VPN usage in its Terms of Services. If you purchase a game in a region inconsistent with your recent Steam activity or download and play content that shouldn’t be available to you, Steam will issue a warning and place restrictions on your account. Neither I nor anyone at SafetyDetectives endorse the use of VPNs for prohibited activities and recommend that you make sure you follow all rules laid out in Steam’s ToS. With this in mind, it’s usually okay to use a VPN to play games you own within your region with more security.

Editors' Note: Intego, Private Internet Access, CyberGhost and ExpressVPN are owned by Kape Technologies, our parent company

🥇1. ExpressVPN — Best VPN for Steam in 2024

Approved by our experts
ExpressVPN
Approved by our experts
Most readers pick ExpressVPN
Servers in countries
105
Key Features
Industry-leading speeds
Number of devices
8
OS compatibility
Money-back guarantee
30 Days
expressvpn.com
Editors' Note: ExpressVPN and this site are in the same ownership group.

ExpressVPN is my top pick for playing games on Steam. It has servers in 105 countries, so it’s easy to find a nearby server to connect to for the fastest speeds.

ExpressVPN is the fastest VPN on the market. I played a couple of Dota 2 games to test it, and I barely noticed I was connected to the VPN. I didn’t notice any slowdowns or lag.

I like that ExpressVPN has anti-DDoS protection on all of its servers. This means that even if a sore loser wants to DDoS the VPN server you’re connected to, they won’t be able to do it.

Plus, it’s great that it supports cloud gaming services, including GeForce Now, which lets you play games from your Steam library through a cloud server. When I tested it on my GeForce Now account, I had low ping and stable connections throughout my games.

🥇1. ExpressVPN — Best VPN for Steam in 2024

Plus, the VPN is extremely user-friendly. It has very intuitive desktop apps that make it really simple to find and connect to a VPN server. I also like the Shortcuts feature, which lets you set up 1-click shortcuts for specific apps and sites — I always use it to get instant access to Steam after securing my connection with ExpressVPN.

ExpressVPN is very secure. It has advanced security features, including RAM-only servers, which delete all data on every reset, perfect forward secrecy, which changes the encryption key for every session, and full leak protection against DNS, IPv6, and WebRTC leaks. On top of that, it has a strict no-logs policy that has been independently audited and verified multiple times. This means nobody will know what server you connect to or what games you’re playing.

ExpressVPN’s plans start at $6.67 / month. While it may seem pricier than some competitors, the superior features and outstanding performance it offers make it worth the cost. Plus, it comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

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Bottom Line:

ExpressVPN is my #1 VPN for Steam in 2024. It offers a combination of extensive server availability, blazing-fast speeds, anti-DDoS protection, and advanced security features. It also has very intuitive apps and comes with support for cloud gaming platforms, including GeForce Now. While it might be a bit pricier, its impressive performance and 30-day money-back guarantee make it a worthy investment.

Read the full ExpressVPN review here

🥈2. Private Internet Access — Fast & Customizable VPN for Steam

Servers in countries
91
Key Features
Excellent ad blocker
Number of devices
Unlimited
OS compatibility
Money-back guarantee
30 Days
privateinternetaccess.com
Editors' Note: Private Internet Access and this site are in the same ownership group.

Private Internet Access (PIA) offers really good speeds for gaming on Steam. In my tests, it maintained a low ping and stable connection for the entirety of my sessions and games. I did experience slightly higher ping on distant servers, but it wasn’t game-breaking. Plus, PIA has a large server network that spreads across 91 countries, so you can easily find a server that’s close to your location and reduce speed loss.

I like how PIA is very customizable. You can choose between 2 levels of encryption and several VPN protocols for more security or faster speeds. You can also tweak the location of the features, so that the ones you use the most are right at the top. Plus, I love that PIA shows you each server’s latency, so you know which one is the fastest. Finally, the VPN allows unlimited connections, so you can use it with Steam on as many devices as you want.

🥈2. Private Internet Access — Fast & Customizable VPN for Steam

PIA also has a great split-tunneling tool, which lets you pick which apps and sites use the VPN and which ones use your local internet connection — so you can use it to only send Steam traffic through the VPN to get faster speeds. However, it lacks support for cloud gaming services, which ExpressVPN has.

It has advanced security features, too. You get full leak protection, so your IP address and location will remain anonymous while you’re connected to PIA, as well as perfect forward secrecy, RAM-only servers, and an audited no-logs policy. Also, all of the provider’s servers come equipped with anti-DDoS protection.

Private Internet Access’s plans are very affordable, starting at $2.03 / month. All of its plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Private Internet Access: Save 83% on the 24-month plan + FREE months!
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Bottom Line:

Private Internet Access delivers great speeds for gaming on Steam. It maintains low ping on most of its servers, has servers in 91 countries, and all of its apps are very customizable. The VPN has anti-DDoS protection on all of its servers and advanced security features. Its plans are backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read the full Private Internet Access review here

Editors' Note: Private Internet Access and this site are in the same ownership group.

🥉3. CyberGhost VPN — Easy-to-Use VPN With Gaming Servers

Servers in countries
100
Key Features
Special streaming servers
Number of devices
7
OS compatibility
Money-back guarantee
Up to 45 days
cyberghostvpn.com
Editors' Note: CyberGhost and this site are in the same ownership group.

CyberGhost VPN has dedicated gaming servers that are great for gaming on Steam. These servers are located in 4 countries (the US, France, the UK, and Germany) and are regularly updated and optimized to provide low ping. When I tested them, they worked as expected — there wasn’t any lag in any of my Call of Duty games, and I had low ping throughout my entire session.

It also has very intuitive apps, so it’s a really good pick for beginners. The apps keep the dedicated gaming servers in a separate tab, so you won’t have to scroll through the entire server list of 11,528 servers in 100 countries to find and connect to any of them. I also like that you can set up the VPN to connect to a gaming server when you open the Steam app on your desktop.

🥉3. CyberGhost VPN — Easy-to-Use VPN With Gaming Servers

CyberGhost offers great security. It uses RAM-only servers and perfect forward secrecy and prevents DNS and IPv6 leaks. What’s more, all of its servers have anti-DDoS protection, so nobody will be able to force you to disconnect if they DDoS any of CyberGhost’s servers. I also like its Identity Guard feature, which alerts you if your login credentials have been compromised in a data breach — this is a good way to secure your Steam account.

That said, if you’re really into cloud gaming, CyberGhost VPN is not a good pick. It doesn’t guarantee support for cloud gaming platforms like GeForce Now. While it worked with it in my tests, I can’t guarantee you’ll have the same experience. If you’re interested in cloud gaming, check out ExpressVPN instead.

CyberGhost VPN’s prices start at $2.03 / month. Its long-term plans have a 45-day money-back guarantee, and its monthly plan is backed by a 14-day money-back guarantee.

CyberGhost: Save 84% on the 24-month plan + FREE months!
You can save 84% if you act right now.

Bottom Line:

CyberGhost offers dedicated gaming servers optimized for low ping and lag-free gaming on Steam. It has really fast speeds and user-friendly apps, which are great for beginners that use Steam a lot. The VPN also has advanced security features, including RAM-only servers and DNS and IPv6 leak protection, and it has anti-DDoS protection. Its long-term plans are backed by a generous 45-day money-back guarantee.

Read the full CyberGhost VPN review here

Editors' Note: CyberGhost and this site are in the same ownership group.

4. NordVPN — Secure VPN With Great Gaming Features for Steam

Servers in countries
111
Key Features
Great malware blocker
Number of devices
10
OS compatibility
Money-back guarantee
30 Days
nordvpn.com

NordVPN is a very secure option for Steam — it comes with full leak protection, RAM-only servers, and perfect forward secrecy, as well as an audited no-logs policy. Plus, it has a dark web monitoring tool that alerts you if your NordVPN login details are compromised. If you use the same credentials for your Steam account, you can keep an eye on them.

It’s also pretty fast. It has 6,266 servers in 111 countries, and when I tested both nearby and more distant servers, I only noticed minor lag that didn’t really affect any of my games. Still, I prefer ExpressVPN for speed since I never experienced any lag while gaming with it.

What really sets NordVPN apart for Steam gaming is its Meshnet feature. This feature lets you connect up to 60 devices over secure VPN connections. For me, this came in handy when I wanted to host LAN parties on Steam and was able to protect all of my friends’ devices and make sure none of them is getting their speeds throttled.

4. NordVPN — Secure VPN With Great Gaming Features for Steam

NordVPN protects you against DDoS attacks, but only on your IP address. It doesn’t have anti-DDoS protection on its servers like ExpressVPN and Private Internet Access, which means a player on the opposite team can DDoS the VPN server you’re connected to and force you to reconnect.

NordVPN offers a couple of plans that cost as low as $3.39 / month, all of which come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Bottom Line:

NordVPN is a great option for secure gaming on Steam. It has full leak protection, uses RAM-only servers and perfect forward secrecy, and comes with an audited no-logs policy. I really like Meshnet, a unique feature that allows you to host multi-device LAN parties online. All of its plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read the full NordVPN review here

5. Surfshark — Large Server Network for Changing Regions on Steam

Servers in countries
100
Key Features
User-friendly apps
Number of devices
Unlimited
OS compatibility
Money-back guarantee
30 Days
surfshark.com

Surfshark has servers in 100 countries, which is one of the highest networks out there. I like this because it means that I can connect to a server that’s close to my location and get the fastest speeds possible when I play my favorite games on Steam.

It’s also user-friendly. I like that it lists the last 3 server locations you connected to and that there’s an option to see and refresh server latency and load, so you can find a server that’s not too overwhelmed and get the latest information on that. It also allows unlimited connections, which is great.

5. Surfshark — Large Server Network for Changing Regions on Steam

Surfshark offers decent speeds for gaming on Steam. Although it doesn’t compete with ExpressVPN‘s speed consistency, I had low ping and stable connections when I played Dota 2 on nearby servers. But I did experience some lag while gaming on distant servers.

Surfshark also provides good security. It includes RAM-only servers, perfect forward secrecy, anti-DDoS protection on all servers, and an audited no-logs policy. However, it doesn’t protect against WebRTC and IPv6 leaks — you only get DNS leak protection. That said, I never experienced any leaks in my tests.

Surfshark’s plans are super cheap and start at only $2.19 / month. Each of its plans is backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Bottom Line:

Surfshark has a pretty big server network, which is great for finding a nearby server. Its apps have a user-friendly design, it’s got decent speeds for gaming on Steam, and it packs a good deal of security features. Surfshark is also very affordable, and all of its plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read the full Surfshark review here

Quick Comparison Table

VPN Starting Price Cloud Gaming Support Server Network
(Countries)
Prevents DDoS Attacks Number of Devices Free Plan Money-Back Guarantee
🥇1. ExpressVPN $6.67 / month 105 countries 8 30 days
🥈2. Private Internet Access $2.03 / month 91 countries Unlimited 30 days
🥉3. CyberGhost VPN $2.03 / month 100 countries 7 45 days (long-term plans only)
14 days (monthly plans)
4. NordVPN $3.39 / month 111 countries 10 30 days
5. Surfshark $2.19 / month 100 countries Unlimited 30 days

Editors' Note: Intego, Private Internet Access, CyberGhost and ExpressVPN are owned by Kape Technologies, our parent company

How to Choose the Best VPN for Steam in 2024

  • Find a VPN with a large server network. A large server network means you can always find a server nearby to optimize your gaming speeds. Every VPN on my list has servers in at least 50+ countries.
  • Test for fast speeds. All VPNs slow down your connection speeds because they encrypt your traffic and route it through one of their servers, so it takes a bit longer for the traffic to get to its final destination. This can cause high ping and a lot of lag when you play games on Steam. But, with top VPNs, you’ll barely notice any latency. The fastest VPN I tested is ExpressVPN.
  • Look for great security features. All the VPNs on my list have industry-standard security features like a no-logs policy, a kill switch that disconnects you from the internet when the connection to the VPN drops, and 256-bit AES encryption. They also offer leak protection, so your location and IP address remain anonymous, and most have anti-DDoS leak protection, so a sore loser can’t force you to disconnect from the VPN server.
  • Check if the apps are user-friendly. The VPNs I recommend make it super easy to find a server and connect to it, so all it takes is a couple of seconds before you open Steam and start your game.
  • Get a VPN that offers a good value. Good VPNs, like every VPN on my list, offer affordable plans, a money-back guarantee, and extra features like split-tunneling. ExpressVPN even has cloud gaming support.

Top Brands That Didn’t Make the Cut

  • PrivateVPN. PrivateVPN has really good security and privacy features, but its server network is small — it only has 200+ servers, and though it has decent speeds, it’s still slower than all of the VPNs I recommend.
  • Proton VPN. Proton VPN is very private and secure, comes with anti-DDoS protection on all servers, and has a great free plan for gaming. But while it’s got decent speeds, it’s still slower than the VPNs on my list.
  • TunnelBear. TunnelBear is great for beginners thanks to its super intuitive apps. It has great security and privacy, but its speeds are only OK, which is not ideal for gaming on Steam. It also has servers in only 47 countries.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does a VPN decrease ping on Steam?

Yes, a VPN can stabilize your connection and reduce ping if your ISP is throttling your speed. They usually do that because gaming is a bandwidth-heavy activity, and they need to minimize network congestion.

But VPNs can also reduce your speed. This is because they encrypt your traffic and route it through one of their servers, so it takes a little longer for your traffic to reach its destination. That said, you’ll barely notice any slowdown with a top VPN. In my tests, ExpressVPN was the fastest — it maintained low ping on both nearby and distant servers.

Can a VPN protect me from swatting on Steam?

Yes, a VPN hides your real IP address and replaces it with the IP address of the VPN server you’re connected to, so nobody can figure out your real location and fake-report you for a crime that doesn’t exist.

All of the VPNs I recommend come with leak protection and a kill switch, which make sure that your real IP doesn’t leak when your connection to the VPN drops.

Can I use a free VPN for Steam?

Yes, but I don’t recommend it. Free VPNs often come with a lot of limitations — they limit the amount of data you can use and the number of servers you can connect to, which means you won’t be able to access specific Steam libraries, and you can only protect your data for a limited amount of time. Free VPNs aren’t very safe either since a lot of them log your data and share it with third parties and advertisers.

That’s why I recommend getting an affordable paid VPN that comes with the necessary security features and all the other perks that you need for safe and uninterrupted gaming on Steam.

Do all VPNs work with Steam?

Most do, but a lot of them aren’t ideal for gaming on Steam. Many VPNs are very slow, which would make gaming on Steam impossible, have only a couple of servers, which means you might not be able to play your favorite games when you travel abroad, and a good number of them have buggy apps.

For optimal performance and security, it’s best to choose a high-quality VPN that comes with great speeds, excellent security and privacy, and some extra gaming features.

Quick Overview of My Top Recommendations:

Our Rank
Our Score
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1
9.8
save 49%
2
9.6
save 83%
3
9.4
save 84%
4
9.2
save 72%
5
9.0
save 86%
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About the Author
Eric Goldstein
Eric Goldstein
Chief Editor
Updated on: June 3, 2024

About the Author

Eric Goldstein is Chief Editor at SafetyDetectives. As an internet security researcher and IT journalist, he has over 3 years of experience writing and editing articles and blog posts about VPNs, parental controls, and other cybsersecurity products and tools. In addition, Eric writes and edits news stories focused on cybersecurity issues for SafetyDetectives. He also spent 20+ years as a sportswriter for multiple media outlets and served in a communications role for a national corporation. When he's not working, he can be found spending time with his family, working out, and watching his favorite sports teams.

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