When my siblings and I were growing up, our parents used computer time as an incentive to get us to clean the house. This was a glorious system, because what kid doesn’t like playing computer games? We knew we couldn’t play if the house wasn’t clean, so you can bet the house got clean. But I also remember the true disappointment of realizing that I couldn’t access those same computer games at school during computer class. Of course, those sites were blocked for that very reason, but it sure would have been nice to keep playing games at school, instead of having to wait all day to play when I got home (I know, I know. It was a real tragedy.)
Now that I’m an adult who has a better understanding of the way the Internet works, I’d like to be able to go back in time and give middle-school me a few tips and tricks to get past those firewalls. Of course, that’s not possible, so I guess I’ll just settle for sharing the knowledge I have today with other people who can actually use it. If you’re looking to play computer games more frequently and effectively, proxies might be just the thing for you. And if you use Valve’s gaming service called Steam to play your games, you’re in luck! That’s exactly what we’re going to talk about today: defining and using Steam proxies.
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What is a Steam Proxy?
Proxies can be used to improve your online experience in so many ways. They’re pretty awesome like that! But before we define proxies, let’s talk about Steam.
What is Steam?
Steam is an online gaming service developed in 2003 by a software company called Valve, which also specializes in game creation and gaming hardware. You can access approximately almost 40,000 games with Steam and connect with the Steam community by joining discussions, uploading content and keeping tabs on the most recent updates. You can also stream your gameplay to share with others, access games before they’re released and even connect via the mobile app. For avid gamers, Steam is the perfect way to keep tabs on the latest games and connect with people who share the same love for games that you do. Not only is it a great way to engage with a dedicated, interesting gaming community, but it’s also a way to learn about games and use high-quality tools that help you develop and distribute your own games.
What are proxies for Steam?
I like to use the analogy of sending a letter when I explain proxies and IP addresses. If you want your letter to get to the right person, you have to put the right address on the envelope, right? (I know, duh.) This address not only tells your mail carrier where to deliver your letter, but it also shows where the letter came from (if you put your return address in the top left corner, which you should, because those are the rules.) IP addresses work in a similar way. When you access the internet, your connection is identified by the letters and numbers of your IP address. Other websites, like Amazon.com, can see your IP address when they receive your communication request, like when you click “Buy Now.” This information helps them get a better understanding for their target, since they can see where their customers are located and what kinds of devices they’re using, all based on their IP addresses. However, unlike the address you write on a letter, your IP address does not identify your exact location.
Even so, many people choose to use proxies because they find this identification to reveal way too much about their online activity. To increase their online anonymity and security, they can disguise their IP addresses and browse the web more comfortably. Proxies act as intermediaries between your device and the website you’re trying to access. Instead of that website seeing your connection’s IP address when you connect, it will see the proxy’s IP address instead. Going back to the letter analogy, proxies are kind of like P.O. boxes, which direct mail to the right place without revealing too much about the recipient’s identity. (Of course, the sender’s information will still be revealed if they include their return address in the top left corner. I don’t make the rules.) Anyway, my point is that proxies hide your identity online, so you can browse the internet more anonymously and securely.
Why Run Steam Through a Proxy
Now that you have a better understanding of proxies and IP addresses, you might be wondering why someone would want or need to use them with Steam. Like I mentioned above, one of the main reasons to use proxies is to increase your anonymity and security online. Since so many people use Steam’s community platforms, proxies can help with make your online connection more anonymous and secure. However, as is the case for all proxy uses, it’s necessary to find out what proxy uses and practices are allowed by Steam. We don’t and can’t condone uses that are prohibited by Steam’s user agreement.
Steam only allows users to access games that are in their region, which can not only affect the type of games people are able to get, but also what price they have to pay. Since Steam makes these restrictions based on a person’s IP address location, people have found ways to disguise their IP addresses and convince the server that they’re actually accessing Steam from another area of the world. This gives users access to more games and prices than if they were using their own IP address. But Steam doesn’t seem to like it when people use proxies for cases like this, so users often experience issues with proxies that disguise their geolocation. Nevertheless, it’s still one reason why someone might want to use proxies with Steam.
Not only do proxies enhance your internet experience, but they also allow you to access websites and other internet services that might not be available in your area or that are blocked by your internet server. Since proxies disguise your connection’s IP address, you can access websites like Steam and other gaming services that are blocked on the main connection. If you can use proxies responsibly and respectfully to access harmless sites that are blocked, more power (and fun!) to you. Remember: even though proxies disguise your connection’s identity, the human beings you connect with online deserve your respect.
What is a Good Steam Proxy?
Now that you know how and why proxies can enhance your online experience, you’ll want to make sure you find the highest-quality proxies. There are plenty of different kinds of proxies, and there are good reasons for using all of them. However, we should talk about public proxies, which are definitely one kind of proxy that you do not want to use with Steam (or anything else, for that matter.)
Public proxies are shared by many users (the actual number is determined by the proxy provider), usually for free. Because online hackers can easily access sensitive information of public proxy users, public proxies are far from safe. Plus, even if you’re able to escape the clutches of malicious hackers, public proxies offer limited resources (like bandwidth and speed) to an unlimited number of users. If you want to access more content and stay safe, you shouldn’t use public proxies. This means you’re going to have to pay for high-quality proxies, but trust me–the price is worth so much more than the pain and frustration that can come from getting hacked by manipulative people.
How to Find a Steam Proxy
The good news is that there are plenty of other proxy options that help you stay safe and secure online. Dedicated and shared proxies are by far the better option. If you’re looking to save a little money, shared proxies can help you do that. Up to three people can share these proxies and their resources, which still ensures your anonymity and security. However, if you really want to make sure you’re the only user who has access to the proxy and its resources, you should go with dedicated proxies. Dedicated proxies come in all shapes and sizes, including SOCKS, IPv4 and IPv6. When you’re looking for a reliable dedicated proxy provider, make sure they offer unlimited bandwidth, speed, diverse proxy locations and more.
Proxies can do wonders for your online experience, whether you’re trying to remain more anonymous, increase your online security or simply gain access to more content. If you want to use proxies with Steam, make sure you’re aware of the gaming service’s user agreement before buying proxies. Remember: not all proxies are created equal, and just because a proxy provider says their proxies are reliable doesn’t mean they actually are. Always pay attention to the features offered by a proxy server company before deciding to use their proxies. If they claim to offer high speed, bandwidth and site security at no charge, it’s a good bet that they’re probably lying. Dedicated proxies have everything you need to enhance your internet experience. We hope this article has helped you see how awesome proxies can be, no matter how old you are.
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