How to Speed up Steam Downloads?

Are you struggling with steam download speeds?

If you are into gaming, you know what steam is; steam is an “online game store” for your PC and has one of the broadest gaming libraries there is! And there is no doubt it is the best platform for e-sports enthusiasts.

But if you use steam on a metered Ethernet/Wi-Fi connection, you definitely know how slow steam’s proprietary web browser and download servers are.

Though the folks at steam are continually improving their server speeds, if you don’t have a fast-enough connection downloading big games like CS: Global Offensive (about 30 GB) and Asseto Corsa (about 49 GB) can be pretty frustrating.

But cranking up the settings of your steam account or any other Windows settings won’t cut it because, unlike games, steam doesn’t support performance boosting.

The speed of your steam downloads is limited by your Ethernet/Wi-Fi router connection, but users have reported that though other platforms and websites utilize the full potential of their Internet speeds, steam somehow manages to throttle it, sometimes even up to 50%.

Don’t worry about it, and let us help you by telling you how to increase download speed on steam.

But first, we need to understand what factors play a key role in determining your steam download speed.

Key Factors impact the Steam Download Speed:

  • Your internet (Data Transfer) speed:

This is a no brainer. If you have a 300 Megabits per second connection, you cannot expect steam to download games at a faster rate.

So please check what data transfer speeds your Ethernet connection/Wi-Fi supports.

  • Your LAN connection type:

If you have a LAN connection set up, the steam download speed will be throttled according to your settings.

  • The number of devices connected to the network:

If you have multiple data-hungry devices connected to your network, it will dramatically slow down your Steam download speeds.

  • Fixing your “Download Region” in steam settings:

Usually, your download region in Steam will be adjusted according to your location.

But if you were using a VPN or your location Wasn’t available when you were setting up steam, it would set your Download Region as “US-Atlanta,” And this server incompatibility might cause slower download speeds.

  • Storage type: 

If you have ever downloaded a game/software from steam, you know that there are two chart graphs being displayed on the screen. The first is download/internet speed, and the second is the disk writing speed.

If you have a mechanical HDD (Hard Disk Drive), these writing speeds will be slower, and if you have an SSD (Steady Storage Drive) as your primary storage device, these disk writing speeds will be faster.

How to Speed up Steam Downloads:

Enough talking, let’s get to the tricks on how to make your steam downloads faster:

1. Fix your Internet (Data Transfer speeds):

If you are facing such problems, we recommend you check the base of all these problems, your Ethernet/Wi-Fi router.

If you have a Wi-Fi router, make sure it is not overheating and throttling data transfer speeds in the first place. And if you want faster download speeds on steam, we recommend you plug an ethernet cable into your PC.

And if you have an Ethernet connection, you might want to check and upgrade the overall data transfer speeds in order to increase your steam download.

2. Fixing your LAN settings:

If you have set up a LAN and connected multiple devices to it, including your computer, the data transfer speeds might be throttled to maintain them throughout all your devices.

We recommend you reset these settings to default to enjoy a faster steam download speed.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Open Windows search 🔍
  2. Type “Internet Options” and press enter to search for it.
  3. Click on the best match (it should be in the control panel)
  4. Open the properties window and Switch to the Connections tab.
  5. Now, click on the LAN settings button.
  6. Select the “Automatically detect settings” option in the Automatic configuration section.
  7. Click OK to save the settings.

If LAN settings were your problem, you should be experiencing a faster download speed on steam.

3. Reducing the number of devices connected to the same network:

If you have many data-hungry devices set up, you might experience slower than usual download speeds.

We recommend you disconnect some of the devices while downloading games/software from Steam.

And if that isn’t possible, we suggest you line up downloads during the inactive times during the day to get maximum speeds.

If you know all the connected devices will be inactive from, for example, 1 am to 6 am, you should line up big game downloads during these times to save your time and significantly increase your steam download speeds.

If you have a Dual-Band compatible router, you can set up your PC to be the only device on the 5 GHz band, which is faster, and keep your device close to the router, while all the other devices are set up on the 2.4 GHz band.

Again, we suggest you plug an Ethernet cable into your PC instead of using a Wi-Fi connection.

4. Manually setting up your “Download Region” in the Steam settings

As we mentioned earlier, the download region in your steam settings might be set to something other than your actual location causing slower connection and download speeds due to server incompatibility.

Here’s how to fix it:

  1. Open Steam
  2. Click on the “Steam Tab” on the home page
  3. Click on settings
  4. In settings, scroll down to the “Downloads” section and click on it
  5. You will see the “Download region” section followed by a dropdown list
  6. Select the nearest region to your actual location

Bonus tip: If you see it on the same page, you will find the “Download Restrictions” section. In that section, you might want to set your “limit bandwidth to” section to the “NO LIMIT” option. Now, if you restart steam, you should experience a significant increase in your steam download speeds.

5. Changing your Storage disk type:

What difference does my Storage disk type make, you ask– well, having a mechanical spinning hard drive can throttle your overall gaming and Steam download speeds.

We suggest you install A Solid-State Drive (SSD) on your PC and install Steam to it. What a Solid-State Drive does is it uses Flash Memory to store your programs and allows blazing fast read and write speeds.

Sometimes even though your internet (data transfer) speed is high, your disk “write speed” might be very slow, and this incompatibility causes steam to throttle your download speed completely.

On the contrary, if you have an SSD, the disk write speed is never a problem, and steam will accordingly increase your download speeds.

And not to mention that installing and running your Games and programs off of an SSD can dramatically improve your gaming experience by speeding up the game launch times and providing an overall smoother experience.

And if you already have an SSD, but have installed steam on to the HDD (Hard Disk Drive), don’t go uninstalling and reinstalling steam and all of the games you have already installed.

Steam allows you to change its installation directory from the default path (default is C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam) to anywhere you want.

Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Open Steam
  2. Click on the “Steam Tab” on the home page
  3. Click on settings
  4. In settings, scroll down to the “Downloads” section and click on it
  5. Select the “Steam Library Folders” in the content libraries section
  6. Click on the “Add Library Folder” button and add the directory of your SSD

Now, whenever you install another game/software, you will get a prompt saying, “Choose the location to install.”

6. Updating steam:

The folks at steam are constantly working and pushing out bug fixes, features, and optimization loaded updates to improve customer satisfaction.

If your Steam application is not up to date, this might be the culprit that causes slow steam download speed.

We recommend you manually check whether your Steam application is up to date.

7. Reinstalling Steam:

If none of the above tricks work, you can try uninstalling and reinstalling steam and check whether that improved your Download speed.

You can click on the Library folder that you set up in your SSD, and your game/software will be installed there.

This will not only make your games run faster but also save up space in your Local Disk C if you are short on that.

All in all, increasing the download speed of steam downloads might seem like a daunting task, but let us assure you, it is not.

Whatever your problem may be, we have provided almost all the possible fixes to help you make steam download speed faster for your PC.

From basic things like your Internet speed to more advanced stuff like your Disk read and write speeds, everything matters when it comes to Steam.

We hope our Guide on how to increase Steam download speed helped you.

And if it didn’t, we suggest you visit the Steam Support page for further queries.

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