If you own a Steam Deck, chances are you’ve got an ever-expanding library of Steam games. With such great portability (minus the short battery life), you can take your games on the go instead of being tied to a desk. However, running on the Linux-based SteamOS means you can do pretty much anything a desktop or Mac can do, from browsing the web to watching Netflix – all from the comfort of your coach. Unfortunately, if you travel abroad, you’ll likely have trouble accessing your usual content unless you use a VPN for Steam Deck.
A VPN is an encrypted tunnel between two networks, allowing users to gain online security and privacy. For gamers who play on Steam, this provides additional protection from hackers and malicious actors. And with its ability to mask your IP address, you can access geo-restricted content and better speed and performance. So you can take the plunge into a secure Steam gaming session!
Whether you’re on the move or having a Steam and chill session, We’ll cover the best VPNs for Steam Deck in this guide to help you to get the most out of your gaming experience.
If you’re here for a TL: DR answer, here’s a shortlist of the best VPNs for Steam Deck:
- NordVPN: The best VPN for Steam Deck. Lightning-fast speeds, great at unblocking restricted games and streaming sites. Includes a 30-day money-back guarantee,
- Surfshark: Best budget VPN for Steam Deck. Solid security, unlimited device connections, and 24/7 support.
- ExpressVPN: Extremely fast speeds, servers in over 94 countries, and robust security features.
- CyberGhost: Offers command-line Linux options, servers optimized for gaming, and beginner-friendly apps.
- PrivateVPN: Excellent unblocking ability, including an OpenVPN CLI app for Linux and military-grade encryption.
- Private Internet Access: User-friendly GUI app for Steam Deck. It includes a 10-device connection limit and over 30,000 servers worldwide.
Note that while some of the above VPNs make Linux apps, those apps might not work on Arch Linux. Instead, you will need to configure the VPN manually or set it up on your internet router.
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The best VPNs for Steam Deck
Each of our recommendations follow a set of criteria (more on this in our methodology later), and you can see some of the key areas we look at below:
- OpenVPN or WireGuard support is necessary for the VPN to work on Steam Deck.
- A strong commitment to security.
- Good at unblocking geo-restricted games and streaming sites.
- The provider keeps zero logs.
Here’s our list of the best Steam Deck VPNs:
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
NordVPN is our top choice VPN for Steam Deck. It’s the perfect partner for a secure, enjoyable gaming experience. This VPN is an absolute powerhouse with 256-bit encryption, military-grade security, anonymous IP addresses, and 2048-bit SSL protection. And with fast speeds and unlimited bandwidth, you’ll never have to worry about lag or buffering again!
With features like a six-device connection limit and a strict no-logs policy, hackers never stand a chance against your VPN shield. And with servers located worldwide, you can unlock geo-restricted content on Steam Deck missed by other players. Furthermore, NordVPN’s user-friendly interface ensures that setting up a secure connection is easy – even for novice users! NordVPN is the perfect partner for an unbeatable Steam Deck experience, so let’s prepare to dominate the field!
- Military-grade 256-bit encryption for great privacy
- Has a large network of servers
- Works with most streaming platforms
- Offers 24/7 live chat
- Fast and reliable downloading and streaming speeds
- Customizable kill switch
- Unable to select which server you want to connect to
Best VPN for steam deck:NordVPN offers unbeatable privacy features, superfast streaming and gaming speeds, and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full NordVPN review.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
Surfshark is the perfect VPN for gamers on a budget. With 256-bit AES encryption and a strict no-logs policy, playing on Steam Deck with Surfshark will feel like a walk in the park.
Surfshark offers support 24/7 via live chat, so you’ll get help if you need it when setting up the VPN on the Deck. In addition, it has servers in over 100 locations capable of unblocking streaming services and game libraries from anywhere.
Plus, since it allows unlimited simultaneous connections, you can connect all your gaming buddies and set up an unbeatable team!
- Includes a standalone smart DNS service
- Connect as many devices as you like
- Impressive security features
- Boasts strong speeds and excellent security credentials
- Accepts Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Ripple
- Several features in the app require Surfshark One, an optional paid addon to your subscription
Top budget VPN for steam deck:Surfshark offers unlimited connections, servers in over 100 locations, and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full Surfshark review.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
ExpressVPN is a great way to go for Steam Deck players! It includes 256-bit AES encryption for ultimate security and an impressive network of over 3000 servers, letting you stay one step ahead of your opponents.
ExpressVPN also offers a wide range of features that make it ideal for Steam Deck users. For example, its split tunneling feature allows you to route specific apps or websites through the VPN while keeping other traffic separate. You can access geo-restricted content without sacrificing connection speed or privacy. And if you ever need help, ExpressVPN has 24/7 customer support available via live chat or email.
Thanks to its policy of storing no logs, not even your ISP will know which games you’re playing. And with its blazing-fast speeds, streaming and downloading from Steam Deck won’t ever be an issue. So don’t let the competition catch up – show them who’s boss with ExpressVPN.
- Apps have sound security and privacy features
- Superfast server network is great for streaming and downloading
- Unblocks Discord and numerous other popular services
- Live chat support 24/7
- Sightly more expensive than some of its competitors
- Doesn’t allow as much customization as some rivals
FASTEST VPN:ExpressVPN is the fastest VPN for Steam Deck. It provides unmatched privacy features and keeps zero logs.
Read our full ExpressVPN review.
Money-back guarantee: 45 DAYS
CyberGhost sets the bar when it comes to online gaming. With fast speeds, robust encryption, and an extensive network of servers – located in over 88 countries – you can be sure you’re always connected to your favorite game.
Plus, CyberGhost has a wealth of features dedicated to gamers: automatic kill switches make sure that your connection remains secure even if your VPN drops unexpectedly; split tunneling allows you to pick which apps and websites are routed through the VPN, providing extra protection; and a 45-day money-back guarantee lets you try out this premium VPN service before committing.
CyberGhost is the perfect choice for Steam Deck users, whether you’re looking for privacy or performance. With unbeatable speeds, robust encryption algorithms, and top-notch extra features, it guarantees exemplary security and performance every single time – making it one of the go-to choices for serious gamers.
- Scored very highly in our speed testing
- Happily unblocks a host of geo-restricted content
- Reliable and knowledgeable 24/7 live chat support
- Network is uncongested and has low-latency
- Not suitable for those that need control of advanced features
- No router support
Beginner-friendly:CyberGhost includes servers optimized for gaming in over 88 countries. In addition, it comes with an automatic kill switch alongside split tunneling.
Read our full CyberGhost review.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
PrivateVPN is our next choice for gamers who want to stay safe while playing on Steam Deck.
PrivateVPN offers robust encryption protocols, fast speeds, and plenty of servers to choose from, so you can always find a reliable connection anywhere in the world.
What makes PrivateVPN stand out even more is its easy-to-use interface. Even if you’re not tech-savvy, setting up and using the service won’t be a problem. With this VPN in tow, there’s no need to worry about your activity being tracked or monitored by anyone else thanks to its no-logs policy. Plus, additional features like split tunneling and DNS leak protection give users more control over their connection. If there ever comes a time when your connection drops unexpectedly – fear not! The automatic kill switch feature will always keep your vital data safe and sound. If you have any questions or issues with the service, its 24/7 customer service team is ready to help.
In short, PrivateVPN is an excellent choice for gamers who want to keep their data secure while playing on Steam Deck. Its fast speeds, strong encryption protocols, and user-friendly interface make it perfect for anyone looking to protect their privacy online!
- Operates a network spanning 57 countries
- Operated from Sweden which is outside of the Five Eyes
- Speeds are good enough for high-quality streaming
- Gaining a solid reputation for unblocking geo-restricted content, including from the UK
- Relatively small network
- Only has around a dozen US servers
EXCELLENT UNBLOCKING:PrivateVPN is among the easiest VPNs to use, uses military-grade encryption, and includes a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full PrivateVPN review.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
Private Internet Access (PIA) is an excellent choice for Steam Deck. With its robust security protocols, lightning-fast speeds, and a sizeable global server network, PIA offers an unbeatable combination of privacy, speed, and performance – making it a perfect VPN for gamers looking to get the most out of their Steam Deck sessions.
PIA’s unique features make it one of the top contenders in the VPN game: it allows for up to 10 simultaneous connections, has 256-bit AES encryption, and provides port forwarding and DNS leak protection for maximum online privacy. Plus, with PIA’s no-logging policy, you can rest assured that your data will remain safe and secure while playing Steam Deck.
If you’re looking for a reliable VPN provider that delivers a secure connection with plenty of features, then Private Internet Access is definitely worth considering. So now go ahead and enjoy your Steam Deck games without worrying about security concerns – you know you’re in good hands with PIA!
- Supports WireGuard
- Tweak encryption for faster speeds
- Doesn’t collect logs
- Has almost 10,000 servers globally
- Unblocking can be inconsistant
- No Smart DNS support
WIREGUARD support:Private Internet Access has servers in over 75 countries, includes a built-in ad blocker, and has a 10-simultaneous connection limit.
Read our full Private Internet Access review.
How to use a VPN for Steam Deck
You don’t need to be a tech guru to get started, it’s fairly simple. All you need to do is follow the step-by-step instructions below.
Here’s how to use a VPN for Steam Deck:
- Sign up for NordVPN, our number one recommended VPN. Alternatively, Surfshark or ExpressVPN are great Steam Deck VPN contenders.
- Download the latest version of Decky Loader from GitHub using Microsoft Edge and install it on your Steam Deck.
- With that done, open up the Plugin loader (the right side of your Deck with the three dots…) and scroll to the bottom for access to the plugin store. Now you’re almost ready to start gaming – search for TunnelDeck and install it!
- Once installed, launch TunnelDeck and toggle the option to install OpenVPN if you’re using it. Don’t worry about this step if you’re using WireGuard instead.
- Now switch to Desktop Mode by clicking on the Steam button, going to Power, and selecting Switch to Desktop. Wait until your Deck reboots before moving on to step 5!
- Back in desktop Mode, click the menu icon and open System Settings > Network > Connections. Tap + and import a VPN connection (or choose WireGuard if that’s what you use).
- Download your VPN provider’s OpenVPN configuration file, browse to the saved location, and then add it – now you’ll see an empty Username and Password field. These will be the details used to register with your chosen VPN. Save again, and remember to change the dropdown below your password, so it stores for all users.
- Finally, boot back into Gaming mode – but before connecting, make sure to enter Offline Mode in Steam by clicking on the Steam button > Settings > Internet> Enter Offline Mode.
Now you can enjoy lag-free gaming with secured anonymity.
Finding the best VPNs for Steam Deck: our methodology
When looking for the best VPNs for Steam Deck, we explored a range of criteria to identify providers that ensure secure and reliable connections. We examined:
- Speed: To guarantee uninterrupted gaming, we analyzed the connection speed of each provider and shortlisted only the fastest VPNs.
- Security: For top-notch security, we carefully reviewed the encryption protocols offered by each supplier.
- Servers: Seeking maximum coverage and global access, we checked out each provider’s range of servers they offer.
- Features: We assessed each vendor’s additional features and how they benefit gamers aiming to protect their gaming link.
- Value: To provide great features at competitive prices, we scoured the market to find those who give you more bang for your buck.
We ensured all the VPNs we tested are compatible with Steam Deck so you can confidently pick the perfect one for your gaming needs! You can find more information about the tests we run in our VPN testing methodology.
FAQs about Steam Deck VPNs
Can I use a VPN browser extension on Steam Deck?
Possibly. The steam Deck comes pre-installed with Firefox but can support other popular browsers like Chrome and Microsoft Edge. In addition, if you only want to protect your browsing activities instead of your entire device, some VPNs offer browser extensions that allow you to do this on Steam Deck.
Can I use a free VPN on Steam?
We’d avoid using free VPNs for Steam deck as they often offer below-standard encryption, slow speeds, and limited server coverage. Plus, they could be logging your data or contain malicious code. Paid VPNs provide much better security, faster speeds, and more features – plus, you get a little more peace of mind knowing that you’re supporting an established service.