Generally speaking, Steam has a damn good track record of offering fast download speeds. No matter what computer I have used or whereabouts in the world I have used Steam, the download speeds within the client have always been higher than in any other program or app I’ve used. That said though, there are still some ways you can optimize your Steam download speeds, so keep reading and find out how.
With game size growing dramatically over the years, Internet connection speeds have become increasingly more important, no one wants to wait hours and hours for games to download. If you have recently built a new computer, bought a new hard drive or just went crazy during the Steam summer sale you’ll want to make sure you have the fastest download speed you can get. Some of the steps in this guide are blatantly obvious so you may already be using them, others though you may not have thought to check. So follow along closing and maybe you’ll pick up a trick or two you hadn't thought to try.
Increasing Steam Download Speeds: Simplify your Connection.
This is one of the more obvious things you can do in order to speed up your Steam download connection, in fact, it will speed up any downloads. By closing any programs you have running that use your Internet connection you can make sure steam is getting the full bandwidth. That’s the obvious part, however, below is a great way to check what programs are actually using your Internet connection.
Right-click on your Taskbar and select Task Manager. When you have the Task Manager open in front of you, click the Network tab, and set the sorting priority to show the most hungry apps and programs at the top. If there are any programs or apps using a considerable portion of your connection, right-click on them and end task.
Note: Obviously you won’t want to end tasks like system, etc, otherwise your computer will start having problems and may require a restart.
Another somewhat less obvious way you can increase your Steam download speeds is to make some changes to the Steam client. Whilst still in the Task Manager window change to the Details Tab, find the SteamService.exe, right-click on it and Set Priority to High. Making this change isn’t going to increase your download speeds dramatically but it will let your computer know Steam deserves more focus than other programs and background apps that are running.
Improving your Internet Connection
Another often overlooked way you can increase speeds on your computer is to make sure that you are using the most up to date drivers for your Network card. Either your Ethernet Adapter or your Wireless card. To update your drivers open the start menu and type Device Manager, when you see it on the list click on it. In the Device Manager window expand the Network Adapter list and right-click on the Network card you are connecting to the internet with. From the options select Update Driver. Now just follow the steps shown by windows and allow your driver to update.
If you are using a Lan/Ethernet connection you can also update your motherboard drivers using the following steps. Open Command Prompt as Admin by pressing Windows Key + X and choosing it from the menu. Or type Command Prompt into the start menu then right-click and select Open as Admin. When you have the CMD window open cut and paste the following command into the window.
This will show your motherboard information, which you can then Google Search for drivers. Once you have tracked down the latest drivers for your motherboard install them.
Note: If you have access to a Lan/Ethernet cable for internet you should opt to use this over a WiFi connection, as the speeds are unmatched and much more stable. WiFi has come a long way but it still doesn’t match a cabled connection.
Optimize Steam Client Settings.
Now that all of the external factors have been dealt with, it’s time to make some changes within the Steam Client itself. The first thing we will be doing is making sure you are getting your Download from the closest possible location. Sometimes Steam can automatically choose an incorrect server which can slow download speeds considerably.
To change the download region Steam uses, open Steam, then click on Steam in the top left-hand corner. From the drop down menu select Settings, then choose Downloads from the list of sub-menus that display. Here you will see another drop-down box below a heading called Download Region. This next step is important, make sure you select the closest location to you and set the Limit Bandwidth option to No Limit.
Generally, the Closest location should be the best, however at times, depending on whereabouts you live this server might become overloaded slowing download speeds. If you’d like to check information on Steam servers and the connection speed associated with them you can check the Steam Download Stats page. http://store.steampowered.com/stats/content/ You’ll probably be jealous of South Korea's Internet Speeds……………….. Mind Blowing……