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How to boost your Steam download speed

Tired of waiting for your game update or new game download? Here's a tip to speed up your connection to Steam and spend your time playing, not waiting.


Steam defines itself as "the ultimate entertainment platform." Its software, available for PC, Mac, and mobile devices, allows people to "play, connect, [and] create." Its gaming library has more than 2,000 titles and it has approximately 40 million users. If you're one of those 40 million, you know what a pain it can be to wait for a game to update or for a new one to download -- it's not the speediest process.

Here's how to make the wait time a little less painful:

Screenshot by Nicole Cozma/CNET

Open the Steam settings page. This can be accessed by right-clicking the Steam icon in the system tray and selecting Settings from the menu that appears.

Screenshot by Nicole Cozma/CNET

In the Settings window, there will be many tabs full of all sorts of options and settings that you can play with. The settings we're interested in are under the Downloads + Cloud tab.

Screenshot by Nicole Cozma/CNET

Two of the settings here can help increase your download speed. First, make sure the drop-down labeled "Approximate speed of your Internet connection" is properly set to, well, the approximate speed of your Internet connection.

Second, play around with the Download region drop-down settings. Your best bet is going to be the closest location to you, but factors like the internet connection between you and that location or volume of traffic to that server may tip the scale in the favor of a server further away.

Adjusting these settings will require you to restart your Steam client before the changes come into effect. Hopefully you'll notice faster download speeds after the restart. If there's no change -- or worse, your connection seems slower -- play around more with the download region setting until you find a reliable, low-traffic server.

(Via Wonder How To)