Changing Download Servers on Steam

Posted by: lanlynk

Changing Download Servers on Steam - 04/30/13 06:48 PM

I'm wondering if anyone has some recommendations about the download servers on Steam. I'm experiencing slow downloads. I'm sure the main reason for this is my own slow DSL service, but I thought maybe changing to another Steam server might help.

Also, should I try changing servers while a download is in progress? I know you can pause a download, but I don't want to change to a different server and have the download start all over!

I looked at what Steam has set for my default server, and it's Seattle. Since I'm in Fairbanks, Alaska, that's probably the closest US server. There's also a Seattle Comcast server. Is that only for Comcast people? What would be the difference between that and what I have? Or, would it be better for me to find a server in western Canada even though I'm US. Some places in Canada would be closer to me than Seattle.

Maybe none of this would make a difference? What do you think? duh
Posted by: Jenny100

Re: Changing Download Servers on Steam - 04/30/13 07:55 PM

The Steam site does suggest trying different servers in your area to see if any are faster

The article provides you with a table showing an estimate of your maximum download speed (in kilobytes or megabytes per second) as compared with the speed you're supposed to be getting (in megabits per second).

I doubt that a Comcast server would only be for Comcast customers. If you see the server listed by Steam, you can try using it. It might be no good at all, but you'd find that out quickly enough. I'd check out the closest servers first, even if they were in Canada.

I don't know your download speed, but that might be the limiting factor.
Check your download speed using an online bandwidth tester like
and see what kind of speeds you get and how they compare with your Steam download speed.
Posted by: Draclvr

Re: Changing Download Servers on Steam - 04/30/13 08:03 PM

I definitely wouldn't try changing servers in mid-download though! The chances are you'd have to start over.
Posted by: Dunn Tawkin

Re: Changing Download Servers on Steam - 04/30/13 09:18 PM

I would stay with the seattle one.

Posted by: lanlynk

Re: Changing Download Servers on Steam - 04/30/13 10:21 PM

Thanks for the info, Jenny. I paused my download and tested the internet speed. Not sure if that was a true test though. I'm getting 493 kbps download. I'm supposed to get 640, and usually when I test, I get at least 525 kbps, depending on time of day.

The link you gave explained that Steam's downloads are measured in bytes, not bits, and that I should multiply the Steam download rate by 8 to compare to the kbps speed measurement. That was helpful. My Steam download vacillates from 0 bytes and then approx. 100, pretty much half and half. So, I guess if I average, and then multiply, I'm getting around 400. That's comparable to my 493 speed, but not as fast, and certainly not as fast as I should be getting.

Ah well. At least it's not as bad as I thought. I thought I was getting only 100 and less. Didn't know about the bytes vs. bits. How confusing!

I'll let it be for now, stick with Seattle, and not interrupt the download with tweaking. But I am going to check out another Steam server next time, maybe Vancouver ... just for grins. laugh

Thanks guys for your info and suggestions.

Footnote Edit: Just wanted to say that the game finished downloading. Everything seems Ok. I'm going to do some exploring around the Steam Support site and learn a little bit more about how things work. I'm fairly new to Steam.