By Praveen Kannan and Anna Strokolyst The Hotspot Shield team believes the internet should be open and secure …
Most online gaming fans are familiar with Steam, the platform that hosts countless games for players around the world. What many gaming enthusiasts don’t know, however, is that they could save big without decreasing their game consumption. Here’s how to save on your favorite Steam games online.
What Steam Has to Offer
Whether you’re a diehard gamer or a complete newbie, Steam has a little something for everyone. With over 3,500 games to choose from, options range from role playing games to shooters to arcade games. Players hail from countries around the world, and many join together in multiplayer games. They also play on a number of devices, including desktop computers, smartphones, and TVs. Dedicated players can even contribute content to the Steam Workshop.
How to Save on Steam Games
While Steam might appear to be a level playing field, welcoming players from a number of computing platforms and devices means not all players are equal. In fact, the platform charges very different prices to players logging in from different countries. When logging in from Germany, Australia, or the United Kingdom, for instance, players might score bigger discounts than those available to U.S. players. So if you often make purchases via this platform, this might be a significant saving opportunity for you.
Easily Change Your Location
You don’t have to hop on a plane or even leave the room to change your location online. With a virtual private network (VPN) service, you can change your online location with the click of a button. VPNs like Hotspot Shield make this easy by masking your computer’s public IP address and changing it to an anonymous address from one of over a dozen locations. With Hotspot Shield Elite, premium version , you can virtually travel around the world while browsing through Steam’s offerings and logging in from 18 different countries. If your virtual location causes language issues, don’t hesitate to use browser extensions to translate.
By changing your virtual location with Hotspot Shield and thus getting another IP address you’ll also be able to to unblock geo-restrictions for game servers – play games online without restrictions. If your favorite video streaming service blocked you from accessing the video and music – you can also bypass restrictions to access services such as Netflix, Pandora, BBC iPlayer, Skype and many others from any country.
Along with changing your virtual location, Hotspot Shield also gives you an added layer of protection. The VPN encrypts your traffic, so all of the information you submit over Wi-Fi is secure. That means you don’t have to worry about hackers stealing your gaming passwords, credit card information, or other private data.
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Use a No-Fee Credit Card
When you make international purchases, don’t forget that you often have the option to pay in that country’s currency. While you can use nearly any credit card to make an international purchase, not all credit cards will help you save on foreign transactions. In fact, many will charge you a foreign transaction fee averaging about 3 percent of your purchase amount. If you’re not sure whether your card charges an additional fee, check the terms and conditions or call your bank to confirm. If you have a no-fee card, go ahead and save by paying in the local currency.
Save on Seasonal Sales
If you’re not seeing big enough savings when logging in from a virtual location, just wait a day or a week. Most deal-seeking Steam fans know that the platform frequently offers discounts on weekends, holidays, and other days throughout the year. The biggest deals come just twice a year, though. Count your pennies, and keep an eye out for Steam’s summer and winter sales, when you’ll find the deepest discounts. Note that these semiannual sales are far from one-day events. They typically last for ten or more days, and each features daily specials and flash deals for even more surprise savings.
Whether Steam has already lured you in or you’re a gaming newbie, there’s plenty of fun to be had on this platform. Follow these tips, and have fun without burning a hole in your pocket.