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I'm not trying to hack anything here. To clarify my question, I'll give you the situation.

I'm an engineer who is also an avid gamer. Where I work, we get downtime from time to time where we engineers are basically just sitting and waiting for something to do. During this time, our boss (who is also an avid gamer) allows us to bring our laptops and connect to the company network.

The problem we have run into is that we cannot connect to the Steam servers because of the company's firewall. We can connect to Origin with no problem and even download games from it, but we can never access Steam's servers. We have tried a few things to get around it, but nothing successful so far. I guess what I am looking for is some way to get access to Steam's servers the same way I can access the Origin servers.

  • 5
    Have you tried setting up a vpn (or remote acces like noMachine nx) on your home network, connect to it from work and ... profits? If the game is online, that might raise your latency and ping to unplayable level but if your home and work connections are good, it shouldn't be that bad. I would favor vpn over a remote access to avoid the latency of the keyboard and mouse input in remote access. – Jonathan Drapeau Sep 24 '15 at 11:42
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    Proxy server. Connect to steam via a proxy, it's not that difficult/expensive, see linode.com/docs/networking/squid/squid-http-proxy-ubuntu-12-04 Your company firewall shouldn't be able to block steam access because your computers will be accessing your own VPS IP, not Steams. – ggdx Sep 24 '15 at 14:18
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    @DanWhite You should post that as an answer. – Philip Kendall Sep 24 '15 at 15:19
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    Why do you need an access to Steam? Just to start the game or to use dedicated servers for muliplayer sessions? – StupidOne Sep 24 '15 at 19:29
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    "I'm not trying to hack anything here." Aren't you though? As far as I can tell you're still asking how to bypass your company's firewall to access a blocked resource. Regardless of whether that block is in place for security, productivity or bandwidth reasons, bypassing it is still almost certainly a violation of your company's IT policy. – Lilienthal Sep 25 '15 at 15:24
63

I believe your problem can mostly be circumvented by using Steam's offline-mode.

You say you have the game on "your laptop". I assume this is a personal laptop you can take home from time to time.

Here's what you do. In your home, with unhindered access to Steam, download the games you want and start them once. This way Steam can verify your right to run those games at least once. After this, put Steam to off-line mode. It will remember the verifications you did (for limited time, a couple of weeks, according to @badp) and you should be able to use the laptop and its Steam installation to play the games without needing to connect to the Steam's server.

Depending on the game, you may even have the game online without needing to connect to Steam's servers.

  • 3
    Plus, if you've got the games installed already, you're in the office and Steam isn't in offline mode you could try the suggestions here: gaming.stackexchange.com/questions/19234/… on how to get Steam into Offline mode, don't know if they're still valid though. – DMA57361 Sep 24 '15 at 10:59
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    Offline mode still requires you to check in every couple of weeks. – badp Sep 24 '15 at 11:05
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    There are also some games that use Steam as a CDN rather than as DRM; these, once installed, will work all the time whether Steam is online, offline, or not running at all. Kerbal Space Program, for example. I don't know if there's a definitive list, but if you're worried about the offline-mode time expiring, focusing on those games might be a good idea. – ToxicFrog Sep 24 '15 at 13:00
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    Plus you won't get achievements. – Medinoc Sep 24 '15 at 19:51
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    @Medinoc That's wrong you can still get achivements and they sync with your account next time you sign in. This works with any Steamworks game (the majority of games released in the last few years). – kenjara Sep 25 '15 at 12:26
9

Other than contacting the firewall's administrator and whitelisting Steam servers there's not much you can do. As suggested in comments below you can connect to Steam using proxies.

I know this doesn't solve your problem, but maybe it will be sufficient to someone else. I had the same problem with my University, where Steam logon server was blocked. A friend of mine found a workaround that surprisingly worked:

  • When at home, connect to Steam and log in.
  • Put your notebook in sleep mode.
  • Power on the notebook at work.

Steam should be connected, games can be downloaded and you can chat with friends, but all games using steam servers (eg. Counter Strike etc.) won't be playable. Nevertheless, it's still more than you could do before (unless they fixed it somehow).

  • I think this is a slightly better solution than offline mode. It allows more capabilities and is arguably even less trouble. The only problem is that it forces you to keep Steam open all day (potentially not the brightest thing to do at work, for a number of reasons) if you want to use it at all. – Matthew Brown Sep 24 '15 at 18:22
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    This will only work if the network admins are naive enough to only block the login servers rather than all addresses associated with steam though. – Trotski94 Sep 24 '15 at 18:27
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    This answer is incorrect, setting up a proxy is an option. – BlueRaja - Danny Pflughoeft Sep 24 '15 at 19:58
  • @JamesTrotter Indeed, as I said it doesn't actually solve the OPs question but may help some other people. – Asunez Sep 25 '15 at 7:06
7

I had this problem in my University. I simply connected to my 3G on the phone and logged into Steam there. It doesn't consume a lot of data just to log in and authenticate your game to start. Don't expect to play online games though. Even if you have fast 3G/4G connection the latency will still be a problem.

Look on Google how to turn your phone into a WiFi hotspot according to your phone's model and system. Good luck with the games friend!

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    This could be a problem if you have steam autoupdates turned on. Game updates would start downloading without notice and your mobile data plan is likely to drain very quickly. – DiegoDD Sep 25 '15 at 14:53
1

If you have access to a SSH session on a remote server, you can download ProxyCap or Proxifier, make a Socks5 using SSH via PuTTy, use the Socks5 with ProxyCap or Proxifier and start Steam using the -tcp argument by making a shortcut to Steam.exe to your Desktop (or anywhere else) and it to the start parameters.

1

Use VPN services. I use Astrill which is a paid service because I have other needs besides connecting to Steam, but there should be plenty of free ones out there. A good VPN can connect you to Steam with your full network capacity without any issue.

1

I run OpenVPN on a VM at home. A little port forwarding on the router is all it took to get set up properly. (It's free for <10 concurrent connections). I used to use DropBox to host the VM on my desktop and started it up when I knew I'd need it. Now, I have an old PC sitting there doing nothing else.

System requirements are low (512MB Ram, 1 CPU is more than you'll ever need)

Use port 443 and almost any firewall will let you connect without issues (whitelisting firewalls being the exception but they're rare outside Gov't/Defense).

Doesn't matter where I am or what I want to do, I connect to the VPN and it works.

There is a performance hit - you'll get the worst speed of your VPN server/your current location and there's a (small) latency overhead but I've been able to play CS:S in the office with a ping of < 50ms.

As an added bonus, it works for my (Android) mobile too

  • I'm going to give this a whirl. I've never set up anything like this before, but I'm game for trying new things. Thanks! – Tigers_fan Oct 8 '15 at 21:33
  • No worries. You need to download the OpenVPN Access Server if you want to self-host (rather than using someone else's servers, in which case you can just download the desktop client). See here for the server options. – Basic Oct 8 '15 at 23:42

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