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I recently downloaded steam, I've downloaded Garry's mod and ARK survival of the fittest, Garry's mod while only a 2gb file took an incredibly long time to download and survival of the fittest flat out will not download, I've realized Steam only downloads when I've paused it recently it will download for 10-30 seconds then peaking at usually 1.5-3 mb/s then either completely stop or slow down until it reaches 0 bytes/s. I have tried reinstalling steam, reinstalling it to a new location, changing server region and nothing is working, any advice would be appreciated.

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    Are you behind a school etc network? IT dept. might have banned steam. – Ave Mar 21 '16 at 21:08
  • I am on a school network, but other people here have steam and have had no issues that I have heard. – Codyr88 Mar 21 '16 at 21:12
  • On most school networks, packet inspections might be used to determine and throttle your connection. Pausing and restarting the connection might be giving you enough time between the connection and when the throttle/reset kicks in. ---- On the other hand, you may have an issue with something also causing problems on your PC directly? (as in "adaptive" firewall kicking in at the wrong time) Do you have the same issues while in safe mode? – NBN-Alex Mar 21 '16 at 21:25
  • I've checked my firewall and it's not interfering with steam, I've let steam attempt to download for about a half hour now and it goes in and out, it will download for 5-20 seconds peaking at about 800 kb/s then go dark for 5-45 seconds before starting again. – Codyr88 Mar 21 '16 at 21:33
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    I'd say this is mostly likely about network troubleshooting than it is about Steam. If you can, try any other network, and see if it behaves the same. If not, it's your school's network, and that's not something we can help with. – Frank Mar 21 '16 at 21:50
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In Preferences->Downloads there's a number of options which could cause your problem. The two most obvious are...

  • Switching to a different mirror.
  • Removing a bandwidth limit.

Try a large download from another site outside your school's network, perhaps another game utility. For example, does Origin or Glyph have the same problem? If they do this would indicate it's not Steam but something about your computer or network.

You should also check your total throughput of your connection using a site like speedtest.net. Be careful to note the difference between Mbit/s (megabits per second) and Mbyte/s (megabytes per second). Speedtest, and most ISPs, will report in megabits. Everyone else uses megabytes. 8 Mbits == 1 Mbyte.

Check if Steam is being blocked or throttled by a firewall or anti-virus, either on your computer or on your router. Conversely the problem could be a virus; if you don't have an anti-virus, get one.

If you're on wifi, try a wired connection. This will avoid interference from various sources.

Finally, the behavior you mention where it starts fast and then slows down is common among some shady ISPs (and some big ISPs are shady). This lets small downloads happen fast, but large file downloads get throttled. Web pages are made up of lots of small files, so they load fast. This lets most users have a responsive experience, but penalizes people downloading large files (and thus using a lot of bandwidth).

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