VPN bug caused bandwith issues in Steam even when toggled off in Total
I wasted 2-3 hours yesterday troubleshooting why Steam's download speeds had dropped to 1,5-3MB/s instead of the usual 55MB/s. Asked some local friends on the same ISP within a few km to see how their speeds were.... maxed out, no issue.
Every other launcher (Ubisoft, Epic) and Internet downloads were doing 50+ as well. I even tried swapping to a mobile connection and it still had the same issue! Tried another computer and that one had no issue so it was clearly just this one computer.
I have not enabled the VPN a lot even, perhaps <10 times and to my knowledge I've always turned it off.
Finally after trying everything else I thought I'd see if using the VPN would change anything. So I turned it on with the Finland one. Magically the download speed instantly went to 55MB/s..... I was just like what the heck. So I turned it off again and it stayed at 55MB/s.
So your VPN had somehow screwed up Steam's download route permanently even though it was off. Something was left somewhere in Windows that really messed things up and a toggle off and on fixed it.
Things that did not fix it:
- Rebooting router
- Rebooting PC
- Changing Internet connection to Wi-fi
- Changing Internet connection to mobile through wi-fi hotspot
- Changing Steam download region
- Any setting in Steam downloads
And once again, the only affected application was Steam. So it was just by pure chance that I tried toggling the VPN which finally fixed it. I'm not sure how long this had been an issue but I remember having issues with the download speed for a few other things on Steam around 1-2 weeks back so it would probably have been a permanent issue.