Enlarge (credit: Aurich Lawson)
If you play games on PC, where God intended them to be played, chances are you’ve got Steam installed.
Since its troubled launch in 2003, Valve’s publishing platform has gone from a thing we had to grudgingly put up with in order to play Half Life 2 to the most popular digital game distribution tool on the planet. Most of us—me included—interact with it pretty much daily.
But as game distribution was shifting from physical to digital, ISPs also began implementing data caps—usually under the guise of “network management” (though anyone who thinks caps aren’t a pure revenue play should send me an e-mail, because I’ve got a bridge to sell you, cheap!).
Steam is fast, Steam is easy, and Steam is ubiquitous—but if you’ve just rebuilt a PC or reinstalled an OS and you need to reinstall your games, Steam will obligingly help you put a giant dent in your cap—very quickly.
But there’s an alternative to having to re-download all your Steam games from the Internet: you can set up a local Steam caching server, so that once you download something, you’ve got it on your LAN instead of having to reach for it across the net and incur usage fees.
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