Steam has introduced new networking APIs and an updated Steamworks SDK to continue improving multiplayer experiences on its own platform and through Steam partners. Through the new APIs, Steam partners can utilize the Steam backbone which protects its game servers from DoS while providing low latency and high quality connection.
Steam's network, the Valve network, is deployed across 30 points across the globe. It operates on several terabits of edge bandwidth. Partners' data is anonymized, dynamically routed, and developers can connect without using the public Internet. Steam has networked with over 2,500 ISPs to build out its massive, protected, and reliant network.
Third party Steam partners that utilize the new APIs gain access to Steam's network. Its benefits include 100% reliable NAT traversal, instant estimation of ping between two hosts, and end-to-end encrypted reliable-over-UDP protocol. Access to the APIs is available through the latest Steamworks SDK, v1.44.
Steam has tested third party access to the network for quite some time. Recent samples from the tests show that a high percentage of end user players enjoyed an improvement in ping time. Visit the Steam community site to learn more.