How should I choose my server host?

Minecraft can be a confusing game to navigate, and hosting is no exception. There are a variety of hosting solutions for Minecraft servers available, and they can be difficult to compare. In this article, we will discuss the various types of hosting available and how they fit in the larger picture.

Shared host

With shared hosting, resources are allocated to you to host a server on a larger server. Shared hosts run a specialised server management platform such as Multicraft.

Shared hosting is appropriate for small servers (often less than 40 players). They are cheap, often starting at $4 per gigabyte per month. However, despite that many hosts sell in increments of gigabytes of memory, gigabytes are not everything! It is important to know what you are purchasing. Here are some important questions to ask:

  • How much disk space do you get? Most hosts will provide a few gigabytes, enough for most purposes. Be wary of hosts providing "unlimited" disk space!
  • What kind of storage are my servers using? Many hosts will host your server on SSDs, which provide fast storage. SSDs are useful for Minecraft, as they will increase the performance of loading chunks on your Minecraft server.
  • What kind of CPU do you use? Many hosts use some kind of Intel processor that provides good single-core performance.
  • How many clients are put on a server? Be wary if the host does not know or does not tell you. A high number of servers can mean they are overselling, which will reduce your server's performance.
  • Do you offer support for my server? Chances are that if you are using a shared host, you are new to hosting servers and need to most help you can get. Your host can often help you with providing server-related support.
  • Do you offer a free trial of Buycraft Premium? Many shared hosts offer a free 30-day trial of Buycraft Premium to their customers to allow them to quickly get started with professionally monetising their Minecraft servers.

If you're not sure about where to look to find a shared host, check out our partners page. All our partners offer a 30 day trial of Buycraft Premium.

Virtual private servers

Virtual private servers (VPS) allow the flexibility of a dedicated server with lower costs. As with shared hosting, there are advantages and disadvantages to using a VPS.

The primary drawback to using a VPS is the learning curve. As with a regular computer, you can run Windows or Linux on a VPS, but you will be running server versions of these operating systems. There are a plethora of tutorials you can choose from to learn about how to run a server. Some providers provide management services, but make the service more expensive. You can also ask a system administrator to set up your server for you for a fee. If you're moving from a shared host, you can also set up a server management platform on it, such as Multicraft.

VPSs are appropriate for growing servers, with more resources consistently available for your server. Pricing for most VPSs start around $10 per gigabyte per month, with increasing disk space and CPU power as you move up.

As with shared hosts, specifications are not everything. Here are important questions to ask:

  • What kind of storage are my servers using? For Minecraft, SSDs are recommended, as they will increase the performance of loading chunks on your Minecraft server.
  • What kind of CPU do you use? Many VPS providers will use a multi-core machine with moderate single-core performance. With Minecraft, it is generally important to have good single-core performance.
  • How many clients are put on a server? Be wary if the host does not know or does not tell you. A high number of servers can mean they are overselling, which will reduce your server's performance.
  • What is your CPU usage policy? Minecraft can be taxing on the CPU, and some providers have a strict CPU usage policy.
  • Do you allow Minecraft hosting? Minecraft is not allowed to be run on some hosts.

There are many VPS hosts available. Popular ones include DigitalOcean, Vultr and OVH. Please note that Buycraft does not recommend or endorse these hosts.

Dedicated servers

Dedicated servers permit full resource use. Dedicated servers permit full resource use. Networks like Hypixel use dedicated servers to host their servers.

Dedicated servers are regular computers running Windows or Linux. As with VPSs, you will need to learn how to use that operation, use a management service, or hire a system administrator. You can also set up a server management platform on it, such as Multicraft.

Make sure to ask:

  • Do you allow Minecraft hosting? Minecraft is not allowed to be run on some hosts.
  • Do I have the ability to have remote access? In case your dedicated server crashes, you corrupt the operating system, or you need to apply a system update, you should be able to be able to log into a remote administration system and issue a reboot, boot into a recovery system, or reinstall the operating system. Otherwise, you can file a ticket with your provider. Reboots are usually free, but some providers may charge for a OS reinstall.

Popular dedicated server hosts include OVH and Hetzner. Please note that Buycraft does not recommend or endorse these hosts.

Homehosting

Homehosting refers to the use of a home internet connection to host a server. While popular with some for ease of use, it is not recommended because of the slow upload speeds and policies against running server. You should consider shared hosts or a VPS.

Other kinds of hosting

There are also other kinds of hosting available, such as colocation, but those are out of the scope for this article, which covers the most common kinds of hosting.

As always, Buycraft is the perfect way to help pay for your server's hosting, whether you're a server that is just starting out on shared hosting or a behemoth minigame server with thousands of players. Get started today!