A dedicated IP address for your Minecraft server provides it with a stable, unique address instead of a random shared one.
Dedicated IPs offer some potential benefits like improved connectivity, recognizable branding, and easier DNS management.
However, dedicated IPs also come with drawbacks such as increased costs and configuration requirements.
Should you get a dedicated IP for your Minecraft server? The decision depends on your specific needs and situation.
For large public servers and established communities, a dedicated IP is often recommended to improve the playing experience.
But smaller private servers typically do fine without one. Dedicated IPs are overkill for friends playing together.
This article will explore the pros and cons of dedicated IPs for Minecraft servers. We’ll look at when they are worth getting, how to acquire them, and how to properly set them up.
Use this information to make an informed decision on whether investing in a dedicated IP is right for your server. A stable, optimized server is key to a great multiplayer experience.
Pros of a Dedicated IP
Dedicated IP addresses offer some potential benefits for Minecraft servers:
With a dedicated IP, your server’s address never changes. This helps in:
- Promoting your server – Put the IP directly on sites, ads, social media, etc.
- Player retention – Players can always return to the same address. No need to lookup a new one if the shared IP changes.
- Whitelist configuration – Setting permanent IP bans or approved lists.
An unchanging, dedicated IP makes it much simpler for players to connect repeatedly.
Dedicated IPs help ensure incoming connections are routed to your server specifically.
With shared IP addresses, multiple servers contend for the same pool of resources. Your server’s connectivity may randomly degrade if others on the shared IP use more resources.
A dedicated IP isolates your server for more consistent uptime and connectivity. You have the full bandwidth available whenever you need it.
This is especially helpful for servers that see heavy usage spikes like events or updates. A dedicated IP prevents others from impacting performance.
Unfortunately, DDOS attacks aimed at knocking servers offline are a common threat.
With a dedicated IP, advanced DDOS mitigation services can be employed to absorb and filter out malicious traffic.
These protections are much harder to implement on shared hosting with IPs spread across many servers.
Better DNS Control
A dedicated IP also allows full control over DNS records. You can set up subdomains, dynamically route to different services, and more.
Shared IPs offer minimal DNS flexibility. You use whatever the host provides.
Overall, dedicated IPs enable you to manage inbound connections, reliability, and DNS as needed for your community.
Cons of a Dedicated IP
However, there are also some downsides to weigh regarding dedicated IPs for Minecraft servers:
The primary drawback is higher monthly costs for dedicated IPs, often $10-$20 extra per month from providers.
For small servers run as a hobby, this cost may not make sense if a shared IP works fine. Large public networks can more easily absorb the expense.
Consider the value versus the cost for your specific server size and needs.
With dedicated IPs, the server admin takes on full management of the IP and associated DNS records.
This requires correctly configuring A records, firewall rules, moderating access, etc. Technical complexity increases.
Issues like DNS propagation delays or routing problems fall entirely on you to solve. Shared hosting simplifies much of this.
Fewer Location Options
Shared IPs allow servers to launch locations worldwide easily.
Dedicated IPs limit you to whatever data centers your host provides them in. This locks you into certain geographic server areas.
For globally distributed communities, shared IPs may allow launching closer servers for low latency access in more regions.
Migrating your server to a new provider is also more difficult with a dedicated IP. The IP likely won’t transfer.
This can lead to downtime and community disruption as you switch providers. With shared IPs, you simply launch a new instance.
Consider if you want to be locked into a single server host long-term before buying a dedicated IP.
Overall, weigh how much these disadvantages matter for your specific server and community.
When You Should Get a Dedicated IP for Your Minecraft Server
When weighing the pros and cons, these are good guidelines on situations where a dedicated IP makes sense for a Minecraft server:
Large Public Server
For a server with hundreds or thousands of players, a dedicated IP helps manage bandwidth and mitigate DDOS threats. These large communities need reliability.
The cost is justifiable for public servers monetizing through game purchases, cosmetics, etc.
Whitelist Community Server
Even smaller whitelist servers can benefit from the permanent IP for whitelisting and convenience.
The community is invested enough to return routinely. Consistent IP improves long-term retention.
Roleplay or Progression Focused
For servers with ongoing stories and progression, players dedicate significant time. A permanent IP they can bookmark improves immersion.
Downtime and fresh starts disrupt story continuity and turn players away.
Monetized Server Network
Servers earning money from players or advertising need professional presentations. Unique dedicated IPs project an established brand.
Reliability and uptime are also critical for maintaining revenue streams.
For PvP, minigames, or other competitive servers, performance consistency is key. Dedicated resources prevent disruption.
Tournaments or esports demand lag-free connectivity. You want total control.
In these situations, dedicated IPs provide technical advantages that outweigh the costs.
How to Get a Dedicated IP
If a dedicated IP makes sense for your server, here are some tips on acquiring one:
Check Your Hosting Provider
Most major Minecraft hosting companies like PebbleHost, Apex Hosting, etc, offer dedicated IPs.
Compare plans and pricing between hosts to find competitive deals. Often $10-$20 per month.
Look for included DDOS protection services as well – important for dedicated IPs.
Consider OVH and SoYouStart
OVH and their subsidiary SoYouStart are popular hosts specifically for cheap dedicated IPs.
For ~$15/month, you can get a basic dedicated server with good specs and a quality dedicated IP from their data centers.
Network backbone is solid for Europe and northeast North America connectivity.
Discuss Options for Unmanaged Servers
If using more advanced unmanaged VPS or dedicated server options, contact providers about getting an additional dedicated IP.
Options like AWS, Vultr, Scaleway often have dedicated IPs in certain regions for $5-$10 monthly.
You handle full server management yourself, but get lower level network control.
Register for IPs as a Business
Larger entities can apply directly to regional internet registries as a business to get IP blocks.
This involves justification, paperwork, yearly costs in the hundreds, but nets you cheap IPs directly from ARIN, RIPE, APNIC, etc.
Overkill for most Minecraft servers. But an option.
Buy from Resellers
Various resellers acquire IP blocks they can sell individual IPs from.
Options like IPv4.Global let you buy permanent IPs starting around $50 outright.
More expensive, but you own the IP forever in your account. Can switch providers freely.
Shop around for deals on purchasing versus renting IPs lasting 1+ years.
Setting Up Your Dedicated IP
Once you have a dedicated IP, proper configuration is crucial. Follow these tips:
Create DNS Records
You will need to manage your own DNS records for the IP address.
Add an A record through your domain registrar pointing to the new IP. You may need to wait for propagation.
You can optionally add records like SRV records for easy direct connection through clients.
Adjust Firewall Rules
By default, your entire dedicated IP will not be exposed publicly.
Add firewall rules to open the Minecraft server port (default 25565) to allow connections only to your server.
Restrict other access to prevent exploits. Opening too many ports on a dedicated IP can be risky.
Disable Shared IP
In your server hosting control panel, remove and disable any shared IP also assigned to the server.
This ensures all traffic routes to your dedicated IP exclusively.
Enhance DDOS Protection
Work with your host on activating DDOS scrubbing services included with dedicated IPs.
This may involve providing contact info, setting up mitigation thresholds, and configuring filtering.
DDOS attacks are unfortunately common – make prevention a priority.
Update Server Information
Change your server motd and any webpages or listings to showcase your new dedicated IP address.
Ensure all players know to update their saved favorite with your new stable connection info.
Keep an eye on server bandwidth, latency, uptime for any issues. A dedicated IP puts responsibility on you.
Check that DNS changes propagate fully without problems.
Immediately address any hosting or network problems that arise.
With good configuration, a dedicated IP will elevate your server’s capabilities and presentation.
- Dedicated IPs provide Minecraft servers a permanent, exclusive address instead of random shared ones.
- Benefits include improved connectivity, DDOS mitigation, and full DNS control. But they also come with increased cost and configuration work.
- Large public servers benefit most from dedicated IPs due to performance demands and branding.
- Small private servers are fine sticking with shared hosting IPs in most cases.
- Roleplay, progression servers, events, and networks also are good candidates for dedicated IPs to maximize uptime and retention.
- Many hosts offer dedicated IPs for $10-$20 monthly. Check different plans for the best deals.
- Setting up a dedicated IP requires adjusting DNS records, firewall rules, protections, and more. Proper configuration is key.
Evaluate your specific server circumstances and needs to decide if a dedicated IP is worth the investment. For some servers, it can elevate the experience.