I’ll start my review of the best Minecraft server hosting with a trip back to November 2011, when Minecraft officially hit the gaming world. I must admit I didn’t know much about it at the time.
I wasn’t a big fan of pixelated graphics; it seemed like one of those quickly assembled games made by developers who didn’t understand that we were living in the 21st century. I mean, who would pick Minecraft over Grand Theft Auto, the hottest video game back then?
I didn’t appreciate the uniqueness of the pixelated graphics that made the game stand out. Now I do.
Fast forward to 2023, and I’m the biggest self-proclaimed Minecraft fan I know.
The multiplayer mode is one of my favorites — nothing beats the feeling of catching up with friends online after a long day at work. But I must also admit that finding the best server for Minecraft wasn’t that easy.
After many trials and errors, I can say these seven are the best I’ve seen and used.
- Full root access for server configuration
- Solid DDoS protection, upgraded SSDs, and dedicated IPv4/IPv6 addresses
- Instant setup and automatic backups
- Access to plugins and automatic mod installers for customized gameplay
- Get started now »
The need for total control over the server is one of the reasons I chose Hostinger. I also found it easy to install and set up — the onboarding process took only four minutes!
As someone who’s worked in the cybersecurity industry before, I’ve witnessed countless cases of cyber attacks targeting gamers. Cybercriminals would trick them into downloading malware and then steal their private information to commit crimes such as identity theft.
That experience made me extra cautious when shopping for a Minecraft server. Simply put, if it’s unsafe, it’s not worth it.
But that’s not something you’d be worried about when you host Minecraft on Hostinger; you’ll get a dedicated IP address (IPv4 or IPv6) to protect you from DDoS attacks (I cover this topic toward the end of this review).
Another thing that really fascinates me about Hostinger’s Minecraft servers is the automated backup system. I can rest easy knowing that no matter what happens, I won’t lose my progress. Instead, all I need to do is simply restore from the most recent backup via the control panel.
And, before I forget, Hostinger’s virtual private servers are also lag-free because they run on Intel Xeon processors. If you’re a gamer, you already know how critical fast servers are for a better gaming experience.
- Impressive 99.9999% Uptime
- FREE website transfer, custom ISOs, and enterprise firewall for enhanced security
- Root access with fully personalized gameplay
- 30-750 GB storage
- Get started now »
I’ve seen so many types of Minecraft servers, each with unique features and benefits, but when it comes to affordability, I tip my hat to Hostwinds. I also like that, despite being cost-effective, these servers have near-perfect uptime (up to 99.9999%).
Another thing that I love about Hostwinds, an observation our in-house reviewer Laura Bernheim also agrees with in her Hostwinds review, is that it has a control panel specifically built for Minecraft servers. The McMyAdmin control panel (MCMA) is easy to install and comes with an intuitive user interface — just what you need to customize your Minecraft environment.
Affordability and reliability aside, what makes this web host special is the fact the folks there are passionate about Minecraft. That’s great when you need assistance with Minecraft-related issues.
Instead of getting generic answers to your questions, you’ll talk to people who understand this game. Speaking of support, the team at Hostwinds is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year to help you get started with your Minecraft world and address any issues that may arise.
- 4-32 GB RAM & 4-6 TB bandwidth
- Up to 640 GB of blazing NVMe SSDs
- FREE domain for one year, unlimited ports, and a dedicated IP address
- Isolated cloud resources and automatic world repair with the Region Fixer tool
- Get started now »
They say there’s always something behind a name, and that’s exactly what I learned about ScalaHosting. I was only looking for a basic Minecraft server, but ScalaHosting outdid itself. If you’re looking for scalability, this is the server you need.
It’s not possible to list all benefits this hosting provider offers, so I’ll just mention the standard ones. To begin with, you’ll get your own virtual dedicated server with excellent speeds and a 99.9% uptime guarantee.
But what I find interesting is the automatic world repair feature that fixes your Minecraft realm block to block whenever there is a technical problem. And that’s not all – the Minecraft-specific features aside, you’ll still get the standard web hosting service all under one package.
So, what does that mean to you as a gamer? Think about it this way; you can host a Minecraft blog or website on the server in addition to the game itself.
SIDE NOTE: One of our resident hosting experts, Laura Bernheim, wrote a review of ScalaHosting you should check out to learn more about this host.
Best Hosts to Install Your Own Minecraft Server
Some web hosts aren’t Minecraft-ready, but that doesn’t mean they can’t host this game. Just to give you some perspective, I’ll go over some hosts that allow you to install your own Minecraft server.
- Custom web-based control panel
- Unlimited MySQL databases
- Easily scalable RAM
- High-performance SSD drives
- 5 years of security updates with Ubuntu Long Term Support
- Get started on DreamHost now.
The easy three-step process for setting up a Minecraft server on DreamHost is one of the things I love about them. I believe that if you’re going to have users manually set up their own servers, the best you can do for them is to make the process super easy.
Otherwise, as with browsing the internet, many people tend to lose interest when websites take too long to load. The same applies in the gaming community; no one wants to swim across the Pacific or climb mountains just to have a server installed.
Luckily, DreamHost is one of the few web hosts that understand this concept. They know that not every gamer out there has the technical skills required to manually install a server, so they’ve made the process super easy and straightforward.
- Seamless migration from any Bluehost shared hosting plan
- Root access and easy multi-server management
- Ample RAID-1 storage and tons of bandwidth
- Each plan gets at least 3 dedicated IP addresses
- cPanel and WHM with root access
- Get started on Bluehost now.
Some years ago, I used to think that Bluehost was only good for shared hosting. That was back when they were among the world’s most popular web hosting services, particularly for blogs and personal websites. They played in the same league with the likes of GoDaddy and HostGator
So, when trying out the best hosting providers for Minecraft, I never had Bluehost in mind until I learned from one of my gaming friends that the Utah-based web host can also host Minecraft.
I decided to give it a try, and quite honestly, the results were pretty impressive.
Although Bluehost doesn’t have servers designed explicitly for Minecraft, gamers can leverage the power of their VPS hosting or dedicated servers to get the best gaming experience.
The trick here is to opt for its VPS or dedicated servers; a shared server for hosting Minecraft won’t work because of the limited resources.
- High-speed hosting that’s faster than AWS, Rackspace, and Digital Ocean
- FREE backups, CDN, and DDoS protection
- Up to 16 processors with all-SSD storage
- Choice between cPanel, Plesk, or InterWorx
- Real-time monitoring and 100% uptime guarantee
- Get started on Liquid Web now.
One thing that stands out about Liquid Web is its lightning-fast speeds. In fact, sometimes I’m tempted to think that they bumped up their speeds as a reward to users for going through the trouble of manually setting up your Minecraft server on this host.
The folks at Liquid Webknew they couldn’t have everything you’ll ever need in a web host — no web host has. So, they decided to invest in what matters most in the gaming industry.
Things like speed, security, easy installation, and dedicated support are just what LiquidWeb needed to get themselves into the good books with gamers. They didn’t disappoint, either.
- Full root access with fully or semi-managed options
- Redundant network with multiple layers of security
- FREE website, domain, MySQL, and script transfer
- RAID-10 storage for data protection
- Get up to 75% off when you sign up
- Get started on HostGator now.
HostGator is another popular web host that’s not specifically built to host Minecraft servers but can with some minor modifications. All you have to do is identify the server you need. It could be a VPS or a dedicated server, whatever works best for you.
Then, you’ll buy a Minecraft server and set it up. It’s as easy as that.
I used HostGator many years ago when I didn’t have many players in my environment. I opted for the Dedicated Basic plan because I had around 30 players when I first started exploring the multiplayer world.
If you’d like to try them, you’ll find the instructions below.
What Is a Minecraft Server?
A Minecraft server is a virtual environment where the game runs. These servers can either be public or private.
As the name implies, a public server is usually accessible to the general public. Any random stranger can log into a public server as long as they have some basic information about it. On the other hand, a private server is more difficult to join because players must have login credentials to gain access to these servers.
For example, when I want to add a friend to my Minecraft community on a private server, I’ll send them the invitation and login credentials to an available player slot, which they’ll use to join.
Can I Host Minecraft on a Shared Server?
I wouldn’t recommend shared hosting for Minecraft, and that’s because this game requires considerable resources and limited restrictions. But that’s the opposite of shared servers; they usually have limited resources and many restrictions. For example, you’ll get limited storage and memory, the two key ingredients in a gamer’s world.
Security is also an issue many shared servers rarely address, and that’s why I would recommend opting for a dedicated server or Minecraft VPS.
People use shared servers for different reasons, and not everyone on that particular server just wants to play Minecraft while minding their own business. Some want to host their personal blogs, small business websites, portfolios, or anything else along those lines.
So when you run Minecraft on such a server, you’ll be competing for resources, not forgetting the uncertainty over the identity and intentions of other users on the server.
It’s like sharing a room with a roommate who was invited by the landlord, not you. You’ll always want to sleep with one eye open because you don’t know them that much. That’s the uncertainty you’ll likely have to worry about with shared hosting. You could be sharing the same server with a hacker, and you wouldn’t know.
Can I get Minecraft Hosting for Free?
You can, but as they say: If the deal is too good to be true, think twice. Free Minecraft server hosting is usually less reliable than premium Minecraft.
It also has many limitations, especially when it comes to speed and the number of players you can add to your environment. You’ll also have to navigate through annoying ads because free servers are usually ad-supported, ruining the entire gaming experience.
What Features Should I Look for in a Good Minecraft Hosting Plan?
For starters, no single Minecraft server is perfect; you just need to know the most important features to look for. I would start with any server that guarantees at least 99.9% uptime, unlimited SSD storage, regular automatic backup, speed (choose the closest server location), and security.
But I won’t stop there; that’s just the bare minimum. Many servers will offer additional features such as:
- Minecraft-specific plugin support
- 24/7/365 customer support
- Easy-to-use control panels
- Unlimited slots
Speaking of security, I can’t stress enough the importance of choosing a hosting plan with DDoS protection. The last thing you want is an unprotected server that makes it easier for hackers to attack, interrupt gameplay and infect your environment with malware.
Beginning Your Minecraft Hosting Journey: Key Things to Remember
A few things to note before you begin your Minecraft hosting journey:
You’ll find many Minecraft server hosting options to choose from; look for one with the key features I discussed above and then find out if it has some ‘extras.’
For example, LiquidWeb has excellent speeds, but you’ll need a little bit of technical knowledge to set up the game server. That’s because it doesn’t have servers specifically built for Minecraft, as you’ll find with the likes of Sparked Host, Bisect Hosting, Apex Minecraft hosting, Host Havoc, or Hostinger.
Avoid a free Minecraft hosting service at all costs. The same goes for shared hosting. If you really care about your gaming experience and, of course, your fellow community members, you’ll opt for VPS or dedicated servers.
Now that you have a rough idea of the best Minecraft server hosting plans, I wish you the best of luck in choosing the one that meets your unique needs!