IP or Public IP: Which to Use for Minecraft Servers?
When setting up a Minecraft server, one of the key decisions you need to make is which IP address to use. There are two main options to consider: the IP address provided by your internet service provider (ISP), known as a public IP address, or the local IP address assigned to your server on your local network. In this article, we will explore the differences between these two options and help you determine which one is most suitable for your Minecraft server needs.
Understanding IP Addresses:
An IP address is a unique numerical label assigned to each device connected to a network. It serves as a way to identify and communicate with devices over the internet. IP addresses can be either public or private/local.
Public IP Address:
A public IP address is assigned by your ISP and is accessible from the internet. This address is unique to your network and allows devices from outside your local network to connect to your Minecraft server. A public IP address is required if you want players from different networks to join your server.
Private/Local IP Address:
A private or local IP address is assigned to your server by your local network's router. This address is used to identify devices within your local network and is not accessible from the internet by default. It typically starts with "192.168" or "10" and is used for communication between devices within your network.
Using a Public IP Address for Minecraft Servers:
Using a public IP address for your Minecraft server has several advantages:
Accessibility: A public IP address allows players from different networks to connect to your server. This means that friends, family, or even strangers from around the world can join your Minecraft server and play together.
Server Hosting Options: When using a public IP address, you have the flexibility to choose different hosting options. You can host the server on your own hardware, rent a dedicated server, or use a hosting service specifically designed for Minecraft servers.
Server Advertisement: Public IP addresses make it easier to advertise and promote your Minecraft server. You can share the IP address with others, post it on server listing websites, or create a custom domain name that points to your public IP address.
Using a Private/Local IP Address for Minecraft Servers:
Using a private/local IP address for your Minecraft server is suitable in certain situations:
Local Network Only: If you want to create a server exclusively for players within your local network, such as family or friends connected to the same Wi-Fi network, a private/local IP address is sufficient. Players can connect to the server using the local IP address, but it won't be accessible from outside your network.
Testing and Development: When setting up a server for testing or development purposes, using a private/local IP address allows you to work within a controlled environment without exposing your server to the wider internet.
LAN Parties: If you're hosting a LAN party or gaming event where players are physically present in the same location, a private/local IP address can be used for players to connect to the Minecraft server over the local network.