It’s not a secret that running a game server can get complicated depending on your goals with the server. In a sea of numerous options, knowing what you need to do to run a stable Minecraft server is hard. Often, there will be mentions of needing a static IP to run a Minecraft server, but is it really something you need? How would one set it up?
For the average Joe or Jane, you can easily get away with running a Minecraft server without a static IP. Static IP provides you with a more stable internet connection and less chance of the server crashing, but the application of static IPs is reserved mostly for large servers with their own domain. To set it up, you’ll need to know your router’s IP address, subnet mask and change the settings in the Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IP) properties.
Now that you know the general gist of setting up a static IP, I want to dig into some of the benefits of having a static IP and the differences when comparing it to dynamic IP addresses. I’ll also discuss which ones are generally better for gaming and who should set it up and how. Let’s find out in the rest of this article.
Explaining IP addresses
Every computer and device you have has an IP address. If you’re connecting to the internet, you have it. Your IP address is changeable and valuable since hackers can use it to steal your data, find out your location, and more.
Your IP address will change every time you connect to a different network. VPN’s for example, use IP addresses to make it seem like you’re browsing the internet from a completely different location than your actual location.
VPNs have a bunch of servers online, and they connect you to each server and assign you a different IP address, depending on which country you want to browse from.
No two devices can have the same IP address. IP addresses are like fingerprints; they’re unique to each person, and that’s where the danger comes from. If it’s unique, you are easier to identify.
Dynamic VS static IP
Static IP addresses never change. They are most definitely useful if you run your server, whether it is made for gaming or work. Having a static IP while running your gaming server will make it easier for members of the server to access the server continuously.
When you want to get access to a server, you usually have to type in the IP address of a server to access it. If you were to use a dynamic IP address, you’d constantly have to re-enter a new one which could become a tedious process quickly.
With that in mind, dynamic IP addresses are constantly changing. Home networks tend to have dynamic IPs, and it’s normal for the IP address to change occasionally. Did it ever happen that your internet reset for no reason at all? It might just be that it changed its IP address.
Gaming experience: Benefits of Static IP
When you look at all the pros and cons of having a static or dynamic IP, it’s easy to conclude that you’ll benefit more from having static IP if you’re planning to have your own Minecraft server.
Do you even need to set the static IP up if you’re paying for a server subscription service or taking advantage of free servers that you can use in Minecraft?
Another thing you’ll benefit from if you acquire a static IP address for your server is that you’ll have a much better gameplay experience. Your connection to the server will be more stable.
With the use of a static IP, you’ll also be able to make your server public if you already have a server domain. Servers with static IPs and their domain are far more stable but are usually reserved for server hosts that plan on having a ton of activity on the server.
For people that want to run a normal Minecraft server, subscribing to a server hosting website will be enough for you to run your own server. The service provider will take care of most of your planning and ensure your connection is always stable.
Setting up static IP
Suppose you’ve decided to set up a static IP address because you think it can help you a ton when running a Minecraft server. In that case, I’ll show you the steps to do so, but remember that you should already have some preexisting knowledge about messing with your computer’s IP settings.
Another thing to keep in mind is that it might not work for everyone, and you might reap the consequences of your actions later on, so if setting up static IP doesn’t work right away, I suggest immediately going back to the way things were and just sticking to your server subscription service.
Now, if you want to set up a static IP on your PC, follow these steps:
- We’ll be using the command prompt for most of the things we need to set up the static IP, so press the Windows + R buttons and type in cmd in the pop-up window.
- You will then run the command
- Once you’ve run the command, look for the Default Gateway. The number displayed is your router’s IP address. Write it down.
- Now, to set up a static IP, press the Windows + R key again, but this time, head over to ncpa.cpl and hit enter.
- Next, you’ll want to go to your network interface and select properties.
- You’ll look for Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IP) and then select Properties again.
- You will then need to type in the preferred Static IP address, the subnet mask, and your routers’ IP address and then use that following IP address as the default.
A few things to note here. Your subnet mask for setting up a static IP should be this: 255.255.255.0. Your IP address should be the same as the default gateway but with an added digit (0).
Port forwarding in Minecraft
Many people choose to set up a static IP address when they decide they want to port forward their Minecraft servers. Port forwarding allows users running their server locally to let other remote computers connect to the server. Acquiring a static IP address is a must in this case, but as I’ve said before, it won’t be in most cases.
Besides, if you run a small server locally, you can always use a VPN like Logmein Hamachi that’ll take care of everything for you with a few clicks.