What is a dedicated IP?
A dedicated IP address is a unique address assigned to a specific user or device instead of one that is shared among users.
Dedicated addresses don’t reset or get reassigned to other users, but they do cost extra. After all, IPs are a limited resource, and administrators must maintain their networks and servers. You can purchase dedicated IP addresses from internet service providers (ISPs), virtual private network (VPN) services, or hosting providers.
What is a dedicated IP for Minecraft?
A dedicated IP for a Minecraft server is a specific, unique IP address assigned to a server and used to access it.
Normally, when you join an MC server, you must enter the IP address and specify a port number. It may look something like this: 188.8.131.52:12345. Dedicated MC server addresses allow players to join servers without specifying port numbers. The game assumes that it must use port 25565, which is the standard port for Minecraft. More importantly, a Minecraft dedicated IP lets you join the server with a domain.
If you have bought a domain, you can configure it so that putting the domain address in Minecraft’s server address field redirects players to your dedicated address. You can also use a subdomain. In this way, a domain address is like the website address (e.g., mymcserver.com), and players can use the subdomain (e.g., play.mymcserver.com) to join the server.
All this is made possible by the function of DNS, which translates numeric IP addresses into human-friendly names that are easier to remember. You can also convert a numeric address to a name with an SRV record, but SRV records tend to be error prone. Not all ISPs support them, and many users experience issues.
Do you need a dedicated IP for a Minecraft server?
You do not need a dedicated IP for a Minecraft server. Your server will work just fine without one. You can play with your friends using a simple IP address with a specified port.
Dedicated IPs, however, are popular among professional server owners. If you want to have a public presence, use a cool address, and look serious – you may want to consider investing in a dedicated address. It’s not mandatory, though.
What is an alternative to a dedicated IP for Minecraft?
What if you want to play online with friends without dedicated IP Minecraft server hosting? Fortunately, there are alternatives, such as Meshnet.
What exactly is Meshnet? NordVPN’s Meshnet is a virtual network that works like a local area network (LAN). It enables players to create a private Minecraft server. Once devices are connected via Meshnet, they can communicate as if they were in the same room. In reality, all players can be on different continents.
Solving problems with Minecraft
Connecting devices via Meshnet can help to solve some common problems, such as the “unable to join world Minecraft” error, often caused by the server running in private mode.
If you and your friends play online in LAN mode, make sure everyone uses Meshnet. It creates a private tunnel that outsiders can’t access, increasing Minecraft safety.
If you have network problems or see a “Minecraft server timed out” message when playing over Meshnet, check whether your device and the host device are connected to the same network. You can also review your firewall settings, make sure your antivirus software isn’t blocking you, and check whether your Minecraft versions are the same.
If you’re still experiencing problems, check out our guide on Minecraft LAN not working.
Why should you choose Meshnet for Minecraft?
Should you use a dedicated IP Minecraft server or connect through Meshnet? See our comparison below and decide for yourself.
|Minecraft server with a dedicated IP||Minecraft LAN server with Meshnet|
|You get a cool, memorable address after purchasing and setting up a domain.||No effect on the server’s address (players need to type in the Meshnet IP).|
|Players need to share their IPs publicly.||Players don’t need to reveal their IP addresses.|
|You can forget about specifying ports (it uses the default port).||Players might need to specify the port.|
|Players connect to a server via a public network.||Players game privately in LAN mode.|
|No additional security.||Meshnet creates a secure tunnel for players to connect through.|
Should I get a dedicated IP for my Minecraft server?
Most Minecraft fans don’t make their servers public – they just play with friends, so they don’t need domains and assigned addresses. If you’re one of them, we recommend using Meshnet and playing in LAN mode. Most importantly, this is a safer option because Meshnet creates a private tunnel through which devices connect.
Want to invite friends and start a whole new adventure in Minecraft? Check out our guide on how to set up a private Minecraft server and play with your friends no matter the distance.