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How Do I Choose the Best Dedicated Server?

Jeremy Laukkonen
Jeremy Laukkonen

Since the term dedicated server can refer to a web host or a multiplayer gaming server, choosing the best one will depend on which of these you are looking for. If you are interested in finding a web host, the best dedicated server will typically be in a data center that meets your specific requirements. The server itself will also need to match your bandwidth, processing, and storage needs, so you will have to determine what those are. To find the best dedicated server for gaming purposes, you will want to locate one that offers the least lag to you and your gaming group. Some game service providers (GSPs) have multiple physical locations, so it is usually possible to find one that offers the features you need with an acceptable amount of lag.

If are looking for the best dedicated server for a web host, you probably have some specific requirements. Concerns such as security, bandwidth, and processor intensive applications can all require that you look for a dedicated box instead of a virtual private server (VPS) or other shared options. The first step in finding the best dedicated server is to investigate the data center operations of your potential choices. Servers that are hosted in tier four data centers are more secure and offer better uptime guarantees, but are often more expensive than those located in lower tier facilities. In order to choose the best server, you will need to determine whether security and uptime are more important than cost.

Racks of servers.
Racks of servers.

The features of the server itself can also be important. Most hosting companies offer customizable hardware setups and a variety of operating systems. To choose the best configuration, you will need to examine how you plan to use the server. In most cases a Linux type server is the best choice, though some programs may require different environments. A managed hosting service may also be the best dedicated server for your specific needs.

Rather than a web host, you may be looking for the best dedicated gaming server. The biggest concern in multiplayer gaming servers is typically lag, though it is also important that the computer in question has the necessary power and bandwidth to run the game and accept incoming connections. To get the least amount of lag, you will typically want to look for a GSP that offers servers somewhere in your general vicinity. A dedicated server that is located in a quality data center will often provide acceptable lag to gamers that are a thousand miles (1,600km) or more away, so it does not necessarily need to be located directly in your city or town.

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    • Racks of servers.
      Racks of servers.