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How do I Make a Dedicated Server?

Jeremy Laukkonen
Jeremy Laukkonen

The term dedicated server can refer to two different concepts, so the process of making one differs depending on which definition you have in mind. To make a dedicated server that acts as a web host, you will need a reliable Internet connection or space in a data center. In addition to the Internet connection, the computer will need to have some type of server software installed. You may want to make a dedicated game server instead, which can make use of a computer that you either own or rent. To create a dedicated server for a game, you either run the game client or use special files provided by the publisher.

In computing, the term dedicated server typically refers to a computer that is connected to the Internet on a permanent basis in order to deliver web content or other related services. It is possible to make a dedicated server using a home or business Internet connection, though the service will tend to be more unreliable than can be provided by a data center. Dedicated servers can typically be rented from hosting companies, though it is often possible to make a dedicated server and then colocate it in a data center.

Racks of servers.
Racks of servers.

To create a dedicated server like this, you need to buy or build a computer. This process is typically simper than building a regular desktop computer, since dedicated servers do not require components such as video cards. The operating system (OS) can be chosen from a variety of different options, though most OSes offer special server editions. Additional software may also be required, depending on whether you want to serve web content, offer voice over Internet protocol (VOIP) services, or other additional options.

You may also want to make a dedicated server for multiplayer gaming. This type of server requires a computer that has a dedicated connection to the Internet, and may be installed on a home computer or one that is colocated in a data center. The process to make a dedicated game server differs depending on the particular multiplayer game, though most allow a server to be started from within the game client. You will typically choose an option to start or host a new game and select the option for a dedicated rather than listen server. This will usually cause the game to close, at which point the game server will start.

Many game publishers also provide dedicated server files or binaries that you can use without installing the actual game client. The publisher may offer the necessary binaries from its website or through a downloadable tool. These files can be especially useful if you want to create the dedicated server on a machine that is running an operating system that the game itself does not support.

In order to make a dedicated server for multiplayer gaming from your home computer, you may have to make adjustments to your router or modem. Many games require packet forwarding, so you will need to check with the publisher to determine if you need to change these settings in your router. If your computer is connected directly to the modem or installed in a data center, these adjustments are typically not required.

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    • Racks of servers.
      Racks of servers.