Since the invention of the internet people have been thinking of different ways in which they can take advantage of it – and one of the developments that has come from computers and the internet has been the rise of computer games that can be used over the internet. Since gaming clients don’t reply on P2P in most cases for web based games, third party game servers are required to enable gamers to interact with each other whilst playing the same game over the internet. Game servers can be used as the bridge between all the different gamers who are playing one particular game since all players can be provided with the ability to connect to the central game server with all the other players which will then allow them to play each other and communicate with each other with the means of voice and text. Game servers normally come in the form of dedicated servers with particular software installed on them because of the resource intensive nature of game servers, although a web hosting provider may allow you to use your VPS for the purpose of hosting a game server or game client locally. Because game servers normally require a dedicated server, the overall for having a game server can be very expensive for some.
Groups of gamers normally join together to form what is known as a ‘clan’. A gaming clan then purchases its own game server which it can make use of, and it in most cases this one games server isn’t shared with any other gaming clans unless they are having some sort of competition for example. Since one clan is involved in the use of a game server, you will probably find that each member of the clan contributes a certain amount towards the cost of the game server itself. In some cases, the software company that actually sells the game concerned will also be leasing out game servers to players or clans who want their own playing environment so that they can play against each other on their own game server without having to worry about anyone else joining in. If bought directly from the software company which owns the game concerned, game servers may be cheaper since the software company may be able to provide a discount on the cost of having the right to install the gaming server and client software onto the server itself – if bought directly from a web hosting provider then in most cases you will have to pay these costs on top of the dedicated server fee.
Although most gamers have the necessary knowledge to maintain a dedicated sever or a game server, game servers are still classed as high risk by some web hosting providers since they are more prone to attack – for example from rival gaming clans. Because of this, many web hosting providers are insistent that any game servers which they provide to gaming clans are only going to be used by a select group of people (i.e. a gaming clan) and not anyone else since this can help ensure that a gaming server is kept more secure and less prone to malicious attacks. Its at this stage when purchase a dedicated gaming server from a web hosting provider can have its advantages since although the software company may be capable of setting up and running the game server, they may not be so capable of long term management or security when it comes to external attacks. Choosing a web hosting provider for a dedicated server means that you can rely on them to configure and secure your dedicated server or gaming server for you, since at the end of the day the last thing they want is a compromised server on their network.
Web hosting providers allow people to choose between having the Linux or Windows operating systems installed on their dedicated severs during the order process, and to many this is an important step since having the wrong operating system installed on their server can mean that they are unable to use it in the way that they wish to. Many gaming clans like to base their game servers on the Linux operating system since it keeps their costs down and means that they are able to host their gaming server safe in the knowledge that they are using one of the most secure operating systems around. However, some gaming servers and clients will only run on Windows meaning that gaming clans for this kind of game can only use the Microsoft Windows Server 2003 operating system on their game server which can mean that the cost of their dedicated server is high since they have to pay extra for the Windows license, and also means that their server is more likely to be attacked by hackers or to be infected by viruses in one way or another.
Even if you do choose to purchase a game server from the software company that sells the game concerned, you should ensure that your game server is being hosted in a secure and professional data centre since you want to make sure that it has a fast connection to the internet so that all members of your gaming clan are able to play the game concerned with ease. If a server isn’t hosted in a data centre with a fast internet connection then you will probably find that when playing the game online that you get frequent timeouts when trying to connect to the server and the game itself may become a bit laggy. Although a majority of reputable web hosting providers now host their game servers in secure and reliable datacentres, there are still a portion of smaller web hosting providers that are unable to afford the high costs of putting or renting their own hardware from a datacentre. Game servers hosted in a datacentre tend to be more secure since data centres tend to make sure that all their clients use lockable racks only, meaning that only those with authorisation are able to gain physical access to your gaming server.
Although you or someone in your gaming clan may have the necessary knowledge to administrate and manage your gaming server, finding a web hosting provider that is able to provide you with full support for your dedicated server can be important since you may find that there is something that you are unable to do yourself. When purchasing a dedicated server direct from the software company that sells the game, you will probably find that they are unable to provide you with the same level of support that a webhosting provider is since selling the game is their main priority. Web hosting providers on the other hand are there to sell web hosting services, meaning that their main priority will be to provide you with a satisfactory level of support for your gaming server. This means that if you are experienced then you would be better off buying a server direct from the software company that sells the game, whereas if you need a certain level of support then you’d be better off purchasing direct from a web hosting provider that is able to supply you with direct access to an experienced support team.
In conclusion, game server hosting is a worthy investment if you run a large gaming clan that needs its own server and everyone is willing to chip in to cover the overall cost of the dedicated server. Game servers can be purchased from different sources, such as if you want a managed game server solution you should consider purchasing direct from a web hosting provider whereas if you feel you have a knowledge then you may be able to purchase a gaming server direct from the software company that has created the game that you want the server for.