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Starting your own Minecraft server can be a great thing, but there are also a few security issues that you need to understand prior to getting started. If you take the necessary steps to secure your server then you can prevent much stress in the future after you have invested many hours into building an incredible Minecraft experience.
When hosting a server from your own computer, people can use the server’s IP with malicious intent and cause issues to the server, the computer the server is hosted on, or even the network the computer is on through means such as DDoS attacks. These will overload the server with more requests than it can handle, making the connection unable to function properly and potentially render your internet connection useless.
Hosting companies, such as Apex Hosting, offer methods of defense against such issues, and keep your files safe at all times. Your personal IP will no longer be used to connect to the server. Instead, when hosting a server with us, the server will be hosted on our machines, which come equipped with DDoS protection that will keep your server functioning as intended, and protect your own connection.
Without proper security, a server is always at risk of unwanted connections from people who seek amusement through irritating the players by causing unwanted actions on the server, such as destroying buildings, constructing unwanted buildings, stealing items from chests, and many others. This means the players will lose the projects they invested their time in, this will force them to rebuild, spend time obtaining the items again, or even change their entire map in some cases.
To keep this from happening, there are multiple ways of keeping your server secure. The first thing that needs to be done is to make sure unwanted players will not be able to join the server. This can be done through multiple methods, but the most effective one for private servers is using the Whitelist.
As soon as you open up your server, anyone who has the IP will be able to join it. While this already seems secure enough, sometimes people will find out there is a server on that IP, either from someone on the server, or by connecting to it by mistake. Minecraft servers provide, by default, an easy way to create a private server and stop this from happening through their whitelist.
When enabling this, only players that are on the list will be able to join. Anybody who does not have their name on the list will be stopped from connecting, and they will be greeted with a message stating that they are not on the whitelist.
Turning on and using a whitelist is an easy process. After turning the whitelist on, players can easily be added to it by using the whitelist commands. The commands are as follows:
/whitelist add – adds a player to the whitelist
/whitelist list – lists all players on the whitelist
/whitelist off – turns the whitelist off
/whitelist on – turns the whitelist on
/whitelist reload – reloads the whitelist
/whitelist remove – removes a player from the whitelist
An extensive guide on setting up and using a whitelist on your server can be found here.
Public Minecraft servers can mean lots of fun. By allowing anyone to join, a larger community can be created, making the game’s possibilities even vaster than before.
Problematic players can be kept out of the server by the use of the /ban command can. This will stop the specified user from joining the server, until the ban is lifted using the /pardon command.
The administrator role, known as operator can be assigned to players using the /op command. This will give players in game access to administrative commands, such as /ban, /pardon, /stop, /kick, /gamemode. Make sure to only give people you know and trust this role, as they could temporarily ban you from the server and make undesired changes until this is fixed.
Never give anyone access to your control panel account as this can be used to takeover the entire server with no way for you to recover it.
Bukkit and Spigot are custom server launchers which allow the use of plugins. Plugins provide more features to experiment with and secure your server from undesirable events. Plugins and any changes that come with them are made only on the server’s side, which means no changes need to be made by the players in order to join a server that uses them.
The functionalities plugins provide can expand to virtual economies, mini games, RPG elements, but most importantly they can offer abilities such as a modifiable chat, chat filter, the ability to set who can access certain chests, areas, use certain redstone contraptions, build in certain areas, build at all, and many more to keep your server in an enjoyable, fun, and secure environment.
While everyone’s needs are varied depending on the purpose of the server, there are some plugins which we would universally recommend to assist with general server security. We have a list of them here.