Finding free server hosting is pretty simple as loads of “free” server sites have been popping up on the internet over the last couple of years.
Simply do a google search for “Free Minecraft Server Hosting” and you will get at least 10 websites that will allow you to set up a free server in under 5 minutes.
Though, how is it possible to offer free Minecraft hosting? Well these companies will often get paid through advertising and email marketing instead of a monthly subscription.
In return you will obtain a Minecraft server for free.
Is Free Hosting Actually Free?
Technically yes, there are some websites out there that do offer a free lifetime server. This is fantastic if you do not have the money for a server or you’re under 16 and your parents won’t let you rent one (even though I list the cheapest providers here).
These websites instead sell your data and have ads featured in the control panel, hoping that you will click them in order to make a commission.
If you’re fine with ads and your data being sold to “vendors” as they are known then this is a great option.
However I would first set up a junk email that you can sign up with, as I have signed up for free hosting and have been sent a lot of third party emails trying to sell me stuff.
I guess that’s the trade off for a “free” server.
Can you add mods on a free server?
Yes, some free hosting companies do allow you to add mods to your server however you are limited on the amount of mods that you can add.
This is because most free servers are only around 0.5-1.5GB and give you enough resources to have between 5 -15 players with 2 small mods.
This makes a free server perfect for players looking for a small casual server, however players wanting to create a bigger community with more mods will need to upgrade to a premium service.
Upgrading your free Minecraft hosting
The idea of free hosting is to introduce players to a free server with the hope that they will eventually need to upgrade their server and choose the paid option that is available.
Companies will do this by giving you a limited server that has minimal RAM, allowing you just enough resources to run a small world.
Once you fill the world up you will be forced to upgrade your server.
If you stay with the free host you can easily just upgrade to a paid service and continue your game. However if you want to move your game world this is where it gets tricky.
Many free hosting companies will not let you migrate your world to another company.
So you will either have to start all over again or choose to stay with them.
It’s very common to see Minecraft hosting companies offer a free trial on their website but how long do these trials actually last?
have seen as little as 6 hours, right up to 7 days however the intention of a trial server is to make you sign up once your designated “free” period has ended.
If you do not decide to continue your world it will be wiped and you will not be able to get any of your data reinstalled.
If you’re in a pinch and you only need a server for a couple of days, playing on a trial server is a good option, but it’s not for players looking for a long term server.
Trial servers are also usually only a Vanilla server with very limited ram so you will only be able to host between 1 and 5 players and won’t be able to upload any mods.
You will also be given limited access to the hosting companies control panel and your Minecraft configurations.
If you can’t afford hosting or the “free” servers aren’t big enough it’s worth learning how to properly turn your computer into your own free hosting option.
Of course you have the option to just set up a game world locally through the “world generation” option on the lobby but this way is very limited.
If you have the time and want to learn how to set up a dedicated server on your PC you can.
How to set up a Minecraft server
You will need to to download the latest version of Minecraft_Server.exe and you will need to obtain a dedicated IP.
With a dedicated server running on your computer you will not need to have the Minecraft client open.
Your friends will be able to join even if you are not playing however your computer will need to be on.
If you’re looking for a more in-depth explanation on how to set a dedicated server check out my how to set up a Minecraft server guide.
Free vs Paid
The main difference between paid and free servers is the support and resources that you are allocated.
Free servers offer no customer support, meaning you will have to do everything yourself. They usually have guides on their website showing you how to add mods or change settings but you will not be able to contact anyone directly.
If you’re new to Minecraft hosting this could be a problem because server hosting can be technical when you first start, so having support can be a game changer.
For as little as $4 a month you can have a server that comes with customer support so it’s worth considering this when you are choosing between the free and paid option.
If you want to keep your server cheap check out my selection of cheapest Minecraft server hosting companies.
In conclusion it’s clear that there are some free options if you are wanting to host a small Minecraft server however they are limited in size so this should be factored in.
It’s perfect for casual gamer’s or players that just can’t afford to rent one or host one themselves. I have always used paid server hosting for bigger servers and a free when can just about run 20 players on a vanilla server.
I’d suggest that you use free servers as a last option as you do get a better experience and access to knowledge support when you rent one, making them a much better choice for novice server owners.