A Private server is a machine or virtual machine that is privately administrated. As servers need adequate internet connection, power and can be noisy, they are often located in a collocation center. Servers are available on the market the same way as laptops or desktops are available and can be purchased by individual already pre-configured. Ordinary desktop computers are not suitable to house in collocation centers as servers have specific form factor that allows them to fit many into a standard rack. This group also includes custom-designed experimental servers, made by hobbyists Virtual server also offer high degree of freedom, superuser access and low-cost service.
Usage as Server Emulator
- Private server can specifically mean a server emulator, a reimplementation of online game server such as MMORPG genres like World of Warcraft or Final Fantasy XI. Private machines can be used in various experimental projects such as games under development or various innovative startups.
- In order to change the dynamic of a game, private server providers sometimes heavily modify the game. Adding or deleting some NPC or skills, increasing or decreasing the game treasures drop rates, modifying the models in the game, or adding some original functions to the game are all examples.
- Private servers may have bugs and stability issues due to being developed by small teams of hobbyists. The official games provide greater stability in most cases.
- Most private servers have a short life cycle. Running a private server is unconstrained by the law, so private servers can be set up and closed without notifying users. Additionally, a private server provider can suspend or ban any user's account for any reason.
- The housing price tends to be cheaper than for the similar dedicated server as it does not include the price for renting the equipment.
- The server activities are only regulated by the law and not by policies of the hosting provider.
- Like any program you trust on the internet, a private server game file can contain malwares. But contrary to an old urban legend, it is not in the private server's interest to hurt its players because it needs as many regular players as possible to survive (and to earn any money by selling services following a free to play model).
- The dedicated machine is an overkill for many web projects. Buying limited resources with web hosting plan may actually be cheaper.
- The owner must be able to manage software and ensure security (it is possible to purchase security audit).
- The price of the new server is comparable to the price of the used car - several thousand to several tens of thousand dollars, depending on configuration. This may be too expensive for the occasional hobby purchase but is an acceptable price for some business start-up even without an investing company behind.
- With very high end hardware, the traffic speed may become a bottleneck. Multiple servers, scattered through the world, may be able to handle more connections even when each of them is less capable.