Game servers are used by game enthusiasts to play multi-player games.
Servers are run either remotely or locally. For those who have tried their hand at multi-player games via the internet, most likely a game server was optimized. Multi-player games run through a gaming system connected to a television also use game servers.
Game server providers, GSPís, lease out game servers. Players lease out the game servers to run multi-player games, which is considered to be game server hosting. Hosts choose members to share the lease and to play games with, known as a gaming clan or guild. Typically, a gaming clan will pool together money and share the expense of the server rental fee. Clans and guilds can play amongst one another or against other clans. Most players taking part in game server hosting are provided with tools which allow the game server to be controlled and configured.
Game server hosting tools vary in availability from game to game. Administrative and support tools are the most common. Administrative tools are used to compile and list servers, switch servers, monitor the status of a server, and to alert gamers to the presence of other gamers. Support tools are primarily used for updating.
Dedicated game server hosting is a step up from a regular game server. A dedicated game server collects data from the entire gaming clan and brings it together on one server. This server is run from an individual computer. The individual computer is the server. All game servers require a certain amount of upstream bandwidth to successfully and efficiently host dedicated game servers.
Game servers hosting a maximum of no more than four to ten players can normally get by with an internet-based broadband connection. This isnít an optimal option for servers hosting more than ten players. There simply isnít enough bandwidth, and the individual computer is not powerful enough to keep up with demands. Dedicated game servers allow gamers to install multiple games on one server.
For servers hosting larger amounts of players, better, more powerful computers are needed. Computers utilized by game server providers have the ability to read and transmit large quantities of data as fast as players can give and request it. A dedicated game server runs independently from the gamer usually from a data center which specializes in gaming.
Data centers are set up throughout the country, mostly in large cities like New York and Los Angeles. A data center houses multiple servers in one location. Data centers are designed with maximum bandwidth in mind and as little downtime as possible.
Limits and support differ from game server provider to game server provider. The amount of bandwidth and speed also depends on the individual game server provider. Most game server hosting/dedicated game server hosting is interchangeable between locations, usually for a fee. Service and support are provided from the game server provider. Prices for service and support vary; some are provided at no charge.
Most game server providers provide gaming clans or guilds with a clan website. This is a place where clan members can voice opinions and post questions and comments through forums. Clan websites are also used to provide other clan members with new information. Most GSPís offer clan payment options to its members. Links are typically provided on the clan website allowing clan members to make quick payments mostly in the form of a donation, primarily through the use of PayPal.
Game server hosting/dedicated game server hosting allows gamers to connect to a large gaming network. Gamers have access to support as well as forums where they are free to take part in gaming related discussions.