VPS help request: Minecraft (3/4 users) VPN (xbox live).

bytebitter

New Member
Hi All,

After months of lurking (sounds horrible that...) both on LEB before the 'fall out' & then on here, I've finally got round to my first post :)

I notice that many of the LEB crowd that I got to 'know' have migrated over here & so I thought here was a good place to start.

Here goes: I'm looking for a low end vps to serve two functions, one a Minecraft server for my nephew & a couple of his friends & the other, a work-around for a university proxy block to XBox Live. I'm thinking a vpn on the latter assuming the uni proxy doesn't do nasty port blocking. As I have no familiarity with Minecraft I don't know what spec of vps would be required but don't expect it would need anything fancy just for a couple of them. As for blocking Xbox Live, I'm a little surprised at that as I didn't think it was very b/w intensive.

I would prefer Xen, KVM over OpenVZ with a Debian image loaded.

Any suggestions on access restriction for the Minecraft bit welcomed! Thinking of a DynDNS style domain name for each of the users as they're on dynamically assigned IPs & then allowing access only via those domains through the firewall. That way I might not get moaned at when someone comes & nicks their gold(?) & is basically obnoxious &or verbally repellent :)

OK, over to you!

Looking forward to any offers & or advice, many thanks.

Regards,

Mark.
 

HalfEatenPie

The Irrational One
Retired Staff
Howdy and welcome!  

Because I'm kinda tired I'll just cut straight to the point!  

1st important thing you're going to want is location.  Because you want to use this as a VPN, it's probably best to get a server that's closest to you (or closest to you network wise) to reduce latency.  Remember that it takes time (ms) for your packet to be sent from your computer to your VPN server, to the end server, then back to your VPN server, to your computer.  This is usually why people have/ask for Test IPs ;) (to test the network).  Hardware wise the only important thing for VPN is the location/network (covered above) because the RAM and CPU usage of OpenVPN is considered marginal that it doesn't really matter that much.  Hell you can run OpenVPN on a 32mb OpenVZ VPS (128mb KVM RAM VPS is more than enough to run OpenVPN). 

Minecraft.  Oh boy Minecraft.  I'd suggest a good 1GB RAM start is good for Minecraft.  I've got Minecraft running on a 256mb instance before but depending on how many people you're willing to host (plus how big of a map you want) I'd suggest just going with either a 512mb or 1GB.  If I recall 1GB is usually the recommended RAM usage.  For minecraft the resources are the most important factors.  If I recall they got Minecraft working multi-threaded now so having more cores would be better, but I'd say go for at least 2 cores (you can usually get 2 or 4 cores for a 1GB KVM plan in most places).

So I guess start with the place closest to you network wise and see what size plans they offer!  Oh and just a word of warning (just so you know), even though it'll just be your nephew and his friends there's still a small risk you run of one of them deciding to DDoS you (gameservers are known to have a higher chance/risk of getting DDoSed, and I don't know how responsible your nephew is but it's possible).  Unless the hoster has DDoS protecting hardware or services (e.g. BuyVM, SecureDragon, etc.) you will more than likely be null-routed and you'd be unable to connect to your VPN.  This is the risk you take for combining two services onto one server (unless you break them apart via IP or something).  

In terms of restricting Minecraft I believe a simple whitelist system will work.  If I recall Minecraft servers come with a whitelist (you have to enable it in the configurations though) and anyone who's username is on the whitelist can connect to the server.  Anyone who isn't that username will be dropped.  This is management at the Java/Minecraft level though.  I don't think DynDNS style domain names would work because that's just a dynamic subdomain pointing to your nephew and his friend's IPs, not changing the rDNS (which I believe is what you originally intended it to be).  Therefore it'd be kinda pointless, but if I recall even when I had a dynamic IP as long as my modem was online (which it always was) I always had the same IP, so I wouldn't mind just whitelisting the IP.  If you decide to take this route you can always manage connections via IPTables/Firewall if you don't want to deal with Java/Minecraft level blocking.

Hopefully this isn't a giant blob of text and you get your answers!

And again welcome to vpsBoard!

-Don/Pie
 
Last edited by a moderator:

HalfEatenPie

The Irrational One
Retired Staff
Bleh, I totally blanked the Xbox live part (I took care of the VPN, but not the XBL), and instead of editing my post I'm just going to double post! (I'm such a rebel). 

The first issue is we don't know how they're blocking the Xbox Live traffic.  Is it via ports?  via traffic?  via magic?  I'm not too sure.  I'm sure we can setup some kind of port forwarding/changing/whatever the right term is configuration for XBL if it's blocking the port.  Although it's a possibility they might be actively monitoring for these kind of "work-arounds" (I know my University did (one computer/tech internet connection limit), they didn't limit internet via content though, just bandwidth, like seriously try living off of 4GB a week and if you go over then you have reduced internet (dial-up speed) for a week.  I hear they upped it to 10GB the year after I moved off-campus, and to get around the one computer limit you just had to broadcast the computer's MAC address from the wireless router...).  

Without that specific detail it might be a bit difficult getting your XBL setup.  
 

Tux

DigitialOcean? lel
256 or 384MB will run 4-player Minecraft. Add in 128MB for OpenVPN and the base OS.
 

bytebitter

New Member
Thank you for the warm welcome & detailed reply to my question HalfEatenPie! :)

Location: north east Scotland with respect to the VPN/XBL part. At this point I've no idea why or how they're blocking this traffic but investigations are ongoing! The cliche 'I'll be back' comes to mind...

Regarding Minecraft, the KISS approach of a whitelist with username password access has to be worth trying first. I'll just make sure the user names are in Klingon & the passwords suitably non dictionary too.

Tux, thanks for the memory advice. Depending on the XBL solution it would appear that a 384MB VPS will suffice to start with, that is unless the MC maps are the size of Europe!

Thanks all,

Mark.
 
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