Protect a home hosted server

TCPShield has a policy outlining home hosted servers on our network. Home hosted servers are allowed on our platform, as long as the following policy is adhered too.
  1. 1.
    Residential ISP's are extremely unreliable, so we make no guarantees about latency and performance while using TCPShield.
  2. 2.
    Residential connections have extremely low throughput and cannot handle network-intensive applications like hosting game servers and installing a DDoS mitigation network.
  3. 3.
    We will not provide assistance or support for home-hosted servers regarding latency, drops, and other connectivity issues.
  4. 4.
    We will assist with general configuration tips like DNS, plugin issues, and panel setup.
  5. 5.
    Detailed debugging from our staff is reserved for servers using a well known dedicated or virtual server provider (Ex: OVH, Hetzner, ReliableSite, etc)
  6. 6.
    Any attempt to lie or mislead TCPShield staff about the nature of your server is grounds for removal from the network.

Common issues with home hosted server:

1. I don't have a domain, what should I do?

There are several options to choose from. The most popular choice would be getting a free domain from Freenom or Cloudflare. After acquiring your domain, you can follow the setup process here as usual.

2. What address do I use for my backend set?

The address on your backend set should be the public IP Address of your network. You can either google “What’s my IP Address” or go to https://eth0.me to find it. One of the most common mistakes that we have seen is putting RFC1918 (IP Address for Private Internets) as their backend. This will cause issues as your server can't be discovered on the public internet, hence our proxies cannot reach it.

3. My IP Address is Dynamic, what should I do?

Services such as No-IP or Cloudflare Dynamic IP Address can help you with that. In this case, the “IP address” on your backend set is a valid hostname that reflects the current IP address your router is using, such as: myrouter.ddns.net:25565. That hostname resolves back to your home IP address, such as 71.57.77.154 – which is the public IP address provided for you by your ISP.

4. Port forwarding

Port forwarding allows computers and services in the private networks (such as home networks) to connect over the internet with other devices on the public internet. If you are hosting your server on port 25565, make sure that you have configured port forwarding on your router so that outside connections can reach that port. You can use a port check tool online such as this to ensure that your port is opened and ready to accept connections.

5. What are the problems with my own hardware and network?

We understand that you have a home server with powerful hardware, and therefore think that it doesn’t make sense to spend extra to pay for a dedicated machine or a VPS. However, there are some disadvantages (this is not an exhaustive list) that come with a home-hosted server:
  • All traffic will be back-hauled to a single hub before being distributed somewhere else (Comcast put everything on Ashburn, or SHAW put all traffic in Seattle before going back to Canada for example), causing high latency in some areas as your connection has to make extra roundtrips.
  • Your traffic might get sent over the copper signal which will introduce latency.
  • At any given time your ISP (especially during peak hours) can announce different routing paths to offload traffic from their prioritized links, which severely affects your server's inbound and outbound.
  • Your ISP can rate-limiting how much bandwidth - either a limit on bps (bits per second) or pps (packets per second) - you can transmit between each network, which means your home network has very low throughput.
  • You are most likely using a residential connection and don't have the network hardware required (NIC, Core Routers, Appliances) to run more intensive applications.
In general, we recommend using dedicated or virtual server vendors (Ex: Vultr, Hetzner, OVH, Google Cloud, NFOServer, etc) if you are interested in hosting a server yourself. Remember there is a reason why Enterprise hosting providers exist.