Sharing Your Local Minecraft Server Over the Internet

How do I let friends who aren’t at my house play on the Minecraft server running on my laptop or desktop?

If you haven’t read my article on letting your friends play on your server, please do. A lot of the settings and security you need to do are in it. This document is about how you can temporarily put your local server online so your friends don’t have to be at your house to play on the server running on your personal desktop or laptop machine.

One of the downsides of setting up a local Minecraft server is that you don’t have the ability to share it online. It’s running on your computer, it’s behind your Wi-Fi router and you don’t have a direct Internet address for it.

The solution: ngrok gives you a public Internet address.

Step 1: Sign up for an ngrok account. You’ll need this for the kind of streaming a Minecraft server requires. This is FREE and required to put a Minecraft server on ngrok.

Step 2: Download the proper ngrok version for your platform (Windows, Mac, Linux).

Step 3: The zip file contains an executable file. Unzip it into the folder where you want it to live.

Step 4: Open a terminal window and navigate to the directory where you put ngrok.

ngrok auth token

When you sign into your ngrok dashboard it shows you your authentication token and a command to save it into your installation of ngrok. You can see mine above with my authentication token blurred out.

You can copy that line and paste it into your terminal WITH ONE EXCEPTION. If you’re on Windows, use that same command, but without the “./” at the beginning.

If you did it correctly, it will tell you that your “Authtoken” was saved and where.

Step 5: Now you just launch ngrok for your server. The default port for Minecraft 25565, so just launch ngrok with: ngrok tcp 25565.

If you’re on Mac or Linux, you may need to put a “./” before it.

You’ll get…

ngrok running a tunnel to your Minecraft server

The Minecraft server’s address on the Internet in the picture above is: 0.tcp.ngrok.io:49990

For your friends to connect to your server, they’d launch Minecraft in multiplayer mode, select “Direct Connect” and connect to that address…

using direct connect to connect to an ngrok server

When you’re done playing with your friends, you can shut down ngrok and your server is offline.

Please remember, don’t broadcast your ngrok address far and wide. Just share it with friends you want to be able to play on your server, and only keep ngrok on when you’re playing. That will help keep griefers and hackers from finding your server.

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