A local server is one running on your own computer. You run the server software when you want to play, shut it off when you don’t. You still need an internet connection for authenticating your account with Minecraft, but the traffic between the game and the server won’t need to leave your machine.
- A little less vulnerable to hackers because it’s not on the open internet.
- No monthly fees.
- Harder to invite friends to play on it because it’s not on the open internet.
- Setup instructions have higher failure rate because everyone’s personal laptop has its own idiosyncracies.
The cloud is actually just someone else’s computer in a data center somewhere. But because we can specify the configuration, it works with our set-up instructions quite nicely, and because it’s on the open internet, your friends can easily join you on it from anywhere they are.
- Easier set-up because it’s a standardized server configuration.
- Easier to invite friends to play on it because it has an IP address on the internet.
- Being on the open internet makes it a bit more vulnerable.
- Monthly fees (though you’ll start with credits which should cover the first 6 weeks or so of your server).