Server.pro Review – The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
If you’re looking for a provider that can host your website you probably won’t have any issues finding one because these types of companies are a dime a dozen these days. If you’re looking for a company that can host your game server, on the other hand, your choices are a bit more limited. Although there are a decent amount of game hosts out there, most of them are either unreliable or too expensive for what they offer. However, after doing a bit of research we came across a provider that might be worth your time and money. That provider goes by the name of Server.pro.
Server.pro is a Swedish hosting company that specializes in affordable and feature-rich Minecraft servers. The company supports both the standard and Bedrock editions of the game while also offering servers for another popular sandbox title, Terraria. In order to give you an idea of what Server.pro is all about we tested its services ourselves and put together an in-depth review that highlights the pros and cons of working with this company. We’re going to give you our honest opinion about the company further down below, but first, let’s go over some of the basics.
Navigation and Ease of Use
The first thing you’ll likely notice upon accessing Server.pro’s website is just how simple everything looks. This could be considered either a good or a bad thing, depending on how you look at it. Personally, I don’t mind the design but I wish the company would expand things a little bit because as it stands, there’s very little information available on the site.
That said, if you don’t like clicking through tons of pages to find the info you’re looking for you’ll be happy to learn that almost everything you need to know about Server.pro can be found on the homepage. There are a couple of other pages in addition to that but there’s very little of interest on them. The ‘About’ page, in particular, is very underwhelming as it doesn’t say anything interesting aside from a short mission statement and the company’s address.
Keeping in line with the simplistic design of the website, the service itself is also very easy to use. You can sign up with Facebook if you don’t want to create a new account from scratch and then you simply need to select a hosting plan and the location of your server. In terms of configuration, you only have a few options to worry about. After selecting the game you’re interested in, you’ll need to pick the game type and version followed by the server hostname and address.
Complete Control Through a User-Friendly Interface
Once you create your new server, you’ll be able to manage everything using a fairly standard multi-admin control panel. True to its name, the control panel allows multiple administrators to manage the same server. Since we’re talking about ease of use, I also have to mention that Server.pro provides one-click installers for a variety of Spigot and Bukkit plugins. In addition, the company also offers a range of auto installable modpacks. If you’re going with Terraria or the Bedrock Edition of Minecraft, your choice of plugins and modpacks will be a lot more limited, though.
Plans and Pricing
First impressions of Server.pro aren’t fantastic but it’s easy to look past some of the company’s shortcomings after you take a look at the prices. Unlike most of its competitors, Server.pro offers users the opportunity of using its services for free. That’s right, you can have your own Minecraft server without spending a penny, albeit there are some drawbacks. The free plan can be used indefinitely but you would be missing out on most features and you would have to put up with some annoying ads in the process.
If you don’t mind spending a bit of money on your hosting, you have two paid tiers to choose from. Namely, you can choose the Premium tier which includes two packages priced at $5 and $10 per month. Alternatively, you can go Pro and pick between two other plans, which cost $20 and $40 per month, respectively. So what’s the difference between the free and paid plans? Well, aside from getting more resources to work with, you will also benefit from a number of advanced features by going with either of the paid plans. The Pro plans include significantly more resources than the Premium ones, along with a couple of exclusive features.
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Regardless of whether you choose Terraria or either version of Minecraft, you can expect to pay the same amount for your hosting. The base features will be identical in every case but the game-specific features will differ depending on which title you pick. A lot of game hosting companies make their pricing schemes too complicated so seeing this very straightforward payment system is definitely a breath of fresh air.
Specs and Slots
If you decide to stick to the free plan, you will get access to 1 GB of memory, SSD storage, and a dual-core CPU. Pretty basic stuff but not bad considering that you’re not paying anything for these resources. The storage is NVMe while the CPU is an Intel Xenon E3 @ 2.4 GHz. Interestingly enough, the Premium tier gives you access to servers that feature an identical CPU, though the memory is bumped up to 2 or 4 GB depending on the plan. Meanwhile, the Pro servers are considerably more advanced as they come with Intel i7 overclocked CPUs @ 4.7 Ghz and NVMe @ Ultra SSD storage. The memory is also a lot better – 6 GB with the $20/mo plan and 12 GB with the $40/mo one.
One drawback of Server.pro is that the company doesn’t offer unlimited storage with any of its packages. Instead, you can expect 5 GB of storage with the free plan, 20 GB with the Premium one and either 40 or 80 GB with the Pro tier, depending on which of the two packages you choose. Compared to other game hosting companies, the specs offered with the paid plans are nothing to write home about. The amount of memory is not too bad but the storage is quite underwhelming.
Unlimited Capacity for Paid Servers
On the bright side, Server.pro does include unlimited slots with its plans, which somewhat makes up for the unimpressive specs. Naturally, this only applies to the paid plans. If you’re going for the free option, don’t expect to be able to create a large community around your server because you’ll only have room for up to 10 players. The good news is that the free plan runs on servers that could support around 20 players if there were no restrictions, so at least you won’t have to worry too much about the performance.
Additional Features and Tools
As I’m sure you already noticed by now, Server.pro uses a very traditional tiered system for pretty much everything. That’s certainly also the case when it comes to the features. I’ve mentioned this before but you would be missing out on most features by going with the free plan. In fact, all free users get is basic DDoS protection and file access via FTP or Server.pro’s custom-built file manager. You can install plugins with the free plan but you can only have a maximum of 10 at any one time. That’s not a lot to go on but I wasn’t exactly surprised by the lack of features in the free plan either.
Moving on to the Premium tier, you can expect instant setup, daily backups, the aforementioned multi-admin control panel, and an ad-free experience. Some of the extra features differ depending on whether you go with the standard or Bedrock edition of Minecraft. For example, Bedrock users can upload custom PHAR files while Bedrock users gain mudpack support and the ability to upload custom JAR files. There is no limit on how many plugins you can install regardless of which version you use. The same goes for Terraria players.
A Bigger Package for Paying Users
Unsurprisingly, Pro users get a few extra goodies with their packages. For starters, the DDoS protection is upgraded to the advanced version and Server.pro also throws in a dedicated IP along with a MySQL server complete with root access. There are no extra version-specific features to mention, however, the company does include firewall protection for Pro users, regardless of whether they’re using the Bedrock or standard edition of the game.
No Extras for Terraria Users
Unfortunately, there are no special features available for those who purchase a Terraria hosting plan. I find this discrepancy a bit odd given that, as mentioned, the cost of a Terraria plan is identical to that of a Minecraft plan. Basically, if want to rent a Terraria server you’re going to pay the same amount without getting anything special in return, which hardly seems fair if you ask me.
Given that Server.pro is not as high-profile as many of its competitors, some might assume that the company wouldn’t have a lot of data centers. After all, smaller companies usually only support a couple of server locations. Surprisingly, that’s not really the case here. Server.pro has a total of nine locations to choose from and is able to support most of the big markets. There are three locations in North America, four across Europe, one in Singapore, and one in Australia. Although not the best location coverage I’ve ever seen, it’s still better than what many other providers have to offer.
Having said all that, there is a little bit of a catch here. Users who go with the free or Premium plans can only pick between two locations – Canada and France. Needless to say, picking these plans considerably limits your choices and because server location directly affects latency, you may run into some issues if you don’t live in or close to these countries. Having to be a Pro member to select other locations is definitely a bit of a bummer, particularly if you’re a new user who doesn’t want to speed too much on hosting right off the bat. Granted, you can try out the other plans for a month and then upgrade to Pro afterward if you run into any problems, but that’s not really a great solution.
Performance and Reliability
Given the low prices (for the Premium plans at least), I figured there must be an area where Server.pro isn’t doing particularly well because when something seems too good to be true, it usually is. Unfortunately, I’m afraid that is indeed the case. While the company has problems in a couple of departments, I found the performance to be the main drawback here. The low amount of memory will probably be the first red flag for a lot of people but the thing I found most concerning is actually the uptime. In the table below we’ve compared Server.pro to Shockbyte which is one of the most popular Minecraft hosting providers.
|Processor||Intel Xeon E5-2630v3 - 2.4 GHz / 3.2 GHz||Intel Xeon E5-1650v4 @ 4.00GHz CPU|
|Storage||NVMe SSD||NVMe SSD in RAID 1|
|Anti DDoS||Standard (L3/L4)||Standard (L3/L4)|
Bad In-Game Experience
Unlike most of its competitors, Server.pro doesn’t make any guarantees in regards to the uptime of its servers. If you decide to test out the service for yourself, you’re likely to find out why that is. Lag is not uncommon at Server.pro while random server disconnects seem to happen a bit more than with other hosting companies. The lag can be attributed to a variety of factors, such as overcrowded servers or bad internet connectivity on the part of the user. When it comes to the disconnects, however, this is a problem that’s plaguing a lot of users and seems to be related to the company’s subpar infrastructure. The disconnects don’t happen exceedingly often, mind you, but they do occur often enough to ruin the experience in some cases and this is the reason why we choose not to include Server.pro in our best Minecraft server hosting list.
Compensating With Speed
That said, while the servers may not be the most reliable, they are pretty fast. We got response times as low as 12 ms during our testing on nearby servers and 100 to 200 ms on servers located on other continents. These results are actually quite good as most people will only begin to notice the latency once the response time surpasses 200 ms. Of course, the speed will vary from person to person so, if you can, always rent a server that’s close to you because that really makes a big difference.
The customer support is another area where Server.pro could do better. The company is faster to respond that some of the other providers we’ve tested over the years, so there’s that. However, the only way to get in touch with an agent is via email. If you visit the company’s support page you’ll notice that there’s no phone support of live chat available. The only other way of getting in touch with a company representative is via Twitter, which isn’t exactly ideal if you ask me.
As far as self-help options are concerned, the selection is once again pretty limited. The knowledgebase section is very lackluster as it doesn’t contain any sort of articles or tutorials. On the bright side, Server.pro does have a very active YouTube channel where it posts helpful guides at least a couple of times per week. While that doesn’t make up for the lack of proper support channels, at least the videos are well put together and can genuinely come in handy if you run into issues with your server or simply need help installing certain plugins or mods.
Can I Play on Server.pro With a Cracked Version of Minecraft?
Although we don’t encourage piracy, this type of question comes up a lot so it’s worth going over. According to Server.pro themselves, you can indeed use their service even if you have a cracked version of the game. The company notes that you will need to turn off online mode in order to connect, though.
Where Exactly Are the Servers Located?
I mentioned a couple of times how important it is to be close to the server you’re renting but I forgot to talk about the exact location of some of the servers, so let’s do it here. In North America, you have Canada along with two US locations in Oregon and Virginia. Meanwhile, the European servers can be found in France, Germany, Poland, and the UK. Finally, the last two are found in Australia and Singapore.
Does Server.pro Support Yearly Billing Cycles?
Although most hosting companies work with multiple billing cycles, Server.pro only supports monthly payments, for the time being at least.
Will My Game Worlds Be Deleted After My Subscription Expires?
The short answer is yes, however, that won’t happen immediately. Server.pro will keep everything intact for up to a year, just in case you decide to come back at some point and pick up where you left off. That only applies to the paid plans, though. If your free server becomes inactive, expect Server.pro to delete all your data after one month.
What’s Server.pro’s Refund Policy?
If you become dissatisfied with the company’s services for any reason, you can request a full refund within 72 hours of making the purchase.
Server.pro can be a fairly decent provider if you’re willing to look past some of its flaws. The first thing that immediately stands out here is the free plan. In spite of the obligatory ads and other limitations, I would still recommend this plan because it’s overall pretty good. As far as the other packages are concerned, you can get pretty good value from them because they’re definitely not lacking in the features department. However, I’m not a fan of locking most server locations behind a paywall so the Pro tier is a bit of a hard sell for me.
Server.pro gets good marks for the affordable Premium packages, features and the easy to use control panel, which seems to have been designed with newcomers in mind. On the flip side, the performance can be hit or miss a lot of the time and the customer support leaves a lot to be desired. Although I wouldn’t recommend Server.pro to everybody, this can be a good option if you’re on a budget and don’t mind the occasional performance issues.