A game server is a server used by game clients. Any video game played over the internet generally requires a connection to a game server.
How it works
Data is sent from the game client to the game server, from there the game server processes the data and sends it back out to the client or clients. Game servers often require large amounts of bandwidth due to the amount of data that has to be sent between the server and all the clients that are connected to it.
Types of game servers
Game servers can be classified as listen servers and dedicated servers.
Listen servers are run on the same machine as the game client. When the client disconnects, the server is shut down, as the server and host client are run together. Listen servers usually cannot support many players, due to bandwidth and CPU requirements.
Dedicated servers are set up on a seperate machine, often hosted in a data center; thus they have high bandwidth and do not have to share CPU with the client's game.
In general, dedicated servers are more preferable because they run faster than listen servers. Listen servers usually are better for a smaller number of players because they have to handle the entire game for the user and the data of other clients at the same time. Dedicated servers are used by hosting companies, whereas listen servers is mostly used by individual players.
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