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My kids used to play Minecraft with their friends over LAN with tablets, but we moved. I can set them up with xBox live accounts, but ideally I would like to replicate the single world over LAN where they are playing in a world with just these friends. The goal being to prevent them from interacting with unvetted strangers online. While I could potentially try to setup server, I am the only one in the household that could troubleshoot it, and I don't need the headache of a home server not working when I am not available.

I see there are a lot of similar questions here, but the answers I see are assuming that all players are on a PC, and tend to discuss downloading a popular VPN exe. My kids and their friends are on tablets a mix of iOS and Android.

Thoughts on how to create these limited worlds to play over the internet?

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Mojang offers private Minecraft servers for mobile and console Minecraft through the Realms service, which costs a monthly fee (7.99$ U.S.D. as of Jan. 2020). This includes server maintenance.

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  • I appreciate the response. I will explore that option. I'd also be interested in free or one time cost options, so anybody reading these responses please fell free to add additional ideas.
    – Mike
    Commented Jan 3, 2020 at 1:38
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    @Mike Those only exist as extremely suspicious services which you should probably not use or as the one you already found: Hosting it yourself. Which isn't technically free, because of electricity and wear on the device. Commented Jan 3, 2020 at 7:41
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Alternatively, if you have an extra pc or something you can download an app or go to a website that allows you to create a free server. Aternos is a website that will run a server but it won't stay live 24/7 https://aternos.org But you will need to enter the port address and other stuff.enter image description here

Just make sure that you don't host the server your self as the services have a much safer server and you could end up with a ddos attack

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