How much do you consider to be cheap? I would personally recommend going with your own small VPS so you're in full control, they can easily be had for $10/month which is what most people here charge. Otherwise if you want to go with someone here contact AllNaturalX in IRC (#minecraft on irc.esper.net)
Assuming you're going after your own VPS, you'll probably need to learn a bit, but it's great fun. There are a huge array of different hosting companys to choose from, because of how minecraft works you probably don't need to consider latency that much - however when we get multiplayer survival it might be a different story - so your options aren't really limited by your location.
I would personally recommend you consider http://slidehost.com or http://linode.com or http://vps.net, they're very easy to work with and if you do mess up you can rebuild the server from the ground up with the click of a button. They are however slightly out of your price range - around $20 a month - so you might want to consider a cheaper company, however the quality is directly related to the price you pay.
Minecraft servers require very little resources though, so a 256MB VPS would work perfectly, I ran 16 servers off of a server with 2GB of ram. Something to not about how the servers work though is that the minecraft master server will only accept 4 servers per IP address, so you can't run more than 4 public servers per IP address.
If I've missed anything, I can go back over it. I think I covered everything, there's a tutorial I wrote here that covers how to do it, but you'll need to download java from the official site (http://java.com).
Alright, I've bought a VPS, set it up and I'm connected with putty. I'm following your guide and I'm up to: "wget http://minecraftservers.com/java.bin" but it appears the link is down. Any alternative links you can suggest?
Nevermind, I managed to figure the whole lot out myself. It's up and running. Thanks again. :smile.gif:
Sorry for the double post but didn't want too many edits in the one above.
One thing I would really like to know is an efficient way of automated backups for my maps. I'd prefer they are automatically downloaded onto my machine every x amount of minutes but remotely stored backups are fine too.
There are a variety of methods you can use, the most popular is to use a script like cmss (You'll have to search here for it, I don't remember the link). You could also go with using a cron that automatically copies server_level.dat to a new location and adds the time to the name or similar. There are a variety of ways, the simplest is the cron: http://www.unixgeeks.org/security/newbi ... ron-1.html
Great news about getting it all online. Who did you go with for your VPS in the end? :smile.gif: