The Bedrock Edition of Minecraft is playable with friends using peer-to-peer online multiplayer, where you can join your friends’ active sessions for free. But if you want a server that will stay online even when you’re not, you’ll need a Realm.
Realms are the Mojang-provided servers that players can buy using a subscription-based payment. For $7.99 a month, players can get a Realm that will host up to 11 people, including the host.
Note that more than 11 other people can join your server over the course if its life, but only 11 people can be online at once.
Bedrock Edition players will need Realms Plus, which also includes over 50 different Marketplace packs. Realms Plus can be purchased within the Minecraft Marketplace. For those using Minecraft’s Java Edition, you’ll need to purchase a Realm from the Minecraft website. Keep in mind that Bedrock Edition players cannot play on the same servers as Java players.
After buying your Realm or signing up for a free trial, you’ll be able to access it from your Worlds tab. You can click the pencil to edit the difficulty, set the game mode, rename the Realm, and invite your friends.
Note that using Realms is the easiest way to host a server for playing with a small-sized group. It’s possible to host a server without using Realms, but it often requires paying for a third-party service. It’s also possible to host your own servers, but doing this requires a fairly powerful PC to host, as well as a base level of knowledge about navigating your internet router, so it’s definitely not for beginners.