After playing freelancer a couple of years ago, some collegues and I dediced to play again and in order to do so, I started a dedicated server.
This started with a local spare P4 dell desktop, running headless next to the TV with Win7, AV software and a freelancer installation.
After switching jobs I was intruducted to VMWare and dedidec a P2V to a local machine and eventually moved the server to a host in in shared colocation in DATAONE, Wormer.
In order to connect to the freelancer server, the best option would be to use the Direct IP was. This is a hta file located in your installation dir (C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Games\Freelancer\EXE). Start the FLdirectIP.hta and connect by FQDN [freelancer.l4urenz.nl] or the direct ip address [188.8.131.52]
This will start the game and when going to the multiplayer option. You should be able to see the “LAG Universe
Join the server word the following password: abc123