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What is Plex Media Server? Everything You Need to Know



What is Plex Media Server

Nowadays, most of the people are so convenient with the streaming services like Netflix and Hulu. It is always nice to watch movies anywhere. But with Netflix and Hulu services, you don’t get the comfort of knowing that the media is sitting on your hard drive, ready to play at a moment’s notice. If you want both these features in an single application, you can go for Plex Media Server. With Plex, you can organize your media content and at the same time, you can stream your media on the other computers or devices.

Table of Contents:

What is Plex Media Server?

Plex Media Server is a free digital media server which lets you access the media contents (audio, video, pictures) on one computer with any other computer or devices. You can use Plex media server software on platforms like Windows, Mac, and Linux. You can also use the Plex server on the compatible NAS (network-attached storage) device. It allows you to store, organize and play all your media content including Videos, audios, and pictures. However, the Plex apps which work on smartphones, set-top boxes, and other devices will let you watch and access the media contents that are stored on your Plex media server. 

Related: Everything You Need to Know about Kodi.

Plex Media Player vs Plex Media Server:

Plex Media Server is a software that you need to install on the computer where you have stored all the media contents that you want to stream

Plex Media Player is a software that you need to install on the devices where you want to stream all the contents that you are stored on the Plex Media Server.

Supported Devices

Plex Media Server:

Plex Media Server can run all types of major operating systems. But, there are some other devices which are capable of running the Plex Media Server. Here are the devices which supports Plex Media Server:

  • A computer or laptop which runs on platforms like Windows, MacOS, and Linux. 
  • Nvidia Shield
  • Compatible NAS (network-attached storage) device

Plex Media Player:

To access the music, videos, pictures that you are stored on the Plex Media Server, you can use:

Plex is a media organization tool that you can use both legally and illegally. If you obtained the media-content legally, then it is legal to use to plex to play that media. If you obtained the media-content illegally, then it is illegal to use to plex to play that media.

What you can do with Plex?

  • By installing the Plex on the compatible device, you can watch movies, view pictures and listen to the audio’s that are stored on your computer which runs Plex Media Server. 
  • With a stable internet connection, you can access the media files which are stored on your Plex Media Server computer. 
  • With Plex Media Server, you can allow your friends and family members to access your audios, movies, and pictures through the internet.

How to use Plex?

  • First of all, you need to install the Plex media server on the Computer or NAS device where you stored all your favorite media’s.
  • Then install the Plex app on the supported smartphones, tablets, game consoles & more.
  • Launch the installed app and use it stream all the media files that you on Plex Media Server running computer. 
How to use Plex Media Server?
How to use Plex Media Server?

Is Plex Free?

Plex Media Server and Plex Media Player is entirely free to download and use. But, you will not get access to all features unless you opt for Plex Pass. With Plex Pass service, you can access all the premium features of Plex. Plex Pass service is available in terms of monthly, yearly and lifetime subscription options. Free version also provides you some basic features. But certain features like live TV, mobile sync for offline use and more are available only on the Plex Pass service. 

What is Plex Pass?

Plex Pass is an subscription service which lets you access all the features of Plex Media Server. Subscribers can access the new features earlier than non-subscribers. It provides you the ability to sync and the media files on the offline. It also offers you the features to connect an antenna, watch live TV and parental controls. 

What is Plex Pass?
What is Plex Pass?

What it offers?

Plex Pass offers you the features like Premium Music, Premium Photos, Movies, Live TV, Offline Sync, Parental Controls and Plex Perks. 

What are Plex Channels?

Plex Channels are the channels or plug-ins which lets you access the media content from the popular networks like MTV, PBS, Comedy Central, BBC and more. Since they are plug-ins, you need to download these plug-ins manually. They are free to download and you need to install them individually. 

Plex Channels

To install Plex Channels: Navigate to -> Tap Plugins -> Tap Install Plugins -> Locate and select the plugin that you need to install -> Tap Install

Once you installed the Plex Channels, you can access them in the “Plugins” section in the Plex App.

Alternatives to Plex:

If you are not satisfied with the features of Plex Media Server, you can go for some other alternatives. Here are some of the best Plex alternatives:

Emby: Emby is the best open source media server to access all our favorite media files. You can use Emby on any device without any hassle. You can use emby on devices like Android, iPad, Windows Phone, Tablets, iPhone and more.


Kodi: Kodi Media Player is another best Plex alternatives because of its features. Like Plex and Emby, it is an open source media server which lets you access all your media without any subscription. Moreover, you can watch video contents that include movies, TV Shows, 4K videos and more. 


Playon: Playon is an excellent Plex alternative which lets you access your favorite media content with ease. It also offers TV-based streaming services like Hulu, Netflix, HBO Go, and more. You can get the monthly package of Playon at $7.99 and lifetime package of Playon at $69.99.


OSMC: OSMC or Open Source Media Center offers you the features like live TV, local library streaming, supports TV tuner. OSMC is available on platforms like Windows, Mac, and Linux.


MediaPortal: It is a single platform media solution which transforms the multimedia data into personalized media solution. It runs on the basic digital hardware and it connects the PC directly to another device. With MediaPortal, you can enjoy all the content on TV directly from the PC. 


Plex Review and Final Thoughts

With Plex Media Server, unleash your streaming desires to the next stage. Connect Plex on your preferred device and enjoy uninterrupted streaming of media content at anytime and anywhere. With Plex Pass service, you can access various features like Live TV, DVR, Plex Pass Perks and more. If you are not satisfied with the features of Plex, then you can go for above mentioned Plex Alternatives. 

Thank you for reading the post. For further queries about Plex Media Server, please comment below.

Disclosure: If we like a product or service, we might refer them to our readers via an affiliate link, which means we may receive a referral commission from the sale if you buy the product that we recommended, read more about that in our affiliate disclosure.

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