If you have a collection of movies and TV shows in your personal library, there's hardly a better way to manage it than Plex. Kodi, Plex gives you an attractive interface to browse or search your shows to find something to watch.
Unlike video streaming services like Netflix or Hulu, Plex is a bring-your-own-but-same-as-you-go media child of affair. If you're feeling adventurous-that's always connected to the internet-if you have your own digital copies of movies or shows, you can store them on a desktop computer-or a NAS. Then, with the plex app on your phone or TV, you can stream those videos to almost any device.
If that sounds complex, keep reading. Plex.
What Devices Support Plex?
This question has a two-part answer. With Plex, there are two apps: the server, which runs all of your media; and the client, which you can use to play back that media. Technically, you can use Plex on your device, but Plex's most useful feature is streaming your media elsewhere, so you'll probably want to download more than one client.
The Plex Media Server runs on a wide array of platforms that you could run on a stationary computer. The most obvious examples are Windows and Mac. Plex also supports Linux, FreeBSD, and even a bundle of niche NAS platforms.
The Plex apps (or clients) come on a different, but no less varied, range of platforms, including Android, iOS, Windows, and Mac. However, you'll find TV programs like Apple TV, Chromecast, and Fire TV as well as consoles like the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. In other words, if there's a place you watch TV Plex already has an app for it.
What's It Like to Use Plex?
Once again, this question has a two-part answer. If you're using the Plex Media Server to get your own library, you might want to dig into it. Setting up a Plex server involves finding a place to store your files, naming them properly, and occasionally tweaking metadata. Plex makes it easy for anyone to run their own.
On the other hand, viewers – whether you're streaming from your own server or watching from a friend's have a simple interface. Of the plex apps, you'll see http://www.browsinglibraries.com/ (http://www.plex-mobile.com/), which shows movies, TV shows, or playlists.
Sharing is a huge part of Plex's appeal. Think of it like borrowing a movie from a friend's library. Take a look at whatever they have on their shelf, pick something like you, and start watching. Only you do not have any discs when you're done, and they can watch at the same time if they want.
What Content Can I Use With Plex?
Plex is not a content provider. You can rip your own Blu-rays to your computer and you can watch it anywhere, or you can stream videos you've made yourself. You can also use the Live TV features of Plex paired with a broadcasting antenna to roll your own DVR.
Plex is also branching out into streaming content directly, including free ad-supported movies and TV shows from companies like Warner Bros. It's still early days for this type of content, but Plex is in the process of adding more partners.
You can subscribe to Tidal through Plex as an add-on, granting access to 60 million songs. If you have a Spotify or Apple Music subscription,
Like driving a car, Plex itself is perfectly legal. That does not mean you can not do things with it. If you like pirate movies or TV shows, then it's time to get it up. It does not discriminate between legally acquired media or pirated content.
However, Plex does not offer any kind of pirated content. When Kodi added support for add-ons, at least one developer created one that would stream pirated media.
Do you need to use a VPN with Plex?
you do not need a VPN when using Plex. Any content that's streamed from your server to a client app is encrypted and should not be readable to anyone who may be trying to snoop on what you're doing. Plex does not allow you to download third-party add-ons like Kodi does not need a VPN for that reason, either.
, however. If you're already using a VPN, then you might end up with an extra layer of protection. It can break your streams. For more, check out our guide to managing your Plex server.