If you’re an avid media streamer, you probably already have an idea about Plex. It’s one of the best media center platforms for organizing, managing, and streaming your favorite media such as videos, music, and more.
For those who are new to Plex and want to know why so many people use it with a VPN, read on as we get into the nitty-gritty.
What is Plex & How it Works?
Plex is like Kodi (another popular media center software), but a bit more complex and comprises of two main components. First, you have the Plex Media Server, which basically sorts your media files and makes them streamable through different players. Then there’s the Plex Media Player client that allows you to stream all your media content to your preferred devices.
The media server is typically run on a computer, whereas the player works on most smartphones and smart TVs, as well as some video game consoles and set-top boxes. Plex is an ideal option if you have tons of media that you want to be able to stream from multiple devices. It’s also useful for accessing your media collection over the Internet while away from home.
Why You Need a VPN for Plex?
You might be wondering, “Why should I use a VPN with Plex?” You’re bound to run into these three problems when streaming through the media center:
1. Bandwidth Throttling
Most Internet Service Providers are often not fond of customers who stream content because it consumes a large amount of bandwidth. To reduce the load on their systems and discourage you from engaging in bandwidth-intensive activities, ISPs resort to the practice of intentionally throttling your bandwidth.
If you’re experiencing slow speeds when trying to stream your Plex videos, you could be a victim of ISP throttling. This can be avoided with a VPN for Plex as it safeguards all the data you send across the Internet using AES 256-bit encryption. Since your streaming traffic will be disguised, your ISP won’t be able to throttle you.
2. Privacy Protection
This is related to the point above. Your ISP is able to throttle your bandwidth by using Deep Packet Inspection (DPI), which basically enables them to see everything you do online. Your Internet connection is then slowed down as soon as they detect streaming traffic.
On other occasions, the technology might be used by ISPs to collect and sell your online activities to third-parties for a profit. By using a VPN for Plex though, you can protect all your traffic – both streaming and otherwise – for a worry-free online experience.
3. Region-Locked Content
When you set up Plex, you can install plugins to extend its functionality and watch content from popular streaming sites such as BBC iPlayer, Pandora, HBO Now, and MTV. Unfortunately, some of these might not be accessible due to regional limitations.
This means that you need to be located in a certain region to stream these channels, and a Plex VPN can be useful here. For example, if you want to stream HBO Now, all you have to do is connect to a USA VPN server, and you’ll able to unlock the content you want from anywhere.
4. Local Censorship
In some countries, citizens aren’t allowed to view certain kinds of content. They have strict rules in place when it comes to the depiction of graphic violence in TV shows or movies, which means some violent scenes have to either be toned down or removed entirely.
If you live in a region that imposes this type of censorship, a VPN is what you need. With it, you can get an IP address in another country with lax censorship laws and watch the unedited version of the video that you’re streaming.
How to Use a VPN with Plex?
Well, it depends on your scenario:
- If you’re running a Plex server alone, you’ll need to route traffic through your VPN selectively, but this can be a complicated process for most novice users.
- If you’re running a Plex player, you can use your VPN on the same device, and everything should work fine.
- If you’re still facing problems in using a VPN with Plex, you also have the option of setting up a VPN on your router. In this way, all the data sent to and from your network will be automatically protected with robust encryption algorithms.
The Best VPN for Plex – PureVPN!
PureVPN has got your back like always and checks all the boxes when looking for a high-quality VPN for Plex that doesn’t break your bank:
Global Server Network
Operating 2,000+ VPN servers and 300,000+ anonymous IPs in 141+ countries across the world, you have a huge variety of options to connect to with PureVPN. The bottom line: regional limitations can’t stop you from accessing the world of Plex plugins!
Since Plex can be installed on a plethora of platforms, you’ll want a VPN service that supports multiple operating systems. Fortunately, PureVPN comes with a suite of user-friendly clients well as manual setup guides for devices without native apps.
When you’re streaming videos using Plex, you’d want to be able to watch in high definition (HD) without having to face any buffering issues. The good news is that PureVPN has hundreds of dedicated streaming servers for this purpose.
In addition to bypassing roadblocks to your favorite content, your VPN should provide high levels of security to keep your data and identity a secret. PureVPN offers features like military-grade encryption and Internet Kill Switch to ensure your online safety.
Frequently Asked Questions
The following are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about Plex and VPNs:
Does Plex Work with a VPN?
Yes, Plex can be used with VPNs. However, you shouldn’t settle for any provider as not all of them support Plex. PureVPN, on the other hand, is fully compatible with the media center and empowers you to enjoy a private, throttle-free, and limitless streaming experience!
Do I Need a VPN for Plex?
Plex is a great way to stream both local and online content, but you may encounter roadblocks when it comes to the latter. Then, there’s also the issue of local censorship, bandwidth throttling, as well as your ISP keeping a close eye on your online activities. If you want a solution to all these problems, your best bet is to use a VPN with Plex.
How Do I Set Up Plex Remote Access?
It’s a simple process. Once you’ve successfully configured your Plex server, go to Settings, click Remote Access, and then hit the Enable Remote Access button. The server will use NAT-PMP or UPnP to automatically configure a connection via your router.
Many people also asked the following question:
Q. “Difficulty using Plex Remote Access through VPN–what am I doing wrong?”
Check details here.
Well, the vast majority of users don’t face issues when remotely accessing their Plex Media Server. If you still hit a snag, it could be because of the fact that you’re running the Plex server and player on a single machine along with your VPN.
While you could delve into your port forwarding settings to resolve this issue, the easiest method to make Plex remote access available behind a VPN is getting our dedicated IP. All the ports are open by default, so that you don’t have to forward them.
Should I Use a Free VPN with Plex?
Though there are a few good free VPNs out there, most of them come with download caps (not ideal for streaming) and a limited feature set to force users to upgrade to their premium version.
What’s more, it’s a well-known fact that free VPNs make their money by logging and selling user data to third parties like advertisers. Some of these services have also been found to be riddled with information-stealing malware.
Due to these reasons, you’re better off using a paid VPN with Plex. You’ll get all the features you need for a private, fast, and restriction-free streaming experience. Not to mention, you won’t have to worry about your online activities being collected and shared without your knowledge.
Can I Watch Netflix on Plex?
Yes, you can. Plex has Netflix support via a plugin known as Silverlight. You can install and use it to browse Netflix, search for TV shows and movies, and stream them from within Plex. The plugin, however, only works with the macOS version of Plex.
Is Using Plex Illegal?
Nope. Plex is 100% legal to use, but it can be used for illegal purposes like most software. Take, for instance, you can get into trouble for streaming copyrighted content using Plex.
Wrapping Things Up
Now that you know how a Plex VPN can help you, it’s high time that you equip yourself with one and take your Plex experience to a whole new level!
If you have any queries, feel free to use the comments section below, and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.