What Is Plex and How Does It Work?

What Is Plex and How Does It Work?

When you enter the practice of buying digital movies and tunes or ripping and encoding your own digital media files from films and albums you own, it’s extremely easy to develop a library that becomes too hard to handle and move from one place to another. If you discover yourself in a scenario like this, Plex provides a way to easily access your entire virtual library from any suitable computer, smartphone, or streaming device, without the tiring requirement to manually move files.

What is Plex?

Plex Media Server is a digital media gamer and organizational tool that allows you to access the music, pictures, and videos saved on one computer with any other computer system or compatible mobile phone. You can set up the Plex Media Server software on a Windows, Mac, or Linux computer, and even on a compatible network-attached storage (NAS) device, then play it back on any other internet-connected device capable of running the Plex app.

Idea: In addition to playing digital music and video files you already own and seeing your digital picture collections, Plex likewise supports plug-ins that permit you to watch content from popular sources like Comedy Central and MTV.


  1. Install Plex Media Server on the computer system or network-attached server (NAS) device where you save your music, videos, and other media files.
  2. Set up the Plex app on your other computer systems, smartphones, tablets, tv streaming devices, phones, and even game consoles.
  3. Introduce the app, and use it to stream your media files from Plex Media Server.


  • Use any suitable device to see movies, listen to music, and view pictures stored on your computer that’s running Plex Media Server.
  • Access media files kept on your Plex Media Server computer system remotely by means of the web.
  • Permit family and friends to access your movies, and photos via the internet.

What Is Plex and How Does It Work?


Plex Media Server runs on all of the significant operating systems, but there are other devices that are also capable of running it. Here’s what you can use to run Plex Media Server:

  • A computer running Windows, MacOS, or Linux.
  • A Netgear Nighthawk X10 router.
  • A suitable NAS device.


To access music, videos, and pictures kept on a Plex server, you can use:

  • Any major web internet browser, consisting of Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Internet Explorer, and Safari.
  • The majority of smartphones, consisting of Android, iOS, and Windows Phone.
  • Android, iOS, and Windows tablets.
  • Smart TVs from the majority of makers, including LG, Samsung, Sony, and Toshiba.
  • Most tv streaming devices, including Amazon Fire TV, Android TELEVISION, Apple TELEVISION, Chromecast, Roku, Sonos, and TiVo.
  • Video game consoles like the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One.

How to Set up Plex Media Server on Your Computer

Before you can use Plex to stream your music and videos, you require to sign up for an account with the service and install the server software application.

What Is Plex and How Does It Work?

Here’s how to get a Plex account:

  1. Browse to Plex.tv.
  2. Select Sign Up.
  3. Select Continue With Google, Continue With Facebook, or Continue with Email.
  4. Enter your Google or Facebook login information, or enter your e-mail address and pick a password, then select Create An Account.
  5. If the Plex Pass advertisement pop-up appears, select the X to get rid of it.

When you’ve successfully registered for a Plex account, you’re prepared to download and install the Plex Media Server software. With this software installed, you’ll be able to stream all of your media files from one central computer to all of your other devices.

Here’s how to download and install Plex:

  1. Navigate to app.plex.tv/ desktop.
    Note: If you’ve just finished signing up for a Plex account, you must already be on this page.
  2. Select Download Plex Media Server.
    Note: If setting up on a NAS, choose Download for NAS Platforms instead and follow the guidelines on that screen.
  3. Select the operating system you’re using.
  4. Select Download.
  5. Introduce the Plex Media Server file you simply downloaded.
  6. Select Install.
    Note: If the User Account Control window turns up, choose OK.
  7. Select Launch.

Pointer: When you finish introducing the Plex Media Server software, it will automatically run in the background. If you wish to make any setting modifications, you need to navigate to app.plex.tv/ desktop.

Required Plex Apps

There are two different apps you need if you want to use Plex:

  • The server application that runs on the computer system where you save your media files.
  • A separate Plex app that runs on your other computers, phones, tablets, and streaming devices.

The Plex Media Server app is the software application you require to install on the computer system where you have your media files saved. For Windows, macOS, and Linux, you can get it straight from the Plex Media Server Downloads page.

The Plex media gamer app is the software you require to install on your other devices. Here’s where to get it:

  • Windows: Plex on the Microsoft Store
  • Android: Plex on Google Play
  • iOS: Plex on the App Store
  • Amazon Fire: Plex on Amazon
  • Roku: Plex on the Roku Channel Store
  • Xbox One: Plex for Xbox One on the Microsoft Store
  • PlayStation 4: Plex for PS3 on the PlayStation Store
  • PlayStation 3: Plex for PS4 on the PlayStation Store
  • All other platforms: Plex Media Player

Tip: In addition to the standalone Plex media player app, you can also access your Plex account and all of your media through the web app utilizing your preferred web internet browser to navigate to app.plex.tv/ desktop.

Is Plex Free?

Plex is completely complimentary to download and use, but you do not get access to all of the functions unless you pay a subscription fee. All of the locked features are offered if you register for the Plex Pass service, which has monthly, yearly, and life time subscription choices.

You can still do a lot with the totally free variation of Plex, but particular functions like mobile sync and live television are locked behind the Plex Pass service.

Plex Pass

Plex Pass is a premium membership service that consists of access to a broader series of functions than a totally free Plex account. Customers also get to new Plex functions earlier than non-subscribers. Some of the most important Plex Pass functions include the capability to sync and access media files on mobile for use offline, the ability to connect an antenna and tuner to view live television, and greater user control, including parental controls.

Plex Pass

The functions you get with Plex Pass that aren’t offered with the complimentary membership include:

  • Premium music: Provides lyrics for songs you stream on Plex and can creating playlists in a manner comparable to Spotify.
  • Premium images: Includes auto-tagging for your images, and makes it easier to sort and access the photos you’re looking for. You likewise get the option to immediately publish brand-new images from your mobile phones.
  • Movie & TV bonus: Allows you to view cinematic trailers before you stream your videos, just like in the theater. You also get access to additionals like erased scenes and behind-the-scenes featurettes.
  • Live TELEVISION: Requires a tuner device and an antenna to receive regional HD television channels and stream them to your devices. Likewise consists of a digital video recorder (DVR) feature and the capability to avoid commercials in a way comparable to TiVo.
  • Offline sync: Allows you to download movies to your mobile devices for gain access to when the device is no longer linked to the internet.
  • Adult controls: Allows you to set up the Plex app on your kids’ devices and lock them out from any content you do not want them to access.
  • Plex advantages: Subscribers likewise get to partner discounts and get to take advantage of new features prior to free users.

What Are Plex Channels?

Plex Channels are plug-ins for Plex Media Server that allow you to gain access to material from popular sources like Comedy Central, MTV, PBS, and the BBC. Because these channels are plug-ins, they aren’t consisted of when you download the Plex Media Server software application. They’re totally free, but you have to install them individually after you have Plex Media Server up and running.

Here’s how to install Plex Channels:

  1. Navigate to app.plex.tv/ desktop.
  2. Select Plugins.
  3. Select Install Plugins.
  4. Find a channel you want, then choose it.
  5. Select Install.
  6. To set up additional channels, repeat actions 4-5.
  7. To watch Plex Channels, look for the Plugins section in the Plex web or mobile app.
  8. Once you’ve set up some Plex Channels, you can access them by launching the Plex app on any compatible device, then tap Plugins.

Important: Some Plex Channels are only offered in specific nations, and others need a subscription. You might also need to subscribe to Plex Pass to access certain channels from the mobile app.

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Morris T. Parson, Tech Support

Leading specialist in electronics and engineering. Author of dozens of articles on various topics from the world of hi-tech. Sound independent analysis of products, exploring new niches and global trends is his special passion.

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