What is Plex? All you need to know

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Judit Llordés
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What is Plex? Here's what you need to know about the streaming platform that can store your digital content. Plex is a digital media server and streaming platform that also works as an AVOD.

Plex is an unconventional streaming service that allows users to share and manage their content libraries. The platform boasts capabilities for uploading and streaming multimedia content and also hosts free content. Paid and free versions of Plex are available.

Plex is a media server and streaming service, although what sets Plex apart from other services is the way it allows you to access and stream all your media, including media you create, in one place. This includes all types of media: podcasts, music, TV and movies and games.

You can also easily share Plex with friends and family, which is one of its most popular features. So let's see what Plex is: what you can get from it and what you will have to pay (or not pay) to start using the streaming platform.

Plex is a streaming service, but it doesn't look like Hulu or Netflix

Plex is, to all intents and purposes, a streaming service. But it works completely differently from the big name services you know, like Netflix or Amazon Prime.

Instead, Plex is tailor-made for the tech-savvy types who can provide their own digital copies of the media and otherwise hoard digital content.

Plex allows you to host and upload your content via its servers and also to share your server and its content with others in an easy-to-access way. 

More specifically, there are two parts to Plex: the server and the client. The server is the device used to play the multimedia files and the client is the device that streams these multimedia files. Plex Media Server is compatible with Windows, Mac, Linux, FreeBSD, and even a variety of NAS platforms. 

To download the digital media platform, you must first install Plex Media Server on your computer or a compatible operating system, then install the Plex app on the devices you intend to stream its content to (they can be streaming devices and game consoles, or a other computer or smartphone). 

To create an account, visit Plex.tv and sign up with Google, Facebook or Apple, or you can choose to enter your email address. 

Plex also offers ad-supported on-demand content, including a partnership with Crackle

There is also a lot of content to analyze in Plex, if you don't have your own digital library to upload. While it's important to note that Plex isn't considered a content provider, rather the content it hosts is the result of partnerships with production companies like Warner Bros.

Plex has been hosting ad-supported video-on-demand content since 2022, and in 2020 took it a step further through a partnership with Crackle, which gave Plex users full access to Crackle's extensive library of popular and niche series. , favorites from cult films.

How to use Plex: the complete installation guide

You can access Plex for free or for a fee 

You can view Plex for free through Plex Media Server (it's a media you already own) and Plex Web App, and essentially through any non-mobile and public platform (like Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Smart TV, etc.). 

The mobile app can be used for free on Android and iOS, but without an in-app purchase or a Plex Pass, you'll encounter viewing limitations. 

A Plex Pass grants you unlimited mobile app features and is the full premium service that can be purchased as a monthly ($ 4,99), annual ($ 39,99), or lifetime ($ 119,99) subscription.  

A paid subscription unlocks live TV and DVR features, offline sync, parental controls, and more. 

And if you want to dive into Plex before committing to joining the platform, you can also peruse its live TV offerings on Plex.tv as a guest; no account is needed. 

Further Reading:

  • What is Plex?
  • The best alternatives to Google Play Music and YouTube Music
  • How to use Plex: the complete installation guide
  • How to connect Amazon Fire Stick to PC ... maybe!
  • The best apps for your LG Smart TV with WebOS

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