If you are one of those who like to binge-watch TV series, then you will definitely be familiar with Plex.
It’s one of the greatest media centre platforms for organizing, managing, and streaming your favorite material, including videos, music, and other types of media.
If you’re new to Plex and want to know why most people use it with a VPN, get ready to delve into the details.
Plex: What Is It And How Does It Work?
Plex is similar to Kodi (another popular media player software), but it’s a little more complicated and split into two parts.
The Plex Media Server, for example, arranges your media files and makes them available to stream through various players.
The Plex Media Player, on the other hand, lets you stream all of your media material to your selected devices.
Most smart devices, including phones, smart TVs, video game consoles, and set-top boxes, run the media server, whereas the player runs on a computer.
Plex is an excellent choice if you have a lot of material to broadcast across numerous devices. It can also be used to view your media collection over the Internet when you are out of the city.
Is VPN Required To Use Plex?
The level of security someone wants to have totally depends on the person.
A VPN service is not required to use the VPN as one can build their very own customized VPN also, but if you want to have a secure connection and do not want to lose the data, then the VPN is the best way to avoid any inconvenience.
You can use a VPN for multiple reasons like:
Best VPNs To Unlock Using Plex
Over the past few years, the use of a VPN has become increasingly vital, especially when you are accessing the internet through a Wi-Fi hotspot connection. Whether you’re at work or taking public transport, it’s important to take steps to protect your data.
Although there are some free VPNs on the market, it’s obvious that they often have hidden costs that aren’t stated in their marketing material.
If you had an email account you wanted to protect and wanted to try a VPN service to make its contents as secure as possible, you would want to choose a service with strong protection features.
Top VPN Services for Plex are as follow:
NordVPN is one of the most popular VPNs around. It’s easy to use, affordable, and has a nice selection of servers.
NordVPN is also one of the few VPNs that can unlock channels on Apple TV, Roku, and Fire TV devices.
- First, you’ll need to download and install the NordVPN app on your device.
- Then, sign in with your credentials.
- Open up Plex and browse through your channel selection until you find a show that isn’t available in your region.
- Click on it, select “Watch Now” and then click on “Unblocker” at the bottom of the page.
NordVPN is a Panama-based VPN service with a focus on security, privacy, and speed. It’s one of the most popular VPN providers in the world, boasting over 5 million users and 200,000+ IP addresses.
NordVPN is a great choice for unlocking Plex because it offers a variety of servers in many locations.
NordVPN also allows up to 6 simultaneous connections on a single account, which makes it ideal for families or households with multiple devices.
Additionally, NordVPN offers excellent security features such as DNS leak protection, kill switch, and stealth mode that makes it virtually impossible to detect your true IP address and location.
They also offer an ad blocker software called CyberSec that prevents ads from being displayed on websites you visit through their proxy server network.
All of these features combined make NordVPN one of the best options for unlocking Plex worldwide.
2. Express VPN
ExpressVPN is the recommended VPN for unlocking Plex.
It has a wide selection of servers in many countries and supports all major operating systems and devices. ExpressVPN also offers 24/7 customer support, so you can get help if you run into any issues with your VPN service.
ExpressVPN is one of the fastest VPNs you can use to unlock Plex. It has more than 2,000 servers in 94 countries around the world, so it’s easy to find the right server location for your needs.
The ExpressVPN app is available for all major operating systems and devices, including Windows, iOS, and Android. You can also install it on Linux-based operating system distributions or Mac OS X 10.11 El Capitan or later versions of Apple’s desktop operating system.
The ExpressVPN client apps are easy-to-use but also feature a ton of advanced settings if you want more control over how they work and connect to the internet.
Also, Express VPN’s zero-logging policy guarantees your privacy, while its fast server speeds and unlimited bandwidth ensure that you can stream on any device without buffering or lag time.
Surfshark is a VPN that’s easy to use, fast, and secure.
It has 3,200+ servers in 95 countries, some of which are specifically optimized for streaming.
This works well for unblocking content on Netflix and Hulu, but it’s not ideal for watching videos on YouTube or other sites that don’t require you to log in with your TV provider account.
Surfshark offers a paid VPN service starting at $1.99 per month, but it also offers an unlimited bandwidth plan for one device at $2.99 per month, which is what we recommend if you’re going to be using it regularly.
How To Unlock Plex With Surfshark VPN?
- Download the Surfshark app for Android or iOS and sign up with your email address and phone number (or use Facebook).
- Open the app and choose "Sign In" if you are not already signed in.
- Choose "Unblock Streaming Content" in the Services section of the app menu; then click "Connect."
PureVPN is one of the most popular and affordable VPN services in the market. It has many servers, but you may find some of them slow. Pure VPN also works on platforms like Fire TV, Amazon Firestick, and more.
It comes with a free trial that lasts for 10 days, giving users enough time to test out the service before committing to a subscription.
The VPN also offers 24/7 live chat support and a money-back guarantee if you aren’t satisfied with its performance.
PureVPN is compatible with all leading devices, including Windows, Mac OS X, iOS, Android, and Linux devices, as well as routers and smart TVs.
It has over 1 million users and is praised for its high-quality features, including the ability to unlock geo-restricted content.
Pure VPN offers a variety of plans that are competitively priced. The basic plan costs $9.95 per month, while the annual plan costs $2.95 per month (after a 7-day free trial). Both plans come with unlimited data usage, unlimited server switching, and unlimited speed.
The only difference between the two is that you can use the basic plan on 2 devices at once, while you can use the premium plan on 5 devices at once.
CyberGhost is a popular VPN provider with a great reputation for being able to unlock any geo-restricted content. And it’s not just good at unlocking Plex, but all other streaming services too.
CyberGhost is a privacy-focused provider that uses 256-bit AES encryption and has a strict no-logs policy. Its servers are located in over 60 countries around the world, including some in China and Russia.
This means that you can use CyberGhost to access blocked sites, apps, and services from anywhere in the world and also enjoy fast connections with minimal latency.
The CyberGhost app is available for Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS devices and works well on most platforms. However, for best performance, you should use Windows or Android devices when using CyberGhost to unblock your favorite shows on Plex.
CyberGhost is a great VPN for streaming, torrenting, and P2P downloads. The Android app has an impressive 4.5 rating on Google Play and works well with Plex.
It also keeps no logs of your online activity or connection history (including e-mails). You can even set up CyberGhost to automatically change your virtual location so that you appear to be in another country.
CyberGhost’s servers are optimized for streaming, so you don’t have to worry about buffering or lag time when streaming videos from sites like Netflix.
If you want to use CyberGhost on other devices besides your phone or tablet, it works with Windows and macOS devices, as well as Android TV boxes and Amazon Fire TV sticks.
The only downside to CyberGhost is that its free version comes with restrictions on speed and bandwidth usage (up to 10 GB per month), but if you want unlimited bandwidth, there’s an optional upgrade fee of $11 per month ($69 per year).
Why Should You Get a VPN for Plex?
When streaming through the media centre, you’re certain to face these three issues:
1. Throttling of Bandwidth
ISPs purposefully throttle your bandwidth to lessen the stress on their systems and to prevent you from performing bandwidth-intensive activities.
If you’re having trouble streaming Plex videos, you might be suffering from ISP throttling. This may be avoided by installing a VPN for Plex, which encrypts all data sent over the Internet with AES 256-bit encryption.
Your ISP won’t notice any activity because your streaming traffic will be disguised.
2. Personal Data Protection
This also relates to the previous point. Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) allows your ISP to control your bandwidth as it let them observe everything you do online.
As soon as they detect streaming traffic, your Internet connection gets slower.
In many cases, ISPs may also use the technology to capture and sell your internet activities to third parties for a profit. However, by using a vpn for Plex, you can encrypt all of your traffic – both streaming and non-streaming – for a worry-free online experience.
3. Geographically Restricted Content
You may install plugins to increase Plex’s capabilities and watch material from major streaming services like BBC iPlayer, Pandora, HBO Now, and MTV. But what if you realize that some of your favorite shows are not reachable to you.
Well, one of the reasons could be a geographical restriction. Geographical restriction means that content is not available to watch in a certain region.
To stream these channels, you must be in a specific region, and here comes a VPN. A VPN service for Plex can help you watch anything you want. For example, if you want to watch HBO Now from anywhere in the world, all you have to do is connect to a USA server of the VPN.
4. Censorship at the local level
Citizens in some nations are not permitted to see certain types of content. When it comes to depicting graphic violence in TV shows or movies, they have rigorous guidelines, which means some violent sequences must be toned down or omitted outright.
If you live in a region where this form of censorship is enforced, you’ll need a VPN. You can use it to obtain an IP address in a nation with weak censorship rules and watch the uncut version of the video you’re streaming.
How to use a VPN to access Plex?
Despite the fact that private and encrypted connections are more common than ever, if your Plex server connects to the internet via a VPN, you may not be able to access it via the levels of security.
Here’s all you need to know about Plex settings, so you can get your Plex server streaming through your VPN without losing security, so you can watch your videos.
Plex TV streaming over a VPN may be accomplished in a few steps. What you might need to do is:
- Provide a static IP address for the Plex server.
- Take note of your Plex settings.
- Allow port forwarding on the router.
- Configure the VPN to provide you with full access to plex tv.
After that, you can use the Plex app or your web browser to interact with your private Plex server from anywhere in the world.
This is referred to as selective routing, and it is an important networking tool to understand.
• Create a Plex Server
There are a few things you should do before making changes to your network configuration. Keep in mind that you should complete all of these steps on your Plex streaming media server.
• Provide a static IP address for Plex Server
Assign a static IP address to your Plex server if you haven’t previously. This will let you set up port forwarding properly and ensure that any changes to the VPN setup are retained after a reboot.
- Open the Control Panel on your Windows computer to set a static IP address.
- In the Network and Internet section, select “View network status and tasks.”
- On the sidebar, select “Change adapter settings.”
- Right-click your computer’s primary network connection and select Properties from the context menu.
- Select the Properties option for Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IP 4).
- Choose a static IP address for your Plex server, then fill in the gateway and DNS settings before clicking OK.
Take note of the IP address; you'll need it when setting up your VPN.
A good static IP address will not be in the DHCP range of your router. They are usually automatically set from a pool of 192.168.1.150 to 192.168.1.254. For instance, 192.168.1.100 is safe to use.
A conflict arises when a router assigns an IP address that is already in use on the network; consequently, double-check your router’s DHCP settings before issuing a static address.
It’s best to change it up a little when choosing static DNS servers. You can use your ISP’s DNS and then choose between a free and secure Google server at 22.214.171.124 or 126.96.36.199 or Cloudfare at 188.8.131.52 and 184.108.40.206.
• Note Down Plex Settings
You are required to connect to Plex through the web interface and confirm your settings before configuring your VPN to route Plex traffic.
- By right-clicking the tray icon and selecting the Open Plex option from the context menu, you may access the Plex web client.
- Go to the left sidebar of Plex and click the Settings option.
- Locate the Remote Access icon and click on it.
Take note of your Plex’s remote access port; this, together with your static IP address, will be used to configure your router. The most common port is 32400.
You can configure your local network now that your Plex server has a static IP address, an OpenVPN VPN is installed, and you’re confident in the port settings.
• Create a Local Network
You must now instruct your network about where to receive incoming Plex connections. It’s your Plex server’s static IP address in this scenario.
• Turn on port forwarding
- Connect to your router's web interface and log in using your username and password.
- Look for the port forwarding options once you've logged in.
- Fill in the boxes with your Plex server information once you've found the port forwarding settings for your network.
- External Port: It informs the router where to look for Plex traffic in this section. Except for reserved numbers, it can be set to anything.
- Internal Port: This instructs your router where to direct Plex traffic on your LAN. This was mentioned earlier, and the default value is 32400.
- The protocol specifies the type of connection traffic that will be routed. Set it to either 'TCP' or 'Both,' but only TCP is necessary.
- Device IP: This identifies the route taken by your Plex server from the static IP address. While setting up your Plex server, you also observed this.
- The Enabled checkbox allows you to toggle Plex port forwarding on and off. Make sure it's turned on.
- To reboot your router with the new VPN for Plex settings, click OK and then exit.
Not Able to Connect to Plex With VPN Turned On
Many people have reported that they are not able to use Plex when they have their VPN on. TechNinjaPro has gathered some solutions that worked for multiple Plex users in different situations.
If your Plex app is having trouble connecting to your Plex Media Server, make sure:
- You have the most recent version.
- You've correctly signed into your Plex Media Server with your Plex credentials.
- Your app is connected to your account and logged in.
- Make sure you've installed the correct version of Plex Media Server and that it's up and running.
- Check your Devices page to see if your Server is displayed.
- Turn off your VPN on your PC or router.
- On your computer or router, disable proxies.
After you've done that:
- Completely log poor from the Plex’s app and media server.
- Access to your Plex Server account.
- Log in to your account on the Plex App.
- Check other things depending on whether the app is local or remote to your server.
Does a VPN make Plex run slower?
A VPN is handy in a variety of scenarios, but it is not without flaws. The problem of fetching content when streaming is one of the concerns with utilizing a VPN with Plex.
It tries to send data through the VPN IP address instead of your original IP address. However, you may easily avoid this issue.
It is true that VPNs can impede access slightly, but premium VPNs provide limitless bandwidth and the best possible speeds to eliminate buffering when streaming.
Because free VPN services do not provide unlimited bandwidth, they are not a good choice. Another advantage of a premium VPN is that it uses OpenVPN or its own proprietary protocol for better speeds.
It merely takes a few steps to get your Plex VPN bypassed and access your Plex media server over a VPN. There are two ways to use Plex to connect to a VPN.
Simply redirect the port on your router to ‘32400,’ which is the same internal port as your Plex Server.
You may use a VPN and the methods below to access Plex remotely:
- Download the VPN program of your choice (Top-3: NordVPN, ExpressVPN, & Surfshark VPN.)
- Install a VPN on your device.
- You may also get the OpenVPN configuration file from the website of your VPN provider (OpenVPN is the best protocol to deal with this).
- Install the OpenVPN config files in your VPN program, and you're ready to go.
- On your Windows PC, configure your router for port forwarding.
- Using the server settings, change the Plex port.
- After that, a green checkmark should appear in the Plex Remote Access VPN settings.
The article talks about a very important issue, how can you use a VPN with Plex. Accessing geo-restricted content can be very useful when it comes to security and getting access to geo-restricted content.
Plex is a media player service, and it is normal that some movies or TV series usually have geo-restrictions. This article will help you to watch unlimited content on your Plex TV.