What Is exactly Plex?

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You can install the Plex Media Server software on a Windows, Mac, or Linux computer, or a compatible network-attached storage (NAS) device, then play it back on any other internet-connected device capable of running the Plex app.

Plex Media Server is a digital media player and organizational tool that allows you to access the music, pictures, and videos stored on one computer with any other computer or compatible mobile device. You can install the plex.tv/link Media Server software on a Windows, Mac, or Linux computer, or a compatible network-attached storage (NAS) device, then play it back on any other internet-connected device capable of running the Plex app.

 

Use any compatible device to watch movies, listen to music, and view pictures stored on a computer that runs Plex Media Server. Access media files stored on your Plex Media Server computer remotely over the internet. Allow friends and family to access your movies, music, and pictures over the internet.

 

Unlike video streaming services like Netflix or Hulu, Plex is a bring-your-own-media kind of affair. If you have your own digital copies of movies or shows, you can store them on a desktop computer—or a NAS, if you're feeling adventurous—that's always connected to the internet. Then, with the Plex app on your phone or TV, you can stream those videos to almost any device.

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 run your own library, you might want to get comfortable with digging around in file structures. Setting up a Plex server involves finding a place to store your files, naming them properly, and occasionally tweaking metadata so all your shows have the right cover art. For those running a server, there's a lot more to learn about the interface, but Plex makes it fairly easy for anyone to run their own.

 

The Plex Media Server runs on a wide array of platforms that you might run on a stationary computer. The most obvious examples are Windows and Mac. Plex also supports Linux, FreeBSD, and even a bunch of niche NAS platforms if you'd rather run your server on dedicated networked storage and free up your desktop computer for other things.

 

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 also find dedicated Plex apps for most smart TV platforms and boxes 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, there's a good chance Plex already has an app for it.

The “Free to Use” Parts: The Server and Apps

There are some details to get into, but the summary of “free” is simple:

 

  • The video/music/photo media you own is yours. Of course, we don’t charge you in any way for that.
  • The Plex Media Server is free to use and includes the Plex Web App.
  • Our 'Movies Shows' streaming service is free to all users and ad-supported.
  • Free TV streaming is available from our ad-supported Live TV on Plex service
  • Connect a compatible tuner and antenna to your server to let you watch over-the-air broadcasts available at your location live. (Recording of broadcasts requires a Plex Pass subscription.)
  • All of our non-mobile, public apps are free (with the exception of Plex Labs apps). These include Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, Plex HTPC, Roku, Smart TVs, Windows macOS computers and game consoles (PlayStation and Xbox).
  • 30-second previews of songs from TIDAL are available to anyone in the app.
  • Our mobile apps (Android and iOS) can be used for free, but have limitations.
  • Until the mobile app is unlocked (through an in-app purchase or a Plex Pass subscription), video and music streamed from a Plex Media Server has a 1 minute limit, and photos will be watermarked.

What Is a Plex Pass?

The basic Plex app is free on every platform, whereas the Plex Pass has three price tiers. You can pay $5/month, $40/year, or $120 for a lifetime subscription.

As you'd expect, there are numerous Plex Pass benefits that are unavailable on the free version of the app.

The most useful additions are arguably the plex.tv link code live TV and DVR offerings. If you add an antenna and tuner to your setup, you can watch and record any over-the-air channels in your area through the Plex app.

The Plex Pass also includes intro skipping, 4K support, mobile syncing for offline viewing, support for multiple users, parental controls, movie trailers, and music features such as lyrics and offline listening.

You will even get access to Plex Labs. It gives you first access to Plex's newest features, meaning you can impress your friends before they've had chance to try out the features themselves.

Clearly, these are all great features. However, for most users, they're totally unnecessary. In fact, there's a lot of misinformation out there. Many people believe you need a Plex Pass to perform certain tasks when the reality is different.

 

How to Install Plex on FireStick

Before you install Plex on FireStick, you will want to sign up for an account if you don’t have one already. So, let us first create a Plex account.

 

Sign Up for a Plex account

Here are the steps:

  1. Go to website on your computer or mobile (you may also use a FireStick supported browser such as Silk Browser or Firefox) and click Sign Up
  2. You may sign up with your existing Google, Facebook, or Apple credentials or create a new account with an email address
  3. Once you are signed in, you could buy one of the Plex Pass plans for added benefits. The plans cost $4.99 monthly, $39.99 yearly and $119.99 for a lifetime. We will talk about the benefits of buying a Plex Pass later in this guide.
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