You may have seen us write about a platform called Plex a few times and wondered what it is. If that sounds like you, this is the article you’ve been waiting for.
At its core Plex is a home server for all kinds of media. The primary reason to create a server is it’s a perfect place to host “video content.”
Whenever you load a show or movie onto your server Plex automatically downloads cover art, synopsis information, trailers, cast lists and more. Sometimes the platform unable to do this so you have to load in your own info, but for the most part, it all works automatically.
The other plus is that once you load something into Plex you can stream it to other devices that are on the same Wi-Fi network. If you pay a subscription cost, you can stream it anywhere.
You can also use Plex to store your photo and music libraries, stream podcasts, ad-supported videos, YouTube-esque videos, news videos, music from Tidal and live TV with the right hardware.
Overall, it’s a great place to store all of your media so you can access it anywhere. Think of it as a media-focused Google Drive that you host in your own cloud.
How to get started
To get started you need to download the Plex Server software on your computer. You can download it on Windows and Mac as well as several other devices. It should be noted that if you set this up on a Windows or Mac computer, then you can still use it as a normal PC.
Once you download the service you then select what folders you want it to source content from. For example, you can fill a folder with pictures and call it photos and then set Plex to source from it.
From there the app scans the files you selected and uploads them to your service. The app also automatically scans your selected files every so often, so new content gets added to your server when you add it.
The other piece of the puzzle is downloading the Plex app on your other devices. For example, you can download it on most smart TVs, phones and tablets.
Once you have this app you can sign into it with your new Plex account and you’ll be able to watch all of your content with ease. You can even download content on mobile devices so you can watch it while your travelling or away from your home network.