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best vpn for plex

Best VPN for Plex in 2024: Unchain Your Media Server

In this article, we’ll dive into the best VPN for Plex to help you unblock geo-restricted content and securely access your media files. This list is based on extensive research and testing by our VPN experts. We’ll also show you how to use a VPN with Plex.

Wisdom SablahSamuel ChapmanSimona Ivanovski

Written by Wisdom Sablah (Writer)

Reviewed by Samuel Chapman (Writer, Editor)

Facts checked by Simona Ivanovski (Fact-Checker)

Last Updated: 2024-07-04T12:51:09+00:00

All our content is written fully by humans; we do not publish AI writing. Learn more here.

Key Takeaways: These Are the Best VPNs for Plex
  1. ExpressVPN — Overall best VPN for Plex
  2. NordVPN — Fast VPN for streaming Plex
  3. Surfshark — Affordable VPN for Plex
  4. CyberGhost — Beginner-friendly Plex VPN
  5. PIA — Secure Plex VPN with port forwarding

Facts & Expert Analysis About Plex VPNs:

  • Plex, the streaming concierge and media server: In addition to more than 60,000 titles and more than 300 live channels, Plex helps you find movies on popular streaming services like Netflix and Disney+. It also lets you organize your favorite movies, TV shows, photos and music and access them remotely.
  • Get more with the Plex Pass subscription: Plex Pass, Plex’s paid version, offers many features, such as activating or unlocking mobile apps, access to Plex Dash, DVR recording, streaming trailers and extras, and premium music features.1
  • Port forwarding might open you up to security vulnerabilities: To access Plex’s media server remotely, you might need port forwarding. However, port forwarding allows incoming traffic to bypass your NAT (network address translation) firewall, exposing your device to cyberattacks. This is why many VPNs don’t allow port forwarding. 
Best VPN for Plex

Plex is a unique streaming service that lets you search for and stream movies on many popular streaming services without constantly switching apps. However, content available on streaming platforms changes based on your location. Thankfully, you can change your virtual location with one of the best VPNs. Today, we’ll compare the top options to name the best VPN for Plex.

A virtual private network (VPN) can change your virtual location, allowing you to access restricted titles. For instance, connecting to a VPN’s U.S. server can help you unblock Netflix’s U.S. library even if you are elsewhere. The best VPNs also encrypt and anonymize your online traffic to shield you from hackers and snoopers while you stream Plex.

Finding a Plex VPN is tricky because many streaming services, notably Netflix, often track and block VPN services. Our VPN experts have tested more than 50 VPNs to curate a list of the five best options for Plex. In summary, ExpressVPN is our top choice for streaming Plex. It offers reliable unblocking ability, fast speeds and built-in security features. 

  • 11/02/2023

    Updated the article to reflect ExpressVPN’s recent increase of 5 simultaneous connections to 8, as well as its expansion of server presence to 105 countries, previously 94.

  • 07/04/2024 Facts checked

    We rewrote this guide to include more information in an easier-to-read format, also including a how-to guide. We also switched our last VPN recommendation to PIA.

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    Visit Private Internet AccessReview
Cloudwards Editor’s Choice: ExpressVPN

Many of our VPN experts independently tested VPNs with Plex TV, and we all arrived at the same conclusion: ExpressVPN offers the best features and performance for streaming Plex. It offers servers in 105 countries and reliably unblocks streaming platforms in all of them. You can try ExpressVPN for free using its 30-day money-back guarantee.

Editor’s Choice

Does Plex Work With VPNs?

Yes, you can use a VPN with Plex without any issues. However, not all VPNs can unblock streaming providers and help you stream without buffering. We recommend using a trustworthy VPN service like ExpressVPN, which unblocks the major streaming platforms and doesn’t reduce your download speeds.

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How to Choose the Best Plex VPN

We compiled this list by evaluating and testing more than 50 VPNs based on numerous categories. Here’s a quick look at our main considerations for the best Plex VPNs:

  • Reliable unblocking ability: We chose VPNs that can unblock the major streaming services, including Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus and Max. Some of Plex’s live channels are region-specific, so you’ll need to use a VPN to spoof your location and access them. 
  • Large server network: We looked for VPNs with a wide server spread across different continents. 
  • Fast speeds: VPNs with slow download speeds will lead to slow-loading streams and constant lag. 
  • Remote device access: Plex media servers allow you to create and store your own watchlist and customize your viewing experience. If you’re away from home, you’ll need a VPN with port forwarding (or an equivalent feature like Meshnet) to access your Plex servers. 
  • Value for money: A VPN shouldn’t cost a fortune. Your chosen service should offer good features and performance at affordable rates. 
  • Security: A good Plex VPN should offer AES encryption or equivalent and not leak your IP address or other data. 
  • Privacy: We reviewed each VPN’s privacy policy and audit history to ensure they won’t log or share data on your Plex streaming activity (or anything else).

The 5 Best Plex VPNs

VPNPriceUnblocks NetflixSpeedNo-Logs PolicyPort ForwardingProtocol
$6.66 per month (on the one-year plan)Very fastOpenVPN,
Lightway,
IKEv2
$3.55 per month (on the two-year plan)Very fast*OpenVPN,
NordLynx,
IKEv2
$2.49 per month (on the two-year plan)Very fastOpenVPN,
WireGuard,
IKEv2/IPsec
$2.37 per month (on the two-year plan)FastOpenVPN,
WireGuard,
IKEv2
$2.19 per month (on the two-year plan)FastOpenVPN,
WireGuard,
IKEv2/IPsec
*But Meshnet can help you access devices remotely

1. ExpressVPN — Best VPN for Plex

expressvpn homepage
ExpressVPN can unblock all the major streaming services. 
Download
90 Mbps
Very Fast
Upload
8 Mbps
Very Fast
Latency
6 ms
Very Fast
Source: Cloudwards VPN Speed Test. We test daily. Data from 06/20/24 to 07/18/24
Data for region:

Pros:

  • Unblocks streaming services
  • Works on smart TVs & routers
  • 8 simultaneous connections

Cons:

  • Relatively expensive

ExpressVPN should be your first choice if you want a VPN for Plex. It has servers in more than 105 countries that can unblock many of the streaming services that Plex accesses and sorts, including Netflix, Max, Hulu and Disney Plus. Its decent download speeds (especially with the Lightway protocol) let you stream your favorite shows in HD or 4K without buffering.

ExpressVPN is a smart choice if you want to stream Plex on a smart TV. You can install it directly on Android TV, Fire TV and Apple TV 4K and HD. For other TVs, MediaStreamer — ExpressVPN’s DNS service — may work, though it won’t offer encryption. 

ExpressVPN has its own router with built-in VPN protection, known as ExpressVPN Aircove. It also supports many router models, including Asus, Linksys and Netgear routers. 

ExpressVPN Hands-On Streaming Test

While connected to ExpressVPN’s U.S. server, we streamed Netflix U.S., Max and Disney Plus movies on Plex. We bounced around different ExpressVPN servers, and all of them unblocked the streaming platforms just as easily. The streams loaded quickly, and no buffering wheels popped up. 

connect to expressvpn
ou can connect to ExpressVPN’s U.S. server to access
U.S.-based titles on Plex.
ExpressVPN Speed Test Results
Download Speed (Higher is better)
Upload Speed (Higher is better)
Latency (Lower is better)
Source: Cloudwards VPN Speed Test. We test daily. Data averaged from 06/20/24 to 07/18/24

ExpressVPN is reasonably fast, maintaining about 73% of our initial download speeds on average across the world. Though not as fast as some of the other VPNs in our VPN speed tests, ExpressVPN didn’t cause any lag while streaming. 

ExpressVPN Security Analysis
expressvpn leak test
Our leak tests showed that ExpressVPN doesn’t suffer any IP leaks.

We connected to ExpressVPN’s New York server and used IPleak.net to see if it leaked our original location. We are happy to report that we didn’t see our real IP address on any server, indicating that ExpressVPN doesn’t suffer from IP or DNS leaks.

ExpressVPN provides a secure VPN connection thanks to its many security features, including a kill switch and built-in obfuscation on all servers. This makes it ideal for streaming Plex in restrictive regimes that block VPN usage altogether. It also offers multiple VPN protocols with solid encryption, which we’ve summarized in the table below. 

Protocol:EncryptionDevices Supported
LightwayChaCha20



OpenVPNAES-256

IKEv2AES-256

ExpressVPN Pricing & Value

ExpressVPN’s cheapest deal is the one-year plan, which costs $6.66 per month. This is slightly more expensive than most VPNs, but ExpressVPN is worth every cent. ExpressVPN also offers a monthly plan, which costs $12.95, and a six-month plan, which costs $9.99 per month. 

Our ExpressVPN review has more details. Alternatively, you can try ExpressVPN yourself using its 30-day money-back guarantee. 

2. NordVPN — Fast VPN for Streaming Plex

nordvpn streaming homepage
NordVPN offers fast speeds that are ideal for streaming Plex.
Download
83 Mbps
Very Fast
Upload
9 Mbps
Very Fast
Latency
3 ms
Very Fast
Source: Cloudwards VPN Speed Test. We test daily. Data from 06/20/24 to 07/18/24
Data for region:

Pros:

  • Fast download speeds
  • Meshnet can access Plex remotely
  • Unblocks all major streaming apps

Cons:

  • Mobile map can be difficult to use

NordVPN is the next best VPN for Plex, largely thanks to its great unblocking ability and fast speeds. NordVPN has minimal impact on download speeds, making it an excellent choice to stream Plex in HD or 4K. Because of its fast speeds, we recommend NordVPN if you want to stream live TV channels on Plex (more than 300 are available). 

NordVPN also offers Meshnet, which can help you access your Plex media server remotely. To do so, you’ll have to set up Plex on a computer or NAS device and connect it to Meshnet. You can connect up to 60 devices on Meshnet and use them from anywhere as long as you have another connected device with you.

NordVPN Hands-On Streaming Test

nordvpn streaming
NordVPN can unblock Netflix and enable you to stream without lag.

We connected to NordVPN’s servers and attempted to access various streaming services through Plex. NordVPN was able to unblock all the major streaming services, including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Max and Disney Plus. We didn’t experience any buffering while streaming. 

NordVPN Speed Test Results
Download Speed (Higher is better)
Upload Speed (Higher is better)
Latency (Lower is better)
Source: Cloudwards VPN Speed Test. We test daily. Data averaged from 06/20/24 to 07/18/24

If you scan through our VPN speed comparison, you’ll notice that NordVPN is not only the overall fastest VPN on average but is also consistently fast in every location. It maintained a worldwide average of more than 90% of our unprotected speeds and rarely dipped below that mark anywhere. 

NordVPN Security Analysis

We checked for leaks using IPleak.net while connected to a NordVPN New York server. As you can see in the image below, the only visible DNS address was that of the server we had connected to. This proves that NordVPN is highly unlikely to suffer from any IP or DNS leaks. 

nordvpn leak test
Our leak test results showed that NordVPN has DNS leak protection.

In addition, NordVPN encrypts data using the most secure encryption protocols currently known. We’ve listed the protocols, encryption and devices they support in the table below. 

ProtocolEncryption Devices Supported
OpenVPNAES-256



NordLynxChaCha20



IKEv2/IPsecAES-256

NordVPN also offers obfuscated servers, which can help you evade censorship in restrictive countries by disguising your VPN traffic using innocuous ports. Additionally, if you’re worried about ads and malware, NordVPN offers threat protection, which stops ads and trackers and blocks malicious websites. 

NordVPN Pricing & Value

NordVPN’s long-term plans are slightly cheaper than ExpressVPN’s. NordVPN’s best deal is the two-year subscription, which costs a total of $3.55 per month. NordVPN also offers a monthly plan starting at $12.99 and a yearly plan for $4.99 per month. 

NordVPN offers other packages starting at $5.99 per month that include more features, such as a password manager, data breach scanner and encrypted cloud storage. If you have additional questions, read our NordVPN review to learn more. Alternatively, check out NordVPN yourself using its 30-day money-back guarantee. 

Basic
  • *The prices are charged in the first billing cycle only. Renewal prices vary.
  • Unlimited GB
  • 10
  • Yes
Plus
  • *The prices are charged in the first billing cycle only. Renewal prices vary.
  • Unlimited GB
  • 10
  • Yes
Ultimate
  • *The prices are charged in the first billing cycle only. Renewal prices vary.
  • Unlimited GB
  • 10
  • Yes

3. Surfshark — Affordable VPN for Plex

surfshark streaming homepage
Surfshark offers servers in 100 countries that can unblock most streaming services. 
Download
95 Mbps
Very Fast
Upload
9 Mbps
Very Fast
Latency
127 ms
Good
Source: Cloudwards VPN Speed Test. We test daily. Data from 06/20/24 to 07/18/24
Data for region:

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Large server network
  • Unlimited simultaneous connections

Cons:

  • Expensive monthly plans

Surfshark is another good option for streaming Plex, especially if you’re on the lookout for a cheap VPN. Its one-year and two-year plans are affordable compared to most VPNs. Plus, it offers unlimited simultaneous connections, so you can use one subscription on as many devices as you want. 

Surfshark offers an extensive server network covering 100 countries. These servers can unblock the most popular streaming services, including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney Plus, Hulu and Max. Surfshark’s fast download speeds also make it a good pick for lag-free streaming.

Surfshark Hands-On Streaming Test

Surfshark is a reliable VPN that unblocks streaming services. We connected to multiple Surfshark servers and attempted to unblock Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Max. To our delight, Surfshark gave us access to those platforms in many different regional libraries. Plus, the streams loaded quickly and the image never buffered. 

streaming netflix with surfshark
Surfshark can unblock Netflix and help you stream without lag.
Surfshark Speed Test Results
Download Speed (Higher is better)
Upload Speed (Higher is better)
Latency (Lower is better)
Source: Cloudwards VPN Speed Test. We test daily. Data averaged from 06/20/24 to 07/18/24

Surfshark is one of the fastest VPNs, maintaining an average of least 90% of our initial download speeds worldwide. This means that Surfshark should have a negligible impact on your internet speeds. This matched our experience; we didn’t suffer from any delays or interruptions while browsing and streaming with Surfshark. 

Surfshark Security Analysis

We ran multiple leak tests for Surfshark using IPleak.net. The results showed that Surfshark protected our online identity, leaving our real IP invisible. 

surfshark leak test
Our leak test results showed that Surfshark doesn’t leak sensitive data.

Surfshark offers solid protocol options to guarantee your security while browsing the internet. The table below lists the encryption and devices each protocol supports. 

Protocol:Encryption Devices Supported
OpenVPNAES-256



WireGuardChaCha20



IKEv2/IPsecAES-256


Surfshark offers obfuscation through “camouflage” mode. Activating that mode will prevent third parties from realizing that you’re using a VPN, including your internet service provider (ISP). Surfshark also offers CleanWeb, which prevents ads, malware and phishing attempts. 

Surfshark Pricing & Value

Surfshark’s best plan is the two-year plan, which costs $2.49 per month. Surfshark also offers a one-year plan, billed at $3.49 per month, and an exorbitant monthly plan for $15.45

Surfshark offers package deals starting at $4.97 per month, which include a private search tool, a data removal tool and 24/7 antivirus protection. We have written extensively about this VPN in our Surfshark review. You can also test Surfshark using its 30-day money-back guarantee

Surfshark Starter
  • Unlimited GB bandwidth, Unlimited devices, Secure VPN, Ad blocker, Cookie pop-up blocker. Plans renew: $231.75 for one year, $417.15 for two years
  • Unlimited GB
  • Unlimited
  • Yes
Surfshark One
  • Everything in Starter, plus Antivirus protection, Identity protection, Email Breach and Credit Card Alerts, Online Alias Plans renew: $239.25 for one year, $430.65 for two years.
  • Unlimited GB
  • Unlimited
Surfshark One+
  • Everything in One, plus Data removal Plans renew: $269.25 for one year, $404.65 for two years
  • Unlimited GB
  • Unlimited

4. CyberGhost — Beginner-Friendly VPN for Plex

cyberghost plex homepage
CyberGhost has a large server network to help you access
Plex media servers and live channels.
Download
77 Mbps
Fast
Upload
9 Mbps
Very Fast
Latency
41 ms
Fast
Source: Cloudwards VPN Speed Test. We test daily. Data from 06/20/24 to 07/18/24
Data for region:

Pros:

  • Massive server network
  • Reliable unblocking ability
  • 45-day money-back guarantee

Cons:

  • Slow speeds

We recommend CyberGhost if you need a beginner-friendly VPN to stream Plex. Its apps are quick to install, well organized and easy to navigate. Thanks to its “smart rules” feature, you can set the VPN to connect to a specific server and launch Plex immediately after opening. This eliminates a lot of the tedious upkeep of returning to a favorite foreign series in progress.

Furthermore, CyberGhost offers a vast fleet of more than 9,000 servers in 100 countries. Some of the servers are optimized to unblock various streaming services, including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu and Disney Plus. You can use a single CyberGhost subscription on up to seven devices at once. 

CyberGhost Hands-On Streaming Test

As we mentioned, CyberGhost offers streaming-optimized servers. We tested the Netflix-optimized servers and can confirm they are more reliable for streaming than regular servers. Though CyberGhost isn’t one of the fastest VPNs, we didn’t experience any lag while streaming Netflix in HD. However, we did get some buffering wheels while streaming in 4K. 

cyberghost streaming
CyberGhost can unblock Netflix and help you stream your favorite shows. 
CyberGhost Speed Test Results
Download Speed (Higher is better)
Upload Speed (Higher is better)
Latency (Lower is better)
Source: Cloudwards VPN Speed Test. We test daily. Data averaged from 06/20/24 to 07/18/24

CyberGhost offers sufficient download speeds for surfing the internet and streaming movies and TV shows. In our speed tests, CyberGhost kept around half our speeds on average worldwide, while other top VPNs like ExpressVPN and NordVPN hovered around the 90% mark.

CyberGhost retained about 75% of our speeds in our nearest testing location but suffered significant dips in faraway places, dropping to as low as 25% on some continents. 

CyberGhost Security Analysis

We checked CyberGhost’s security credentials using IPleak.net. The image below displays the results of our test, showing that CyberGhost replaced our original IP address with that of our chosen VPN server. 

cyberghost leak test
Our DNS leak tests showed that CyberGhost didn’t leak our internet traffic. 

CyberGhost uses the current best-in-class VPN protocols with today’s near-impenetrable encryption, as the table below shows. 

Protocol:EncryptionDevices Supported
WireGuardChaCha20




Fire TV app
OpenVPNAES-256

Fire TV app
IKEv2AES-128

CyberGhost offers an ad and malware blocker to help you browse safely. We tested the ad blocker by visiting sites riddled with ads and can confirm it stopped the ads from appearing. It also has NoSpy servers, which limit the risk of server breaches or unauthorized access. 

CyberGhost Pricing & Value

CyberGhost’s most affordable plan is the two-year plan, which costs $2.37 per month and includes four free months. If you want a shorter-term subscription, opt for the six-month plan, which costs $6.99 per month. CyberGhost also has a monthly plan for $12.99.

CyberGhost offers a 45-day money-back guarantee on the six-month and two-year plans, and a 14-day money-back guarantee on the monthly plan. Read our CyberGhost review to learn more about this VPN service. 

CyberGhost Plans
  • *The 2-year plan includes 4-months free which breaks down the 56.94 t0 $2.03 per month. *The price under the 2-year plan is billed yearly after the first two years.
  • Unlimited GB
  • 7
  • Yes

5. Private Internet Access (PIA) — Secure Plex VPN With Port Forwarding

pia homepage
PIA is a privacy-focused and affordable VPN for streaming Plex.
Download
90 Mbps
Very Fast
Upload
9 Mbps
Very Fast
Latency
3 ms
Very Fast
Source: Cloudwards VPN Speed Test. We test daily. Data from 06/20/24 to 07/18/24
Data for region:

Pros:

  • Port forwarding for remote devices
  • Large server network
  • Affordable plan

Cons:

  • Can’t unblock Disney Plus or Hulu

If you want to access your Plex media server remotely, PIA’s port forwarding feature makes this VPN a good pick. With port forwarding, you can open up ports on your device and access them remotely. Thus, you can access your Plex watchlist, movie recommendations, music and photos regardless of location.

PIA has a massive server network spread across 91 countries, all of which can help you stream Plex. It’s a good choice if you want to share your VPN subscription with friends and family because it offers unlimited simultaneous connections.

PIA Hands-On Streaming Test

Unfortunately, PIA can be inconsistent when unblocking streaming services. In our tests, PIA unblocked Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and BBC iPlayer without noticeable lag. However, it couldn’t give us access to Hulu or Disney Plus. 

streaming pia
PIA can unblock Netflix and help you stream buffer-free.
PIA Speed Test Results
Download Speed (Higher is better)
Upload Speed (Higher is better)
Latency (Lower is better)
Source: Cloudwards VPN Speed Test. We test daily. Data averaged from 06/20/24 to 07/18/24

Worldwide, PIA only maintained around half of our initial download speeds, which is not that impressive. It fared much better with our testing servers in the U.S., maintaining around 90% of our initial speeds. In general, PIA is fast when you connect to nearby locations, but you’ll experience significant dips when far away. 

PIA Security Analysis

We connected to PIA’s U.S. server and checked for IP and DNS leaks using IPleak.net. Thankfully, we only saw PIA’s IP address and DNS servers, indicating that it doesn’t leak data. 

pia leak test
Our tests proved that PIA doesn’t leak information about your location,
including your IP address. 

PIA is a secure VPN that offers top-class protocols and encryption to protect your online activity. Look through the table below for details on the protocols and encryption PIA offers.

Protocol:EncryptionDevices Supported
OpenVPNAES-256



WireGuardChaCha20



IPsec/IKEv2AES-256

PIA offers the Shadowsocks protocol, which can obfuscate your traffic to make it seem like regular traffic. It also offers MACE, an ad blocker that effectively blocks trackers and malware. 

PIA Pricing & Value

PIA is affordable thanks to its three-year plan, which costs $2.19 per month. It also has a bargain six-month plan, which costs $7.50 per month, and a monthly plan for $11.99. A 30-day money-back guarantee covers all of PIA’s plans, which you can use to test the service. If you want to learn more, read our PIA review

Our Methodology: How We Tested the Best VPN for Plex

To compile this list of the five best Plex VPNs, we tested more than 50 VPNs across multiple categories, which we’ve highlighted below. 

Speed

Our VPN experts have set up automated VPN tests that check the speeds of many VPN providers every day, including our top five picks for Plex. For VPNs not on that list, we ran manual tests. Since Plex is a streaming service, we focused on VPNs with fast download speeds.

Security

We checked to see if each VPN has basic features such as encryption and a functioning kill switch. Leak tests were run for all the providers using IPleak.net to ensure they don’t leak any location identifiers.

Content Unblocking

We reviewed each VPN’s unblocking ability by connecting to their servers and trying to unblock streaming providers such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Max, Hulu and BBC iPlayer. 

Usability

We tested how easy it is to install each VPN’s apps and find features. Particular attention was paid to the ease of finding servers and connecting to them. We liked VPNs that have explanations for each feature, which reduces the learning curve for beginners. 

Can You Use a Free VPN for Plex?

You can use a free VPN, but be aware of the dangers and limitations. Some free VPNs are vectors for malware or log and sell your data. Others are downright unusable, with servers that don’t connect and features that don’t work. Even good free VPNs might limit your server network, data and speeds, which can result in a sluggish streaming experience. 

The Best Free VPN for Plex: PrivadoVPN

If you must use a free VPN, choose PrivadoVPN. It has excellent security and privacy credentials, including AES encryption, a kill switch, leak protection and a strict no-logs policy. It’s also great at unblocking many streaming services, including Netflix, Max, Hulu and Disney+. However, it only offers 10GB of data each month. Read our PrivadoVPN review to learn more. 

How to Use a VPN for Plex 

To use a VPN for Plex, you simply have to download a VPN, connect to a server and open the Plex app or website. We’ve fleshed out the steps below with images to help. We’ll use ExpressVPN for this example, but these steps also apply to other VPNs.

  1. Download and Install a VPN

    Purchase the VPN subscription of your choice from the VPN’s website. Using the website or your device’s app store, download the VPN. Follow the installation prompts on your device to set it up.

    download expressvpn
  2. Connect to a VPN Server

    Open your VPN app and connect to your preferred server. Note that to access region-locked content, you’ll have to connect to a server in the region where it’s available. For example, you must connect to a U.S. server to access Netflix U.S.

    connect to an expressvpn
  3. Open Plex and Start Streaming

    Launch the Plex app or website and start streaming content.

    stream plex

How to Remotely Access a Plex Server With a VPN

If you’ve set up a Plex server on a home device and want to access it while you’re away, we recommend using a VPN provider with port forwarding like NordVPN or PIA. These VPNs have built-in NAT firewalls, which stop unauthorized access to your home device. 

Here are the steps to follow to use port forwarding to access your Plex server remotely:

  1. Assign your computer a static IP. In Windows 11, you can do this by going to “settings” > “network and internet” > “properties.” 
  2. Sign into your Plex media server, go to “settings” > “remote access” and note the port number Plex uses for remote access. It should be 32400. 
  3. Forward the port in your router. Consult your router’s manual for instructions on how to set up a port, but in general, you’ll need three pieces of information: WAN/external port, LAN/internal port and the static IP address from your computer. 
  4. Configure the Plex media server to use the forwarded port. To do so, go to “settings” > “server” > “remote access” and enable “manually specify public port.” Enter the WAN/external port you set up and click “apply.” You should now be able to access your Plex media server remotely. 

You can find more details about remotely accessing your Plex server in this port forwarding troubleshooting guide from Plex

Why You Need a VPN for Plex 

You need a VPN for Plex for the following reasons:

  • Unblocking streaming services: Streaming platforms and live TV channels are restricted by copyright to certain countries. Plex allows you to access many streaming services by changing your location to the services’ countries of origin, including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Disney Plus. 
  • Online security: A VPN encrypts online traffic and makes it difficult for third parties to access files stored on your Plex media server. Snoops also can’t see your browsing activity, so they won’t be able to sell your data or use it to deliver targeted ads.
  • Bypass local censorship: If you live in a country that restricts the internet, you can use a VPN to spoof a location outside your national borders and access forbidden content with Plex. 

Final Thoughts

By now, we’re sure you have a clear idea of which VPNs work best for Plex. To recap, ExpressVPN is the best VPN for Plex, with its large server network, reliable unblocking ability, fast speeds and excellent security features. Other cheap and useful alternatives are NordVPN, Surfshark, CyberGhost and Private Internet Access. 

Are you a Plex user, or are you considering signing up? Have you ever used a VPN for Plex or any other streaming service? Which VPN worked best? Do you have any questions we didn’t answer in this article? Share your thoughts and experiences with us in the comment section below. As always, thanks for reading. 

FAQ: VPN for Plex

  • ExpressVPN is the best VPN for Plex because of its large server network, trustworthy unblocking abilities, and excellent security and privacy features.

  • We recommend using a VPN with Plex to access geoblocked streaming services and to keep third parties and snoops away from your Plex media files.

  • Plex might not work with a VPN because the VPN might be malfunctioning. Disconnect and reconnect to see if that solves the problem. Otherwise, contact your VPN’s customer support for help.

  • To use a VPN with Plex, download and install a VPN, connect to a server and open your Plex media server.


Sources:

  1. https://support.plex.tv/articles/202526943-plex-free-vs-paid/ 
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