What port does Plex Media Server use to stream? How do you set it up for use? How can you enable remote access to your media? All these questions and more will be answered in this Plex Media Server tutorial.
Also see our article How To Use Plex with Roku
Plex Media Server is the work of genius. It collates multiple content libraries and streaming services and allows access to all of them through a single app. Stream from multiple sources to multiple devices, all for free. Once set up, the system is very easy to use but getting it set up can be a bit of a pain.
How does Plex Media Server work?
Plex Media Server tracks and indexes all media within the devices or drives it monitors. It then makes that content available to stream through the Plex app on almost any device. It links to the main Plex Account server to ensure your content remains (fairly) safe and only you or people you allow, to view it.
Setting up a Plex Media Server
Setup is easier than you might think as the server software does most of the heavy lifting. First we need to organize the media on your computer and then install Plex Media Server.
Organize your media by setting up a logical folders, Movies, TV and Music and so on. Place your media inside the corresponding folder, preferably within its own folder so Plex can list them logically.
To set up Plex Media Server:
- Set up a Plex account.
- Download and install the Plex Media Server and the Plex app. Install the media server onto the computer or network storage device you intend to use. Install the Plex app on the device(s) you want to use to view content.
- Start the Plex Media Server and sign in. A browser window will appear for you to sign in and configure the server.
- Follow the wizard to name your server and hit Next.
- Allow remote access when you get to the screen.
- Select Add Library in the next screen and point Plex to the files or drives that contain the media.
- Select Next while the media loads onto Plex.
- Select any channels you want to add and then select Next.
- Select Done at the confirmation screen.
Once the wizard is complete, the Plex Media Server scans the folders you added to the library. It may take a while depending on how much media you add. You can continue with other things while you wait.
If you have issues setting anything up, check out the Plex basic setup wizard guide. It contains everything you need to know.
Set up Plex remote access
Being able to watch Plex from anywhere is part of why it is such a popular media center. To be able to do that, we first need to enable it.
- Log into Plex.
- If you enabled remote access above, skip the next step.
- If you didn’t enable remote access during setup, select Settings in the top right. Select the Server tab and Remote Access on the left. Select Enable Remote Access in the center.
- Open the Plex app on a device and test. The network settings are synced within the app so you need do nothing.
What port does Plex Media Server use to stream?
Depending on your network, you may need to manually open or forward ports to allow remote devices to access Plex Media Server. If you’re having connection issues, make sure the following ports are available through your firewall or forwarded through your router.
- TCP port 32400 for the Plex Media Server
- UDP port 1900 for the Plex DLNA Server
- TCP port 3005 for Plex Companion
- UDP port 5353 for network discovery
- TCP port 8324 for Roku via Plex Companion
- UDP port 32410, 32412, 32413, 32414 for network discovery
- TCP port 32469 for the Plex DLNA Server
You shouldn’t really need to know the ports as Plex takes care of everything. When you fire up your Plex Media Server, your firewall should flag new traffic and give you the option to allow or disallow. As long as you set it to allow Plex traffic, you should have no further configuration to do. If you do have problems with remote access to Plex, check out this troubleshooting guide.
Plex Media Server is great in many aspects but ease of use is definitely one of its strengths. The ability to stream any kind of media from any device to almost anywhere is pretty good too.
Know of any Plex tricks to get more out of it? Had any issues getting it set up? Tell us about it below!