- Plex is an entertainment streaming service that hosts free TV and films and has media uploading and streaming capabilities.
- Plex is free, but the paid Plex Pass gets you advanced features like offline viewing, sharing controls, and discounts on other streaming services.
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Plex is a server that allows you to host and stream digital content. The platform is particularly popular among media creators and digital media hoarders alike.
If you like Plex for its hosting abilities, you’ll probably want to opt for its paid tier, which gives you more sovereignty over your server. However, casual media consumers can also get a lot of mileage out of Plex on its free tier alone.
Here’s what the differences are between the free and paid tiers and how to sign up.
What is in the free version of Plex
Plex also hosts a streaming service, including a partnership with Crackle, allowing you to watch ad-sponsored TV and movies. With a free Plex account, you’ll have access to more than 100 free channels, which you can stream online at any time, and 20,000 on-demand TV and movie titles.
You can also connect your media to Plex and play it back for free on the Plex web platform. That includes photos and music, which Plex will automatically and intuitively sort and organize in a digital library collection upon upload. You can then access and share this media across devices.
For full access to mobile media playback, the Plex mobile app must be unlocked first with an in-app purchase. Mobile access also comes included with a Plex Pass subscription. Otherwise, you’re limited to one-minute previews on mobile.
You can use your Facebook, Gmail, or Apple account to sign up for a free account if you’d rather not register directly with an email and password.
What to know about the premium tier Plex Pass
If you’re running your own Plex server, rather than just invited to access another user’s, the $4.99 a month Plex Pass might be the better option. With it, you can invite other Plex accounts to become a part of your Plex Home, allowing you to easily switch between accounts, as well as restrict what content you share from your server.
For a high-frequency media consumer, the Plex Pass also grants more flexibility than a free Plex account, including the ability to record and replay available live broadcasts with a compatible tuner and digital antenna. You also have offline access to media on your Plex server via Plex Pass for when you don’t have internet access, like on a plane.
Once signed up and logged in, you can navigate to “Go Premium” under your account settings.
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