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Top 7 Plex alternatives

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  • 7 min read

Plex is a popular and powerful solution that lets you organize, manage and stream your media files from a central server.

However, Plex is not the only option available. Many other alternatives offer similar or even better features than Plex.

This article will explore the top 7 Plex alternatives and compare them based on their pros and cons.


Emby

Emby is one of the closest competitors to Plex in terms of features and functionality. Emby allows you to stream your media files to various devices, such as smart TVs, web browsers, mobile devices, game consoles and more.

Emby also supports live TV and DVR, parental controls, hardware acceleration and more. Emby has a free version that offers basic features, and a premium version that unlocks more advanced features for a monthly or yearly fee.

Pros

  • Supports a wide range of devices and platforms.
  • Has a user-friendly and customizable interface.
  • Supports plugins and third-party integrations.
  • Has a dedicated community and active development.

Cons

  • The premium version can be expensive for some users.
  • Some features may require manual configuration or troubleshooting.
  • Some users may experience performance issues or bugs.

Jellyfin

Jellyfin is an open-source and free alternative to Plex that aims to provide a similar experience without any limitations or fees. Jellyfin is a fork of Emby that was created after Emby became proprietary software.

Jellyfin allows you to stream your media files to various devices, such as smart TVs, web browsers, mobile devices, game consoles and more. Jellyfin also supports live TV and DVR, parental controls, subtitles, metadata editing, and more.

Pros

  • Completely free and open-source.
  • Supports a wide range of devices and platforms.
  • Has a user-friendly and customizable interface.
  • Supports plugins and third-party integrations.
  • Has a dedicated community and active development.

Cons

  • Some features may be less polished or stable than Plex or Emby.
  • Some features may require manual configuration or troubleshooting.
  • Some users may experience performance issues or bugs.

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Kodi

Kodi is another open-source and free alternative to Plex that is more focused on being a media player than a media server. Kodi allows you to play your media files locally or from network sources, such as SMB, NFS, FTP, UPnP and more.

Kodi also supports live TV and DVR, parental controls, subtitles, and more. Kodi has a huge library of add-ons and skins that let you customize its appearance and functionality.

Pros

  • Completely free and open-source.
  • Supports a wide range of devices and platforms.
  • Has a user-friendly and customizable interface.
  • Supports add-ons and skins for extra features and personalization.
  • Has a huge community and active development.

Cons

  • Does not have a built-in media server feature like Plex or Emby.
  • Requires additional software or hardware to stream media to other devices.
  • Some add-ons or skins may be outdated or incompatible with newer versions of Kodi.
  • Some users may experience performance issues or bugs.

Serviio

Serviio is another free Plex alternative that you can try. Serviio offers free media streaming to your devices (including TVs, Bluray players, gaming consoles, and mobile phones).

While the free version is a go-to for many households, you can opt for the Pro edition for more possibilities for a one-time fee.

The platform runs on Java and is most suitable for various operating systems, including Windows, macOS, and Linux. Moreover, the platform supports Alexa integration. This means that you can control it with just a voice command.

Pros

  • Supports a wide range of devices and platforms.
  • Has a user-friendly and minimalist interface.
  • Supports plugins and third-party integrations.
  • Has a dedicated community and active development.

Cons

  • The pro version can be expensive for some users.
  • Some features may require manual configuration or troubleshooting.
  • Some users may experience performance issues or bugs.

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Universal Media Server (UMS)

Universal Media Server is a free DLNA, UPnP and HTTP/S Media Server and supports Windows, macOS and Linux. It works on various devices such as gaming consoles, Bluray players, TVs, and mobile phones.

The platform harnesses the capabilities of various codecs, including FFmpeg, OpenSubtitles, MEncoder, AviSynth, and VLC, among others, to provide you with the best streaming experience.

UMS also supports live TV and DVR, parental controls, subtitles, metadata editing, hardware acceleration and more. UMS has a simple interface that lets you configure its settings easily.

Pros

  • Completely free and open-source.
  • Supports a wide range of devices and platforms.
  • Has a simple and easy-to-use interface.
  • Supports plugins and third-party integrations.

Cons

  • Some features may be less polished or stable than other platforms.
  • Some features may require manual configuration or troubleshooting.
  • Some users may experience performance issues or bugs.

MediaPortal

MediaPortal is another open-source and free media player and media server software that lets you play and stream your media files to various devices, such as smart TVs, web browsers, and gaming consoles.

MediaPortal has a rich library of plugins and skins that let you customize its appearance and functionality.

Pros

  • Completely free and open-source
  • Supports a wide range of devices and platforms
  • Has a user-friendly and customizable interface
  • Supports plugins and skins for extra features and personalization
  • Has a dedicated community and active development

Cons

  • Does not have a built-in media server feature like Plex or Emby.
  • Requires additional software or hardware to stream media to other devices.
  • Some plugins or skins may be outdated or incompatible with newer versions of MediaPortal.
  • Some users may experience performance issues or bugs.

Stremio

Stremio offers a seamless design which makes it one of the most easy-to-use Plex alternatives. It supports various platforms, such as Android, Windows, macOS, and Linux. Just create a Streamio account and install an addon that you want, and you’re good to go.

You will get 4K HDR support, a diversified content library, and all these on an open-source platform.

Pros

  • Easy to use on all your device.
  • Infinitely extendable video catalogue.
  • Great features to organise your media.

Cons

  • Some add-ons may be illegal or unsafe to use
  • Some add-ons may be outdated or incompatible with newer versions of Stremio
  • Some users may experience performance issues or bugs

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Kumar Hemant

Deputy Editor at Candid.Technology. Hemant writes at the intersection of tech and culture and has a keen interest in science, social issues and international relations. You can contact him here: [email protected]

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