Are you looking for a Plex alternative? All these complications bring us to substantial research for another best alternative of Plex regarding convenient Features, UI & accessibility, Costs, Streaming & management. Favorably, there are tons of media server apps available in the market. However, not all provide the best features. But don’t worry, substantial hard work has been done for you and cherry-picked the most promising media servers. So, in this article, we present to you the best Plex alternatives that you should use in 2020.
What is Plex?
Plex launched as a freeware project in 2007; It is a media server solution that takes all of your media (TV Shows, Movies, Music, Pictures) from all sources regardless of origin and organizes them on your part, downloads information (metadata) about it to what is called the “Plex Library” which is a database of all of your media.
This way, Plex provides you with one place to find, access & enjoy all the media that matters to you in one app, on any device. This offers you the ability to do your own personal Netflix (or Spotify) service. Plex has an impressive range of features that makes it emblem & standout from other media servers.
Visit Website: Plex
Then Why Alternatives?
However, as everything comes with a price & drawbacks, Plex has it too. Its awesome features aren’t free & you have to pay for the real deal. Its free version does not include Parental Controls, Live TV, Premium Music & its Lyrics, Cloud Plugins, Mobile Sync DVR, Multiple Users, Camera Upload, and more. All these significant features are included only in the Premium version (requires Plex Pass). Plex is hard to tweak & less customizable.
5 of the Best Plex Alternatives
The top Plex alternative is Kodi. Formerly known as XBMC (Xbox Media Center), Kodi is said to be the ultimate entertainment hub & open-source media server. Well, given its popularity, we can’t deny it. Plex is just the split-off of XBMC. Kodi traditionally can do all sorts of media server stuff from organizing to streaming media. The feature that gives it the upper edge is that it can play the majority of video & audio formats which gives freedom to play all sorts of your favorite media stored locally or online.
The clean material UI enables you to organize & categorize your content according to genre & add sections the way you want. This Plex alternative collects metadata from the web to provide detailed information about the user’s content automatically. The personal slideshow feature brings more fun viewing the pictures & sharing items. The complete customizations give the user the power to personalize the app as per your will & need. It even advances further with a 10-foot UI easing your navigation through TV & other devices.
Kodi is free of charge and is platform-independent. Unique “add-ons” is the biggest reason its popularity among users enhances its potential both in functionalist & customizations depending on your needs. Thus Kodi is a tough competitor & best alternative to Plex.
- Free, open-source & platform-independent
- Full-on customisation & 10-foot UI
- Unique add-on integration
- Complicated multi-user setup
- Less polished user-friendly interface & prone to piracy
- Difficult to share contents across platforms
Compatible Platforms :
Windows, Android, iOS & macOS, Linux, Raspberry Pi, Amazon Fire TV, Nvidia Shield, Xbox, and others.
Visit Website: KODI
The next contender of best Plex alternatives is Emby. Emby, formerly Media Browser, is a media server created to organize. You can stream videos and audio contents on various devices with its elegant, efficient & straightforward user interface. Emby now is closed-sourced, but some of its open components will be moved to plugins.
Unlike Plex or Kodi, Emby doesn’t have a free version & hence is a premium service (Emby Premiere) which seems modest compared to services it provides that aren’t included as standard in alternatives. One of these fascinating features is Alexa’s support which enables user command contents through Amazon Echo on Emby.
One of its distinctive features is Auto- organization, ensuring that your media content is organized & maintained smartly in the right order so that you spend your time enjoying service instead of organizing your content. In addition to this, the Real-Time conversion element offers you to stream on any device and even share your data by inviting others to access the same.
Furthermore, it offers numerous features like parental control, including controlling sessions limitation & access authorization, cloud & folder synchronization, live TV without latency issues, and multiple platform assistance. All these features raise the bar & its reputation as one of the best Plex’s alternatives. Emby also comes with user management & data protection services like backup & restore functionality.
- Alexa support
- Auto-organization ,Real-time conversion & sharing
- Parental Control & Cloud Synchronization
- Data protection feature
- Essential features in Emby Premiere only
- Remote access is not as good
- Less extension & personalization functionality
Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux, Web, Apple TV, Android TV, Smart TV, Amazon Fire TV, Roku, NAS & docker platforms
Visit Website: EMBY
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Another option for Plex alternatives is “Serviio”. Serviio is a well-known freemium media server app letting you organize, share & stream your media files on any devices (eTV set, Bluray player, games console or mobile phone) connected to your home network. To further enrich this capability, there’s a paid Pro Edition. Serviio is based on Java technology; therefore, it runs the majority of platforms.
It is best known for its reliability to organize the entire media content at one place flawlessly perfectly. It ensures that the media management task remains a comfortable experience for you. Like Emby, Serviio also offers Alexa support which helps you command & virtually streams media.
You can stream the media content from your system or online on the Serviio console after being installed. It also enables access to media content from Serviio localhost. The streaming is only limited to DLNA devices connected to the same network. This adaptability brings Serviio into the Plex alternative. The free version of the app doesn’t allow remote access, and therefore, you have to invest in a real deal.
- Convenient Web interface
- Alex support
- Reliable transcoding
- Remote access
- Difficult to set up
- No iOS available
Windows, macOS, Linux, NAS Devices games consoles and TV sets
Visit Website: Serviio
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4. Universal Media Server (UMS)
The next competitor for the best Plex alternative is “Universal Media Server”, shortly UMS. Like other competitors, Universal Media Server is an open-source program having its roots in the PlayStation because it’s a split of a fork of PS3 developed by SubJunk in 2012.
It is a DLNA, UPnP & HTTP/S Media Server achieving support on a wide range of devices. Owing to this versatility, UMS marked its rank as the best Plex alternatives. Though UMS has a blunt UI unlike Plex & also quite complicated to set-up, it provides various user-friendly features for managing media effortlessly.
It brings potent community support which ensures regular updates and great transcoding ability powered by FFmpeg, MEncoder, MediaInfo, OpenSubtitles, and VLC adding support to lots of media formats. Despite all these features, UMS lacks remote access. This Plex alternative also offers a fast browsing web interface expanding your access to plugins like last.FM, SoundCloud & more services which adds another star.
- Free & open-source
- Potent transcoding ability & regular community support
- Platform independent & majority media format support
- Fast Web browser interface & plugins
- Complicated setup & blunt UI
- Lacks remote access option
- Limited plugins
Windows, macOS, Linux, smart TVs, NAS Devices & consoles
Visit Website: UNIVERSAL MEDIA SERVER
Last but worth mentioning is Stremio, yet another intriguing feature-rich Plex alternative. Launched back in 2015 by Bulgarian start-up, Stremio galloped its reputation among movie & TV fans with its enticing features like easy to use UI & integrated add-ons. Like its competitors, it provides all traditional functions from organizing to streaming media content in any device.
Here’s a quote from Stremio- “Stremio will never be as customizable and feature-rich as Kodi and Plex, but it is significantly easier to use.” which simply implies its real focus to offer users with easy to use content discovery & organization. This makes it a different & worthy Plex alternative.
Stremio also offers the functionality of integrated add-ons, including video-on-demand services like Netflix, Hotstar, Amazon Prime, etc. It’s entirely free service but needs a paid subscription to access integrated add-ons.
By incorporating various streaming services, it provides a notable overview of media content & price comparison in addition to showing status (like release date, episode timing, etc.) of anticipated content owing to inbuilt calendar features. This gives appellation as one of the best Plex alternatives.
- Easy setup & UI (clean & simple)
- Integrated add-ons of video-on-demand services
- Inbuilt Calendar Function
- Less manageable official add-ons
- No function for image & music management
- Less customization
Windows, Android, macOS, iOS, Linux, & Amazon Fire Stick
Visit Website: STREMIO
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Summing up – Best Plex Alternatives
So, here are all the popular plex alternatives in the market. Similar to Plex, you can employ them to organize, manage, play, stream & enjoy your favorite content on different platforms at any time anywhere. Plex may be at par on some points, but Kodi, Embey & others also possess features to counter Plex.
With these fine apps up your alley, we expect you to choose the best Plex alternative suitable as per your device compatibility, streaming capability & your personal preference of features. So which Plex alternative you prefer best for your needs?