Unlocking region-locked content on Plex and securing your Plex server from potential attacks is made possible with a Virtual Private Network (VPN) but here comes the query “Can Plex work with a VPN?“, The answer is Yes and we have curated a list of the top VPN services that works with Plex and a detailed guide on how to use a VPN with Plex.
Plex is a versatile streaming device that enables you to access your media library from anywhere around the globe. By setting up your own personal Plex server, you can enjoy your favorite content while on the move. Additionally, similar to Kodi, Plex offers various add-ons or “channels” like BBC iPlayer, Pandora, Comedy Central, Crackle, and Crunchyroll.
However, these channels often have content restricted to specific regions, limiting access to users from other countries. By using the best VPN for Plex, you can conceal your Plex server’s IP address and encrypt your streaming data. This ensures a secure connection, protecting you from potential eavesdroppers and hackers. Furthermore, with the assistance of best VPN service, you can fully experience Plex’s remarkable features and broaden your streaming options beyond the usual offerings.
Why You Should Use a VPN for Plex
Using a VPN for Plex can greatly enhance your streaming experience by providing access to geo-restricted content, blocking trackers and ads, preventing ISP monitoring, and allowing you to continue watching Plex shows while traveling. Here’s why you need a VPN for Plex in detail:
- Access geo-restricted content: Plex libraries in different countries have exclusive content that is only available in those regions. With a VPN, you can change your virtual location and unblock all Plex libraries worldwide, giving you access to a wider range of content.
- Block trackers and ads: The free version of Plex is often filled with ads that can be intrusive and even pose security risks. By using a VPN with an ad blocker, you can eliminate pop-ups and enjoy uninterrupted streaming on Plex.
- Prevent ISP monitoring: A VPN encrypts your internet traffic, preventing your ISP from monitoring your online activity, including your Plex usage and browsing history. This ensures your privacy and protects your data from being tracked.
- Watch Plex shows while traveling: When traveling abroad, you can use a VPN to maintain access to your regular Plex shows. By connecting to a VPN server in your home country, you can bypass any location restrictions and enjoy your favorite content even when you’re away.
By choosing the best VPN for Plex, you can unlock the full potential of the streaming service, enhance your privacy and security, and enjoy seamless streaming from anywhere in the world.
5 Best VPNs for Plex [In-Depth Analysis – 2023]
Finding the best VPN for use with Plex isn’t a walk in the park. This is why we tested 40+ VPN services, after which we listed the best options below:
1. ExpressVPN – Best VPN for Bypassing Plex’s Geo-blocks
ExpressVPN is one of the best VPN for Plex, with a super-fast connection and 3000+ servers in 105 countries and 25 server locations in US. This makes it simply unbeatable for Plex users and those who enjoy any other kind of streaming. It’s lightning-fast, so you can use it for other non-streaming purposes too!
Want to get the best Plex remote access VPN? ExpressVPN provides a port forwarding feature, meaning you can use the service to remotely access your Plex server. ExpressVPN is also considered as the best remote access VPN.
In our testing, we found out this VPN performs an excellent job of reducing lag. We got Plex unblocked and could access the CBC channel without any interruptions and buffering issues. Moreover ExpressVPN, with its remarkable unblocking capabilities and super fast servers makes it the best VPN for Hollywood Suite in USA.
Right off the bat, ExpressVPN is super-fast. No other VPN even comes close to ExpressVPN when it comes to speed. Due to its lightning-fast speed, it’s also one of the best streaming VPNs as well. When we conducted an ExpressVPN speed test on a connection of 100 Mbps, we got a downloading speed of 87.78 Mbps and an uploading speed of 42.22 Mbps.
Apart from Plex, you can also access popular sites including Netflix, Hulu, Hotstar, ITV, SonyLIV, and HBO Max with ExpressVPN.
Moreover, Plex with ExpressVPN is compatible with all major operating systems and devices, including macOS, Windows, Android, iOS, Router, PS4, Xbox, Chromebook, and more. Thanks to its easy setup guides and MediaStreamer feature, it only took us a few minutes to set up ExpressVPN on Kodi. Furthermore, it allows you to connect 5 devices simultaneously.
ExpressVPN provides military-grade encryption and has a no-logs policy, so you can be sure that none of your Plex activity is stored anywhere. It also offers a kill switch, DNS leak protection, and split tunneling.
In short, the ExpressVPN Plex combo is simply fantastic. ExpressVPN cost $6.67/mo (Black Friday Deal: Grab 3 Free Months + 49% OFF 12-Month Plan) it might be expensive but it includes a 30-day money-back guarantee. It also provides 24/7 live chat support. Also, mobile users have the advantage of using ExpressVPN free trial for 7 days including all the features.
But that’s not all; in fact, tons of other amazing features are covered in our exclusive ExpressVPN review.
- Unblocks Plex media player Live TV
- Blazing-fast speed for smooth streaming
- Strong encryption and solid privacy
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Strict no-logs policy
- Slightly more expensive as compared to other VPNs
2. Surfshark – Budget-friendly Plex VPN
Surfshark is the most budget-friendly VPN for Plex that will not poke a hole in your pocket. You can get the price for as low as $1.99/mo (Get 86% + 3 Months FREE on 2-Year Plan) with all the advanced security and streaming features.
Surfshark for Plex offers 3200+ servers in 100 countries and 600+ servers in US, no bandwidth caps for HD Plex streaming, and excellent support to bypass geo-restricted content for all your devices.
We tested this VPN with Plex by connecting to its New York server and can confirm that it is reliable and fast and we got Plex unblocked in seconds. It has been the best experience for us to stream videos online with Surfshark.
While doing the Surfshark speed test, we can tell that the VPN is quite fast. On our 100 Mbps connection, it delivered a downloading speed of 81.32 Mbps and an upload speed of 76.12 Mbps.
What’s more impressive is that besides Plex, Surfshark will help you access popular streaming sites and gaming platforms like Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Channel 4, and Hotstar in US.
Surfshark’s feature of allowing unlimited simultaneous connections makes it the best VPN for multiple devices. It efficiently works with many different devices and operating systems. You can use Surfshark with routers, Kodi, Xbox, Playstation, Roku, Android, iOS, Mac, Windows, Smart TVs, and more.
Despite the low Surfshark price, its security features ensure excellent protection while you access Plex media content worldwide. Speaking of features, Surfshark has you covered with best-in-class 256-bit encryption, kill switch, and zero log policy. The Surfshark Clean Web and Whitelister feature make sure you have flawless streaming over Plex. One reroutes your traffic on specific apps/websites and the other one removes pop-ups ads and banners while streaming.
You can also have 24/7 live chat support
Interested in knowing more about this VPN? Make sure you read our exclusive Surfshark VPN review.
- Unblocks Plex US
- Fastest with WireGuard
- Allows unlimited multi-logins
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Clean Web for ad-free streaming
- Strict no-logs policy
- Limited P2P servers for torrenting
- No port forwarding tool
3. NordVPN – Most Secure Plex VPN
NordVPN is the best Plex VPN to get if you want maximum security while streaming. Its apps are feature-packed and offer obfuscation, DoubleVPN, kill switch, and more.
Its 5500+ servers in 60 countries and 1970+ servers in US, don’t only offer superior geo-unblocking capabilities but also substantially faster streaming speeds.
We connected to its Atlanta server on our test and could access restricted Plex channels within a few seconds, that means NordVPN get us Plex unblocked in seconds. We watched 80s Party and Mystery Alley without interruptions, without any interuption.
As per our NordVPN speed test, the VPN offers super-fast speeds for streaming Plex. On our connection of 100 Mbps, the VPN delivered a downloading speed of 86.18 Mbps and an uploading speed of 42.13 Mbps. Using these speeds, we found that NordVPN improved our internet connection speeds and reduced lag when streaming videos on Plex.
Moreover, you can bypass geo-blocks and stream from popular streaming providers such as Netflix US, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Vudu, and Amazon Prime Video with NordVPN.
NordVPN is compatible with many devices and operating systems, including Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, and Windows. You can also set up NordVPN on FireStick, Chromebook, Roku, Smart TVs, and Kodi..
Other than that, NordVPN offers great privacy features like unbreakable 256-bit AES encryption, zero log policy, DNS leak protection, and a lot more.
You can get this fastest VPN for $3.99/mo (Get 57% Off + 3 Months FREE on 2-Year Plan). All of its subscription plans offer a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try NordVPN’s free trial yourself risk-free to check its features before using it with Plex. Incase you don’t find it suitable, cancel NordVPN subscription and get your full refund back.
Read out our NordVPN review to explore more about its benefits.
- Unblocks American Plex and other Plex libraries
- Works well with other streaming services
- Threat protection to remove ads
- Fastest speeds with NordLynx
- Easy-to-use apps
- Available for all platforms
- Windows app is sluggish
- Double encryption does tend to slow things down
4. IPVanish – Powerful and Reliable Plex VPN
IPVanish is one of the most reliable and robust VPNs for Plex. With its next-gen servers, unblocking capabilities, and security, it ensures you the best service possible on any VPN.
With 2000+ servers in 75+ locations and 18 server locations in US, IPVanish allows you to unblock plex channels anywhere in the world.
We tried out IPVanish to see if it could unblock Plex, and it worked well than we expected. The channel ‘80s Party’ started playing immediately when we connected to its Ashburn server.
When conducting an IPVanish speed test, the VPN offered super-fast speeds. Despite that, the VPN could not beat the speeds of ExpressVPN, On a 100 Mbps connection, we got a downloading speed of 86.75 Mbps and an uploading speed of 73.67 Mbps.
Moreover, you can access all major streaming services with IPVanish, including Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime, ESPN, Sling TV, BBC iPlayer, and more.
You will never face compatibility issues when using IPVanish on various devices and operating systems, whether it’s Windows, Mac, Android, Chromebook, or iOS. Also, you can connect unlimited devices simultaneously.
The VPN service also offers features like an Automatic Kill Switch, Split Tunneling, and DNS protection, making it super secure.
IPVanish has one of the cheapest pricing plans, which makes it the best cheap VPN for Plex. It is available for $3.33/mo and also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee to users for testing the service. You can also get an IPVanish free trial for 7 days on mobile devices.
Learn more about features available in different price plans in our detailed IPVanish review.
- Effective no logs policy
- Offers a wide range of security features
- Offers a wide variety of server locations
- Can connect up to unlimited devices simultaneously
- Headquartered in the US
- Can’t always access Netflix
5. CyberGhost – User-Friendly VPN for Plex for Newbie Users
CyberGhost is a user-friendly VPN for Plex. Its easy-to-use VPN apps for Plex that certified UI experts have designed to ensure that even newbies can easily use this VPN.
With 9700+ servers in 91 countries and 1353 servers in US, you should have no issue watching even the hardest to unblock content. We tested CyberGhost for Plex by connecting to the best Plex server, and it provided access to our favorite channels within no time. Furthermore, the connection was secure and stable.
One thing you’re absolutely going to enjoy about CyberGhost is its speed. Lag is pretty much non-existent, which makes for a rather pleasant streaming experience. In our CyberGhost speed test, it delivered a downloading speed of 75.47 Mbps and an uploading speed of 69.34 Mbps on a 100 Mbps connection.
Furthermore, you are not limited to streaming solely from your Plex library. CyberGhost VPN features servers that are specialized for streaming services such as Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, and others.
CyberGhost is compatible with all popular operating systems and devices, including Android, iOS, Windows, Chromebook, Roku, Smart TVs, and FireStick. This means that you can connect to any device and enjoy streaming Plex easily.
In addition to that, CyberGhost offers a no-logs policy, strong 256-bit encryption, and an automatic kill switch. It also offers DNS leak protection to ensure that your IP doesn’t leak to anyone.
CyberGhost, the final best VPN for Plex, is available for just $2.11/mo and offers an extensive refund policy of 45-days. Best of all, you can also try CyberGhost’s free trial so you can try out their service before committing to it.
In case Cyberghost not working with your Plex device, reach out to its customer service which is available 24/7 via live chat or email.
Our CyberGhost VPN review details the features and benefits of this VPN! Check it out.
- Powerful encryption
- Handy kill switch
- User-friendly VPN app for Plex
- Access restricted content on Plex
- Blocks malicious ads
- Fully encrypted internet with a free trial
- 7 simultaneous connections
- Not as speedy as the rest of the VPNs.
Methodology: How to Choose the Best VPN for Plex
We evaluate each VPN in-depth, so you can be confident that whichever one you choose is safe, secure, and performant. Here are some factors on which we examine Plex VPNs:
- Port forwarding feature: This feature lets you access Plex even when you are away from home. It allows you to connect to your home server remotely, but only a few VPN providers offer port forwarding. We tested all our listed VPNs for this feature and ranked ExpressVPN at the top for Plex VPN port forwarding support.
- Speed: It’s essential to look for a high-speed VPN to watch videos on Plex without buffering or loading time. We ran download speed tests on each VPN to find those with minimal ping and lag.
- Security: A good VPN does not compromise your safety while browsing and streaming online. All our mentioned providers have top-notch security features and meet encryption standards. We also tested the VPNs for a variety of data leaks.
- Streaming: The best VPN for Plex should be good enough to let you stream region-locked content. Thankfully, all our recommended VPNs work well with various streaming services, such as Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Prime Video, HBO Max, and Disney+.
- Server network: A VPN with more server locations allows you to shift to your preferred location. With several servers to choose from, slower speeds won’t be an issue anymore. We only selected the best VPNs for Plex servers offering a wide variety of locations worldwide.
- Customer Support: Timely assistance helps in gaining users trust. All the VPNs we have mentioned offer efficient customer support via live Chat and email 24/7.
- Device Compatibility: A VPN for Plex should support multiple operating systems so that you can install Plex on various devices. We tested VPNs by installing them on Windows, iOS, Android, Mac, and Linux, as well as other major streaming devices. Our recommended VPNs are compatible with all these devices.
Plex Installation Guide on Different Platforms
Under this heading we’ve covered simple Plex installation guides for your physical and virtual routers.
Configure a VPN on your virtual router to use Plex
This is the preferred choice for most people and will reduce the risk of exposing your private information. A virtual router functions like your smartphone’s tethering feature.
You can connect any device to your virtual router instead of your regular Wi-Fi after setting up a VPN on the virtual router.
All you have to do is to create a Wi-fi hotspot on your laptop, connect to the VPN, and then connect to Plex from that hotspot. This will help the VPN server route all the Plex traffic.
Configure a VPN on your wi-fi router to use Plex
Setting up a VPN on a Wi-Fi router can be more complex and might affect the router’s performance if not done accurately. Hence, proceed with caution.
You’ll need a VPN-compatible router firmware. Log into your router dashboard by typing 192.168.0.1 or 192.168.1.1 into your URL bar and enter your credentials. If you’re unsure what these are, contact your ISP or the owner of the network, or Google. Look around for VPN settings once you have logged into the dashboard settings.
If you’re running a Plex server on your router, you’ll need to forward the appropriate ports through the NAT firewall if you want Plex remote access.
If you find out your router doesn’t support VPNs and you can’t find one that does, don’t give up hope. You may need to replace the firmware with DD-WRT or Tomato, both free and open source and compatible with a wide range of Wi-Fi routers.
Ensure you get the correct build for your model type to work with your router. Moreover, you can also purchase a pre-flashed router from the VPN provider, saving you the time and hassle of updating firmware.
In case you need detailed step-by-step instructions, you can use our setting up a VPN on router guide.
How do I remote access Plex server with VPN?
A VPN can make things complicated if you own a Plex server and want to access it remotely. Most VPNs offer built-in NAT firewalls that safeguard unsolicited requests from reaching any device. In simple words, you’ll be blocked by a VPN if you try accessing Plex from a remote place.
If you want to bypass this issue, then you’ll have to sacrifice your security. The most straightforward option is to access Plex through a VPN with port forwarding support. VPNs like ExpressVPN and PrivateVPN both have seamless port forwarding capabilities, tailored for remote access, with which you can use the NAT firewall to open a port and let unsolicited requests in. Once you open the correct port, you’ll be able to access Plex through an encrypted tunnel from anywhere worldwide.
However, Plex needs both a client and a server for streaming. You can set the server up on any macOS, Windows, Linux, or NAS device that can be connected to the internet, so you can use the Plex app to stream content on other devices. Plex offers client apps for iOS, MacOS, Android, Fire TV, Windows, Xbox One and 360Linux, Windows Mobile, PS4, Roku, Chromecast, and more.
Can You Use a Free VPN for Plex?
Yes, you can use a free VPN to stream Plex channels, but these VPNs have many limitations. Some free VPNs will restrict data and bandwidth, while others may limit server selection or sell your data to third parties for marketing. They lack tunneling protocols and do not have strict no-logging policies. If you’re still looking for a free VPN then we would recommend you to use Windscribe as it is the best free VPN for Mac along with many other operating systems like Windows, Android, etc for you to stream Plex.
Long story short, free VPNs are not worth using with Plex. However, an effective Plex VPN bypass these restrictions and unlocks content that would otherwise be unavailable. The better option is to opt for a premium VPN with a money-back guarantee and a full range of features, like ExpressVPN. This is the best VPN for Plex servers that gives you 30 days to decide if the service is right for you, so you can see just how many streaming services it will unblock.
Plex Not Working with a VPN? Quick Fixes
There have been reports of users who were unable to use their VPNs to access Plex. This means that any exclusive country’s content even after connecting to a VPN server. If you’re facing a similar issue, then these can be the potential reasons:
Here are a few quick solutions to fix these issues:
Plex DNS Proxy
Smart DNS or DNS proxy is another way to bypass geo-restrictions and unblock content. However, a DNS proxy only does this by using DNS requests, unlike a VPN which encrypts all your traffic and passes it through a remote server.
A DNS proxy replaces the DNS servers provided by your ISP with personal ones. Various streaming devices don’t support VPNs, but they do support proxies. But, you need to know that even though DNS proxies are a solid option for unblocking content, they do not offer the same level of security and encryption that you get with a VPN.
ExpressVPN offers a MediaStreamer (Smart DNS) feature that allows you to use its streaming-optimized DNS servers independently. If the device you own supports Smart DNS, then you can enter your chosen DNS server in its settings.
FAQs – Best VPN for Plex
Can we remotely access Plex with VPN?
Yes! It is possible to remotely access Plex with a VPN. but you must carefully select the VPN provider, as some of them do not support Plex. ExpressVPN, on the other hand, is perfectly compatible with the media player and allows you to enjoy a throttle-free, private, and unlimited streaming experience.
What VPN works best with Plex?
ExpressVPN is one of the most popular and best VPNs for Plex in the industry; users love that due to its ability to support multiple platforms. With this VPN, you can install Plex on all your operating systems – plus, it also supports all old and new Windows versions.
Does Plex work with ExpressVPN?
Yes, ExpressVPN works best with Plex. It provides fast and reliable speed for Plex and other devices. It effectively removes restrictions from all major streaming services, including Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime, providing you with smooth access to different content.
Does Surfshark work with Plex?
Yes, Surfshark works with Plex all thanks to the WireGuard tunneling protocol and 3200+ servers in 100+ countries, get ready for the highest video quality. Just like any wonderful VPN service, Surfshark ensures that you can watch Plex content on almost any device
Does NordVPN work with Plex?
Yes, NordVPN can work with Plex. NordVPN is a popular VPN service that provides secure and private internet access. It allows you to route your internet traffic through a remote server, effectively masking your IP address and encrypting your data.
Should you use a VPN with Plex?
Yes, you must use a VPN with Plex. You can access a ton of fresh content on Plex because it will unblock geo-restricted content. Since some of these services are covered in malware that steals personal data. A VPN will protect you and your information while you stream Plex remotely.
Is it legal to use a VPN for Plex?
Yes, it’s legal to use a VPN with Plex in most cases. Even though streaming platforms don’t encourage their consumers to use VPNs, it’s absolutely legal to use one with Plex and access geo-restricted platforms.
Plex is a versatile media player that offers a great way to access your media collection from anywhere in the world. With a VPN, you can take advantage of all the great features of Plex, including accessing region-locked channels and protecting your streaming data with added security and privacy.
Don’t let geographic restrictions limit your streaming options – try using the best VPN for Plex
If you ask us, then we’d recommend ExpressVPN for Plex, all hails to its commendable video streaming capabilities, fast speeds, etc.