With Plex, you can stream your media anywhere, on any device. But without a VPN, your ISP will know exactly which Plex channels you’re watching at home. If you’re streaming movies and using unofficial Plex channels, you might not like the sound of that. To keep you protected, we’ve got the details on the best VPNs for Plex.
The best VPNs for Plex let you watch any channel without your IP address being exposed to ISPs or third parties. Our cheapest recommended VPN costs just £1.02/month, hosting over 1,000 servers around the world.
To see which VPNs for Plex we recommend, have a read of our guide. You’ll find more details on the power of Plex, pricing plans and popular VPNs that will keep you anonymous at all times.
See also: The best VPNs for Smart TVs in 2019
What is Plex?
In simple terms, Plex is a service that lets you stream video content to your smartphone, tablet or smart TV by running a media server from your computer. It supports loads of popular file types covering movies, music files and photos. You can run a Plex Media Server on Windows, OS X and Linux.
To stream content using Plex, you’ll need to follow these three steps:
- Install and run the Plex Media Server on a computer where all your media is stored.
- Install and open the Plex App on your smartphone, tablet, smart TV, streaming device, game console, or PC
- Watch content as it streams from the Plex Media Server you prepared.
As Plex supports unofficial channels, you can download Plex plugins to get instant access to your favourite streaming services and websites on your devices. Official Plex channels include Twitch, Pandora, Comedy Central, Reddit Videos and CBS. If you go down the unofficial route, you might run into Crunchyroll, Dropbox and Live Leak.
If you’ve downloaded a movie on your computer, you can stream that movie to the smart TV in your living room through the Plex app. But depending on the content you’re watching, you might not want your ISP tracking your IP address. A VPN can solve that problem for you.
Is Plex free?
The Plex website explains that the basic functionality of Plex is completely free. The media you ‘own’ is yours and the Plex Media Server doesn’t cost money to set up. If you pay for Plex, you’ll be able to watch and record over-the-air broadcasts available in your area.
Arguably the most attractive option is to use the free build of Plex with the added cover of a VPN. That way, you can download content to your PC and stream it to your other devices without anybody knowing about it. VPNs will also let you access streaming services that would usually be blocked in certain parts of the world.
How safe is Plex?
It depends what you’re using it for. If you’re sticking strictly to official Plex channels, you won’t have a problem.
However, downloading illegal content to your PC (a pirated film, for example) and viewing it on your smart TV could get you into serious trouble. We don’t condone this.
With a VPN, you can bypass location-based restrictions on Plex and watch any channel from anywhere in the world. The sky’s the limit.
Many popular channels on Plex are geo-restricted, so you’ll only be able to access them if you’re living in certain countries. But with a VPN, you can bypass those restrictions and watch every channel from anywhere in the world.
If you’re looking for a safe way to access Plex using a VPN, see our list of the best VPNs for Plex:
We’ve got more details on each of these VPNs below. Whatever your budget, you’ll find a service to suit you perfectly.
Best VPNs for Plex
If you want to use Plex without your ISP being able to see which channels you’re streaming from, partner up with ExpressVPN. This is one of the most popular VPNs around, treating every customer to complete online anonymity.
ExpressVPN will help you watch Plex content hosted on channels that would usually be geo-restricted. A single subscription to this reliable, trusted VPN will also keep you protected (and anonymous) on smartphones, tablets and PCs.
At the time of writing, ExpressVPN hosts servers in over 150 locations around the world. Depending on which Plex channels you’re hoping to stream, you can dart around the world map and pick the best ExpressVPN server for you. Unlike your ISP, ExpressVPN will never log your traffic data, which means there’s no information floating around that could help identify you. Your IP address is hidden at all times.
A network kill switch built into ExpressVPN adds yet another layer of protection. If the VPN connection you’re using with Plex drops unexpectedly, your network data will still be hidden from your ISP.
Run into a problem setting up ExpressVPN with Plex? No problem – every ExpressVPN user has access to an around-the-clock live chat service. ExpressVPN’s team of technical experts are on-hand to help you configure your home setup with ease.
Signing up for an Ivacy subscription is a brilliant way of bypassing geo-restricted channels on Plex. It’s the cheapest VPN on our list but still offers all the features you’d want – unlimited server switching, hidden IP addresses and technical support.
Ivacy has over 1,000 servers around the globe. You’ll be able to pick any of them depending on the Plex channel you’re running. This VPN also uses real-time threat detection to warn you if you’re downloading potential malware on your PC.
Every Ivacy customer can use this trusted service on up to five gadgets at a time. That makes it a good pick if you’re looking to keep your whole family protected online. A strict ‘no logs’ policy guarantees your privacy – your ISP can’t track which channels you’re watching on Plex.
While Ivacy works perfectly with Plex, it’ll also let you access other streaming services from abroad. Netflix, Amazon Prime and BBC iPlayer are all supported. Usually, BBC iPlayer would be locked outside of the UK, but with Ivacy, that’s not the case.
Like ExpressVPN, Ivacy uses a network kill switch to keep you hidden from prying eyes even if your connection drops temporarily.
With NordVPN, you can view whatever you want through Plex without worrying about a warning letter from your ISP. At last count, NordVPN boasts over 5,700 servers dotted around in 60 different countries.
While your ISP may put limits on how much video content you can stream and download, NordVPN won’t do that. A monthly NordVPN subscription means unlimited downloads and no connection throttling.
All of NordVPN’s servers are protected with military-grade encryption. Your data will be hidden from nasty third parties regardless of which Plex channels you’re watching in the living room. Meanwhile, NordVPN’s CyberSec feature blocks websites and services that could infect your device with data-grabbing malware.
NordVPN is a breeze to use with Plex, but if you’re struggling to set it up for the first time, use the NordVPN live chat service. Agents are available at all hours, so you’ll be up and running on Plex in no time.
Over 3 million people around the world have signed up to PureVPN. It’s a top-rated, reliable VPN that keeps your IP address hidden 24/7. PureVPN has servers in over 140 countries, so even if you’re abroad, you’ll be able to connect in seconds.
PureVPN has several different pricing packages, but whatever option you go for, you’ll be able to use all of the company’s servers right away. You can switch between servers as many times as you like, which is great news if you’re using a Plex channel that’s geo-restricted.
If it’s good value for money you’re after, PureVPN delivers. A single subscription lets you use up to 5 devices simultaneously. This VPN will run on your home PC and streaming sticks including the Google Chromecast. PureVPN doesn’t put limits on how much content you can stream or download.
The dedicated PureVPN smartphone app will hide your IP address if you’re streaming on the move. It also has the power to secure public Wifi hotspots, which are usually prone to hackers.
Read next: The best VPNs for SolarMovie