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How To Enable Remote Access On a Plex Media Server

What is better than watching your favorite content on your home streaming server? Watching it with others! The good news is that this is much easier than you think after enabling remote access on a Plex Media Server.

If you do not know what Plex is, you can read up on what it is and how to set up your Plex Media Server. In short, Plex is the best media streaming service that allows you to store content you own on your server and then enjoy it on almost all devices that you use to consume content.

Enabling remote access on a Plex media server allows you to open up your Plex library so people outside your local network can enjoy it with you. While the process of doing this can seem complicated, it does not have to be if you follow this comprehensive guide on enabling remote access on your Plex media streaming server.

What You Need Before Enabling Remote Access On a Plex Media Server

There are a few requirements before enabling remote access on a Plex Media Server. First, you should have already installed Plex, and it should be running. Plex operates as a client/server software system, meaning you first require server software installed somewhere. 

You can set this up on your desktop PC, even on the same machine where you plan to enjoy your content, or on a more specialized device like a network-attached storage (NAS) unit. Once you select the device, you should set up your Media Server on it.

What is a home streaming server
Set up Plex Media Server first

You also have client software installed on the devices you would like to use to access your Plex library and to consume your content. 

Second, you should already have a Plex account is crucial, and you should be logged in on both your server and client devices. It’s technically possible to install the server without creating an account, but that involves completing extra steps to bypass the account creation process. If you’re uncertain, visit and click “Sign In” to check your account status.

Lastly, make sure your Plex server is connected to a home local network. This arrangement makes it much easier for Plex to recognize and organize your media and to find client devices on your network.

If you are unfamiliar with setting up a media streaming server or Plex, we have in-depth guides on both topics.

Enabling Remote Access On a Plex Media Server

Since the server will try to connect using NAT-PMP or UPnP, you should ensure that your router supports it by checking online or on its manual. If it does, the next thing to do is enable them. If they are already enabled, toggle them on and off and then try connecting again.

Some older routers offer UPnP support but do not work well with new software. In such cases, you can ask the manufacturer for help, look for solutions online, install the latest firmware, or buy a new router if everything else fails.

The next thing you need to do is ensure remote access is enabled. Note that Plex Media Server will try to set up remote access for you under normal circumstances unless you have intentionally disabled it. If you have, go to settings and click “Enable Remote Access” to ask the server to configure it for you. 

If everything goes well, you should see something that resembles the following image.

Success after enabling Remote Access on a Plex Media Server
Success after enabling remote access on a Plex Media Server

However, something may cause the remote access to fail. Do not worry because the solutions for rectifying possible issues are straightforward.

Troubleshooting Remote Access: How to Fix Plex Remote Access Not Working

A common issue people overlook when troubleshooting their Plex remote access not working is their computer software and firewalls. If you have installed a firewall, anti-virus, ad-blocking software, or use a proxy to access the internet, disable them temporarily and then try connecting again. Once connected, you can enable these services.

If this does not work, the next best option is setting up a manual port forward. It might sound like we are entering into networking territory and that might sound scary, but it is not. You only need to follow a few simple steps.

Fixing Plex Remote Access Not Working Using Manual Port Forwarding

The first thing you need to know is where you want to forward the port, which means you need to know the local IP address of the server or computer running your Plex Media Server. You must also ensure that the local IP address does not change so that the remote access on a Plex media server works as expected. There are two ways to do this.

Reserving an IP Address On Your Router

The first option is configuring your router to consistently allocate the same IP address to your server upon connection, which is typically the more streamlined approach. However, providing precise instructions for this task is beyond the scope of our decision because they vary depending on your router, server, and situation.

You can check out this guide on setting up DHCP reservations or this network reservations guide.

Assign a Static IP

Alternatively, you can manually configure your network settings on the server or computer where you have installed Plex Media Server instead of relying on automatic configuration. You can refer to the help resources within your operating system or explore various websites for step-by-step instructions.

Here are resources that can help:

Port Forwarding on The Router

You should complete this step on your router. Since every router is different, you should consult your model’s manual or check online on how to forward a port on a router.

When doing this, you will need to know:

  • The local IP address: This is the IP address of the server or computer running Plex Media Server. You should have this IP address after reserving it or setting a static one on your router
  • The WAN/External Port: This is Port 32400 by default, but you can use any available port from 20,000 to 50,000. Such a wide range is helpful if you have more than one computer connecting to the same server
  • The LAN/Internal Port: This should always be 32400.

Getting your Plex Media Server To Use The Port

Once you have set up port forwarding on your router using the relevant instructions for your model, the next step when enabling remote access on a Plex media server is telling it to use the port forwarding.

Start by checking where you are signed in to your Plex account on the server using the Plex Web App through or locally. Next, go to Settings then Server then Remote Access. You might need to click “Show Advanced” to see all available options.

Next, click the “Manually specify public port checkbox as shown:

Set a public port when enabling Remote Access On a Plex Media Server
Specify the public port

Enter the WAN/External Port you set up on your router and click Apply or Retry if you enter the wrong port.

How to Access Someone Else’s Plex Media Library

If you do not own a Plex media streaming server, a friend or loved one who has enabled remote access on a Plex media server can send you an invite to watch content on theirs. When they do this, they will ask you to accept library access, which is a fancy way of saying they are asking you to accept an invitation to watch content on their server.

There are two ways to accept this access; email and through the Plex Web App

Accepting Plex Library Access Via Email

Once someone shares their server and media library with you, you will receive an email invitation. The email will contain a link that you need to click to accept the invitation. The email should look something like this:

plex invitation email
Plex invitation email

Courtesy: Plex

Clicking the link will take you to Plex’s Sign In/Sign Up page. If you do not have an account, you can use your Google, Facebook, or Apple credentials to create one. If you wish to use your password and email, click “Sign Up With Email” located at the bottom of the page.

sign in into Plex

If you already have a Plex account, clicking the email link will take you to your account.

Accepting Plex Library Access Via Website

There’s another way to accept a Plex library access invite, and that is through the Plex web App. Once you are signed in, go to your settings using the wrench icon at the top of the webpage.

Plex access settings

Click “Manage Library Access” on the menu located on the left after which you can see pending invites under the section named “Library Invitations Received”. You can click the tick beside each invite to accept or the cross to decline.

All accepted invites are added to the “Friends With Library Access” section.

Connect Wherever You Are

Enabling remote access on a Plex media server and accessing it remotely is pretty straightforward because Plex does most of the work for you. However, you might encounter some issues that you need to troubleshoot. Hopefully, you do not have to go through the port forwarding process when enabling remote access on a Plex media server as that can seem daunting for many people. However, following the steps above should help you do this easily.

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