Use Plex Without Internet

Use Plex Without Internet:- When configuring Plex for media streaming, you’ll notice it necessitates Internet access. This requirement serves for user authentication and additional functionalities.

However, there are scenarios where you might seek to stream media from your Plex server without an Internet connection. Whether due to an outage or unreliable connectivity, accessing your Plex server offline becomes essential. Yet, under these circumstances, traditional streaming may not be feasible.

What is Plex & How it Works?

Plex: Your Personal Media Hub
Plex stands as a robust media server software, empowering users to organize, stream, and enjoy their personal media collection across multiple devices. From videos to images and music, Plex offers a seamless solution for managing diverse media types.

The Power of Self-Hosting
Hosting your own media server, like Plex, offers a sense of autonomy, ensuring complete control over your files without the need to rely on cloud storage. However, accessing your media remotely poses a challenge, typically requiring port forwarding. While setting up port forwarding isn’t overly complex, it does expose your home network to potential security risks.

Introducing Meshnet
Enter Meshnet, a solution that revolutionizes remote media access. By integrating your Plex media server and client devices into a unified virtual network, Meshnet enables secure remote access to your media without exposing your server to external connections.

Your Path to Plex Freedom
In this guide, we’ll walk you through the steps to set up a Plex media server on your desktop devices and leverage Meshnet for secure remote connections. With this setup, you can enjoy your media library from anywhere without compromising your network’s security.

Plex resembles Kodi, another widely-used media center software, albeit with some differences. It consists of two primary components: the Plex Media Server and the Plex Media Player client.

The Media Server organizes media files and facilitates their streaming across various devices. Meanwhile, the Media Player client enables streaming of your media content on your preferred devices.

Typically, the media server operates on a computer, while the player is compatible with smartphones, smart TVs, select video game consoles, and set-top boxes. Plex proves invaluable for individuals with extensive media collections who wish to stream content across multiple devices. Moreover, it offers the convenience of accessing your media library remotely over the Internet.

use plex without internet

Free or cheap – No Internet Access travel Plex server and client setup Go Box

Road trips can be challenging, especially when faced with poor internet connectivity. However, there’s a solution that can provide entertainment for everyone without relying on internet bandwidth: setting up your own Plex server and streaming clients. Here’s how:

Server:

  • Utilize a Raspberry Pi single-board computer as your server. Opt for a Pi with built-in Wi-Fi or use a travel router to handle the Wi-Fi connection.
  • Follow a guide to set up your Raspberry Pi as a wireless access point for seamless connectivit.
  • Alternatively, use a device like the Khadas Vim2 as your Plex server, ensuring it has a gigabit network interface if using a Wi-Fi router.

Wi-Fi Access Point:

  • Choose an affordable travel router with firmware that can be upgraded. Look for features like Gigabit network switches for optimal performance.
  • Consider routers with OpenWRT firmware.

Power:

  • Both the Raspberry Pi and the router can be powered via USB, offering flexibility. Use a 12-volt outlet adapter or a power bank in the car, or a cell phone charger indoors.

Media Storage:

  • Opt for a portable USB drive with sufficient capacity to store media for the trip. A portable USB SSD drive is ideal for low power consumption, noise-free operation, and fast access speeds.
  • Attach the drive securely to the Pi server, ensuring tidy organization during travel.

Plex Clients:

  • Any smartphones or tablets can serve as Plex clients. Consider storing a media streaming stick in your travel kit to connect to TVs at your destination.
  • For an affordable tablet option, Walmart offers the Onn brand tablet for $28, which runs Plex smoothly and supports audio output via headphone jack or Bluetooth.

With this setup, you’ll have a flexible and easy-to-use entertainment solution for your road trip and beyond, without relying on internet connectivity.

Configure Plex Media Server to Allow Offline Access

Plex Authentication Woes
After encountering a frustrating issue with Plex, I turned to Google for a solution. It turns out that while Plex offers seamless login experiences both within and outside your home network, it comes with a drawback – it requires an active internet connection. Even if you’re already logged in on your devices, accessing your Plex server becomes impossible without internet, even when you’re on the same local network. This limitation was exasperating, especially during internet outages.

The Fix
Luckily, there’s a workaround within Plex’s settings. By navigating to the “Settings > Network” page, you can find an option to allow specified network addresses to access Plex without requiring authorization. In this box, you can enter either your entire local network range or specific devices separated by commas. For example, if you have multiple networks in the 192.168.0.0 range like 192.168.10.0 and 192.168.20.0, you can enter 192.168.0.0/255.255.0.0 to cover both ranges.

It’s crucial to use the subnet mask of 255.255.0.0 instead of the CIDR notation like /16 after the IP address. I initially made the mistake of using CIDR notation, which is preferred by firewalls like OPNsense. This guide has been updated to correct that error. With this configuration, you can now access Plex without relying on an internet connection.

use plex without internet


While it’s unfortunate that you need to be aware of and configure this setting before losing internet connectivity, I’m grateful for its existence. It allows Plex to function as a self-hosted system even when the internet is down, which is one of the most significant advantages of hosting a Plex Media Server independently. It would be ideal if Plex defaulted to allowing local access, but perhaps it assumes users prefer a straightforward sign-on process, even if it means sacrificing local access during rare internet outages.

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