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It’s time to build your own Beast Plex Server.

Plex Media Server lets you stream and share your movie and music collection just like Netflix and Hulu. Plex servers can be built by anyone.

You can build your own Plex server. You can build your own Plex server.

Computer that runs Plex Media Server

The computer that runs Plex software, manages media files, and connects to the internet via wired connections is the most important component of your Plex server.

You can make any computer or laptop a Plex Server for a small amount. However, this machine consumes lots of power and is very heavy.

What operating system should you use?

Plex works with Windows, Linux and macOS. Linux can be used to optimize your computer’s performance and save resources.

NAS solutions can be a bit tricky. Plex-compatible NAS drives are usually more expensive.

What Hardware Requirements Are Required for Plex?

All machines manufactured in the past few years must meet Plex hardware requirements. An i3 processor must have 2GB RAM. A faster system will give you better performance.

Plex enthusiasts recommend an I5 processor with 4GB RAM and better for 4K streaming, simultaneous streaming on multiple devices, remote streaming outside, and 4K streaming.

Because these requirements aren’t as clear when you create a Plex server with a Raspberry Pi 4 or a NAS drive, or a Raspberry Pi Pro, Plex can stream in 4K.

These products are a good choice if you’re looking for a cheap Plex server.

Which Device Should You Use for Plex?

Plex is a new program. I suggest that you get started with a simple device like the Raspberry Pi 4 or the NVIDIA Shield Television Pro. Plex can be resold and reused if you get bored.

Plex servers that are PC-based offer more flexibility and power than NVIDIA Shield, Raspberry Pi, or NAS devices, especially if they have expandable parts.

Minicomputers such as the Intel NUC, which are small and efficient, are preferable.

The Intel NUCs don’t come with RAM and an operating system. The reason is that aftermarket RAM can be very affordable and Linux operating system can be free.

What if you need to run everything on one NAS drive? This is exactly what they were designed for.

Plex will accept a NAS if it’s on its compatibility list. If it is on Plex’s compatibility list, Plex will accept a NAS device. This improves security and maximizes storage.

Synology’s RAID calculator can show you how increasing the drive bays on your NAS-based Plex server could make it more efficient.

Storage Space is Required to Store Your Media Library

An external drive is required to store media files. You can store Plex media on a cheaper hard drive, which won’t affect the quality of your streaming.

Which hard drive should be used to store media?

Plex recommends a NAS hard drive like WD Red Plus for Plex (or any server configuration).

They are slower than regular hard drives and have a longer lifespan. This device is used to download media files to Plex servers.

An external enclosure must be used to connect the hard disk to the Plex server via USB.

An external enclosure and a NAS hard drive don’t need to cost more. You can instead buy a consumer-grade drive like the WD Passport.

Should an SSD be used as a Boot Drive?

While there’s no need to store media on SSDs, there are some advantages to using them as Plex Media Servers’ system drives. 

An SSD system disk will speed up the startup of your Plex Media Server and reduce lag when navigating the library.

Your own plex server. You might replace your old computer’s boot drive with a small-capacity SSD to run your Plex server.


If you have the money, consider buying a backup drive to save all your media files. You can also use sync Linux to achieve the same result.

RAID backup is a special purpose for NAS drives. A four-bay NAS drive is better for RAID backup, as I already mentioned.

Video files to enrich your library

A Plex server is useless without a media library Create your best plex server

Plex servers are popular for streaming music. We won’t go into downloading and ripping music as it can be tedious.

Plex cannot offer digital copies of movies. The content is protected by DRM. This makes it difficult to play files without permission from the distributor or network. The company does not seem to respect your ownership rights.

Only Drafthouse Films and Vimeo on Demand offer DRM-free movies. A few VHX-powered sites also exist. You will need to rip mainstream movies from DVDs and Blu-rays.

If you’re looking for something in the public realm, you can usually get it from the Internet Archive. Other DRM-free movie download options are available.

Blu-Ray and DVDs

Disk ripping is the best way to legally expand your Plex library. It is better than nothing, even though it can be annoying.

If your computer does not have an external Blu-ray/DVD drive, you will need one. Blu-ray ripping is a complex process. Learn how-to geek Blu-Ray Ripping Guide.

What’s Transcoding?

Some Media files might not be compatible on all devices. Sometimes, problems can arise when streaming to multiple devices that require video transcoding.

If your Plex server doesn’t have a lot of power, you can save video transcoding. Convert all media files to MP4, Plex’s preferred “universal” format.

Transcoding problems are rare in regular streaming. Plex users recommend MKV to preserve Blu-Ray movie quality and originality.

Plex Pass – Do I have to pay?

Plex can be downloaded for free.

Instead, you have access to exclusive features like live TV and DVR and offline downloading for mobile devices. Your children can be restricted from accessing R-rated content via their Plex account.

Plex Pass costs money, but it is worth it if you only want to stream to one or two devices. Your server can be affected by hardware transcoding.

Plex Pass is $5 per month. This is the same price as you would pay to register a Plex device.