In this tutorial, I will show you how to install Plex on FireStick, how to sign up for a Plex account and how to set up a Plex server on your computer.
Plex is a client-server media tool that lets you access all your centrally stored media through various external devices. Let me make this simpler for you with an example. Plex lets you create a media server on your computer. You can access all the media (such as videos, music, pictures) on your computer’s hard drive using the client apps for external devices like FireStick, Mobiles, Tablets, TV Boxes, and Computers.
Plex has client apps for almost all the devices that support media playback. You can download the client app from the official app stores. For instance, for Android, you may download the app from the Google Play Store. For FireStick, it is available on the Amazon Store.
The best thing about Plex is that the server (your computer) and clients (say, FireStick or mobile) do not need to be connected to the same wireless network. You may leave your computer home and still play the videos stored on the hard drive on your mobile from your friend’s house.
Important!! Your computer must be on and connected to the internet at the time you are attempting to connect to it through the client app remotely
Plex, however, doesn’t necessarily have to play only the media stored on your computer (server). There are various Plex channels (both official and unofficial) that give you access to a variety of online media. These channels are installed on the server and available to all the connected clients.
Furthermore, the Plex client app also features some online content. You can stream this content even if you are not connected to the Plex server. In other words, it is independent of the server.
Attention FireStick Users: Read before you continue
Governments and ISPs across the world monitor their users' online activities. If found streaming copyrighted content on your Fire TV Stick, you could get into serious trouble. Currently, your IP is visible to everyone. I strongly recommend you to get a good FireStick VPN and hide your identity so that your movie viewing experience doesn’t take a bad turn.
I use ExpressVPN which is the fastest and most secure VPN in the industry. It is very easy to install on any device including Amazon Fire TV Stick. Also, it comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. If you don't like their service, you can always ask for a refund. ExpressVPN also has a special deal where you can get 3 months free and save 49% on annual plan.
How to Install Plex on FireStick
Before you install Plex on FireStick, you will want to sign up for an account if you don’t have one already. So, let us first create a Plex account.
Sign Up for a Plex account
Here are the steps:
1- Go to https://www.plex.tv on your computer or mobile (you may also use a FireStick supported browser such as Silk Browser or Firefox) and click Sign Up
2- You may sign up with your existing Facebook or Google credentials or create a new account with an email address
3- Once you are signed in, you could buy one of the Plex Pass plans for added benefits. The plans cost $4.99 monthly, $39.99 yearly and $119.99 for a lifetime. We will talk about the benefits of buying a Plex Pass later in this guide.
Note: You may continue without a Plex Pass and still enjoy plenty of features
That is how you sign up for a Plex account.
Steps to install Plex on FireStick
Now I will take you through the steps to install Plex on FireStick. It is available on the Amazon App Store. Here is what you need to do:
1- You will find the FireStick search option on the home screen in the top-left corner. Select it
2- Type in Plex and click it in the search results. You may also hold down the Alexa button on your remote for the voice command
3- When you see the Plex app icon in the Apps & Games section, click it
4- Go ahead and click Get (or if you have downloaded it before, click Download instead)
5- Wait for the Plex app to download and install on FireStick
6- Click Open to run Plex once it is installed
How to Install Plex on Android TV OS & Android TV Box
There are two types of Android TV boxes out there – one with the stock Android OS and the other with true Android TV OS. They are similar in some ways and different in others.
What’s common between the two is they both support Google Play services. You can install apps directly from the Google Play Store. Plex is available on Google Play Store.
Here are the steps to install Plex on Android TV Box (works more or less the same way on both types of boxes):
1- Open Google Play Store
2- Look up for Plex by either typing in or using voice command (if supported)
3- Click the Plex icon when it appears in the search results
4- Click Install
5- Click Open to run the app
How to set up and use Plex on FireStick and Android TV Box
If you are using a FireStick, you could run the app from the Your Apps & Channels section. Hold down the Home button on your Amazon FireStick remote for a few seconds and click Apps on the popup to access all your installed apps.
If you are using an Android TV Box, visit the ‘Apps’ section to access Plex.
Note: The interface of the Plex app is same on FireStick and true Android TV OS boxes. It may vary a bit on stock Android TV boxes. However, overall it is much the same.
Now follow these steps:
1- When you run the app for the first time, the following window appears. I am assuming you have already signed up. So, click Sign In
Note: While you may click Skip and continue without signing in, I recommend creating an account and signing in
2- A code appears on your FireStick screen
3- Use your computer, mobile or any device other than your FireStick and go to https://plex.tv/link and enter the code
You will need to sign in with your Plex account credentials for the linking to be successful
Click Link after entering the code
4- You should see the Account Linked confirmation on your computer, mobile or any other device on which you entered the code. You can now return to FireStick
5- You are guided to the following screen once the linking is successful. Click Subscribe if you want to buy a Plex Pass. You could use one of the payment modes linked to your Amazon account for the purchase
If you don’t want to buy the pass, click Not Now
6- If you haven’t set up the Plex server yet with your Plex account, you should see the “No Servers Found” message. We will talk about setting up the server later. For now, click Continue
7- This is the home screen of the Plex app on FireStick after the setup. Even though you haven’t synced the app with any server, you can still stream the featured free content. There are Web Shows, News videos, Podcasts and more
That’s pretty much it. This is how you set up Plex and use it on FireStick.
How to Install and Set Up Plex Server
While Plex has plenty of online content, its true potential lies in making your computer a media center by converting it into a Plex server. As I have already said, Plex is a client-server-based service. It has client apps for just about every device platform you could think of, including FireStick, mobiles, computers, etc.
However, you could set up the server only on your computer (Windows, Mac, and Linux) and some other devices (such as NAS) that can be used as a server.
Important!! The computer you are using as the Plex server must remain turned on to allow media access from the client apps installed on devices like FireStick or mobile
Here is how you do it:
1- Go to https://www.plex.tv/media-server-downloads/ on your computer
2- Click the Plex Media Server dropdown and choose your computer operating system
Now click the Download button on the same webpage
3- Go to the folder in which you downloaded the server installation file and run it. Follow the instructions specific to your operating system to install the server. For instance, when I ran the file on my Windows, the following pop-up appeared. Now, I must click Install and follow the onscreen instructions to install the Plex server on my computer
4- When the installation is complete, you should see the following window. Click Launch
The next steps will now be followed in a web browser
5- You will now be redirected to a webpage in your default browser on the computer. You will be required to sign in to your Plex account if you aren’t already.
The next screen will give you a quick overview of how Plex works. Click Got It! button
6- You will now be asked to name the server. Make it something relatable and identifiable. Click Next
Note: If you want to access the media on the server (your computer) from the external clients (such as your FireStick), make sure the option Allow me to access my media outside my home is checked
7- During the setup process you may add the Media Library by clicking Add Library. This lets you add the movies, shows, videos, music, images, etc. to the server and allows you to access them from external devices
Click Next to proceed
8- Click Done to conclude the server setup
Benefits of Buying Plex Premium (Plex Pass)
You could use Plex without buying a Plex Pass if all you want to do is access local media on your computer remotely on your client devices such as FireStick. However, buying a pass gives you certain exclusive benefits. Here is a quick look:
Plex offers the following plans:
– $4.99 Monthly
– $39.99 Yearly
– $119.99 Lifetime
Plex is an incredibly useful media organization tool, which uses client-server architecture to give you access to local and online media. Whether you are home or away, by setting up the server on your computer, you can access the locally stored media from anywhere you want as long as there is an internet connection. You can install Plex channels on your computer you are using as a server to stream online media from all your client apps. FireStick itself has limited storage. With Plex on FireStick, you can access the media on your computer without using the storage space. All in all, it is a great tool to have.
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