Sharing your media using Plex with friends and family has never been easier. If you already have it installed, there are only a couple of things you need to consider before sharing your content.
Before we get to that though, let’s take a moment and remember how many CDs and DVDs we lost over the years because we never got them back from friends. Before the internet, sharing music or movies with friends and family involved physical CDs and DVDs. Don’t get me started on how many CDs I lent out and forgot who borrowed them. Now with high-speed internet access, it’s easy to share your favorite movie with your friends and not have to worry about them dropping or scratching the disc.
If you already have a Plex server installed and running, sharing with friends and family is super simple. The one drawback to using Plex for sharing your media is that if you want greater control over what you are sharing, you will need to sign up for a Plex Pass. If you’re not sure you want to commit to a lifetime or year membership, you can always try it out for a month.
One of the drawbacks of sharing your Plex library is that you are limited by your own internet’s upload speed. Chances are you won’t be able to stream 4k content to the users you are sharing with.
Share your Plex Libraries with Family and Friends in 6 Steps
- Install and setup the Plex Server – Plex Download Page
- Once you have Plex setup and running, make sure you add media to the Library.
- After adding all of your media, it’s time to share your content with family. Click on the wrench and screwdriver to go back into the settings.
- Once there, you will want to click on the “Users & Sharing” link on the far left side:
- On this screen you will want to click “Share Libraries” and enter the information into Plex. You will have to enter a username and email for the person you wish to share with.
- You will then have a couple options for sharing specific Libraries with the user you created. Additionally, you can add tags and only share the media with those tags. This is good if you want to keep all your Movies together in one Library but share only specifc movies.
Tips for Sharing your Plex Library
- Utilize the Optimize feature within Plex. You will create a duplicate version of the movie but it will be compressed or ‘optimized’ to a size suitable for streaming. This feature leaves your original copy as is but won’t make your system transcode the media on the fly. This will reduce the stress on your server.
- Use the Tags feature to share only specific movies.
- Don’t share your library with too many people unless you have unlimited internet access and a lot of bandwidth.
- The Home Users section of the Sharing & Users page is for sharing and creating a log in for local users. If enabled, Plex will make you choose a user everytime you start it. This works great if you have children in the house and don’t want them to access all of the media.
Hopefully, this gives you a fun project you can try over a couple of hours. This is a great way to share your movie or TV library with friends and relatives who may not be close by. If you’re not happy with the options that Plex provides for free, be sure to check out The Best Plex Alternative 2021 | 5 Free Media Servers and 5 Ways to Get the Most from Plex – 2021.