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How to set up a NAS media server using Plex

Interested in streaming your own media? You’ll need a NAS and Plex.

Getting Plex Media Server installed and running on a NAS enclosure is a simple process, even though it may seem a little daunting at first. The end result is your very own media streaming platform that can send all your stored content to your favourite devices to enjoy anywhere.

Choosing the best NAS for Plex

Before you get started with Plex Media Server, you’re going to need to choose the best NAS for Plex. The most important factor to consider when picking a NAS for streaming media is the number of drive bays for storing all your content and the processor if you need to transcode anything.

I’ve rounded up the best NAS for running Plex Media Server, taking into account all the aforementioned features. Once you’ve chosen your NAS, get it up and running with a few drives installed.

Install Plex Media Server on your NAS

The next step in getting Plex running on your enclosure is to download and install Plex Media Server. You can achieve this by downloading the package from the Plex website and installing it on the NAS manually, which is my recommended route.

The process is incredibly straightforward. Plex will ask you to set up an account, configure folders for storing different media types (movies, shows, etc.), and set permissions. Once it’s up and running, you should be able to access it by adding :32400 to the end of the NAS IP address.

Transfer all your media to Plex

If you haven’t already configured Plex with some libraries to manage, you’ll need to do so by following these steps:

  1. Log into Plex.
  2. Click on the settings icon in the top-right of the web UI.
  3. Go to Libraries under Manage.
  4. Click Add Library and follow the on-screen steps.
  5. Repeat step 4 for each media type you plan to host through Plex.

Once you[‘ve got your libraries configured, it’s time to log onto your NAS admin UI (usually achieved by typing in the IP address using your browser). You’ll need to open the respective file manager app on your enclosure and use it to move files into the Plex folders.

Once you’ve moved files to the preconfigured library folders, you can return to Plex and scan for changes for each media type by clicking the three-dot menu icon for each and choosing “Scan Library Files.” You should then see your media populate the Plex UI.

Set up Plex apps on all your devices

Synology DiskStation DS218+ Plex

With your content loaded and ready to go, it’s time to download the official Plex apps for all your devices. There are apps available for a whole host of hardware, from smart TVs to smartphones and everything in between. Plex has an official page for all the available apps.

Simply log in on each Plex app using your credentials and you should be able to stream all your content.

By Richard Edmonds

I've been covering the tech industry for more than a decade and have tinkered with NAS for just as long. Follow my ramblings and more right here on NAS Master!

To help keep the lights on, I may earn a commission for purchases using links to buy recommended products.