Unleashing Top 8 Plex Alternatives for Media Lovers


By Jack

Update on

Plex Alternatives

Are you on the hunt for top-quality media server software that can stand toe-to-toe with Plex? Or perhaps you’re in search of the best Plex alternatives to diversify your options?

In that case, our comprehensive guide to the top 8 Plex alternatives — Jellyfin, Emby, Kodi, Stremio, MediaPortal, Serviio, Mezzmo, and A Barebones DLNA/uPnP Server — is precisely what you need.

Sit back, relax, and let us take you on a detailed exploration of the best alternatives to Plex available in the market.

The Rise and Dominance of Plex

Plex has long held the reins in the media server software domain thanks to its robust features and sleek interface.

However, users may sometimes need different functionalities or privacy settings than Plex offers. This is where its alternatives come into the picture.

Besides, the Emby vs. Plex debate is one that we’ve seen a lot of and to finally settle it, our team have broken down everything you need to know.

Understanding the Plex Ecosystem

Plex isn’t just a media server. It’s a comprehensive media ecosystem that includes a media server, player, live TV support, and more. Its versatility is what makes it a go-to choice for many.

However, not everyone is in the same boat, and some might find their media server bliss elsewhere.

Also, if you intend to learn how to use Plex Media Server, this article will show you how to use Plex on Roku and other useful information. So, read on!

The Top 8 Plex Alternatives

1. Jellyfin: The Open-Source Alternative


Jellyfin has been carving a niche for itself in the media server landscape as an open-source alternative to Plex. As a Plex substitute, Jellyfin hits the bull’s eye with its remarkable user-friendly interface and functionalities.

Jellyfin in Action

Being open-source, Jellyfin provides an unmatched level of customization that few other alternatives can offer. Its ability to host media files and facilitate streaming across devices makes it a fantastic Plex alternative.

Jellyfin: The People’s Choice

Jellyfin is renowned for being an open-source alternative to Plex. It has gained popularity among users who appreciate transparency and control over their software.

Highlight Features

  • User-friendly interface
  • Extensive customization options
  • Host media files and stream across devices

2. Emby: The Close Competitor


Emby stands as one of the most robust competitors of Plex, offering an assortment of similar features with a unique twist.

What Sets Emby Apart

What sets Emby apart is its ability to sync media files across devices and offer live TV support. Emby’s parental controls are another cherry on top for families with young children.

Emby: The Feature-Rich Contender

Emby has become a favorite among users who seek similar functionality to Plex but with a few unique twists.

Highlight Features

  • Sync media files across devices
  • Live TV support
  • Advanced parental controls

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3. Kodi: The Power-Packed Alternative


Kodi, previously known as XBMC, is a media server software that rivals Plex in functionality and popularity.

The Strength of Kodi

Kodi’s strong suit lies in its wide range of add-ons and customization options. From streaming to organizing media files, Kodi’s got you covered.

Kodi: The Add-On Maestro

Formerly known as XBMC, Kodi has maintained a strong user base due to its power-packed features and customization options.

Highlight Features

  • Wide array of add-ons
  • Extensive customization options
  • Excellent media organization capabilities

4. Stremio: Stream With Ease


Stremio is an excellent alternative to Plex, specializing in streaming content from various sources seamlessly.

Navigating the Stremio Universe

Stremio’s real charm lies in its user-friendly interface and its ability to aggregate content from various subscriptions into one platform.

Stremio: The Streamline Specialist

Stremio has been well-received for its ability to stream content from various sources with ease and its user-friendly interface.

Highlight Features

  • Seamless content aggregation
  • User-friendly interface
  • Stream from multiple subscriptions

5. MediaPortal: The Home Theater PC Solution


MediaPortal is another worthy contender in the Plex alternatives race, particularly for those using Home Theater PCs (HTPC).

Discovering MediaPortal

MediaPortal provides an enriching media experience with its DVR functionality and ability to play and record live TV.

MediaPortal: The HTPC Guru

MediaPortal has found its niche with users who prefer using Home Theater PCs (HTPCs) and require DVR functionality.

Highlight Features

  • DVR functionality
  • Play and record live TV
  • Advanced customization options

6. Serviio: The Free DLNA Media Server


Serviio holds its ground as a free DLNA media server, offering solid functionality that rivals Plex.

Unpacking Serviio

Serviio stands out with its robust media streaming across various devices and transcoding abilities.

Serviio: The Versatile Server

Serviio has impressed users with its solid functionality and ability to stream media across various devices.

Highlight Features

  • Robust media streaming
  • Transcoding abilities
  • Device compatibility

7. Mezzmo: The Transcoding Master


Mezzmo sets itself apart from the crowd with its extensive file compatibility and impressive transcoding capabilities.

Exploring Mezzmo

As a DLNA media server, Mezzmo boasts a slew of features that make it a strong contender in the Plex alternatives battle. Its real ace, though, is its robust transcoding feature, which ensures seamless playback across multiple devices, regardless of file format.

Mezzmo: The Transcoding Titan

Mezzmo has carved its place in the hearts of users who appreciate its transcoding capabilities and wide file format support.

Highlight Features

  • Extensive file compatibility
  • Robust transcoding capabilities
  • Organize media files with ease

8. A Barebones DLNA/uPnP Server: Simplicity At Its Best

Universal Media Server

Sometimes, all you need is a barebones server that gets the job done. Universal Media Server is where a Barebones DLNA/uPnP Server comes into play. No frills, no extra features, just a straightforward media server solution.

The Appeal of A Barebones DLNA/uPnP Server

A Barebones DLNA/uPnP Server offers just what its name suggests: a stripped-down, simple media server that’s easy to set up and use. Its minimalistic design and ease of use make it a worthy Plex alternative for users who prefer simplicity over feature-rich media servers.

A Barebones DLNA/uPnP Server: The Minimalist

A Barebones DLNA/uPnP Server is perfect for users who want a simple, no-frills solution to their media server needs.

Highlight Features

  • Minimalistic design
  • Easy setup and use
  • Straightforward media server solution

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Plex Alternatives: A Comparison Chart

To make your choice even easier, here’s a handy comparison chart summarizing the key features of each Plex alternative.

Plex AlternativeOpen-SourceLive TV SupportAdd-Ons/PluginsCustomizationTranscoding
KodiYesYesExtensiveVery HighYes
Barebones DLNA/uPnP ServerNoNoNoLowYes

Considerations When Opting for a Plex Alternative

Plex has ingrained itself deeply in the media server landscape, boasting client apps and plugins compatible with a vast array of devices and systems. This seamless integration makes it an attractive option from a convenience perspective.

Transitioning to a platform like Jellyfin or Kodi, which offer a unique take on media streaming, might present a slight challenge in terms of integration, despite their appealing open-source and cost-free characteristics. However, DLNA (uPnP) streaming can often bridge this gap, although its text-based interface might lack the visual appeal of a native client.

If you’re contemplating swapping Plex for one of these alternatives, it could be beneficial to consider a minor hardware investment for optimal functionality.

Affordable options could include a Raspberry Pi, Fire Stick, or an Android-operated device such as the NVIDIA Shield or Google Chromecast.

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Now that we’ve delved into the world of Plex alternatives. Let’s tackle some frequently asked questions.

While Plex is undoubtedly a fantastic media server, it might not cater to everyone’s needs. Some users might prefer an open-source option like Jellyfin, while others might find their perfect match in a feature-rich server like Emby. Additionally, some users might find Plex’s privacy policy concerning, leading them to seek alternatives.

Yes, many Plex alternatives offer a broad array of features that rival or even surpass those of Plex. For example, Emby provides extensive parental controls and live TV support, and Kodi offers a wide range of add-ons.

Most Plex alternatives offer free versions, although some might also have premium features accessible through paid versions. Jellyfin, for instance, is entirely free and open-source, while Emby and Mezzmo offer both free and paid versions.

Not at all! Many Plex alternatives have intuitive interfaces that make the transition smooth and hassle-free. Plus, these alternatives often offer comprehensive guides and customer support to assist new users.

Absolutely! You can use multiple media servers based on your needs. For instance, you could use Kodi for its add-ons, Emby for its parental controls, and Stremio for its aggregation capabilities.

The answer to this question varies depending on personal preferences and needs. If you prioritize an open-source option, Jellyfin could be the best alternative for you. If parental controls are a must-have feature, then Emby might take the crown.

“Better” can be subjective and largely depends on your specific needs and preferences. While Plex offers a comprehensive suite of features, some users might prefer Jellyfin for its open-source nature or Emby for its superior parental controls. If live TV and DVR functionality is a must-have for you, then MediaPortal could be a better option.

If you prefer open-source software and value transparency and control over your media server software, Jellyfin could be considered better than Plex. It also doesn’t have any of the premium gated features that Plex does, making all its features freely available to users.

MediaPortal is a great alternative to Plex that offers robust DVR functionality. With MediaPortal, you can watch, schedule, and record live TV – a feature that’s perfect for users who don’t want to miss their favorite shows.


Navigating the world of media servers can be a daunting task, but having options ensures you’ll find one that fits your unique needs perfectly. With these eight stellar Plex alternatives—Jellyfin, Emby, Kodi, Stremio, MediaPortal, Serviio, Mezzmo, and A Barebones DLNA/uPnP Server—you’ll have plenty of choices to elevate your media streaming experience.

Remember, the perfect media server for you is one that aligns with your needs, preferences, and budget. It’s all about finding the right fit. So, why not take a chance on one of these Plex alternatives? Who knows, you might find your perfect media server match!


Ten years of experience in information and computer technology. Passionate about electronic devices, smartphones, computers, and modern technology.