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How to use a VPN with Plex in 2024 (+ Best Plex VPNs)

Last updated: March 14, 2024

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How to use a VPN with Plex

Plex Media Server is an online media collection platform that allows you to store and watch all your movies, TV shows, music, and photos on any of your devices. While streaming services like Netflix and Hulu can be convenient, Plex allows you to keep, organize, and then stream to any of your devices at your leisure.

So imagine this: You get home from a long day at work. You are ready to relax and unwind to your favorite movie. You turn on Plex from your smart TV, only to receive the message:

Streaming unavailable in your region.”

This may make you angry enough to chuck the remote at the TV, but wait! You can easily fix this issue simply by using a reliable, secure Virtual Private Network (VPN). Keep reading to learn more about the best VPNs for Plex with remote access in 2024!

In a hurry? Here’s how to use a VPN with Plex

Why you need a VPN for Plex

Today, the Internet is the best way to access all sorts of online media content, but it also has its drawbacks. For example, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) can legally track your Internet traffic, which can cause ISP throttling (when your Internet connection is slowed).

Another common use of a VPN is to bypass geo-restrictions. Many streaming services like Plex or BBC iPlayer have region-locked content, so depending on your location, you may not be able to access your favorite streaming services.

Plex users can use a quality VPN for connecting to a VPN server in a non-restricted location, which hides your Plex server’s IP address. Since so only your virtual server location and IP are visible you can easily access Plex and other geographically restricted websites. When you host a Plex media server using Network Attached Storage you’ve got complete control over your server.

The biggest strength of VPN providers is that a VPN can connect you to remote server locations and it will run all of the Plex traffic through it, so that you can stream media as if you were in that location. At the same time it keeps your activity and personal information secure. So, with a Plex VPN, you’ll be able to watch all your favorite movies and shows from anywhere.

How to choose the best VPN for Plex

There are many VPNs out there, but how do Plex users know which is the best Plex VPN? We compiled a list of the the most important factors to take into consideration when choosing the best VPN for Plex:

  • Server network. Choose a VPN for Plex with a large network of server locations for a fast VPN connection, and so you have plenty of options to help you unblock global content.
  • Fast speed. Look for a VPN for Plex with fast speeds and unlimited bandwidth so you won’t get bandwidth throttling or slow connections causing buffering, lag, or pixelation.
  • Privacy and security. You want to choose a Plex VPN with strong security, so your info will remain secure at all times. You especially want a secure VPN with an ad-blocker since Plex sometimes has intrusive and annoying pop-up ads.
  • Compatibility. Choose a Plex VPN that supports multiple operating systems so that you can watch on all your devices.

How to use a VPN with Plex

If you are interested in using Plex Client with a VPN, follow these simple steps to connect your VPN to your Plex server:

  1. Sign up for one of the recommended Plex VPNs listed below, like ExpressVPN.
  2. Download the VPN app onto your device.
  3. Install the Plex app on your device if it’s not already installed.
  4. Open the VPN app, select your desired VPN server location, and connect.
  5. Open Plex Media Player, and enjoy!

How to set up a VPN on your router

Some devices that you use with the Plex client might not support a connection between your VPN and your Plex server. But you can still install a VPN for Plex on your internet router for Plex access.

Keep in mind, that if you are using a Plex server on your router’s network, you will need port forwarding if you want remote access to the server. According to Plex, however, using the Plex remote access feature instead of a VPN is more secure than the port forwarding feature, as an open port can be accessed by anyone which makes your connection less secure.

Setting up Plex with a VPN-enabled virtual router 

Using a virtual router is the best option if you’re looking for something simple and easy with minimal risk. However, it does mean that you’ll need either a WiFi-capable desktop or a laptop. Here are the steps you’ll need to follow:

  1. Use your computer to create a WiFi hotspot.
  2. Connect the computer to the VPN.
  3. Link your Plex device to the laptop’s wireless network.
  4. Everything you do on your Plex server will be routed through the VPN.

To gain remote access to the server on your router, use port forwarding through the NAT firewall. ExpressVPN offers port forwarding support to access Plex remotely.

Setting up Plex with a VPN-enabled wifi router

The second option is to put the Plex VPN directly on your router, which is a bit more complex and needs to be done carefully so you don’t damage the router.

  1. Check that your router is compatible with the VPN you’ve chosen.
  2. On the router dashboard, log in by typing or into your URL bar and enter your details. If you can’t remember your login information, check with your Internet Service Provider, user manual, or Google.
  3. Once you’ve successfully logged in, go to VPN settings to enable and install the VPN.

Be aware that if you’re using a Plex server on your router’s network, you’ll need to use port forwarding through the NAT firewall if you want to remote access Plex. Here’s how it works:

  1. Find your real IP address which you can get using an IP checker without the VPN running.
  2. Open Plex settings
  3. Navigate to network > custom server access URLs.
  4. Enter HTTP://(IPadddress):(port), HTTP://(IP address):(port) using your IP address.

7 best VPNs for Plex

Curious about the best VPNs for Plex? We tested over 3 dozen VPNs and ranked our top 7 for you!

1. ExpressVPN – Best VPN for Plex Server

Devices compatible with ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN is our number one pick for the best VPN for Plex. It has over 3,000 servers spread across 105 countries, so you will have plenty of options from which to choose, and each of the Plex servers offers excellent speed and secure connections.

Features: ExpressVPN offers unlimited bandwidth and up to 8 simultaneous device connections. It also has DNS servers that can be used for streaming devices that don’t support VPNs. Plus, it’s one of the best VPNs for Plex with port forwarding!

Speed: ExpressVPN has lightning-fast speed capabilities on all of its servers, so you won’t have to deal with buffering or lagging issues while Plex streaming. ExpressVPN also has a built-in speed test feature that helps you choose the fastest server.

Security: Security isn’t a concern when it comes to ExpressVPN, with DNS leak protection, an ad-blocker, AES 256-bit encryption, a zero-logs policy, split tunneling, and a built-in kill switch. The kill switch cuts your internet connection if your VPN connection drops, ensuring your data isn’t compromised.

Streaming: This VPN has no problem accessing geo-restricted content on Plex libraries as well as other streaming services such as Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and more.

Compatibility: ExpressVPN is compatible with Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux, Smart TVs, gaming consoles, and many routers.

Pricing: This is a more expensive option, with prices starting at $6.67 per month, but it does come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.


  • 24/7 live-chat support
  • Broad server network
  • Based in the British Virgin Islands
  • Great speeds
  • Port forwarding
  • 8 simultaneous connections


  • More expensive price

2. NordVPN – Great VPN Server Speeds

Devices compatible with NordVPN

NordVPN is another one of the best VPNs for watching Plex. It has a network of over 6,000 servers in 60 countries around the globe, so you will have no trouble streaming Plex with this VPN.

Features: Nord allows you to connect up to 6 devices simultaneously, has unlimited bandwidth, and has a DNS proxy. DNS proxies work well for accessing Plex on streaming devices that don’t support VPNs.

Speed: This VPN has rocket-fast speeds thanks to its proprietary NordLynx protocol. That means you can enjoy flawless Plex streaming without buffering, dropped connections, or pixelation interrupting your show.

Security: NordVPN has military-grade security protocols, a kill switch, a no-logs policy, an ad-blocker, and DNS leak protection.

Streaming: With NordVPN, you can enjoy streaming online content on the Plex library or other streaming platforms such as Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Disney+, and more.

Compatibility: NordVPN is compatible with a wide range of operating systems, so you’ll be able to watch on multiple devices like macOS, Windows, Android, iOS, Linux, or Apple TV with no problem.

Pricing: Prices for NordVPN start at $3.99 per month and come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.


  • 6 simultaneous devices
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Large server network
  • 24/7 live-chat support


  • Does not offer port forwarding

3. Surfshark – Unlimited Device Connections

Devices compatible with Surfshark

SurfShark is another one of Plex users’ favorite VPN services. With its 3,200 servers in more than 100 countries, you’ll have no trouble streaming content using Plex.

Features: A major perk of Surfshark is that it offers unlimited simultaneous connections, along with unlimited bandwidth, so you can use this VPN on as many devices as you want as much as you want. It also offers smart DNS. A DNS proxy replaces the ISPs and is compatible with devices that don’t offer a VPN setup, like some smart TVs or gaming consoles.

Speed: This VPN has good speed for Plex streaming video content and more. If you do experience buffering, which can occur from time to time with this VPN service, ask the 24/7 live chat to direct you to a faster server.

Security: Surfshark offers users the same top privacy and security protections as ExpressVPN and NordVPN, with military-grade encryption, Camoflouge Mode, a no-logs policy, a kill switch, and leak protection, making it a safe VPN for Plex remote access.

Streaming: With Surfshark, you can stream Plex, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and other major streaming services without geographical restrictions getting in your way.

Compatibility: Surfshark is compatible with macOS, Windows, iOS, Android, and Linux.

Pricing: Prices for Surfshark start at the low cost of $2.29 per month and come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.


  • 30-day refund guarantee
  • Unlimited simultaneous connections
  • Affordable price
  • 24/7 customer support


  • Slower speeds
  • Doesn’t support port forwarding

4. CyberGhost – 45-day Money-Back Guarantee

Devices compatible with CyberGhost

CyberGhost is a great VPN provider for novices as it’s very easy to set up and use. With over 9,600 servers in 100+ countries, accessing geo-restricted content from anywhere worldwide is easy.

Features: CyberGhost allows users to have up to 7 simultaneous device connections. It also has special, streaming-optimized DNS servers, as well as specialized servers for gaming and torrenting.

Speed: This VPN may not be as fast as others on the market, but it still has good speeds that are great for streaming.

Security: CyberGhost offers top security protections, like a no-logs policy, OpenVPN protocol, and 256-bit encryption, so you can use Plex confidently and securely.

Streaming: CyberGhost unblocks American Plex as well as streaming platforms such as Netflix, HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and more.

Compatibility: This VPN is compatible with Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, and Linux. It can also be used with Synology NAS, a storage device that supports Kodi Plex servers.

Pricing: Prices for CyberGost start at $2.19 per month. The VPN also offers an impressive 45-day money-back guarantee.


  • 45 -day money-back guarantee
  • Up to 7 devices simultaneously
  • Large network of servers
  • Military-grade encryption


  • Limited control of advanced features
  • Does not support port forwarding

5. Atlas VPN – Lowest Priced VPN for Plex

Atlas VPN is available at an incredibly low price. Offering unlimited connections at a low cost, it’s impressive that this VPN provider still provides fast, secure, and reliable connections while spoofing your location.

Features: Atlas VPN offers unlimited simultaneous connections on a single account, plus features like SafeSwap, split tunneling, malware protection, and multi-hop.

Speed: The speed on Atlas VPN is quite good, especially considering its small network of 1000+ servers in 42 countries, and supports buffer-free streaming, as well as lag-free gaming and quick downloads.

Security: Atlas VPN offers security features like strong encryption, leak protection, a kill switch, and IP & DNS leak protection. It is based in the US, which is part of the 5/9/14 eyes alliance, but its strict no-logs policy will ensure your privacy is protected.

Streaming: With Atlas VPN, you can access popular streaming sites like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, and BBC iPlayer. It also unblocks American Plex libraries.

Compatibility: Atlas VPN has apps that are available on all major platforms, including Windows, Linux, macOS, Android, iOS, Android TV, and Firestick.

Pricing: Prices for Atlas VPN start at $1.70 per month plus 6 months for free when you sign up for the 3-year plan. The subscription includes a 30-day money-back guarantee and unlimited simultaneous connections.


  • Low price
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Unlimited simultaneous connections
  • 24/7 live chat support


  • Small network of servers
  • US jurisdiction
  • Doesn’t offer port forwarding

6. Private Internet Access – Vast network of servers

Devices compatible with PIA

Private Internet Access has a huge network of servers all over the world, advanced security features, and the ability to unblock geo-restricted content from across the globe.

Features: There are over 30,000 servers in 84 countries available to PIA subscribers. The subscription allows for unlimited simultaneous connections, and it offers port forwarding and a smart DNS.

Speed: The speed on Private Internet Access can’t keep up with what you will get with premium providers like ExpressVPN and NordVPN, but it still provides solid speeds. For the best speeds for streaming data, select the WireGuard tunneling protocol in settings and give preference to servers close to home.

Security: PIA VPN encrypts data using AES 256-bit encryption. It has a no-logs policy, kill switch, DNS & IP leak protection, and secure tunneling protocols to keep your data private and secure.

Streaming: PIA unblocks American Plex libraries as well as other popular streaming platforms, including Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, HBO Max, and more.

Compatibility: You can use PIA with all major operating systems, including Windows, Linux, macOS, Android, iOS, Chrome, Firefox, Brave, Edge, and Opera.

Pricing: When you sign up for 3 years plus 3 months the subscription will cost you $2.03 per month and it includes a 30-day money-back guarantee.


  • Unlimited simultaneous connections
  • 24/7 live chat support
  • 30-day trial
  • Port forwarding


  • Slower speeds
  • based in the US

7. IPVanish – Military-Grade Encryption


IPVanish has over 2,200 servers spread across 90+ countries, giving you a decent-sized network of IP addresses around the world.

Features: IPVanish has unlimited bandwidth. On top of this, you can use an unlimited number of devices on a single account, like Surfshark, which means your whole family (and more) can connect and use this VPN at once!

Speed: IPVanish offers fast speeds and no bandwidth limits, so you won’t have to worry about ISP throttling or other slowdowns.

Security: This VPN is equipped with standard security protocols like a kill switch and military-grade encryption, so your web activity and personal data will be kept safe while it is sent through your secure, encrypted VPN tunnel.

Streaming: IPVanish allows you to access geo-restricted content and works with streaming sites such as Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, and HBO Max.

Compatibility: IPVanish is compatible with Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS.

Pricing: Prices for IPVanish start at $2.75/month and come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.


  • Compatible with all major devices
  • Reliable security measures
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Unlimited device connections


  • Lack of optimized servers
  • Slower speeds
  • Based in the privacy-unfriendly US
  • No port forwarding

How we tested and picked VPNs on the list

When it came to testing and choosing VPNs on this list, there are several factors we considered in choosing the best VPN to use with a Plex server:

  • Speed. The speeds of all the VPNs on this list have been tested, and it was concluded that they are sufficient for a pleasant streaming experience.
  • Streaming ability. We chose VPNs that can work well with streaming platforms, including Plex.
  • Unblocking abilities. These VPNs have been tested with different servers to confirm that they can bypass geo-restrictions to unblock Plex and other sites.
  • Security. We only chose VPNs offering robust security features to keep you safe online.
  • Money-back guarantee. It’s important to be able to test a VPN risk-free to see if it works for you, which is why we recommend VPNs that all offer a minimum of 30 days under a money-back guarantee.

Can I Use a Free VPN for Plex?

People often ask about the best free VPNs, but we don’t recommend using them. Free VPNs tend to limit bandwidth, data, and speed, making streaming videos from Plex Media Server challenging and frustrating, if not impossible.

Plus, Free VPN companies often compromise your privacy and security and are known to sell users’ information to third parties for marketing, so your data is never secure. So, all in all, the risks outweigh the potential convenience of using a free VPN to access Plex. You want a VPN service that will keep your browsing data private.

Plex not working with a VPN: solutions

If your VPN connection isn’t working with your Plex server, there are a few possible reasons this could be happening, as well as some possible solutions to solve it.

  • Blacklisted server. Sometimes VPN servers get blacklisted by sites like Plex once they’ve been detected. A solution is to try connecting to a different server in the same region you want and see if it solves the issue.
  • Clear cookies and cache. Your cookie cache can reveal your actual location, so if you’re having issues hiding your real IP address, it could mean you need to clear your cookies.
  • Outdated browser or operating system. Sometimes, the problem could be as simple as an out-of-date system or browser, so make sure your device is up-to-date on everything.
  • Change tunneling protocols. Different tunneling protocols work better with different sites and activities, so you can try changing to a different protocol to see if it makes a difference.
  • Customer support. If all else fails, reach out to your VPN’s customer support to see if they can solve your issue.


Can I use a VPN with Plex?

Yes, you can use a VPN with a Plex server. Not all remote access VPNs can support Plex, so be sure to do your research before you sign up for one. We recomvend ExpressVPN.

Is using a VPN with Plex legal?

Yes, while it may not encourage you to use a VPN with a Plex server, there is nothing illegal about Plex VPNs. However, depending on where you are located, different countries have different laws about using a VPN, so make sure to always check the laws in your location.

Does Plex work with NordVPN?

Yes. NordVPN is compatible with the Plex system.

Does ExpressVPN work with Plex?

Yes. ExpressVPN is one of the best VPNs for Plex. You can use it to watch from anywhere in the world.

Does CyberGhost work with Plex?

Yes, CyberGhost works with a Plex server.

What Internet speeds do I need to stream Plex smoothly?

If you want to stream without annoying buffering, then you’re going to want the fastest speeds you can get. We recommend having a download speed of at least 25Mbps for smooth streaming with Plex.

Does a VPN affect speeds when streaming Plex?

Generally speaking, a VPN will always affect your speeds from your ISP at least a little bit. But with a premium VPN like ExpressVPN, which has incredible speeds, you won’t even notice the drop or have it affect streaming on Plex.


Plex is a great streaming service to watch your favorite movies and TV shows, but if you want to watch content that’s not available in your region, you’ll have to use a VPN. With the proper VPN, you’ll be able to stream your content from anywhere in the world without having to worry about geo-restrictions or security issues. The VPNs we recommend will do that and more.

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