Free Remote Access to your Plex Media Server without Port Forwarding
by Jimmy Li

Free Remote Access to your Plex Media Server without Port Forwarding

Plex + Twingate client experience
Plex + Twingate client experience

Plex Media Server is a great solution to organize all of your media and access them from your laptop, phone, TV, or lots of other places. It’s easy to listen to your music or watch your movies via Plex when you’re at home and connected to your home network. But what about when you are away on vacation, or if you want to share access to your library with friends and family?

Plex remote access not working?

Plex offers a remote access feature that relies on port forwarding, but the configuration may not always work or there may be other common issues like Double-NAT. Using port forwarding also exposes an open port to your home network that can potentially be exploited. For mobile access, Plex provides mobile apps, but without a paid subscription, video and music streaming is limited to 1 minute and photos are watermarked.

There are other common approaches, but as the table below illustrates, they are cumbersome, insecure, and potentially expensive. We are excited to offer a new simple, secure, and free solution: Twingate Starter!

Twingate remote access does not require setting up a VPN, port forwarding, static IP addresses, or configuring DDNS
Twingate remote access does not require setting up a VPN, port forwarding, static IP addresses, or configuring DDNS

We’ve created a quick start guide below to walk you through the steps to setup Twingate to access your Plex Media Server. Once you’re done, all it takes is a few clicks to add access to any other resource on your home network like Home Assistant.

Please also join us in our community forum to share and discuss your experience and any other use cases you’ve discovered!

Prerequisites

The rest of this guide assumes that you have some components already installed. If not, please following these instructions first.

  • Plex Media Server can be installed on a variety of devices. A common choice is a dedicated device like a NAS or a Raspberry Pi, all of which are supported by Twingate. Please install Plex Media Server here.
  • Twingate can be installed either as a Docker container or directly on the OS. If you prefer the first approach, please first install Docker on the device that hosts your Plex Media Server.

Sign up for Twingate

Twingate Starter is a new free plan that is designed for home and personal use. If you don’t have an account already, please click here and follow the simple steps to sign up for a Starter account and begin the initial setup.

Add a Remote Network

Click on the “Add a Remote Network” button, and you should see a popup. Twingate supports many different kinds of remote networks. If you are looking to connect to AWS, Azure, or GCP, then select the appropriate option in the dropdown menu. If you are connecting to your home network, choose “Other” for the Location. Regardless of which option you choose, give the network a name, like “Home Network”, then click “Add Remote Network” to create it.

Add a Remote Network
Add a Remote Network

Add a Connector

After completing the steps above, you should now have a Starter account with a Remote Network set up. The next step is to deploy a Twingate Connector, which is a piece of software that allows for secure access to your remote network and the devices connected to it. For it to work, you first need to deploy the Connector on the device that is hosting your Plex Media Server. Please follow the instructions below for some common devices:

Add a Resource

You’ve now set up a Connector on your device. This Connector enables remote access for any device or service on your home network (called a “Resource” in Twingate). For now, we’re just interested in enabling access to Plex, so we need to add it as a Resource.

Go back to your Remote Network and click on the “Add Resource” link. You’ll see a popup like the one below. Click on the “CIDR Address” box, choose a Label name for the Resource, enter the local IP address of Plex (likely 10.x.x.x or 192.168.x.x), choose 32400 for the Port Restriction, and click “Add Resource”. Congrats! Your Plex Media Server is now enabled for secure remote access.

Add a Resource
Add a Resource

Download the Twingate client

All that’s left to do now is to install Twingate on your device (we support Windows, Mac, Linux and have apps for iOS and Android) and access your Plex Media Server. As an example, let’s walk through setting up the Twingate client on iOS.

First, download and install the iOS app here. Type in the Network URL that you chose when you signed up and tap “Join Network”. You’ll be automatically asked to log in using the same account you used to sign up. After signing in, you’ll land on the home screen, where you should already see your Plex Resource listed. When you are connected to your Twingate network, a “VPN” icon will appear in the top bar of your screen.

To test it out, stay connected to Twingate, disconnect from your local network (e.g., by disabling WiFi), and navigate to your Plex Media Server instance on your phone’s browser. You should be able to access it just as if you were at home.

Finally, disconnect from Twingate and try accessing Plex again — you should see that it’s inaccessible.

Plex + Twingate client experience
Plex + Twingate client experience

Congrats! You’ve finished setting up Twingate for Plex Media Server. Join us in the community forum to share how things went and what cool use cases you’ve discovered!

Sharing is Caring

Do you want to share access with a family member? You can easily do this from the Twingate web UI. Just go to the Team tab and click “Invite User” to send an email invitation. The recipient would simply follow the same steps to download the Twingate client, join your network, and get access to Plex, or any other resource you set up!

Invite other users
Invite other users

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