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Plex and VPN

Ever since I got my Sinology Diskstation, I’ve been meaning to set up Plex, a home media server solution. I got round to setting Plex up months ago, but for some reason I could never figure out why I couldn’t connect and browse my media library when I was connected to Plex through VPN. Plex’s Remote Access feature has always confused me too – it requires the user to log into their Plex account and pay for a subscription. What I couldn’t understand was, why would Plex—even though I was connected to my VPN—show me no media, yet when I was at home, it would?

It turns out, Plex uses authentication based on networks. When you’re outside of your normal network, Plex requires seperate authentication in order to access your content, which I’m assuming is part of Plex Remote Access. As my account isn’t subscribe to this, so I couldn’t access any of my media from outside my normal network.

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My VPN’s network is separate to that of my normal network; 10.8.0.0/255.255.255.0. This meant that Plex wouldn’t recognise the IP address of any devices that were connected through my VPN, such as my iPhone, iPad, or MacBook. In order to change this, access the Settings (wrench icon in the top right), change over to Server, then Network, and make sure that Advanced Settings are shown. You will now see a list of networks that are allowed to access Plex without auth.

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Change this to match your personal needs, making sure that networks are separated by a comma. Once the settings are saved, you should be able to connect to Plex without needing authentication, hence you can now see all your media.

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I can finally enjoy my DVD library outside my home!

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