Max holds a B.S. in mass communications from SIU, an M.A. in communications from U of I, and is pursuing an MBA from Webster University.
Step-by-Step Instructions for Enabling Remote Access to Your Plex Media Server
Standing up a Plex Media Server on your home network lets you put all of your movies, music, and pictures in one location that can be accessed from anywhere—if you have the remote access feature enabled on the server. Remote access is disabled by default, and if the feature doesn't turn on when you initially enable it, you'll need to configure some settings on your router before you can access content on your Plex Media Server from outside of your home network.
Step 1: Reserve the Plex Server's IP Address in Your Router
The first thing you need to do is ensure your Plex server is assigned a static IP on your network. While these instructions vary from router to router, you should be able to navigate to a PC/LAN section within your router's portal and locate where to reserve an IP address for a specific device. Here are the instructions for how to reserve an IP address for your Plex server in a Netgear router:
- Open your Web browser and navigate to routerlogin.com. This is the portal for your Netgear router.
- Click the "Advanced" tab on the home page, and then click "Setup" beneath WPS Wizard on the left side of the screen. A fly-down menu appears.
- Click "LAN Setup." The LAN Setup screen appears on the right.
- Click "Add" in the Address Reservation section. The Address Reservation Table appears, containing a list of devices on your home network.
- Select the machine hosting your Plex server, and then click "Add." You'll be directed back to the LAN Setup screen, where you'll see that the device you selected has been added to the Address Reservation section.
- Write down the number associated with your device in the IP Address section. You'll need this later in the process.
- Proceed to the next step.
Step 2: Set Up Port Forwarding
Now that you've given your Plex server a static IP address, you need to set up port forwarding. Port forwarding is an option that lives in the advanced settings part of most routers. The instructions for setting up port forwarding for your Plex server on a Netgear router are:
- Log back into your Netgear router portal, and then click the "Advanced" tab at the top.
- Click "Advanced Setup" in the menu on the left side of the screen, and then select "Port Forwarding/Port Triggering." The Port Forwarding/Port Triggering page appears on the right side of the screen.
- Select "Port Forwarding" in the Please Select Service Type section. This will open.
- Click "Add Custom Service." The Ports Custom Services screen appears.
- Enter "Plex" in the Service Name field. You can enter anything you want, but this will make it easier to identify.
- Select "TCP/UDP" in the Protocol drop-down.
- Set your External Port Range to 32400, and then check the box to use the same port range for the internal port. This will auto-populate the Internal Port Range field with 32400.
- In the Internal IP Address field, enter the IP address that you wrote down earlier.
- Click "Apply."
Congratulations, you've now completed configuring your Netgear router for enabling remote access to your Plex server.
Step 3: Configure Plex
Now that you've locked in your Plex server's IP address and set up port forwarding, you can configure your remote access settings on your Plex server using the following instructions:
- Click "Settings" in the Manage section. The Settings screen appears.
- Click "Server" in the upper right corner of the Settings screen.
- Click "Remote Access" on the left side of the screen.
- Click the orange "Enable Remote Access" button on the right side of the screen.
- Click to place a check mark to the left of Manually Specify Public Port, and then enter "32400."
- Click the orange "Retry" button to the right of where you entered "32400." You should now see a green check mark to the right of Remote Access in the menu on the left side of the screen, and you should also see a green message across the top of the Remote Access window that says "Fully accessible outside your network." You can now access your Plex server remotely on devices that are not on your network.
You need to be very careful when configuring the settings on your wireless router. If you're not comfortable configuring the settings on your wireless router, please don't do it. Making the wrong change on your router can result in you losing your Internet for an unknown period of time.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
© 2017 Max Dalton
mike on August 29, 2020:
it is very important to have your ip as static
Nate on July 29, 2019:
Worked for me!
Big Vally on March 08, 2019:
Followed it to the letter but still no joy
Kerri on December 30, 2018:
Worked like a charm. Thank you
Rakesh on December 04, 2018:
worked perfectly. thank you
Max Dalton (author) from Greater St. Louis, Missouri on July 19, 2018:
Where did you run into problems? Making sure that you're router is configured correctly is the most difficult part of this.
Rita on July 11, 2018:
Did not work for me
Alex on November 28, 2017:
How do I know which is the machine hosting my Plex server? None of them have names, they just have IP addresses
LG on October 15, 2017:
Thank you, thank you, thank you! Now to see if my changes will finally allow me to run my VPN without the dreaded "not accessible outside your network" error.