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Can I use PLEX without an internet connection?

ChewyFishChewyFish Members Posts: 4 ✭✭

Can I use Plex without an internet connection? After searching all the info, I still can't find a clear yes/no answer. I wish to use Plex in a location where internet is not available. I am using a hard drive as the local source of my videos. Thanks in advance.


  • Peter_WPeter_W Members, Plex Pass, Plex Ninja Posts: 2,197 Plex Ninja

    Yes, but remember that in its foundation Plex is Internet based. It "phones home" from time to time (nothing malicious). Fetching metadata, codecs, authenticating clients and users etc. It is possible to circumvent this somewhat, but it takes a bit of work and planning to achieve it. There are several threads regarding this, https://forums.plex.tv/discussion/245616/plex-without-internet for example. More exists if you search. So, you need to turn off a lot of stuff and then connect Plex and client (and play several media items if they contain different type of codecs) while still on the Internet to maximize the success rate when you later take it offline.

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  • BigWheelBigWheel Members, Plex Employee, Plex Pass, Plex Ninja Posts: 10,312 Plex Employee


    Plex Media Server is free. I suggest installing it turning off internet and seeing what happens to determine if it will work for you

    Logs > https://support.plex.tv/articles/201869908-log-files/
  • HeciruamHeciruam Members, Plex Pass Posts: 160 Plex Pass

    How many clients do you use on that internet free area?

  • ChewyFishChewyFish Members Posts: 4 ✭✭

    I appreciate the helpful suggestions from everybody, thank you. After spending several hours yesterday reloading the system and following those suggestions I have come to the following conclusion:

    You cannot run Plex without an internet connection.

  • dduke2104dduke2104 Members, Plex Pass Posts: 257 Plex Pass

    You really can run PMS without an Internet connection but doing so is highly dependent upon how exactly you expect use it.

    You can load it on and laptop and take it off to somewhere with no Internet and watch whatever media you've put on it. Want to involve external clients in that scenario? The answer starts becoming less clear.

  • ChewyFishChewyFish Members Posts: 4 ✭✭

    My intention was to load PMS on a raspberry pi 3 with an external USB hard drive. The pi would be plugged directly into the TV HDMI. And I also tried that setup, but with a second raspberry pi 3 acting as a Plex client with the 2 pis linked by wifi. Both setups worked when connected by internet, neither without.

    I agree that the setup is possible. The question is whether it can be accomplished with user settings, or if it is part of the programming code. If no one knows how to do it, I assume it must be in the coding.

    In the meantime, I'm building a Windows machine and programming my own media interface. Not nearly as cool as a pi setup.

    Thanks again for all the good responses.

  • HeciruamHeciruam Members, Plex Pass Posts: 160 Plex Pass
    edited May 2017

    PMS on the pi3 is far from optimal. Also PLEX really hates not being connected to the internet. You loose all or most of the perks you would get from the plex pass as soon as internet is gone, so if thats your usecase, dont thow any money at it.

    If you only have one client then you should just use KODI.

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