Which media server is best for you?

The advent of Plex has become a great advantage for cord cutters. This gave them the ability to stream all the media they wanted in their home from one machine. While Plex continues to be a popular choice, it’s no longer the only option on the market. Emby is becoming more and more popular and useful.

Choosing between the two platforms is not easy, and you don’t want to choose one and then switch to the other – it will be a headache to import all your media again. Take a look at the pros and cons of each platform to help you choose the right one.

Emby costs vs. Plex

The main reason anyone uses a media server like Emby or Plex is to cut costs, whether it’s by eliminating cable or cutting back on subscriptions to Netflix, Hulu, etc.

The first thing to note is that both Emby and Plex are free to use. Subscription services simply offer more features for users to take advantage of.

Emby offers three pricing tiers. The monthly subscription is $4.99 per month and the annual subscription is $54 per year. You can also pay a one-time fee of $119 for lifetime access to all Emby Premiere features, including Emby DVR, cloud sync, and theater mode.

Plex also charges $4.99 per month, but is a bit more affordable with an annual price of $39.99. The best value option is a lifetime subscription for $119.99. Plex Pass gives users access to more advanced features such as bandwidth capping, improved hardware transcoding, and more.

Emby Vs Plex: Features

Emby and Plex are both media servers for home streaming, but users expect more than the bare minimum. For example, many people are looking for live TV and DVR features, something that both Emby and Plex offer. However, these features are often closed with premium subscriptions.

Plex allows users to stream their content from their primary device to any device on the same network. You don’t need to be a subscriber. Emby, on the other hand, only allows free local streaming via the web app, Roku, and Apple TV — an odd collection of services.

Remote streaming is a paid feature on both platforms. If you want to stream content from your home media server to your phone when you’re out and about, you’ll have to pay for it. However, this feature also allows you to download content to your device for offline viewing.

Emby has a few features that Plex doesn’t have. First Movie mode, which gives viewers an authentic cinema-like experience that plays trailers and special screensavers before a feature film. With many cinemas still closed, this allows you to keep the experience at home.

Another feature is Cover Art plugin. It provides users with over 30 different styles of processing and overlays, allowing you to customize the look of your movies. Although Plex gives you the option to change the cover, it doesn’t have any built-in features like this. You must rely on third-party plugins.


The strength of services like Emby and Plex is their support for add-ons. These third-party extensions provide a level of customization not available on other official platforms. While both Emby and Plex support a number of different extensions, Plex has better support and a wider variety of options.

The Unsupported App Store is one of the most popular Plex extensions. This is one of the reasons why many people prefer Plex over other services. It gives you access to unofficial Plex channels with content you won’t find anywhere else. You can also find officially supported apps that provide even more content.

Both platforms provide access to Trakt Scrobbler, Sub-Zero and other popular extensions. The reason Plex has better support is simply because of its age; because the service has been around longer, it has more extensions and a larger community.


You want to be able to access your content regardless of device. Both Emby and Plex support all major operating systems for both phones and desktops, as well as most streaming devices. The differences in compatibility are not what you can view the content on, but where you can play the sound.

Plex has the upper hand when it comes to compatibility. It supports Sonos and Android Auto, two services that Emby doesn’t support. It may not seem like a point of contention, but the ability to play audio through your sound system can make or break a streaming platform.

Emby vs. Plex: Privacy

Users want the privacy of their services. You don’t want the service snooping on your movie library, and you don’t want it to collect data it doesn’t need. In this regard, Emby has an advantage.

Unlike Plex, Emby is an open source platform. All of Emby’s software, including user management, streaming, and more, runs locally on your server. You do not need internet access anywhere unless you are using Emby Connect (a remote streaming service).

In 2017, Plex came under fire for changing its privacy policy. Although the company backtracked on its decision and clarified the wording, many users have already switched to Emby and other platforms. Plex collects information about users to help improve its services, but many users, especially those whose content was obtained illegally, don’t want the company looking at their media libraries.

Although Plex is primarily a private service, if you want complete control over the privacy of your content, Emby is the way to go. As long as you don’t connect Emby to the Internet, your information is protected.

Emby vs. Plex: Which is Best?

On specs alone, Plex is a winner. The platform has more features, more add-ons, and a much larger user base than Emby. However, both Plex and Emby offer similar features and services. Emby has the potential to grow even more and overtake Plex.

There is no clear winner. Both platforms offer different ways of being useful. If you want wider compatibility with a wider range of devices, Plex is the better option. If you care about complete privacy and open source software, Emby is a better choice.

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