Yes, NordVPN works with Plex. Enabling NordVPN to encrypt your internet traffic while using Plex is pretty straightforward, and you can expect to bolster your anonymity online in a matter of clicks.
Why Use NordVPN With Plex? The Short Version
If you intend on using the free live channels and on-demand content from Plex, then there’s no need to use NordVPN, as you’re not doing anything wrong.
However, if you access channels like BBC iPlayer that are region-locked, you’ll need to enable NordVPN to bypass the geo-restrictions.
Similarly, if you’re accessing media that’s deemed illegal or that broadcasts copyrighted material, you’ll need to flick the connect button on NordVPN.
Keep reading to learn more about the ins and outs of using NordVPN and Plex.
The Benefits of Using NordVPN With Plex; In Detail
Plex provides users with a one-stop entertainment solution to store and stream the media that matters to them most. Although a common way of using Plex is using the app to stream free live TV and watch on-demand content, many users choose to set up their own Plex media server to access the content they love all in one place.
Below you’ll find a list of some of the reasons to use NordVPN with Plex.
Avoid Being Caught by Copyright Owners
Much like Kodi, Plex allows users to install plugins or extensions to turn their home Plex server into a content-streaming powerhouse.
Although it’s reasonable to add legit applications like Crackle, BBC iPlayer, and more, it’s also possible to set up a custom app store to access copyrighted material through channels that rely on torrenting.
For this reason, it’s essential to use a provider like NordVPN while streaming content with Plex. Enabling NordVPN during a late-night Plex session will ensure your IP address is hidden from your ISP, making you untraceable during situations where pirated content is accessed.
Additionally, if you try to access channels like BBC iPlayer from the US, for example, you’ll be greeted with a screen like the one below.
Enabling NordVPN and connecting to a UK server will eliminate this problem, and you’ll slip through the net, making the BBC servers think you’re a UK TV license payer (which you’re not).
How to Enable NordVPN With Plex?
Enabling NordVPN with Plex is a straightforward process.
Follow the steps below to get up and running.
Please note: the following steps are for Windows 10 and may differ between devices.
- Grab a massive discount on a NordVPN subscription.
- Download and install the NordVPN app for your chosen device.
- Open the application and, when prompted, enter your username (usually your email address) and the password you set during the sign-up process.
- Hit Quick Connect to find your nearest and fastest server.
- You should now see a success message with the IP address and server location you’re connected to.
- Head to https://nordvpn.com/ and check for a message in the header area that states you are “Protected.”
- Download and install Plex for your device.
- You’ll be prompted to set up a Plex media server and create an account during the installation process. You’ll also choose your apps at this point but will be able to reconfigure them later.
- Once the installation finishes, the Plex server will run automatically.
You’re now accessing Plex with the added security of NordVPN, with an IP address that’s unidentifiable by anyone but you.
Bonus: Use Plex and NordVPN On Your Router
It’s also possible to set up and use Plex with NordVPN via a router.
To make this possible, you’d need to set up NordVPN on a supported router.
Once you have NordVPN running on your router, you can connect the device with your Plex server setup to the router, and any traffic transferred over the connection will be behind a NordVPN server.
Please refer to the Plex setup support area for a complete guide on setting up and customizing a Plex server.
How Do You Split-Tunnel With NordVPN and Plex?
If you’d prefer to have your Plex traffic routed through NordVPN while the rest of your internet is transferred over a direct connection, split-tunneling is the way to go.
To set up split tunneling on NordVPN, please follow these steps.
For illustration, these steps detail the setup process on Windows and may differ for each device.
- Click Split-Tunneling from the left-hand menu, and then enable the setting using the toggle at the top of the window. Ensure Enable VPN for selected apps only is selected. Select Add apps.
- Scroll through the list of applications on the next window that appears, and find Plex. Click the checkbox next to Plex (and any other apps you’d like routed to the VPN server) before clicking on Add apps.
NordVPN split-tunneling is now enabled for Plex use and any other apps you selected. All other traffic will be visible to your ISP as regular internet traffic.
NordVPN Not Working With Plex? Try These Fixes
NordVPN works flawlessly with Plex for the most part, but there are times when it won’t connect, or you find you’re not being assigned a new IP address even though NordVPN shows a success message.
Don’t worry, the below fixes have been tried and tested, and for the most part, resolve common issues.
Here they are:
Hop to a Different Server
If you’re getting endless buffering when you attempt to stream a Plex channel, try a different server from your desired location.
For example, if you’re connected to the New York server in the US, try connecting to the Dallas server instead to see if it resolves the problem.
Check for NordVPN Updates
Open NordVPN and click the gear icon at the top of the application to bring up settings.
If you see a screen like the one below that states, “You’re up to date!” then you don’t need to do anything.
If that message says something else, you’ll need to download and install the latest version of the application to see if it makes any difference to your issue.
Confirm Your Plex Server Is Set Up Correctly
NordVPN may not be causing the issues you’re having with your connection.
If the problem happens with a direct connection and while you’re connected to NordVPN, there’s likely an issue with Plex.
Please follow the Plex server setup steps to ensure you haven’t missed anything that could cause issues.
Ensure your Firewall Is Not Blocking Your Plex Connection
If you’re using a Windows device, the Windows firewall may be blocking the connection to Plex. Please refer to the Plex support page to whitelist the application.
For Firestick and other devices, you’re unlikely to be behind a firewall, so you can skip this step.
Restart your Device
As a final step, restarting your device will refresh your NordVPN and Plex connections when the device starts back up.
Try this to see if your issue is resolved.
If none of the above helps, contact NordVPN support to see if they’re able to assist.
Does NordVPN Support Port Forwarding With Plex?
Unfortunately, NordVPN does not support port forwarding with Plex or any other type of media server, this could be due to safety concerns around opening ports that allow access to your entire network to an intruder.
NordVPN doesn’t point out the exact reason why port forwarding isn’t supported but states it’s because “multiple customers are using the same servers.”
Port forwarding is helpful for Plex home media servers as it allows you to remotely access a device in your home from another device with internet access.
To set up port forwarding, you’ll usually need to access your router from a computer or another device with an internet browser.
If you’re set on using port forwarding, I’ve listed some VPN alternatives below, with providers like Private Internet Access offering full support for this feature.
There’s also a helpful guide on the Plex support site detailing the steps to set up port forwarding.
NordVPN Alternatives That Work With Plex
Although NordVPN works well with Plex, some users prefer other providers based on their features and available budget. Below, you’ll find a list of VPN providers that function just as well as NordVPN with Plex.
ExpressVPN has one of the most extensive networks of server locations available. It takes care of geo-blocks without any hassle, and it includes advanced privacy features like a Private DNS, an internet kill switch, and apps available on every device you could ask for.
Private Internet Access trumps NordVPN with full support for port forwarding. Its server speeds are incredible, and military-grade encryption ensures your identity is always hidden online.
Surfshark has one of the cleanest app interfaces I’ve seen. It supports unlimited simultaneous device connections and comes in at one of the best budget VPN providers available.
NordVPN is ideal for use with Plex, as it blocks prying eyes like your ISP from penalizing you for downloading copyrighted material.
NordVPN also does not keep logs, so even if you did stream content illegally, it’s never recorded, so it can’t be handed to any authorities.
Additionally, NordVPN is needed to unlock channels with region blocks, which it does in a breeze.
My favorite NordVPN alternative is ExpressVPN, as it has a vast number of server locations and comes bundled with advanced privacy features like Private DNS and TrustedServer Technology.
For me, though, there’s no comparison with the features packed into NordVPN at such an affordable price. Pick up a NordVPN subscription now to see what everyone’s raving about!