If you are searching for a good streaming software, you are bound to be surprised with the options available.
While there is a range of streaming services advertising their content catalogue, there are programs like Kodi and Plex. Both these programs pack all your media files along with a range of streaming services in a single software.
They also let you watch TV channels on the device of your choice. But Kodi or Plex, which one is better?
Both have their unique set of features, and the question is thus, difficult to answer as every person has different preferences. So, let’s find out which one is the best media server for you.
What is Kodi?
Kodi (also known as XBMC) is an open-source home theatre software. With the passage of time, there are uncountable add-ons for Kodi software available which increases its area of functioning.
It’s an all-in-one media player for the local files as well as online streaming. You can run Kodi on Windows, Mac and also Linux.
For mobile devices, Kodi is available on both the Android and iOS platform. And it also offers a lot of customisations.
With hundreds of custom Kodi programs, skins or themes available, you can change the look-and-feel of the software to your taste. And all this is available for free.
What is Plex?
Plex emerged as an XBMC fork. They took the source code and developed a separate home theatre program. Plex acts as a media server.
You put all your media in a device, install Plex on it, and enjoy Plex streaming your files to other connected devices from anywhere.
And the Plex file formats include many common media file types. If one of the files is not supported on a client, the media server converts it to a compatible format for the client software.
The software is available on many devices including set-top boxes like Roku, streaming devices like Fire TV, gaming platforms and also smart TVs. But unlike Kodi, Plex is available for a price.
Is Plex better than Kodi?
OK, now is the big question – Kodi or Plex – which one is better? Let’s first talk about the ease of use.
Plex is available for a large number of devices and installation process is easy. All you need is to create an account and set up the media server software.
Once it’s done, you can log into your account from any other devices and start watching videos or listen to audios.
You don’t need to have your files on every device. But, you need to keep your computer turned on, connected to the Internet and the Plex media server running. You can get rid of this by paying for Plex Pass.
While Plex can stream your content on most of the devices for free, to use it on some mobile devices, you need to pay.
And how much is Plex available for? The Plex Pass is the paid service of Plex, and it is available either for a monthly amount of $5 or an annual payment of $40. There also is a $150 plan which gives lifetime unrestricted access to Plex’s features.
With Plex Pass, you can access your media from any device you own. It also removes the limitations of keeping your computer running for the entire duration.
Plex Pass unlocks the Cloud Sync, in which you can use your cloud storage accounts to sync your media files to all Plex clients.
There also is Plex transcoding which works on the media server. If the client device doesn’t support a file, the server converts it to a supported one without putting any load on the client. And with the additional channels available, you can enjoy quite a lot of streaming services including TV channels.
Is Kodi better than Plex?
Although Kodi isn’t available for many devices like Plex, it has its advantages. The first and foremost is that Kodi is free.
However, setting up Kodi to access your home server of media files is a complicated process. But it can run all the media files – audios, videos and photos – stored in the device.
Apart from being free, the other reason why Kodi is popular is because of the streaming services available on Kodi.
Kodi is open-source, and many developers made add-ons to make Kodi more useful. You can find an add-on for any streaming services you like to watch – Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, Fox, HBO or BBC. And even Plex for Kodi is available through the Plex Kodi addon.
However, in the absence of a central media server, you can only use the online streaming services with Kodi Plex addon.
Now that you have seen the features of Kodi and Plex, you know both have different ways to handle media files. But which one is right for you?
Well, if you want to organise all your media files in a single place and share with other devices, you should use Plex.
But if you're going to watch online streaming, you need to go for Kodi. Plex does have some options, but quite limited when compared with Kodi.
Also, Kodi is free to use and offers a lot of skins and themes to customise the look. With Kodi, however, you can’t sync your library among the devices from anywhere.
Syncing though works if devices are on the same network, but it needs some extra effort from your side.
By the way, it doesn’t matter if you chose Plex or Kodi, you will need the best VPN for Australia to enjoy all the services.
Use a VPN for Plex and Kodi
While you can stream many services at one place, some (or most) of them are geo-locked to their respective country.
BBC, for example, is available only in the UK and HBO works in the US. And using a VPN for Kodi or Plex, you can unblock geo-restrictions.
I would like to recommend ExpressVPN for this purpose. ExpressVPN reviews show that it’s reliable and has many servers available around the world. When you connect to an ExpressVPN server in the US, you will unblock HBO, Hulu,
Netflix US and all the other streaming services available there.
Similarly, with a UK ExpressVPN server, you can access BBC, Netflix UK and other UK TV channels.
Moreover, ExpressVPN encrypts your internet activity, thus hiding your data transfer details from any ongoing surveillance. So, which one do you think is suitable for you?