Are you looking for a media server solution but are not sure which software to choose? Between Plex, Jellyfin, and Emby, it can be hard for new users to choose their media server. This article will overview the main differences between the three to hopefully make your choice easier.
Plex Media Server was created in 2008 and is the oldest media server on this list. Because of its age, it’s had plenty of time to mature and acquire new features.
Automatic SSL – With Plex Media Server, you don’t need to set up an SSL cert on your server as logins are handled by plex.tv. This gives you peace of mind that your credentials won’t be unencrypted without you having to worry about setting up ssl yourself.
Lots of apps – Plex is very popular and has been around for a while. Because of this, you’re able to run the Plex client on just about anything from your phone to your desktop to your gaming console.
Closed Source – Plex Media Server is closed source. That means you can’t see or modify the code to your liking and if the company goes under, the code could be left abandoned.
Paid Premium – Some features that Plex offers, such as additional users, cost money. However, the basic functionality is free.
Emby Media Server is another popular and mature media server.
Lots of apps – Like Plex, Emby has plenty of apps to choose from. You’ll be able to run a client from your phone, desktop, smart tv, or gaming console.
Closed Source – Emby is closed source. That means you can’t see or modify the code to your liking and if the company goes under, the code could be left abandoned.
Paid Premium – Some features that Emby offers cost money. However, the basic functionality is free.
Manual SSL – If you want to secure your login credentials, you’ll need to manually configure SSL.
Jellyfin was forked from Emby back in 2018 when Emby closed their source code. Because of this, it is very similar to Emby.
Open Source – Jellyfin is the only fully opensource option on this list. This gives you the option to view the source code for bugs and contribute to it. It also gives you the option to fork the project if the current maintainers abandon it or take it in a direction you’re unhappy with.
No Paid Premium – Jellyfin and all of its features are completely free to use.
Manual SSL – Like Emby, if you want to secure your login credentials on a public server, you’ll need to manually configure SSL.
Few apps – Because Jellyfin is new, the developers are still working on apps for most platforms. Though there is a web app as well as Android and IPhone apps.
Any of these servers should take care of your media needs and keep you happy for a long time. If you need help installing one of them, head over to our guides linked below.