Plex is the go-to option for streaming from your own media library to pretty much any device that has a screen or can hook up to one. The service has traditionally required a dedicated, always-on PC to run its server component while a player app on a separate device handles the front end, but now Plex is making itself more accessible to mainstream users via a new online option, called Plex Cloud, delivered in partnership with Amazon Cloud Drive.
Plex Cloud functions just like a regular Plex Media Server except both the server component and media content lives in the cloud. The simplified setup will eliminate some of the hassles that come with using Plex for less-technical users, like maintaining a server at home, keeping the software updated and managing hard disk drives. If your ISP’s upstream speeds are awful you’ll also from better stream quality using Amazon’s servers.
It does, however, require a $59.99 per year subscription to Amazon Drive for unlimited storage, on top of a Plex Pass at an additional $4.99 per month or $39.99 per year. You’ll also need to manually upload the content that you want to keep in the cloud — which you might want to think twice about if your media library comprises pirated media.
For now the new Plex Cloud service is available as an invite-only beta for Plex Pass subscribers. It will eventually include all the features offered by Plex but some not available at launch include camera upload, mobile sync, cloud sync, media optimizer, DLNA and DVR.
Plex says it will be evaluating support for other cloud storage providers over time.