Anyone ever host Plex using a droplet?

August 25, 2016 5k views
Applications Ubuntu 16.04

I have it running but I'm just curious - is it reasonable?

3 Answers

Personally I've installed it and played around with Plex on a droplet a bit. I know others are running it and when we announced block storage recently there was some discussion on running plex on a droplet in the reddit thread about the launch.

From a technical perspective it's a reasonable option but you'll want to work out the cost of storage depending on how large a media library you have. Block storage allows you to scale and have a large storage volume on a small droplet but that storage costs $0.10/Gb/Month.

If you have a friend with a decent internet connection (at least 3mb or more upload speed) then I think it would be cheaper in the long run to just build your own box. You can put together an older motherboard with quad-core cpu and 8gb for not too much, and then sink your money into buying new hard-drives.

My reasoning is that your media-library will be growing over time, so rather than creating a growing monthly bill for yourself, just invest in hard-drives and add them as you need them so everything is paid-for.

I'm running a $5/month droplet with Plex. My media library is stored on Google Drive ($10/tb/month) and then mounted from Ubuntu.

All my media is in mp4 format which I don't need to transcode on any of my devices. I has crashed a couple times when downloading multiple movies while trying to stream simultaneously. It also had a hard time scanning 850gb of media while also streaming a movie, but now that it's finished it seems to run fine.

I may try upgrading to $10/month droplet for better stability, but I'm not sure its worth the cost. All in all I'm happy with this solution. If Plex Cloud works through some of the issues (eg. no sync feature, slow to load metadata, seems to go offline when not in use, reconnect time is slow), I will probably switch back, but for now I prefer Digital Ocean.

If you are a student you can get $50 of Digital Ocean credit here. That got me 10 free months. You could also theoretically cut cloud storage prices in half with Amazon Drive, but unfortunately they closed their API a couple years ago, and I can't get it to work on Ubuntu.

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