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VPN Server and Plex Server

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Chrisgtl

Regular Contributor
Hi all,

I have a 86U running latest stable Merlin firmware. I have a VPN server setup on my 86U so I can access home devices when I am away from home. Everything works beautifully apart from Plex.

The odd thing is I can login to my Plex using Android or Windows Plex app and I can even play music files from my server but I am not able to play any movies.

As soon as I enable remote access on the Plex server and port forward my defined port it all works fine.

I don't want any open ports though and would of thought if I am connected to my router via its VPN then I should be able to do anything with the devices connected to it? Does Plex have some sort of digital rights management that it needs in order for me to play a movie? Really don't understand why music works and films don't. Films will require more bandwidth than music but even on 4G+ I'm unable to start any film playing - and with the same mobile data signal with port forwarding enabled it does play movies.

Has anyone else with a simar setup got Plex working by connecting to their own VPN server?
 
I'm using the Plex media player app for either Android or Windows.

I will try playing a film using the web interface. Good shout!
 
What is your ISP supporting on the upload side? You don't mention file size/formats but you will need a fairly large upload speed to support streaming movie files.
 
What is your ISP supporting on the upload side? You don't mention file size/formats but you will need a fairly large upload speed to support streaming movie files.

My ISP upload is averaging about 35Mbps. My Plex server is able to Transcode about 4 1080p streams if needed.

My films are MKV format, usually about 10 to 20 GB per movie.

Like I said, if I open the Plex port on my router everything works perfectly. But that leaves me with a port open which I don't want. Is it a case that my router isn't powerful enough to process the data via its internal VPN?
 
As a test I will copy one of my Plex movies (stored on my NAS) to the PC running Plex server and see if I can play the movie via VPN.

I bet it works fine.
 
Plex is pretty opaque to me in a lot of ways. They are very proud of their network security. For connection problems, they say to stop any VPN, but I think they must be meaning a VPN client and unaware that anyone would make a connection through a VPN server. If I understand it, the plex server sends to the plex site both the private IP of the plex server and the public IP of the router, not necessarily the public IP of the VPN connection out.

It could be that plex is trying some network discovery that doesn't travel over the server. Have you tried making the VPN connection as a TAP connection rather than a TUN (which is what I assume)? Odd that music would work though.
 
Hi. Yeah, my VPN is TUN. I will try TAP at some point.

Strangely I've since realised without the port forwarding enabled I can still connect even though Plex says no remote connection.

I've kinda given up with it. It works without an open port and I don't need to connect via VPN. That'll do me.
 

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