Pros and Cons of Plex Cloud
Plex Cloud, the latest offering from Plex, is likely to take user experience to new levels. With this service, you no longer have to run Plex Media Server on a computer or to any other Network Attached Storage in your house. Rather, you can access it all directly from the cloud.
The obvious advantage is it gives you greater flexibility as you can use it on a broad range of devices. Also, you’re not confined to a particular geographical location as you can use it from any device as long as you have access to the Internet.
Another related advantage is you don’t have to worry about downloading, installing, or configuring Plex software on a PC or Mac. This is sure to come as a huge relief to customers, as it can be daunting for novices and for those who haven’t used media streaming services in the past. Also, you don’t have to keep your PC or Mac on all the time, so in this sense, this service signals the end of the “always-on computer” idea.
This concept of streaming from the cloud takes a lot of work off your hands, especially those related to transcoding options, if you’re computer isn’t a powerhouse to handle all streaming demands. This way, you don’t have to spend money on a high-capability computer, for just streaming media.
In addition, you can create a private list of favorite collection, and watch them from any device, as long as the device supports secure connections to the Internet. Simply sign in with your Plex account, browse and play the content you want. Your only limitation here is the speed of your Internet; if it’s fast enough for Netflix, then it’s sure to be good for Plex Cloud too.
Despite the above advantages, there are some downsides too. Firstly, Plex Cloud doesn’t score high on functionality when compared to the installed version, mainly because the server is not running continuously in the background. Secondly, there is only a limited support for third-party channels.
More importantly, Plex Cloud is not free, as you need an active Plex Passs Subscription to use it. As of now, it costs $4.99 per month, $39.99 per year, or $149.99 for a lifetime. These rates are obviously cheaper than Netflix, but they still cost you, unlike the Plex Media Server that doesn’t need any subscription. Besides, you’ll also need an Amazon Drive account, because it plays content from your computer, and this content has to be in the cloud. This subscription to Amazon Drive sets you back by $59.99 a year, as this is cost for “unlimited everything” plan. Though Plex has a tie-up only with Amazon now, there is always a possibility for it to expand its offerings to Microsoft, Dropbox, SugarSync, and other cloud storage and backup service providers, in the future.
Thus, Plex Cloud is going to cost you some money, but it’s not so expensive that it’ll break your bank, and plus, you get good value for what you pay.