Kodi and Plex are great options for streaming. Both of them are streaming media centers that will let you enjoy all of your movies, shows, pictures, and music too. They both do the same thing, but one might just work better for you—so which should you choose?
You might wonder why you should get a media center. Having a media center will give you a way to centralize all of your personal media files, so this is actually different than your traditional streaming services.
Rather than hosting content from a third party, a media center will host your content. You upload your music, your photos, your movies, and bam—you can access it right there on your TV or on other devices.
In this guide, we’ll compare Kodi and Plex so you can make the most informed decision.
Kodi Vs. Plex At A Glance
- Completely free
- Users can design and customize the interface
- Ability to create multiple profiles and lock certain ones
- No customer support
- Has some security issues
- Have to deal with add-ons if you want more features
- Easy to navigate interface
- Hundreds of free features
- Elaborate content library
- Not a lot of customization options
- Doesn’t have official interface themes
- No access to paid streaming services
Winner: Don’t want to read the full article? The editor’s choice is Plex.
What’s The Difference Between Them?
Plans and Pricing
When it comes to plans and pricing, Kodi and Plex have different approaches.
Plex does have a free server-and-client model. It’s easy to use and all you need to do is download the Plex Media Player onto whatever device you plan to use it. Once downloaded, connect all your media files and log into the app.
Plex also has a subscription service that’s named Plex Plus. There are three payment methods: a $4.99 monthly plan, a $39.99 annual plan, or a $119.99 lifetime plan. All three subscription plans unlock the same features. But they have a different price level depending on how long you plan on using Plex and how useful you find it.
Kodi, on the other hand, is entirely free. It’s a local media player that runs on your device and without a paywall. All of the features that Kodi offers are available freely and you’re even able to add your own.
Winner: Kodi wins; if we don’t get into the available features and based only on plans and pricing. It’s free, and all features are accessible, but it also allows you to add to the service as it’s open-source.
Plex’s Media Server allows you to store all your media: TV series, movies, podcasts, photos, news, and web shows. You can also set up multiple profiles, one for each family member, and access those profiles from any device.
When set up correctly, your Plex media library can even be accessed when you aren’t on the same network, making it great for trips or kids that study away from home.
The media server supports more file types and provides output in both 4k and HDR. Aside from your own library, Plex offers thousands of free movies and allows you to stream some live TV such as fubo Sports Network, Outdoor America, Tastemade, the Film Collective, IGN TV, and more.
All of the above features are available for free. With a paid plan, you can access parental controls, download shows for later, access and monitor the Plex Dashboard server remotely, record live TV, see song lyrics, set a max bandwidth and per-stream cap, and more.
Kodi has very similar features to Plex, but it doesn’t automatically sync all your devices. It can be done but works best for a home theater setup.
Kodi gives you the ability to create multiple profiles and lock certain ones, should you choose to, as well as add on a selection of other third-party services: Pluto, SoundCloud, Plex, BBC iPlayer WWW, Comedy Central, and Crackle. If you’re looking for a specific add-on such as a song, games, or lyrics, you can use the search feature to find them quicker.
Kodi’s real strength is how customizable it is. The user can fully design and customize the interface, which is great for those who want a truly customized server but can be difficult for those unfamiliar with the process.
Winner: Plex comes with an easy-to-navigate interface and hundreds of free features that make using it easy. Even without a paid plan, Plex offers a lot of flexibility and many features. Kodi is great, but it can be hard for beginners to set up.
Ease of Use
You already know that Kodi is quite customizable. It has a lot of options for you to use so that you can do just about anything. The only issue is that to do all of this, you will likely need to find and configure an add-on.
That’s one of the main differences here: Plex and Kodi can both do a lot of the same things, but to do them with Kodi, you will need to find your add-on. It might take you a little bit of time to find what you want and how to configure it properly.
That being said, Kodi does have a very knowledgeable and wide user base. If you have any questions about what you’re doing, you should easily be able to find someone to help you.
Winner: Plex has all of the same features as Kodi, but you can more easily access them. In Kodi, you’ll need to make sure you find the right add-on to do what you want to do.
While both servers are compatible with most streaming devices, Plex makes it the easiest. It syncs automatically across devices and can be used with any major browser, smart TVs, gaming consoles, and streaming sticks.
Plex is accessible on every game store through a variety of hosts. Your media library can also be accessed from anywhere, meaning that wherever your device goes, you can take your favorite games and movies.
Unfortunately, Kodi is lacking for iOS users. It has a strong Android server-base, but does not yet have an iOS app available for users. Kodi also does not allow you to access the library when your device is off-network. That being said, Kodi is also easy to install on either your desktop or laptop computers.
You can even install it on Fire TV and a few other non-Android devices as well, but the process can be a little complicated.
Winner: Plex is more flexible and can be accessed through a variety of methods. It’s both iOS and Android compatible, but it also syncs across all devices automatically. Kodi can’t, and it’s limited to Android, making it much less flexible to work with.
What can you expect to watch with either of these apps? Both of these give you a way to stream your own media files. In that way, really, you can watch the same content on both.
You can also access and record content as well, although do keep in mind that you will need some additional equipment for that, along with another add-on for Kodi.
Plex also partners with the free streaming service Crackle too, which will bring you over 20,000 free movies and TV shows from major studios.
You won’t see any recent titles, but you’ll see a lot of free movies from years ago—and not twenty years ago, just about five years ago. You can also watch live TV channels right on there too. Just pick any of the 180 that you want to watch.
Kodi does also have some other shows you can watch too. Once you install some add-ons, you can easily watch with Pluto TV, Crackle, and many other streaming services. You can even get an app, PlayOn Browser, which will let you connect to Disney Plus, Amazon Prime Video, and other paid streaming services.
Basically, this means you can use Kodi to house everything, so you don’t need to jump between apps. As long as you’re already paying for your other streaming services, you can watch everything from just one spot.
Winner: Kodi lets you watch everything from one spot and lets you connect your other streaming services as well. While you’ll need an add-on or app for that, you have the same options as Plex and some additional features as well.
Ultimately, Plex is the winner. It has features organized in a way that’s easy to understand and has lots of content for you to watch that’s separate from your own media. When you go with Plex, it handles so much of your media server needs.
That being said, Kodi is still a great option, too, if you don’t mind dealing with add-ons. You’ll also have to spend considerable time configuring it and learning how to use it.