Several users believe that media server programs & apps are a thing of the past. But this isn’t true; there are still people who highly recommend using Best Media Server Software for Windows, Mac & other devices to organize and share their favorite multimedia content that they have collected over the years. However, the popularity of Streaming Services like Netflix, Hulu & Amazon Prime has shrunk the market of Media Server Solutions.
But, for some, it is still a feasible option to stream Photos, Videos, TV shows, movies, and much more without getting troubled due to traffic congestion or annoying buffering issues. So, if you are interested in finding the Best Media Servers for Windows & other devices, listed down are some of the best choices available right now!
Top Five Best Media Server Software List (2021)
The list contains both paid & free media server software for Windows 10 and other operating systems.
1. Plex: Best Choice Overall
I am assuming you don’t need much introduction to this popular media server solution. But if you need a quick run-through, Plex is an excellent utility to organize all your media content at one destination, be it music files, movies, TV shows, photos, and whatnot. It is simple to set up and works on most of the operating systems.
FEATURES: Plex Media Server
- Best choice for your media library categorization, sharing & streaming.
- Allows you to access your digital media collection from anywhere you want.
- Supports 43+ languages with subtitles.
- Works on the server-client model; you can create a server on PC and access it from your mobile easily.
- Receives frequent updates to improve overall performance.
- Best Streaming Devices To Play Plex Content: Apple TV, Android & iOS Phones, Amazon Fire TV Cube, Google Chromecast, Smart TVs (Samsung, LG, Sony, etc.)
Price: $4.99/month| Download Now | USP: Holds potential to transcode video in real-time; this saves both time & effort.
2. Emby: Best Choice For Advanced Users
Emby is an open-source & free media server software for Windows & other devices to enjoy limitless entertainment. The utility is relatively stable and reliable and shines differently when it comes to its customization settings. It has strong capabilities to convert and stream any type of media files so that you can easily enjoy your favorite content on any device.
FEATURES: Emby Media Server
- Just sign-in and play your favorite videos
- Allows you to enjoy Live content on TV.
- Offers a unified web portal to access all your stored digital files. You can access it by just signing with your Emby account.
- Allows you to organize local files with cloud-file syncing.
- Best Streaming Devices To Play Emby Content: Smart TVs (Samsung & LG), Apple TV, Google Chromecast, Smartphones & PS3 & PS4 Pro (with Emby Premiere installed).
Price: $4.99/month | Download Now | USP: Capable of managing a dedicated content library for kids.
3. Best Open-Source Media Service Option
Kodi is the best choice for someone looking for a robust media center packed with a classic interface. The open-source media center was initially originated as Xbox Media Center, XMBX. It features dedicated sections for Movies, TV Shows, Music, and more. You can store the content as local files or plugins.
FEATURES: Kodi Media Server
- Supports downloading skins and addons for Movies, TV Shows & more.
- Capable of playing videos, music, DVDs, 3D Movies, unencrypted Blu-ray discs, CDs, slideshows, and whatnot.
- Offers options to customize the user interface.
- Tools to display lyrics and subtitles with movies or TV shows.
- Supports streaming services like YouTube, Spotify, Netflix, and more.
- Best Streaming Devices To Play Kodi Content: Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV Cube, Raspberry Pi, NVIDIA SHIELD TV, and more.
Price: Free | Download Now | USP: Easiest to install, setup, and use the media server software.
Must-Read: How To Get Netflix On Kodi?
4. MediaPortal: Excellent Choice For Home Streaming
Aims to bring a cohesive multimedia experience right on your PC, MediaPortal arrives as one of the best media servers for Windows 10. It can easily be connected to your local collection of videos, music files, TV shows, and more. Additionally, you can access the content through its web portal, but unfortunately, you can’t stream from there.
- You can stream media, radio, TV to any HTPC or PC connected to your network.
- Offers addons and plugins like Kodi media server software.
- Helps to organize your entire digital media collection.
- Supports watching Live TV and recording too.
- The media server software is highly compatible with an array of different media formats.
- Best Devices To Play MediaPortal Content: LCD, Plasma, Smartphones, Projectors, and more.
Price: Free | Download Now | USP: Supports checking current weather, latest news & more.
5. Universal Media Server: Highly Compatible For All Devices
Like several Best Media Server Software for Windows & other devices, Universal Media Server is a free and open-source solution. It can easily be installed on multiple devices, just like any other executable file to stream videos, audios, images, etc. The interface is straightforward and offers support for subtitles installed from multiple renowned providers.
FEATURES: Universal Media Server
- Free media server for Windows 10 and other OS.
- It even supports DLNA compatible devices.
- Supports plugins and addons.
- Organize and manage videos, audios, and photos in one place.
- It offers a powerful transcoder and supports a wide array of media formats.
- Best Streaming Devices To Play UMS Content: PS4, PS3, Roku Premiere, Apple TV, Google Chromecast, Smart TVs (Samsung, LG, Panasonic, Roku TV, Philips, Sony, etc.)
Price: Free | Download Now | USP: Highly customizable media server software.
Frequently Asked Questions: Media Server Software (2021)
Q1. What is Media Server Software?
A media server is a computer application that helps users store digital media such as videos, audios, images, and other multimedia files to be available for quick accessing or sharing over a network. Using the best media server software, one can easily stream any media to NAS (Network Attached Storage), PCs, Android devices, Smart TVs, Apple devices, and more.
Q2. Which is the Best Media Server Software?
Plex is one of the best media services that can assist you in taking care of a vast media collection so that you can access multiple TV Shows, Videos, Movies, and more anytime, anywhere. The media server software is highly compatible with Android smartphones, Smart TVs, Apple devices, etc.
Q3. Why do I need a Media Server?
Having a media server by your side makes the streaming experience seamless than ever before. You can effortlessly access all your multimedia files from one network. It even helps to transcode the files into formats that can easily be read by almost all media player devices.
Q4. How does Media Server work?
A media server is built where all your digital files are stored. It can be your personal computer or smartphone, or any other storage device. Talking about the workflow, the Media server delivers files to you via a web server. For starters, you go to a webpage located on the webserver > when you open the file you want to use, the server automatically sends a notification to the media server, telling which file you are looking for. This entire process is completed bypassing the webserver.
Q5. Can Windows 10 be a Server?
Yes, pretty much any desktop can be used as a web server. Just ensure it can connect to a network and have enough resources to run a web server software smoothly.