Best DLNA Media Server for 2018

Best DLNA Media Server for 2018

DNLA Media Servers make sharing media across your home network or the world effortless

Way back in 2003, which to some of you may seem like a a very long time ago. Sony came up with the “Digital Network Living Alliance” otherwise known as DNLA. This was put into place to add some controls or restrictions on the use of digital media and to provide a standard for interoperability of shared media across a wide variety of devices. Today there are over 500 million devices ranging from HD Television, Gaming Consoles and Digital Cameras and even Networked Printers, that are all DNLA compliant.

Another important aspect of DLNA is Universal Plug and Play or UPnP. When it comes to sharing media across the home a DLNA Media Server or NAS is required. The DLNA standard places limitations or restrictions on the type of streaming media file formats, video resolutions and encodings these devices support.

The job of a Digital Media Server is to host or store the media and make it available for playback to other devices attached to your network ensuring the media is transcoded in the correct format.

Best Media Server Hardware - HTPC

If you ever start streaming your media from the internet, odds are very high a media server may be in your future one day. Either a NAS or computer can work equally well to serve up music and video files to your media streaming devices inside your local network or across the continent to your mobile devices while on the go. The advantage to an HTPC computer is you have more control over your software and apps that are installed. 

If you find yourself needing a media server, we highly recommend you check out the Assassin HTPC line of home theater computers. We like them for their for their high build quality and features.

NAS - Synology QNAP or WD

When it comes to a Network Attached Storage or (NAS) it can offer many benefits as well like redundant hard drives to automatically back up your data. Small headless footprint, which lets you access it from another computer or mobile device on your network or from the internet. They often have built in media server software along with many additional features as well. To learn more about two great NAS companies, and to try working demo versions of their software, please be sure to read:

Most Popular UPnP/DLNA Media Server Software


PlayOn is DLNA compliant media server software that will only work with the Windows operating system. Mac and Linux users need to look elsewhere for their ultimate media server software. Hint, See Plex below. 

What makes PlayOn unique and popular is the sheer volume of Plugins or scripts available letting it play almost any video content available on the net. If it is video you already own, or is on the web, chances are there is PlayOn script that will let your have access to it and play it. 

A one time limited license fee is available for $40 and well worth it once you see all the great content that is available to stream through PlayOn. PlayOn for $60 more offer it's "PlayLater" DVR/recording service. If you want to learn more about PlayOn please click here. Currently they are offering both PlayOn and PlayLater on sale for a special price of only $24.99

PLEX Media Server

Plex is hands down one of the nicest and most polished DLNA compliant media server and client software available. It is extremely popular in the streaming community and our favorite DLNA media server software as well. 

With apps or channels to work on almost every platform and operating system including mobile and also Roku, Plex can stream your media wherever you go. 

Plex is both powerful and easy to use plus offers many official and 3rd party plugins which help enhance it's usefulness even further and along with PlayOn feel they are two of the best DLNA Media Server software apps available to streamers for 2018. 

To download the Plex Media Server Software, Client App or get the Plex Roku channel please click here.

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