Plex server, SMB or NFS?

Hey guys, first time posting here. Been a lurker for a while but now I am the one with a question and I need your help. I have finished setting up a NAS (Plex server, SMB and NFS) in my home using a Synology DS918+ with 16TB of space. I finished setting up and now I have these 3 possible ways to use Infuse on my ATV 4K with the NAS:

  1. Plex server
  2. SMB
  3. NFS

My NAS is connected to my ASUS Rapture AC5300 via LAN in link aggregation mode and my ATV 4K is connected to the router via WiFi 802.11ac (5 GHz) and it’s averaging 400 mbps (50 MBps) on both download and uploads. In my opinion, enough headroom to even stream 4K videos without any issues.

With this being said, which of the 3 options listed above would yield the best experience? I really don’t know the pros and cons of using one over the other. I know for a fact though, that by going with the Plex server, I can also access my library REMOTELY (away from home) on mobile devices, whereas by using SMB or NFS, I can only access my library locally while on my home network.

Now that I think about it while I type this, it occurs to me that I can have all 3 options running and just connect to Plex on my mobile devices so I can access them away from home and just use either SMB or NFS on my ATV 4K.

Or should I just use Plex on the ATV 4K as well?

As you all can see, I am a bit confused as to the best route to take. Any help or suggestions will be greatly appreciated!

Welcome to the forum!

You’re like me, spend so much time weighing the options that you end up even more unsure. LOL

I finally realized that with so many variables the best thing to do is jump in and try it out. If you don’t get the results you want with SMB, try one of the different SMB protocols. If they don’t work try NFS and so on.

Everyone’s preferences and setups are different so you have options to fine tune things.

All of your questions can be tried with simple settings changes so go for it.

I ended up with SMB on auto and it works for my setup. Others find that Plex fits their needs better.

I’m sure others will offer input also so give it a shot and enjoy!

Hi NC, thanks for the response and welcome! Yes, I think trial and error is one of the best ways to determine what works best for one’s specific setup. I think any of the 3 options will work fine, and it’s just a matter of what serves me better.

I definitely want to have the ability to stream away from home on my mobile devices, so Plex will definitely stay activated and running on the NAS.

Now the question is, for my Apple TV 4K, do I go with NFS, SMB or Plex as well.

Performance wise, I think all 3 will work great because my NAS is very fast and my router too.

I guess it all boils down to features that one has over the other.

Each to their own, yes.

My setup:

4 Synology (412+, 415+, 2415+ and 918+) mostly set up through Plex, which for me clearly is the best, aka. fastest. I have around 250 4K Movies and they all run flawlessly on my LG65C8. The reason, not my whole collection (140 tb/nearly 13000 titles and counting) is through Plex is, that Collection is not yet available in connection with Infuse.

That’s more or less what I did. SMB for Infuse because I find it to be the best supported protocol by Infuse, then a Plex server is no matter what running on my MacBook Pro for the reasons above (but more to use it with my Fire TV Stick in the kitchen). I have added a Trakt TV plugin in Plex, so the vision can be synchronised with Plex (and it works! Even for the videos I have partially seen. You should easily find it with instructions googling it).

SMB usually does the job. I personally don’t like much the idea to put in the middle a third element (in this case a Plex server between the NAS and Infuse) if unneeded. So basically this is what I do:

NAS (SMB) <-> Infuse
NAS (SMB) <-> Plex Server <-> Plex Client(s)

They happily run in parallel and Infuse is working just fine.