I have been using PLEX as my media server but was finally able to pin point what had been taking all our data every month. Plex utilized 38GBs in the last 30 days with less than 5.7GBs during the overnight free time when all the scheduled tasks are supposed to run. So I want to get rid of it and use something else. What other media server options are others using that do not use that much data. All 6+TBs of movies and tv shows are on hard drives running on my windows 10 pro machine so I am not looking for something to stream over the net, just from Desktop to TVs.
Thanks in advance.
Curious, how have you set PLEX up? My PLEX rig uses almost no data aside from the occasional lookup when a new show or movie gets added to the database.
On your TV, how are you streaming? Did you tell the PLEX Client to use a local address(the server), or is it actually attempting to stream via the online PLEX service? When I had setup my TV, it was actually attempting to stream from the online PLEX service instead of directly from my server till I went into the settings and made sure to configure it to pull from a local IP, as the Media Server Discovery feature wasn't working all that great.
Are you using any of the Online Content services such as Web Shows, Tidal, Podcasts? Those can consume a rather hefty amount of data.
Do you have PLEX Pass? If so, under the settings in Status > Dashboard where the graphs are displayed, you can se a bandwidth graph, mine shows 0Mbps for streaming, if you show anything other than 0, for some reason your streaming is going out WAN and back into LAN which sounds like a misconfigured network.
Under your Scheduled Tasks, you might want to untick the following things to help with data usage, though this can result in out-dated media information, especially if you add really new series/shows.
Refresh metadata periodically
Perform refresh of Program Guide Data
Do you have any plugins installed?
Looking at my logs, last month my PLEX server used only 30MB of data, that's all, granted I haven't added anything to the library in some time, this is with a 38TB library as well.
Plex can't possibly be using data for remote services, which won't work on HN because of the double NAT.
You can, however, use it as a local media server, which only uses the local LAN, thus no HN data usage.
If no apps are being used that do data streaming, and no app/server updates are being done, Plex uses no HN whatsoever.
Here is a screen shot of the usage
As for the settings,
Remote Access is off. I have just turned off sending crash reports to Plex. I have it pointing to local path for application data as well as media files. Library scan is daily, but scheduled during free time. No Plugins are activated. I turned off Webhooks(not sure what it was but mentioned external services).
Backup database every three days (to Local directory)
These scheduled tasks were just unchecked.
When adding new TV shows, what is the best way to do so to minimize the impact to data limits? Add the folders within PLEX then add the files to the folders? Since the last version, I have been having to fix matches on the TV series when added new seasons to existing shows. Plex continues to think everything that I add is Pokemon, Walking Dead and Breaking Bad even thought I have none of those shows in my library. It is picking up new movies correctly with zero problems.
These scheduled tasks were just unchecked.Refresh metadata periodicallyPerform extensive media analysis during maintenancePerform refresh of program guide data.
Now I see why you feel as if PLEX is being a datahog as it kind of is, but isn't... The Win10 Data Usage counts LAN AND WAN traffic together, there is zero way to distinguish the two apart. So if you watch a file in Direct Play from your PMS to a Roku or Smart TV, if that file is 3GB, then Win10 will count that 3GB of usage on PLEX regardless of if it goes to WAN or LAN devices. Below is a screenshot of my desktop, I use PLEX Web in Chrome on my desktop for viewing content, so Chrome has an incredibly high usage rate, I also use K-Lite for things that PLEX just doesn't play nice with, notice that ffmpeg has a high usage as well, as it's a codec from K-Lite.
I don't have PLEX Server on Win10, so I can't give a real Apple to Apple comparison.
As far as minimizing the impact, the total metadata download per series shouldn't be too high as PLEX is downloading only a handful of images, and parsing a ton of text. Basically it should be less than 2MB per episode. However, if you enable the intro music while browsing, or have trailers that play before movies, PLEX will consume a ton of data, hopefully you have those features disabled.
As far as the whole naming thing, are you sure you have setup your folder heirarchy correctly, along with using the proper naming conventions?
I use the following format and it works almost flawlessly aside from random glitches with some movies or TV shows...
/Media (Drive or other storage location)
/Movie Name (Folder)
/Movie File (Actual file)
/TV Shows (Folder)
/Series Name (Folder)
/Season 1 (Folder)
/Series Name S01E## (Actual File) (In some cases I have to use a different format, such as Series Name 02x12 for season 2, episode 12.)
/Season 2 (Folder)
/Series Name S02E## (Actual File)
Anime (if you watch that kinda stuff...) can be confusing to PLEX, and it's best to have it in it's own TV Shows category as you may have to play around with it a bit.
I highly suggest reading this help article for naming conventions, or post on their forum if you continue to have issues with the library agent matching things properly.
It's just a suggestion, but for a better method of keeping an eye on how much internet data your computer is using, check out Glasswire. It's free, it works well, and a lot of us use it, including myself. It will tell you exactly how much internet data your computer is using, and just what's using it, as in programs, apps and Windows processes. You can also see, by IP address, where the data came from or went to. It measures the data only for the computer it's installed on, so if you have more than one Windows computer that you need to monitor you'd want to install it on each one. There is also a version for Android devices, which is fairly new, though I haven't tried it, myself.
If you do download and install it, make sure to set the options to "Incoming & Outgoing" and "External". This way it tallies both the upload and download data, and only the data that is coming or going via the internet rather than data that is being transferred back and forth internally.
To set the options...
Hope this helps.