How does PLEX do it?

How does Plex make my home server (synology ds812) available at work ? I am a lifetime plex user and just logged into Plex at my buddies workplace to show him what media server platform I use, and didn’t think it would work, but it does ??? Its a bit scary that it opens up all my T.V. shows folder on my home server ? Wow and cool on oneside, but a bit scary as its opened up some port and is allowing content through numerous network protocols. I don’t know if I should be smiling or worried ??

So there’s two methods that allow your Plex instance to be accessed externally:

a) Your firewall has been configured to allow external connections on port 32400 through to your LAN, which either you configured yourself or was configured automatically via UPnP (if your firewall supports this).

b) Your connection is being proxied through Plex’s hosted servers, aka an “indirect” connection. In this case, your firewall is not configured to allow connections.

The indirect connection is a safer method as your proverbial butt isn’t hanging out in the WAN, but there are considerable drawbacks to this method. Namely, Plex will limit your maximum bitrate to 1mbps for the free tier since they’re routing your traffic across their servers. Bandwidth ain’t free! Full details on the indirect method here - Accessing a Server through Relay | Plex Support

You can easily check which method is in use by navigating to Settings > Server > Remote Access. Mine is configured to use a direct connection, so it looks like this:

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