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Plex Alert

On Saturday afternoon, as I was enjoying the sun in the back garden, I received an unexpected notification on my phone:

New Device MY-EMAIL just used a new device to access MY-PLEX-SERVER (TiVo)

I do not have a TiVo. Considering I was relaxing in the garden, I was surprised that my account had just logged in with a new device. I immediately assumed my account had been hacked.

I couldn’t do much from my phone, so I went inside and used my laptop. I could see that the TiVo was playing some music, though that stopped as I was watching it. I immediately changed my plex password. I then noticed that it was using an old email and updated it.

This was my mistake.

Plex runs a hybrid system. I own the server and it sits in my house. But a lot of the features and functionality uses Plex’s central servers. The authentication (usernames and passwords) are controlled on the central servers.

This means that my local plex server needs to authenticate with the central servers before I can access it. When I changed my username, I broke this. I could no longer access my local server.

I tried for several hours to try and fix it. I followed lots of tutorials but in the end gave up. I removed plex, wiped my local server settings (not the actual media files), then started again.

In the end, I think it was actually a family member. When I had stayed at their house a couple of years ago, I vaguely remember signing in to their TiVo. I suspect they found ‘plex’ in a menu and, wondering what it was, clicked on it.

It was nice that I got the notification directly to my phone. It would also have been nice to have easy access to do something about the suspicious login from my phone. It would also have been nice to have a warning when changing my email address that it might break the server connection and explain how to do it properly.

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