Secure Your Server

Modified on Fri, 22 Nov 2019 at 06:32 AM

This is a quick tutorial on how to secure your Emby server for free. If you are opening your server to the world, securing it is a good idea. It is also useful to provide required secured streams to external services such as Amazon Alexa or Google Home. If you are interested in an even more secure setup, here is a community-written guide on HOW TO: NGINX Reverse Proxy.

You'll need two things:

  • A domain that supports TXT records
  • A ssl certificate (PKCS #12)

Get your domain

Sign up for a free domain of your choice. You could use Freenom or Dynu.

SSL certificate

We will now create Let's encrypt ssl certificates and add it to your domain. Here is a free service to help with this SSL for free.

  1. Enter your domain on the site. i.e. and create a free SSL certificate

  2. Select Manual Verification (DNS) > Manually verify domain. We now have 2 TXT records (step 2 on the SSL for free website). We will copy back the TXT records to the domain provider. Leave the SSL for free page open. We will come back to it.

  3. On the domain provider website, select your domain > Manage DNS. Let's create a new TX record. Repeat the steps for both TXT records on SSL for free. Your information should look like this.

    Name: _acme-challenge.{}

    Type: TXT.

    TTL: 300 (if you can set it to 1, go for it).

    Target: qariKbGVafpb5MespqHdMaGi933yW-Z2A3shE0wIyZA

  4. You'll notice Type A records in the same section. You can remove the WWW entry. Ensure your external IP is correct. If you have a dynamic IP, you'll need to keep this updated when it changes.

  5. Wait about 15 minutes. Let the domain name and changes propagate.

  6. Back to the SSL for free website. Look at step 3, you'll see a link or two to click. Click them. If it is successful, go ahead and click Download SSL certificate. If it is not successful, wait a little longer and retry.

Setup Emby with your domain and SSL certificate

Now you should have a domain and a folder of ssl certificate (ca_bundle.crt, certificate.crt, private.key). We are almost done. Your Emby server requires a PKCS #12 certificate (certificate.crt and private.key combined).

  1. Use this online certificate converter.

  2. Select type to convert to: PKCS #12. This should expand the number of fields. Once completed, you'll get a new .pfx certificate.

    Certificate file: certificate.crt

    Private key: private.key

    Chain certificate: The ca_bundle.crt or you can also find it here, Let's Encrypt Intermediate certificate. Save the text into a .txt file.

    PFX password: Since the private key is combined with the certificate, set a password to secure the new ssl certificate. Remember this password, you'll need it in Emby.

  3. Go to your Emby server dashboard > Advanced. Save your changes and restart your server.

    External domain:

    Custom SSL certificate path: point to your new certificate.pem

    Certificate password: The password you set up in the previous step.

    Secure connection mode: Set it to Preferred but not required or Required for all remote connections.

Your dashboard should now reflect your remote access as If you followed all the steps, clicking the new remote url should reach your Emby server. If it doesn't work, verify your https ports and try connecting from outside of your network.

Save all your certificate files and keys in safe location. You'll need the private key when you are ready to renew your SSL certificate (I have my own CSR option on SSL for free). Since this is all for free, it requires a bit more involvement. You will need to ensure you renew your SSL certificates (every 3 months with SSL for free) and your free domain (every year at least). If you used SSL for free, I suggest creating an account to make the renewal process easier.

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