Starlink is a Satellite Internet Provider
current Starlink Internet Deals
Standalone Internet Residential internet from $110 per month with no contract.
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Starlink specializes in providing high-speed service to remote areas with much lower latency than other satellite internet providers.
Starlink taps into a network of over 3,000 small satellites orbiting in low earth orbit to provide high bandwidth satellite internet service. The number of satellites is set to quadruple, with projections for a 10-fold increase in the future as it expands its service area.
Since its launch in 2020, Starlink internet has become the preferred internet service provider for around 700,000 people globally. Subscriptions are set to grow as the service becomes more widely available and subscription wait times decline.
Features of Starlink Internet
- Offers speeds of 50 to 500 Mbps across the US
- Extremely low latency compared to other satellite internet service providers
- Well suited for video calls, streaming and online gaming
- No data caps or streaming limits. Speeds will not be lowered after certain usage.
- Great option for rural or remote areas without DSL, cable, or fiber internet options
- Easy to install kit delivered after subscribing to the Starlink service
- 30-day fully refundable trial option for all Starlink services. No cancellation fees.
- Option for portable internet access
A Brief History of Starlink Internet
Starlink was announced in 2015 at the SpaceX satellite development facility opening in Redmond, WA. Elon Musk announced the company's arrival as a game changer to meet the need for low-cost broadband.
In 2021, Starlink confirmed testing of two generations of satellite technology with a third planned. Costs have dropped with each iteration.
As of September 2022, 40 countries have access to Starlink services with a choice of four plans designed to meet customer needs at home, work, or on the move.
Starlink Internet Service Speeds
Starlink provides the fastest high-speed internet service among satellite internet providers. The type of plan you purchase and where you live determine how fast these download speeds can reach. Download speeds range from 50 to 500 Mbps with uploads of 10 to 20 Mbps.
While Starlink users get lower latency than other satellite internet providers, it is still much higher than wired internet service providers. The service is still being fine-tuned and upgraded to become more consistent and stable.
Starlink Service Availabilty
Elon Musk's vision for Starlink was to provide high speed internet to rural and remote areas around the globe - regions that would otherwise not have access.
Services are currently available across the US, although subscriber wait times and internet quality can vary widely, from a few to several months. Congestion has made it difficult for Starlink to provide service in some rural areas, which is one of the main reasons for the sizeable waitlist. Starlink is actively working to improve service availability and connection quality.
Users can also stay connected while on the move by signing up for tailored mobile plans - whether on land or sea.
A ground-based internet service provider can work better than Starlink in urban areas which is why the company has not deployed its services in cities.
There are currently four Starlink internet plans to choose from. Each offer different download speeds and are based on location.
Standard Plan - Starlink Residential
The standard personal subscription plan comes at $110 per month, providing download speeds between 50 to 250 Mbps with no data caps. Service can be cancelled at any time with no cancellation fee. There is no contract or obligation on the part of the customer. Starlink also offers customers a fully refundable 30-day trial. In areas where service is not yet available or over subscribed, users can sign up to a first come first serve wait list for with a $99 deposit.
While the monthly Starlink fee is close to what other internet providers can offer, the hardware costs make it significantly more expensive. Set-up requires users to purchase the Starlink Kit - the Starlink, base, Wi-Fi router and power supply and cables - for $600. Completing the set up may require the user to invest in additional equipment including a StarLink compatible ethernet adapter (the base system is only WiFi), mesh router nodes and mounting hardware suitable for the location.
Premium Plan - Starlink Business
Starlink Business is a premium service providing significantly faster download speeds of up to 500 Mbps. It is significantly more expensive that the basic plan at $500 per month, with the Starlink Kit costing $2,500.
Starlink for RVs
Starlink's RV plan provides internet service to people travelling in remote areas. There is no waitlist to sign up. Monthly access is priced at $135 a month, but connectivity can be spotty, especially if you're travelling to the South East part of the US. Set up requires users to also purchase the $600 Starter Kit.
Download speeds can be as low as 5Mbps in heavily congested areas. The company plans to add more satellites to the Starlink RV plan which should improve connectivity over time, making for a more stable internet connection.
Starlink Maritime, an option for maritime businesses or travelers provides download speeds up to 350 Mbps while out at sea. The plan consists of a one-time upfront payment of $10,000 for hardware and a monthly fee of $5,000.
Signing Up for Starlink
To sign up for Starlink, go to their website and enter your address. Based on whether they can provide services in your area, you will have to sign up for the waitlist for a $99 deposit. You can get a full refund of this amount in case you change your mind later.
The company follows a first come first served model, so it might take a few months to get your service up and running. In some cases, people have had to wait as long as 11 months to receive their Starlink dish and kit.
Wait times are expected to come down as more satellites are launched into low earth orbit.
Starlink Internet is Different from Other Satellite Internet Service Providers
Satellite internet providers have been around for a while. Most rely on single satellites traveling in high orbit – around 22,000 miles above Earth - which means high latency. On the other hand, Starlink uses 1,000s of low earth orbit satellites orbiting at only 300 miles above.
These low orbit satellites can improve speeds dramatically while also providing low latency.
The Starlink App
The Starlink app helps users identify the ideal installation location on their property and set up their ground Starlink satellite to provide the best service possible. The app provides a comprehensive set-up guide, including tips to help users position the base with a clear view of the sky for optimal internet speeds.
The app is linked to the user's account, showing performance in real time. If services are down, users can check on the app and see the status of restoration or the cause behind the outage.
The Starlink app is available on both iOS and Android through their respective app stores.
While Starlink has a lot of promise for remote and rural areas, it can still be spotty in providing consistent high-speed connectivity, particularly in congested areas.
Where there is good coverage, customers can now enjoy consistent high-speed internet in areas where that would otherwise not be possible.
Starlink services are available even when it rains or is cloudy during winter. There is a heater built into the Starlink satellites, which can melt any ice around them.
The initial start-up cost of the Starlink kit may make it cost-prohibitive for some.