Starlink Internet Review
SpaceX founder Elon Musk promised high-speed internet around the globe. People had many speculations, but the tech looked promising from the get-go. After a successful beta phase, Starlink internet has launched with a favorable reception.
SpaceX’s satellite internet company, Starlink, currently has more than 2,000 satellites in orbit, delivering service in 32 countries worldwide. It has been a hot topic of discussion in tech circles, but when it comes to internet service providers (ISPs), is it the right choice for you?
Starlink claims to deliver its services to remote locations, having shown its capabilities in emergencies and offering plans for people on the move. This review answers some of the most commonly asked questions about the Starlink internet service, to help you become more informed.
- Who is Starlink internet for?
- Key considerations
- What others say about Starlink internet
- How does Starlink internet compare to other providers?
Who is Starlink internet for?
Starlink uses a low-orbit satellite constellation to bring internet to remote areas, providing internet access to areas where high-speed broadband is not reliable or readily available. Starlink’s availability is currently limited to a few regions in the US, Canada, and parts of Europe and Australia. Additionally, pre-orders are now open for other countries, including Italy, Poland, and Spain.
Starlink’s vision is to provide high-speed Wi-Fi coverage worldwide and they recently hit the 100,000 mark of Starlink terminals shipped.
By revolutionizing an existing technology, Starlink’s main competency over traditional satellite internet is the low-earth orbiting (LEO) satellites operating 300 miles above the earth’s surface, reducing latency and improving speed. The connection is further strengthened by a proposed “constellation” of 40,000 satellites that SpaceX plans to launch into orbit in the coming years.
The network offers an average speed of 100Mbps maxing out at 150Mbps. In a tweet from last year, Elon Musk, the owner of the parent company, SpaceX, expressed his expectation to take the download speeds up to 300Mbps in the future.
Even with its current download speeds, and 43ms median latency, Starlink internet is considered optimal for casual browsing and video streaming. You can get Starlink internet service for a price of $110/month without data caps, but note there is an upfront cost of $599 for equipment. Starlink introduced a premium tier with speeds ranging from 150-500Mbps earlier this year at $500/month and equipment costing $2500.
How long is Starlink’s waiting list?
Starlink claims to ship their equipment within 2 and 8 weeks, but the actual time may vary, particularly if you live in an area that is not on their current list of supported locations. Starlink is accepting orders on a first-come, first-serve basis. In most cases, the wait will be months, not days.
Is Starlink internet better than fiber?
Starlink cannot be compared to fiber, which can deliver speeds up to 5 gigabits per second (Gbps). But you can expect speeds to increase as they add more satellites and improve their capabilities.
Is Starlink data unlimited?
Starlink internet is unlimited without any data caps, though the policies might change in the future.
Can I sell my Starlink equipment?
You can sell your Starlink equipment to anyone within Starlink’s serviceable area. You can also return the equipment for a refund of $200. The company also provides 100% refunds within the first 30 days if you’re not satisfied.
What is the Starlink cancellation policy?
You can cancel your Starlink connection anytime by logging into your account and canceling the service from your accounts page.
Are there disadvantages to Starlink internet?
The biggest disadvantage of Starlink internet is potential interference due to weather. As Starlink provides satellite internet, your dish needs to be in the line of sight of the satellites for it to work, posing a challenge during rough weather.
Is Starlink internet good for gaming?
Starlink provides an average speed of 100Mbps, which is considered to be optimal for activities including online gaming. However, if your Starlink connection has latency above 50ms or frequent speed drops, you might face difficulty playing games online.
What others say about Starlink internet
While Starlink internet still has miles to go to catch up with fiber internet speeds, it has generally received favorable reviews. Despite the company warning about outages due to weather, there have been as few as four major outages during the past year. In addition, the equipment has garnered a positive response for being easy to set up without technical expertise. All you need to do is ensure it has a clear view of the sky. There is also an augmented reality app to help you with the installation.
The Verge rated the RV plan 8/10 for being faster by a factor of almost a hundred when tested in four remote locations across Europe. Other reviewers, such as Tom’s guide, also gave favorable reviews from the beta-testing phase as it met with promises and public anticipation around performance.
How does Starlink internet compare to other providers?
While Starlink is still no match for fiber, it is the clear winner among satellite internet providers. According to Ookla, Starlink is the only satellite internet provider in the US with latency figures close to that of fixed-line connections and Wi-Fi download speeds “fast enough to handle most of the needs of modern online life.”
Competitors, HughesNet and Viasat, have a latency of 724ms and 630ms, respectively, while Starlink stands at 45ms. Similarly, HughesNet offers a download speed of about 20Mbps, while Viasat offers 18Mbps. Starlink’s download speed of 100Mbps is a stark contrast, earning it more favorable reviews.
Viasat and HughesNet offer cheaper rates than Starlink, so if you are willing to compromise on speed, you can still consider them. The only problem is that they both come with 2-year contracts, while you can cancel Starlink anytime.
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Disclosure | Updater articles are based on our own data and research, independent from partner relationships. We are not compensated by partners for information and opinions presented here. Our Editorial Terms of Service can be found here.
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