A division of Elon Musk’s SpaceX venture, Starlink is the first U.S.-based company to bring low Earth orbit satellite internet to market. If you’re one of the few to gain approval for Starlink’s beta program, count your lucky stars. Households in select regions of the United States and Canada are the first to test out its satellite speeds that one day may rival the likes of fiber and cable internet.
Starlink utilizes low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite technology to combine the performance of grounded internet with the freedom of traditional satellite internet. Once Starlink’s constellation is completely deployed, users can expect to see speeds up to 1000 Mbps and latency below 20ms. Before this program, achieving these speeds was only possible with grounded connections like fiber internet. Needless to say, all eyes are on Starlink and what this means for internet connectivity as we know it.
Currently, the Starlink Beta program is live, with thousands of households across the U.S. and Canada testing it out. Users are experiencing speeds varying from 50 Mbps to 150 Mbps and low latency between 20ms and 40ms.
Even if this service isn’t available in your area yet, you can preorder service for $99. The entire starter installation kit costs $499 and is most ideal for rural and remote communities with little or no internet access.
To learn more, read our in-depth review of Starlink and how it may impact the internet as we know it.
Currently, Starlink’s low Earth orbit (LEO) constellation consists of over 1,000 satellites, with plans to launch an additional 3,500 satellites by 2024. For now, Musk is running a beta program that is only available in select regions of the United States and Canada. However, once complete, the satellite provider is expected to roll out service across the globe while focusing on rural and remote communities. Check back on our Resource Page for updates on new availability coming soon.
Starlink, the startup satellite internet company from Elon Musk’s SpaceX venture, began developing its LEO constellation in 2015. Three years later, on February 22, 2018, Starlink released its maiden launch and has since deployed over 1,000 small satellites into low Earth orbit. Its goal is to offer a new type of broadband that combines the performance of grounded internet with the geographical freedom of traditional satellite technology. If successful, it may be the first real solution for areas of the world where internet connectivity is unreliable or completely unavailable. Ideal for those who live in remote and rural communities, Starlink is now taking requests for signups. See if you qualify for its Beta Program here.
Starlink Beta is the company’s pilot program where users in select regions of the U.S. and Canada may test out Starlink’s new LEO satellite internet service. Users can expect to see speeds ranging from 50 Mbps to 150 Mbps and low latency from 20ms to 40ms depending on their location.
As Starlink launches more satellites, improves its network software, and installs more ground receivers, speeds, latency, and ping time are anticipated to improve dramatically.
Starlink equipment is engineered to withstand inclement weather. However, that does not mean your internet is immune to service interruptions. Satellite internet’s kryptonite if you will is its immediate exposure to the elements. Without a clear field of view to the sky, you are at risk of lags or temporary disconnects during a storm.
The Starlink dish can detect and melt snow that falls directly on it, but if snow builds on the surface, its field of view to the sky can be compromised, causing service interruptions. Starlink also meets the U.S. National Electrical Code (NEC) grounding and lightning protection requirements.
If you live in an area with frequent storms, you may want to consider installing your Starlink on the roof or a location away from trees and other obstructions.
If you could visibly see the connection between a Starlink satellite and a grounded receiver, it would look like a straight beam of light. When the satellite moves, the beam moves as well. So, unlike grounded connections types that use cables, satellite internet relies on a clear field of view from a dish on Earth to a satellite in orbit.
In the Starlink Beta program, customers are required to scope out a clear field of view that is approximately a 100-degree cone around the center of the dish (after tilting) and a minimum elevation of 25 degrees.
To ensure the best possible service, we recommend downloading the Starlink app to assess a field of view at your address before installing.
A Starlink kit includes everything a user needs to connect to the internet: a Starlink receiver dish, WiFi router, power supply, cables, and mounting tripod.
While the mounting tripod is intended for ground installation, users who need a roof install can request a roof mount by signing into their Starlink account online.
Currently, there are no data caps under the Starlink Beta program.
Technically, yes. However, Starlink is mainly intended for rural and remote communities that have limited or zero access to internet service. To see if your address is serviceable by Starlink, enter your address here.