We don’t want to speak too soon since Starlink isn’t yet available, but if Starlink Satellite Internet delivers on its promise, it’s bound to change the satellite internet game forever. Planning to offer faster speeds and lower latency (ping) for a competitive price, Starlink may be the answer for rural Americans who up until this point, have had no choice but to go with an expensive satellite internet plan. And not only will Starlink will be a great option for customers in underserved areas, but it will also be a viable choice for customers in urban communities, as pricing will allegedly be similar to other internet connection types, such as cable and DSL.
In this guide:
- Starlink vs. other satellite internet providers
- Starlink internet will have faster speeds
- Starlink internet will have lower latency
- Starlink may cost less than other satellite plans
- Starlink is better for rural communities
- What is Starlink satellite internet?
Starlink vs. other satellite internet providers
|Starlink||~$80/month||Up to 1Gbps||25-35ms|
Starlink internet will have faster speeds
Starlink satellite internet speeds, which could reach speeds up to 1Gbps (1,000Mbps), will absolutely blow other satellite internet speeds out of the water. Typical satellite internet plans include speeds closer to 25Mbps, and in the case of faster speeds through Viasat Internet, the monthly plan rate is pretty darn expensive.
We will know more details about Starlink’s speeds once beta testing is done, but you can expect lightning-fast speeds that compete with fiber (currently the fastest internet connection type on the market).
Starlink internet will have lower latency
Latency refers to the amount of time it takes your signal to travel from your device to your ISP’s server (or satellite, in this case) and back. It is also called “lag” or “ping” in the gaming community. The higher the latency, the longer the delay. When shopping around for an internet plan, you want one with a low latency period, preferably below 100 milliseconds. Well, Starlink’s latency may be as low as 25 milliseconds, which is comparable to fiber internet. This is super important because the high latency of current satellite internet providers makes it nearly impossible to play online games and makes video conferencing difficult, too.
Starlink can achieve such a low lag or delay because Starlink’s satellites sit relatively close to the Earth’s surface—about 340 miles away. For comparison, competitors, such as Hughesnet and Viasat, use satellites that are more than 22,000 miles away from our planet—it’s no wonder satellite internet is infamous for having slow internet speeds and high latency periods. The signal from your home to the satellites have to travel quite far, and this distance accounts for the slow speeds typically associated with satellite internet.
Starlink may cost less than other satellite internet plans
Although Starlink hasn’t officially announced internet plan pricing yet, we can infer some things about the cost from an interview with Gwynne Shotwell, President and CEO of SpaceX. She said, “Is anybody paying less than 80 bucks a month for crappy service? Nope. That’s why we’re gonna be successful.”
Hence, we have reason to believe that Starlink internet plans will cost somewhere close to $80/month, with some give and take. Musk has also stated that the cost of user terminals will be between $100 and $300, including equipment fees.
Although there are some satellite internet plans cheaper than $80/month, they include slow download speeds and high latency periods. Once you get into the faster plans, monthly costs jump to $150-$200/month. For a comparison, check out the plans offered by other satellite internet providers below.
Popular Satellite Internet Plans
Starlink is better for rural communities
Another advantage of Starlink is that it will help close the connectivity divide between rural and urban areas, with customers in urban locations having more and better internet provider options than those in less populated parts of the country and world. Typically, it can be difficult to provide rural areas with fast, reliable internet because of the high cost of the infrastructure associated with cable, DSL, and fiber internet. But Starlink may very well solve these problems by sending a signal directly to a terminal or gateway on the ground.
How to Get Starlink Internet:
Starlink internet is not yet available, but be sure to bookmark this page. We will update it once Starlink is available. For now, what we know is Elon Musk has said private beta testing will begin in the end of July and public beta will kick off in October, with beta testing beginning in high latitude areas. According to Starlink, satellite service will be available in the Northern U.S. and Canada sometime in 2020, with near-global coverage by 2021.
What is Starlink satellite internet?
Starlink satellite internet is a constellation of satellites created by SpaceX to provide satellite internet service to consumers in the United States, Canada, and ultimately, worldwide. Starlink claims it will be “the world’s most advanced broadband internet system,” delivering high-speed internet to rural areas where internet access has been costly, unreliable, or unavailable altogether. SpaceX plans to build about 40,000 small satellites that will make up this constellation, enough to provide the entire world with fast, reliable internet.