Starlink Internet Review: Pricing, Plans and Speeds

how to buy starlink

What type of Starlink plan you pick, plus what time of equipment, plus the data tier and allotment you want will all determine exactly how much Starlink costs. Both HughesNet and Viasat planned to launch new satellites in 2023 that will provide internet speeds as fast as 150 Mbps as well as increased data capacity. Unfortunately, Viasat’s rocket launch was unsuccessful, so residential plans may become more restricted. But HughesNet is still looking forward to its new satellite, which should launch toward the end of 2023, so faster and roomier data caps could be on the way. You get unlimited standard data all month long for the plan’s $90–$120 monthly price. Starlink may no longer have 1TB caps on its Standard plan, but it does say it will slow your data if you use more than the average Starlink user.

You’ll only know which one when you sign up—or when Starlink tells your area’s changed from one to the other. Overall, Starlink is a great service, especially for people in rural areas or who want its mobile internet option. But it still has its drawbacks, including expensive up-front equipment fees, high monthly price, and confusing (and regularly changing) plans. Starlink costs anywhere from $90 per month for Starlink Standard with standard data in low-capacity areas to $5,000 per month if you want the Starlink Mobility 5TB of Priority Mobile data. Starlink also requires upfront equipment fees ranging from $599 at the lowest to $2,500 at the highest.

Elon Musk is the founder, chief engineer, and CEO of SpaceX, which is the aerospace company and manufacturer that operates the Starlink satellite internet constellation. Starlink Direct to Cell will, as we mentioned, work with any phone that can handle LTE. But whether Starlink will work with your cell specifically depends on which mobile provider you have.

Starlink internet is no longer in beta, so you can get Starlink once it’s available in your area. Currently Starlink is available to the northern US states, but availability is rapidly expanding throughout 2022. The best way to see if you can get Starlink is to enter your address on the Starlink website. To install your Starlink, you can follow the Starlink install guide and download the Starlink app for iOS or Android. The app will help you find a clear view of the sky, which is essential to keep your Starlink operating its best.

Where is Starlink internet available?

You can also get a refund on your equipment fee if you cancel your service within 30 days and return the equipment in good shape and in the original packaging. But you’ll have to pay a $99.00 deposit and might be waiting months longer than promised due to supply chain issues. SpaceX has cited these issues specifically as chip and silicon shortages.3 Starlink also services customers on a first come, first served basis, which could be an issue for you if Starlink is in high demand in your area and you’re low on the list.

how to buy starlink

SpaceX just released a specific Starlink RV plans (Starlink Roam Region and Starlink Roam Global) that will cost $150 to $200 a month. Just go to Starlink’s website to sign up for the portable internet you’ve hoped for—if it’s available in your area. Because of the way LEO satellite service works, Starlink internet signal quality, speed, and even latency can alter depending on where you are. On February 12, 2024, SpaceX announced it intends to deorbit about 100 of its low-earth orbit satellites the company deemed were at risk of becoming non-maneuverable, though they did not disclose the reason.

Starlink internet plans

Plus, Priority 40 GB, Priority 1TB, and Priority 2TB plans have roomy data caps—even if you’re certainly paying for them. Starlink data caps coincide with its different service plans, starting first with Standard data, then Priority data, Mobile data, and Mobile priority data. Keeping track of these data types, the Starlink plans they belong with, and the prices you’ll pay for both can be a bit complicated, so we’ve divided them out for you below.

  1. Things get a bit more complicated, or nicely customizable if you’re feeling optimistic, with Starlink’s mobile internet plan offerings.
  2. Starlink is a satellite internet provider developed by Elon Musk’s company SpaceX.
  3. Starlink internet is right for you if you live in a rural area where satellite internet is your best option and Starlink is available.
  4. If you live in an area where the network is at low-capacity (not many people using it at the same time), you’ll pay $90 a month, and if you’re in a high-capacity Starlink area (which is most of its areas), you’ll pay $120.

According to SpaceX, atmospheric drag deorbits their satellites naturally in five years or less. However, they say they’re making the proactive decision to manually deorbit the satellites before they’re no longer able to, ensuring that they safely disintegrate in the atmosphere and not collide with other satellites. Starlink internet is currently available to most of the continental US, with notable black spots across the South and West, especially for Starlink RV coverage.

Starlink is a satellite internet provider developed by Elon Musk’s company SpaceX. It uses low-Earth orbit satellites to provide faster speeds, more data, and lower latency broadband service to underserved rural and remote areas worldwide. Starlink whisks those worries away with big priority data caps and then unlimited standard data. “Unlimited” isn’t a word you don’t hear very often in the rural internet world, so even if there is an asterisk about slower speeds, it’s worth it. Starlink Standard (which offers residential home internet) is the one most users are after, and it’s probably all you need if you want an at-home connection. If you live in an area where the network is at low-capacity (not many people using it at the same time), you’ll pay $90 a month, and if you’re in a high-capacity Starlink area (which is most of its areas), you’ll pay $120.

Starlink availability vs. the competition

You can also purchase additional mounting equipment in the Starlink Shop once you place your order. In some areas, the Starlink satellite dish and setup kit is also available to purchase through retailers like Home Depot. You can pick what equipment you get with Starlink Priority, but Starlink recommends the $2,500 high performance satellite to keep up with your Priority data.

The data amounts are definitely expensive, but if you somehow run out of Priority data, you’ll stay connected with Standard data, the same data tier Starlink Residential plans are given. The biggest difference you’ll see when comparing Starlink to Viasat and HughesNet is the monthly data allotment. Although Viasat and HughesNet technically offer unlimited data as well, your speeds will be slowed significantly (almost to unusable speeds) once you hit the data cap for your plan. If you’ve had satellite internet in the past, you know that having enough data can be an issue—especially if you stream on satellite internet or use a lot of data working over Zoom.

Starlink has recently unveiled its newest plan, Starlink Direct to Cell, also nicknamed Starlink Mobile. This Starlink cell phone service will use Starlink’s LEO satellite constellation to power cell coverage across land, lake, and coastal waters. Text, voice, and data will be rolled out from 2024 to 2025 to any phone with LTE capabilities (which is almost all of them, for the record). Starlink Mobility plans, however, have the highest priority data, mostly so they can cater to the needs of first responders and other mobile emergency needs. These are also some of Starlink’s most expensive plans, the price depending entirely on how much of the Mobile Priority data you desire.

Starlink satellite internet vs. 4G and 5G home internet

Starlink’s unlimited data combined with its above-average broadband speeds are its most intriguing features by far. They’re a big part of Elon Musk’s mission to bring better internet options to underserved areas throughout the world. Starlink Roam plans offer unlimited Mobile data, but pay attention to that asterisk because Mobile data is deprioritized beneath even Standard data. Starlink Roam, once called Starlink RV, is the first of Starlink’s portable internet plan options. It costs either $150 per month for Regional access or $200 a month for Global.

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