How Reliable Is the SpaceX Starlink Internet Connection?
The space race continues, but unlike the initial one of the 1950s, the objective for the current race is connecting the entire planet to the internet, from rural to urban areas. The SpaceX Starlink satellite internet project is focused on delivering fast, affordable internet connectivity to underserved regions of the United States and globally.
So far, these promises continue to be fulfilled if reports by Starlink users are anything to go by. According to the latest user tests, the download speeds are at an average of 104 Mbps, while the average latency is 39 milliseconds. Most consider it a savior in the current market with limited service provider options and exorbitant internet costs.
As you plan to move to the revolutionary internet service, let’s explore the facts surrounding SpaceX Starlink internet connection, including how it works, its reliability, speeds, costs, and the sign-up processes.
How SpaceX Starlink Internet Connection Works
Most people consider Starlink as a savior. But why? Well, most parts of the developing world and vast sections of the United States either lack internet connectivity or have to deal with poor, low-speed internet providers. You’ll find no cable service, cell service, or optic fiber in some areas, and 5G won’t do much to help the situation.
To bounce signals throughout the mountainous regions, providers must deploy numerous towers. What’s more, though 5G’s lower frequency version offers more distance supply, the connection isn’t as fast. This is where Starlink’s internet connection service comes in.
The technology relies on a network of satellites within the low orbit, which brings the signal down to users. At the moment, more than 1,300 such tiny satellites exist, but thousands more have to be deployed for the system to be complete. Notably, each Falcon 9 launch delivers 60 satellites.
Unlike DirecTV birds or Dish, these satellites aren’t geostationary or geosynchronous. Therefore, the dish should move automatically to realign itself and align with a new satellite. Starlink stands out because the lower orbit satellites hovering about 342 miles above the ground substantially cut down latency or signal delay. This makes it better than DirecTV satellites located more than 22,000 miles above the earth.
How Fast Is SpaceX Starlink Internet?
According to the latest speed tests for the internet service’s users, download speeds click an average of 104 Mbps, 16 Mbps for upload speeds, and the average latency is 109 milliseconds.
Users report a speed range of between 60 – 150 Mbps, an excellent starting point for the service. It’s fantastic news that users experience the actual Starlink internet speeds as promised by the company.
The latency and speed ranges are light years ahead of most HughesNet internet plans which typically hit 25 Mbps and cap out at 500 – 600 ms of latency. Furthermore, the download speeds are higher than most Viasat internet plans with a maximum of 100 Mbps.
The company continues to deploy ground stations and satellites and address the issues and challenges of users. As the process advances, Starlink internet users will likely experience lower latency and improved download speeds.
How Low Does the Latency Get?
Latency refers to the time required for your internet signal to move from your device to your internet service provider (ISP), to the site server, then back to your computer. The latest Starlink speed tests reveal an average latency of 39 ms, which is quite close to the 20 – 40 ms latency range Elon Musk promised in the SATELLITE 2020 keynote speech.
For traditional internet services, your signal must travel over 22,000 miles to the satellite, return to the site server, then go back to the satellite before coming back to you. This definitely takes more time, and that’s why the latency ranges between 500 – 600 milliseconds.
With Starlink internet, the satellites are just 342 miles above the ground. This means a shorter distance for the signal to move. And you know what this leads to: reduced latency.
How Much Will Starlink Internet Cost?
You’ll pay $499 for the router and phased array antenna, then pay $99 monthly. Unfortunately, this amount is more than the initial estimate of $80 every month, but the service is way cheaper than most HughesNet and Viasat high-end plans.
Viasat internet plans charge a monthly fee of between $30 to $150 every month, and the download speeds range between 12 Mbps and 100 Mbps. On the other hand, HughesNet plans cost between $60 and $150 every month, offering download speeds of 25 Mbps.
Notably, the company’s invite email doesn’t talk about data caps, a key consideration for satellite internet users. In a recent conversation on Reddit, a Starlink representative mentioned that the service doesn’t have data caps.
How to Sign Up for Starlink Internet Service
Thanks to its capabilities and a seamless internet connection, the demand for Starlink internet connection grows by the day. Currently, more than 10,000 global users have installed the system and are already getting the most out of it.
So how do you sign up for the service? Here are the simple steps:
- Visit the company’s website.
- Key in your email and enter your address to get your service area. If it’s still not available, you’ll be notified when the service will arrive.
- View the estimates for getting the service in your location.
- Pay the $99 deposit (an upfront amount that will be deducted from the monthly charges), the hardware cost of $499, and shipping.
According to the website, the available spots are limited and are completed on a first-come, first-served criterion for preorders. Notably, the deposit payment of $99 gives you a priority position in the queue in your location, and the amount applies to the eventual purchase.
According to the preorders’ terms and conditions, the company can’t guarantee if or when the service will be available, stating that service delivery depends on various factors, including vast regulatory approval.
The Bottom Line
Based on reviews by users worldwide, SpaceX Starlink offers the most reliable internet service, guaranteeing high download and upload speeds and significantly lower latency. Shifting from traditional products could be an excellent move to improve operational efficiency and productivity in your business.
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