Starlink Satellite Internet
If you follow Elon Musk or TESLA Motors, you have probably heard about Starlink Internet from SPACEX.
Starlink is a new technology that is based upon Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites. There are thousands of the LEO satellites already in place, and these form a "constellation" that provides internet at speeds and latency that are similar to DSL or cable. The constellation consists of thousands of satellites working in combination with ground transceivers. They are not in a fixed position, but orbit around the earth, and the motorized dish follows their path from west to east. You can actually see the constellation with a pair of binoculars.
SpaceX is currently offering Starlink internet service as a "Better than nothing" beta product. When you sign up (link to the page to the right) it only puts you on a list to use it as a beta product. SpaceX needs to launch 20,000 more satellites over the course of 2021 for it to be able to support a massive amount of users. SpaceX long term plan is to cover the entire earth, and offer speeds of up to 10 Gig per second. SpaceX has moved up their target date for complete of the satellite array to September 2021 now, so they are ahead of schedule.
Starlink Internet Speeds
We have been installing Starlink since October 2020 and speeds have been excellent. The range of speeds has been broad, with speeds anywhere between 40mpbs and 350mpbs, depending on the time of day. But as more satellites are put into orbit, the speed will get more consistent.
The two big advantages that Starlink has over traditional satellite internet (VIASAT or HughesNet) is latency and unlimited data.
Latency measures the time the request is sent to the servers and the time it takes to get back and load in your web browser. Lower is better (see chart).
Starlink latency has been averaging between 20 and 50ms. This is very similar to DSL or a slower cable connection. Latency for traditional satellite is often 300-500 milliseconds. SpaceX has been receiving 9ms or lower latency in some of their new test sites in 2021.
How do I sign up for Starlink Internet?
The button on the top of the page will take you to the Starlink homepage. Once there, you can sign up to be on the wait list to be part of the beta. Some customers are approved very quickly, but sometimes it takes over 3 months to be approved, so you have to be patient.
Installing Starlink on your roof
Starlink is being sold by SPACEX as a self install kit. The basic kit costs $600, and you can add items such as a roof peak mount that doesn't penetrate your shingles or a "Volcano mount" that is similar to a dish tv mount, but much shorter.
Things to consider when using the Self Install Kit.
Satellite Pros - Starlink Installs
We offer professional Starlink installations at your home.
We can use the Starlink Volcano mount if you bought it from SPACEX, or we can repurpose a DISH mount to get it up and away from the snow on the roof. Both work great!
The cable will have the proper "drip loop" and the mount is perfectly level to the ground.
We will insure that the mounting and holes are watertight and will NOT leak.
We will drill the necessary 1 inch hole and bring the cable inside the house safely, and with a professional look.
Sign up for the Starlink Beta program here.
Starlink's tripod install vs Minnesota's reality.
Designed and built in California, the "tripod the ground" install just isn't feasible in most locations in the northern US and Canada. The Starlink dish is heated and can melt snow.