Elon Musk’s Starlink has taken the world by storm. That’s because it has good speeds and low latency and is virtually incomparable to its satellite broadband service counterparts. What’s more, Starlink promises future gigabit speeds and wider coverage. Still, you might wonder, “Is Starlink worth it, especially considering its higher cost?” Therefore, this article outlines why it’s expensive, how reliable it is, and the pros and cons to help you determine whether or not Starlink is worth it.
Table of Contents
- How Much Does Starlink Cost?
- Why Is Starlink Expensive?
- How Reliable is Starlink?
- Is Starlink Internet Worth It? Pros and Cons
- Is Starlink RV Worth It? Pros and Cons
How Much Does Starlink Cost?
Below is an outline of the cost of each of Starlink’s plans.
|Monthly Fee||Equipment Cost|
Why Is Starlink Expensive?
Starlink is expensive for two reasons. First, Starlink aims to expand coverage worldwide to the most remote regions. And accomplish this requires more satellites, which is what Starlink is doing – launching more satellites. Of course, it’s an expensive venture, reflected in Starlink costs.
Image of satellites
Secondly, the upfront cost is high because you’re buying, not leasing, or renting equipment.
How Reliable is Starlink?
Generally, satellite connection is not as reliable as cable or fiber-opti8c networks. That’s because satellite networks are vulnerable to weather elements, solar phenomena, and anything obstructing the dish from a clear line of sight. However, the positioning of Starlink’s satellites in the low earth orbit (LEO) makes it more reliable than other satellite broadband services whose satellites are much further away from the earth.
Image of low earth orbit
Is Starlink Internet Worth It? Pros and Cons
Below are the pros and cons of Starlink internet:
1. Portability Feature
Interestingly, Starlink recently introduced a roaming functionality (Starlink portability). So now, subscribers can use Starlink outside their home service area at an additional $25 per month. Therefore, it’s worth buying if you move around.
2. Availability in Remote Areas
Image of remote area
Surprisingly, Starlink is available in remote areas with limited or no coverage. As mentioned earlier, it’s Starlink’s mission to expand to reach most, if not all, remote regions around the world. So it’s perfect if you live in a rural or remote area.
3. Future High Speeds
The good news is Starlink promises lower latency and super-high-speed data transmission (up to 180,832 miles per second). Such speeds are 40% faster than the fastest internet connection – fiber.
Unfortunately, new users must buy the Starlink kit and install it themselves. And if you need professional help, you must pay an additional fee.
2. Network Overloads
Image depicting an overloaded network
Interestingly, customers living in congested cities have reported sluggish speeds and disconnection. That’s because this network gets overloaded.
2. Slower Speeds
Starlink is a high-speed internet service, but it’s nowhere near the gigabit speeds of a fiber optic network. In addition, as a satellite service, it’s vulnerable to harsh weather, solar phenomena, and obstructions to a clear line of sight, all of which affect the speeds.
Is Starlink RV Worth It? Pros and Cons
Below are the pros and cons of Starlink RV:
1. No Wait Time
When ordering Starlink Residential, you’ll often find the service unavailable in your area. When that happens, you go on a waitlist until a subscription slot opens up.
But that’s not the case with Starlink RV. Because you get immediate access regardless of your location.
2. Pause Feature
With Starlink Residential, users can only cancel, not pause, the subscription. And once you cancel, there’s no guarantee it will be available when you’re ready to reuse. That means you’re likely to get waitlisted. In contrast, Starlink RV has a pause and unpause feature at no extra or hidden cost. For this reason, Starlink RV is ideal for vacation homes and part-time RVers.
1. Costs More
For Starlink RV, subscribers spend $15 more than Residential. That means you pay $135 per month.
2. Less Reliable
Interestingly, Starlink prioritizes Residential users. As a result, RV users suffer slow speeds of up to 5 Mbps and outages during peak times or in areas where the network is congested. However, here’s a tip; check the Starlink map for locations marked available. Only in these uncongested areas can you enjoy good speeds.
3. Dish Positioning
To use Starlink, you must place the dish to have a clear view of the sky. However, this can prove challenging in camping, where there are often trees and other obstructions.
Image of a typical campsite with many trees causing obstruction
4. High Power Consumption
Note that the Starlink dish, especially the first generation round one, and router are power guzzlers. For example, the round dish uses up 130W to 149W, and the rectangular one 45W to 50W. In addition, these dishes activate their heating feature when it rains or snows, using up more power.
4. Not Permitted to Use While In Motion
Unfortunately, you can’t use Starlink while in motion. Doing so can lead to your warranty getting canceled. That means you can’t install the dish permanently on your RV. Therefore, at each campsite you stop, you may need to install it to get a clear line of view and then take it down before hitting the road.
Now you have all the information you need on Starlink’s cost, how reliable Starlink is, and the pros and cons of Starlink Residential and Starlink RV. So we hope this helps answer your question is Starlink internet worth it? Then, you can make a more informed choice.