Starlink Review

When I moved back to my hometown my biggest concern was my interenet connection.  I also work exclusively from home as a data anaylst and buy vacant land online, so I needed a fast internet connection to work my day to day.  I live in a rural part of of the county and there is no internet service providers that could reach my home, so this was a huge concern. When I previously lived in my hometown I tried it all; Hughsnet, Verizon and Sprint Hotspot and they were either too slow, had data caps, or were just unreliable. So when I moved back, I made sure to sign up for Starlink as soon as I could. 

I signed up for the preorder on Feb 12, 2021 and they ask you for a deposit of $99. Note: this might have change since I preordered it. 

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DELAYS

I recieved emails periodically that they were expecting delays due

“Silicon shortages over the last 6 months have slowed our expected production rate and impacted our ability to fulfill many Starlink orders this year. We apologize for the delay and are working hard across our engineering, supply chain, and production teams to improve and streamline our product and factory to increase our production rate.” 

It took more than a year since my preorder to recieve my confirmation on May 12, 2022 to finally order my Starlink Dish and router. I honeslty didn’t think I would actually get the order. It took a over a year -and in the mean time- I found a service provider that could give me 35mb consistently.  This was a quick fix, but not a permanent solution. 

PRICE CHANGE

A couple of weeks before I recieved my confirmation order, I recieved a price change email stating that the price has increased on the kit and the month service price. The rational was “to keep pace with rising inflation” . So the Starlink Kit priced incresed from $499 to $549 for deposit holders and the monthly service price increased from $99 to $110

ORDER CONFIRMATION

The most stressful part of the entire ordering process is that you have 7 days to confirm your order. If you don’t confirm your order in those 7 days you lose your spot in line and you would have to go through the entire process all over again. I missed the first email, but I did catch the the second email when I had 3 days and ordered it then.

SET UP PROCESS

The set up process is extremly simple. You have to download the App and you can find it in either in the App Store if you have an Iphone or Playstore if you have an Andriod.  All the parts should come in one box. It comes with a dish, stand, Router and a cable to connect the dish to the router. 

The setup process is very straight forward. You connect all the parts together and set the dish outside with an unobstructed view of the sky. In the app there is a feature that can help you locate a spot with an unobstructed view. After you have everything set up. you want to join the wifi signal that shows “STARLINK”. After you join the wifi, a Starlink page is going to appear asking you what the wifi name and password should be. In total it took me about 30 mins to set everything up. It is probably one of the easiest setup process I have ever completed. It was very straight forward and to the point. 

I tested my speeds and at the time they were clocking at 110mb download speeds and 20mb upload. I was probably one of the few people in my area to get the Starlink, so I think that is why the speeds were so fast. During the writting of this article, my current speeds are around 60-75mb and slightly lower upload speeds compared to when I first recieved the setup. This is most likely due to more customers in the area and “more mouths to feed”. I am still happy with these reduced speed because my previous internet max speed was 35mb in clear conditions. 

ISSUES

I live in Florida and we usually get afternoon showers on a daily basis during the summer. So this affects the signal or it drops the signal completely if the showers/storms are heavy. The positive thing is that even with a completely clouded sky and light rain, the signal is pretty good. Signal is usually affected with heavy storms. 

Another issue I have is the range of the router if you have a bigger home. If you have a bigger home you most likely are going to have an issue with the wifi range. You can work around by getting an Ethernet Adapter that connects to the router and this gives you and extra port to attach a 3rd party mesh network.  An other option is to buy a mesh router from Starlink. This second mesh router is just another router. I personally went with my first option and bought an adapter and a 3rd party mesh system. I strongly advise anyone who buys this to buy surge protector to protect your system.  The power at my rural home goes out a lot, so having a surge protector is a must! I made the mistake of not getting one and my orginal router got damaged. I had to request a new one.

CUSTOMER SERVICE

The customer service is all online based. There is not a number to call and they want you to use the app to solve a problem through their FAQ pages. The way you get to a person is to find a question that relates to your specfic issue on the FAQ and press the thumbs down and it will then open a chat portal.

To get started you ask a question and I advise to write out exactly what is happening in the first response. It will take hours for the customer service to respond, but they usually respond within 24 hours and resolve the issue. It personally took me 4-5 hours to get a response.  After they did some diagnostics they sent me a new router that got to my home in a week.

OVERALL

I think this is the best product out there for my area. There is not that many options for me in my rural community and the speeds are fast enough that I can work full time remotely for a job that requires big data pulls.

Overall, I am very happy with using my Starlink. There were bumps that I have come across, but the plus outweigh any minuses.  I would not recommend Starlink for people that have access to high speed internet because you can get faster more reliable speeds with an inground connection. This product is best served people that have very little to no way to connect to the internet in a remote area. The video below is a good break down why I love my Starlink.

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