• Stuart Alexander

Starlink is available in many areas. This is my assessment.

I've been inquisitive about Starlink since I heard about it back in 2019. But after moving to Hoyt and being downgraded from 220mbps internet to 7mbps(on a good day) through Bell my inquisitiveness turned into desperation for something better. 7mbps was high speed internet in the early 2000s but now it is about the equivalent of dial-up internet because developers have optimized webpages for the higher speeds that are available in cities. Additionally the latency was completely absurd. Any ping test that I would perform would show multiple spikes into the 1000's range and even timing out... online gaming with Bell's DSL internet? Forget about it!

I signed up for Starlink Beta as soon as it was available February 2021. I was on a waiting list for months and just received my package in July. As promised this is my honest assessment. Please keep in mind that Starlink is still in beta and it is scheduled to continually get better. Starlink Pricing: The initial setup is quite expensive. 692$ for the Satellite and Router including shipping. This does not include installation. The monthly subscription is 125$. Speed: I've done multiple speed test over the last month and the download speeds vary considerably. With that being said the lowest speed I've seen is about quadruple the highest speed that bell offers in the area. Download speeds have ranged from 28mbps at a low and over 200mbps at a high. The average appears to be 50mbps. Upload speeds have had a lot less variance averaging around 20mbps. Elon Musk (The Starlink Owner) wants these speeds to rise to 1Gbps and eventually 10Gbps. Latency: Latency has been phenomenal even better then the latency I got while living in a city. According to the last ping test I did pinging quad-9 servers the average latency was 43ms. The fastest packet was 22ms and the longest was 144ms. As I said before DSL was giving consistent latency in the 100s or even 1000s! The Router: The router besides kind-of looking cool and being POE in all honesty is not the

best. It has practically zero versatility and only one ethernet outlet. It's strength is its weakness. Plug it in and it works basically. A major downfall for many people will be that you cannot change the DNS settings with it and this is a problem because sites like Facebook appear to not like the DNS server that Starlink uses. With that being said this issue can be bypassed by using a VPN. Starlink does not need a modem and that means that you can use any router you wish to use. I switched the Starlink router for a Cisco router and was able to set the DNS server to Quad-9 and since then Facebook appears to work fine, albeit my wife still says that it's faster using a VPN. See my page on VPNs Here Conclusion: At this time I would not recommend leaving a truly high speed hard-wired internet connection for Starlink. Starlink is in beta and still working out some kinks. Elon has said that during the beta expect occasional unplanned outages. So far I've seen one outage that lasted about an hour. But if you have no hope of getting a hard-wired highspeed connection anytime soon then I could not give a stronger recommendation. The upfront cost is high but it will launch your internet from the stone age to a modern and usable connection. Disclaimer: For the first month of usage I had my satellite mounted to the ground. It worked better by far then my DSL connection still, but there was a couple trees that were barely in view of the satellite. This was causing some latency spikes and short outages, but since I mounted it to my roof it has worked flawlessly. Additionally please do not throw out your Starlink router if you decide to switch routers! Currently it is the only means to actually send commands to the satellite such as rebooting it or stowing it! Have more questions or want help setting your Satellite up? Feel free to contact me and I would be happy to help!

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