How good is SpaceX’s Starlink satellite internet? I tried it out

Again in October, SpaceX introduced it might be recruiting beta testers for its satellite tv for pc broadband offshoot Starlink’s “Higher Than Nothing” service. As quickly because the announcement was made, I signed as much as be notified when a spot opened up in my space — Walnut Creek, about 30 minutes east of San Francisco. Quick-forward to February and I forked over $594.30 (tax, transport and one month of service included) to see what it is like utilizing Starlink

The beta starter package that arrived in a 30-pound field at my door included the Starlink antenna dish, a Wi-Fi router, an influence adapter, cables and a mounting tripod. For $99 a month, you possibly can anticipate to see information speeds wherever between 50 to 150 megabits per second, at a latency (the time it takes to get a response to data despatched) of round 20-40 milliseconds. The true kicker is there are not any information caps. 

Triple-digit obtain speeds and latency lower than 40ms are each mainly extraordinary within the satellite tv for pc web trade. However word that Starlink is catered towards those that reside in distant or rural communities which have restricted entry to web service suppliers. Those that reside in additional city areas, like me, are inclined to have extra ISP selections, so Starlink would probably not be the primary that involves thoughts.


My Starlink dish, sitting on prime of Mount Diablo.

John Kim/CNET

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk tweeted in February that Starlink expects to double speeds by the top of 2021 as the corporate continues to launch extra satellites. As of March, SpaceX has launched 1,300 satellites out of 12,000 deliberate.

So what’s it like utilizing Starlink? Establishing is definitely fairly simple, it is just about plug and play. So long as the antenna has a transparent view of the sky, the dish will mechanically align itself with satellites overhead and try to be related to the web. Sounds fairly easy, proper? That first week, Starlink was going by an intermittent service outage in my space, which meant I didn’t have a constant web connection. 

I checked the Starlink subreddit, and it appeared like a wider subject affecting clients in a number of areas. My web connection saved dropping out to some extent the place it was unusable. It took about 4 days for the outage to clear in my case, and when it did, Starlink labored flawlessly. My common obtain speeds hovered at round 78Mbps at a latency of 36ms. The obtain speeds and latency appeared very promising. Watch the video on this web page for extra of my expertise utilizing Starlink (click on right here if it does not play).