Starlink To The Rescue | Life and Linda

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Starlink To The Rescue


If you live in rural parts of the US, you probably know how difficult it is to get high speed Internet. For today’s video intensive environments a speed of 25 Mbps supports today’s activities. Mbps = MegaBits per second. You can think of this like gallons per minute or how fast you can fill up a bucket or something larger like a pool. 

Another aspect of using the Internet is something called a Data Cap. Most services have them but most people are unaware of them. Think of a Data Cap as how much water per month you are allowed. So you can have fast Internet but if you have a low Data Cap you will either be cut off, throttled back, or pay more if you exceed your Data Cap for the month. 

A decent download speed for most people is 10 Mbps per person. It all depends on what a good download speed is for you.  It also  depends on what you do online and how many devices are on your home network.

Traditional satellite providers may have provided decent speeds but they often came with low Data Caps. Another important aspect of the internet is something called latency. Latency is simply defined as delay. How long does it take for a signal to go somewhere and the answer come back. Traditional satellites sit in an orbit above the earth around 23,000 miles above the surface. Sending a signal up this high and back down to earth will take around 0.7 seconds (700 milliseconds). Sounds fast but a lot of Internet transactions take multiple trips up and down to do a simple task. So interactive Internet like browsing becomes very sluggish. This is why trying to use the Internet for your phone service or gaming is really not practical.

Starlink is Elon Musk’s project is to use thousands of low level satellites only 340 miles above the surface to provide high speed Internet to rural locations around the globe. Early speeds Beta testers are seeing are in the range of 100 Mbps with latency around 0.030 seconds (30 msec). 


Paul ran a speedtest on STARLINK to see what the speeds are.

Further improvements to this network of satellites could deliver speeds up to 300 Mbps. Currently there are no Data Caps and their goal is to not have them. If you live in a rural setting you should look closer into this service. It is currently in the Beta stage and you needed to sign up early to get into their Beta program. For a lot of areas the Beta program is closed to additional users but you can still sign up to get a place in line when the service fully opens up. To learn more about the program and to sign up you can go to starlink.com

This is what you will see when you visit Starlink's website to sign up.

Starlink, a satellite-based internet service and division of Elon Musk's aerospace company SpaceX, is currently in its beta-testing phase. But some users can sign up to preorder the internet service, which aims to provide "high-speed, low latency broadband internet" globally.

*Here's how to sign upGo to Starlink's website.

  • Enter your email and address to find your service area.
  • See when Starlink estimates it will provide service to your location.
  • Pay a $99 deposit upfront that will be deducted from the monthly fee of $99, the $499 hardware cost, and shipping. 

The site disclaims that there are limited spots available and that the spots will be filled on a "first-come, first-served basis" for preorders. 

We  were lucky enough to learn about this program early and I signed up for the Beta program and got accepted. For the Beta the cost was $499 for the equipment which is a satellite dish and a router. Then you sign up and pay a monthly fee of $99/month. Additional things you may need to buy are mounting brackets to mount to your roof or a pole. These prices may change when they fully open the service (hopefully go down). For example, they are building a plant in Austin Texas to manufacture the satellites dishes. I’m also guessing that you will be able to use your current router. I believe them including a router in the Beta package was to remove an unknown problems of everyone using a different router. After I set up the dish I plugged it into my existing router and it has been working just fine.

Here is the boxed equipment we received. 



 Paul set it on our roof for the time being, until the mounting hardware arrives.

This gives you some insight about STARLINK. There is hope for a lot of people who want high speed internet. I want to point out my husband Paul actually wrote this post.



About Linda @ Life and Linda

Hello, welcome to LifeandLinda. I am from Northern California. I enjoy blogging, Designing Blogs, Decorating, cooking, entertaining, gardening and clogging. I hope you enjoy your visit.

15 comments:

  1. Very good article! We’ve been considering it but the monthly fee is slowing us down on decision making!

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    1. Thanks Liz, not sure on how much you pay for internet. Us living out in the country we do not have access to DSL or cable, so we are excited about this. New technology.

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    2. If you have DirecTV or DishTV you should consider what you are paying for their package as it can be replaced with a similar package that is less expensive. We have DirecTV satellite and for the base package and two additional rooms it was around $100. The DirecTV Now which is their internet version for the same thing is around $65. We went with YouTube TV which had more channels and a better price.

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  2. This is really interesting. I hadn't heard anything about it. Thanks for sharing it.

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    1. You are very welcome. I hope it is easy to understand.

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  3. I asked my techno-geek husband if he'd heard of this (yes). It sounds like something that would really benefit much of our state, which is mostly rural and mountainous. We are in the middle of the city, so our speed is good, but we (he) are (is) always looking for more speed. :) Great review.

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    1. Thanks Rita. I figured this post would appeal to the man in the family. Paul being an engineer can get anal. He told me he dumbed it down...LOL

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  4. I had to laugh at your disclaimer at the end, Paul wrote this! We have extremely high speed at the beach, personally its good to keep this all a secret, the more that join affects the speed as time rolls on, no competing interests, shhh mums the word... After we get ours! 😉

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    1. Probably a good point. Yes, I gave Paul his kudos....LOL

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  5. I'm always learning something from you, Linda!

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  6. Wow, you'll be bouncing off the stars soon, LOL! Or at least that satellite.

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  7. Linda, thank you (and Paul) for keeping us in the loop of new high tech information. This is interesting, especially for those in rural areas. What would we do without you!!!! Thanks again......Learned something new this morning!

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  8. No había oído hablar de esta nueva tecnología, imagino perfecta para zonas rurales y de montaña, espero te funcione con éxito. Un abrazo

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  9. My son is looking forward to this being available in his area. He lives out in the country and there is no internet provider except for Hughes. After installation, it barely worked so he had them to come and get their equipment. Right now he uses his iPhone as a hotspot with ATT to stream online services, he gets local channels with a digital antenna.

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