If the prospect of waiting a year for your Starlink sounds depressing to you, there are a few options you can try out to get your Starlink immediately.
To Skip the Starlink waitlist, the easiest option is to get Starlink RV as there's no waiting list for it. Other viable options are getting a used Starlink dish and using the Starlink portability feature. If you registered early, you could also get an invite to Starlink's best-effort service.
|Get Starlink RV||Quick and Effective|
|Starlink Best Effort Service||Best Option but it's by invite only|
|Get a Used Starlink Dish||You could get the dish cheaply|
|Starlink Portability Exploit||Involves Risks|
Get Starlink RV: Easiest Option to Skip Waitlist
Yes, getting Starlink RV is a quick and effective way to skip the Starlink waitlist for residential.
Starlink RV gives you portable satellite internet that you can pause whenever you want.
Most importantly, Starlink for RVs is immediately available for order and you can get your dish delivered in under 2 weeks.
What advantages does Starlink RV have over Starlink Residential?
- Can be paused and resumed whenever you want unlike Starlink residential which cannot be paused (can only be canceled).
- Take it anywhere within your continent.
What are the disadvantages of Starlink RV over Residential?
- Deprioritized service. During peak hours you'll get speeds and performance that are poorer than Starlink residential users in your area.
- A higher monthly subscription fee ($25 more/month).
Another thing that you need to watch out for is the Starlink coverage map.
The quality of the internet that you get with Starlink RV is not the same everywhere.
In areas of low capacity, you'll get lower speeds and higher pings compared to areas of higher capacity.
Several southern and mid-west states in the USA fall under the low-capacity area.
These are also the states where there's a waitlist for Starlink residential.
Note that this map is dynamic in nature and changes almost every day. For the current coverage, visit the Starlink website.
You'll want to consider this aspect as well if you choose Starlink RV. Whether you intend to move around in these states.
Another major concern is that you cannot convert your Starlink RV to Starlink residential later when it becomes available in your area.
If you've already pre-booked your Starlink residential then Starlink is offering a plan called "best effort service" which might be better than Starlink RV if you don't intend to move around.
You'll need to buy a few accessories for Starlink to mount it on your RV.
Opt for Starlink Best Effort Service (Invite-Only)
Starlink launched an option called "best effort service" for those who pre-ordered in 2021 and were expected to get their dish in 2022.
This is by invite-only and you need to get a mail from Starlink to be eligible for this.
Starlink clearly didn't want people who pre-booked and waited for a year to get frustrated and cancel their deposit.
In this service, Starlink offers a deprioritized service below that of residential users in your area.
This means you'll experience slower speeds compared to residential users, especially during peak hours.
According to Starlink, you'll find it difficult to do demanding activities like 4k streaming and online gaming during these peak hours.
This can sometimes get even worse during times of bad weather.
At other times, you'll still have a relatively lower speed compared to residential but the speed will be high enough to stream 4k video and do online gaming.
In my opinion, if you get access to this, take this instead of Starlink RV.
Note that the speed promised in low-capacity areas is the same for Starlink RV and Starlink Best Effort Service.
Get a Used Starlink Dish (Check with Customer Care)
This strategy involves buying a used Starlink from someone who's selling it.
Technically what is being done here is a "transfer of ownership".
There's no clear written policy from Starlink on this, therefore this method can be a bit of a hit or miss.
Also, this doesn't work for round dishes. In other words, only the rectangular dishes can be transferred.
Don't buy a used "round" dish under any circumstance.
However, there's nothing that explicitly forbids a transfer.
Unlike other internet providers, Starlink actually transfers the ownership of the dish to you when you buy it.
You're free to do as you please with it and don't have to return it.
First, you need to find a seller for the rectangular dish.
Get them to email Starlink customer support requesting a transfer of ownership.
Since you live in a low-capacity area that has a waitlist, Starlink may or may not allow a transfer to your service address.
However, there are several anecdotal accounts of users being able to get a fully working Starlink residential dish by doing this.
Although this is not a given and Starlink may deny the transfer of ownership if your area is full.
Transfer of ownership is straightforward if you have availability at your service address.
But in that case, you can just get a new Starlink immediately anyway.
The seller of the dish should also not have any outstanding unpaid bills at the time of transfer.
If Starlink denies a change of address, what you can do is give a service address that has availability and turn on portability to use it at your address.
This leads me to the next loophole/strategy that you can try.
Starlink Portability Exploit (Risky)
I don't recommend this method but you can try this if you're really desperate.
Before you do this, make sure you don't cancel your current pre-order at your address and lose your position on the waiting list.
This method involves ordering Starlink with a service address that's different from your actual address (home), and using the portability feature to use it at your actual address.
Step 1: Find a service address that has availability
Use the Starlink availability map to find an area near you that has availability.
Although for some people, this can mean a different state altogether.
Input that service address you found.
For more details on finding available areas please read this- Check if Starlink is available in my area.
Step 2: Order Starlink
As the next step, order Starlink by paying the full amount.
Starlink gives you the option to specify a shipping address different from your service address.
This means you can just ship it to your actual address.
When placing the order, use an email address that's different from the one you used to pre-order to your actual address.
Step 3: Activate Starlink using Portability mode
You'll get your Starlink in under 2 weeks.
Once you get it, turn on portability mode for your Starlink account by paying extra.
Start using Starlink with portability at your actual address.
Step 4: Wait for Starlink to Update the Service Address
Starlink designed the portability mode to be a temporary feature for people who travel occasionally and come back to their home service address after a while.
If you continue to stay at a location away from the registered service address for a long time, Starlink updates your service address to this new location.
While there are no clear policies on when this happens, most users who've done this report that this happens after 2 months.
This way you get a fully functional Starlink residential plan without waiting for several months.
What do you do if Starlink doesn't update your residential address?
Just wait for your turn in the waitlist for the Starlink residential plan that you pre-booked. This is why I recommend not canceling your pre-booking while trying this method.
Continue using Starlink with portability until then.
When you get approved for a Starlink residential at your actual address, just apply for a service address change to the actual address.
The long waitlist for Starlink can be agonizing for most people, especially now that expected dates are being pushed even further.
This has prompted a lot of users on the waitlist to consider other options such as 5G home internet instead of Starlink.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Why is the Starlink waiting list so long?
The demand for Starlink is growing at an incredible rate while the supply/production is struggling to keep up. This created a long waiting list. The production issues are mostly due to worldwide chip shortages and transportation problems and the fallout of covid.
How long will I be on the Starlink waitlist?
According to official estimates, people on the Starlink waitlist will have to wait a year or more to get their Starlink. Official ETA's provided during the time of pre-order have been fairly accurate so far. Most users who pre-ordered in 2021 got their dish in mid-2022.
Does Starlink work in waitlisted areas?
Starlink works in waitlisted areas if you have a Starlink dish that's approved for use in that area. This can mean Starlink residential users who already received their dish, Starlink portability users, and Starlink RV users. However, waitlisted areas have low capacity which means the speed and latency will be poor for Starlink portability and Starlink RV users due to the deprioritized service.