I have often seen the beta tag going rounds for Starlink and wondered if there is any truth in it, considering just how seamless my connection has been.
This got me to write this article to quench your curiosity as well as mine, and finally put an end to the query of whether Starlink really is in its beta stages right now.
Starlink ended its beta in October 2021, with the primary change being introducing incremental updates to its Starlink Dish. This was officially announced by Elon Musk through his Twitter account. Starlink removed most restrictions and started a wide rollout after the end of the beta phase.
Starlink Has Been Officially Out of Beta Since October 2021
Elon Musk officially stated that Starlink ditched the beta tag back in October 2021.
Many users were surprised since they didn't even realize Starlink was in beta in the first place, considering the experience was very stable.
In fact, the only changes Starlink initially made was literally removing the beta tags on their website.
Starlink also didn't explicitly come out and say the changes users can expect during this change.
But there still were noticeable changes in the Starlink service that cemented the fact that Starlink right now is a better experience than Starlink pre-October 2021.
Starlink Dish Updates
The primary change that happened was that Starlink updated the design of their Dish.
They moved from the traditional round design to a more rectangular shape.
Here is a general breakdown of the dimensions and the differences between the two dishes:
|Starlink Round Dish||Starlink Rectangle Dish|
|Dimensions||23.2 inches diameter|
16 lbs wright
25.4 inches tall
|19 x 12 inches for Dish face|
9.2 lbs weight
24 inches tall
|Power Consumption||65-100 W||50-75 W|
The overall footprint of the dish has been changed, with the newer dish being smaller and lighter than the older one.
The newer Starlink also consumes much less power compared to the previous generation.
Starlink has also claimed that the newer models are much easier to manufacture and mass produce.
This can boost the availability of the dish for newer customers, ensuring that Starlink's waiting list gets smaller much faster.
Starlink could only mass produce 5,000 Starlink round dishes in a week, which means it would take about 2 years to clear its then-current waiting list backlogs.
With the new gen Starlink rectangle dish, Starlink claims it can manufacture in multiples of 5,000 each week.
A side effect of this faster manufacturing is that the newer Starlink routers do not come with an ethernet port, which can be a huge bummer for a lot of people.
Starlink said they had to make this decision thanks to the supply chain issues caused due to ship shortage.
Instead, Starlink now offers ethernet as an additional accessory, which you can connect to the router and enjoy proper ethernet.
Other than that, there is no proof of any speed or latency improvements in the newer generation rectangle dish compared to the older generation round dish.
Boosts in Speeds, atleast on the Starlink Website
During the beta phase, Starlink had listed its expected download speeds at 50-150 Mbps and with a 20-40ms latency, in most locations.
After Starlink claimed its beta phase was over, they changed this to download speeds between 100 and 200 Mbps, with a latency of just 20ms, in most locations.
This might seem like a huge deal, and you might be inclined to believe this to be solely the result of using newer dish hardware.
But looking at user reports, it's fair to say that the previous lower-speed claims were just outdated information, and Starlink's dish hardware has nothing to do with it.
Users of the older round dishes experienced much better speeds than the initially claimed 50-150 Mbps speeds, and their speeds are very comparable to the newer gen dishes.
This speed bump is most probably all thanks to the increasing number of Starlink constellations in space each year.
Starlink Waiting Time
Starlink has successfully moved away from its beta phase officially, but there is one thing that hasn't changed much: its long waiting list.
Starlink has had waiting lists since its inception, and it made a lot of sense when they were starting out.
Starlink disrupted the market with their low orbit earth satellite internet implementation, and it only made sense the hype around it attracted a lot of users.
But with Starlink being one of the major players in satellite internet right now, having a waiting list backlog can be a deal breaker for a lot of new customers.
According to recent statements put out by Starlink, the ETA for new Starlink connections is as far as 2023 for select mid-west and Southern states.
This is the case for both Starlink Residential and Business connections.
Starlink did say that it is 'immediately available for other states in the US, but user reports say otherwise with some users waiting for weeks.
Sure there are ways you can skip your slot in the waiting list, but none of the methods are ideal.
All in all, this huge waiting period makes a lot of sense considering that Starlink has had a boom in user base recently.
Starlink currently boasts a staggering 400,000 active users globally, with more from the waiting list being added by the day.
Considering competitors, Starlink has always been a stable satellite internet option for a lot of users.
Starlink being out of beta might have confused users for a while, sprouting queries on whether there is any meaning to such statements.
I hope my article on whether Starlink is still in beta has cleared your doubts on the query.
Have a good day!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Is competitive gaming possible on Starlink?
Elon Musk claims Starlink has a latency of 20ms in most regions, making it a good option for competitive gamers to consider, but it is still far from the stability offered by traditional wired fiber connections.
What are the max speeds Starlink can reach?
Starlink Residential is rated to reach speeds of up to 350 Mbps, and Starlink Premium can reach speeds as much as 500 Mbps.
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