Network issues are characteristic of satellite internet services, and Starlink isn't an exception. But the Degraded Service banner popping up on the Starlink app is no everyday sight.
The degraded service message is most commonly associated with satellite-based inconsistencies and rarely associated with the user terminal.
Nonetheless, you could try a few troubleshooting steps as preliminary steps to fix the issue.
To fix the "degraded service" issue on Starlink, check for outages and downtimes with the service. The best option here is to wait it out. Also, power cycle the Dish and the Starlink Router if the network is not down. A router factory reset could also help with the issue.
What Causes Degraded Service on Starlink?
The Degraded Service message on Starlink occurs due to Satellite-based issues on Starlink's end. In most cases, it has nothing to do with your Starlink configuration.
To know more about the said issue, let's take a look at the actual message - "Degraded Service - Our Team is investigating and will resolve it as soon as possible."
As evident from Starlink's official summary, the issue has its origin on the server side of the service.
And of all the satellite-based anomalies that could trigger the said issue, Space Congestion could be the culprit here.
Better known as Kessler's Syndrome, Space Congestion occurs when the Lower Earth Orbits (LEO) become polluted with space debris, effectively hindering communication with the ground terminals.
Space Congestion may be of the essence when talking about Starlink since SpaceX satellites for Starlink are deployed and concentrated in and around LEO.
As a result, Starlink Dishes fail to effectively communicate with the Satellites, which in turn leads to increased latency, more buffer times, and slow internet speeds.
Other lesser anomalies that could trigger the Degraded Service message to pop up on the Starlink app are:
- Harsh Weather Conditions
- Solar flares
- Climate changes
Regardless of the reason, there are a few troubleshooting steps that you could try to improve things.
Start the troubleshooting by checking for downtimes with Starlink.
Check if Starlink is Down (Downtime)
The best option to overcome this adversity is to wait it out.
Most of the time, issues, such as the one hand, tend to resolve themselves with time.
And since the degraded service issue isn't user-generated, waiting it out while the technicians work it out is the recommended fix.
To get a more accurate account of the predicament at hand, you could frequent the social media handles of Starlink or SpaceX.
Often, issues that share a magnitude of severity as the Degraded Service warning is in no way isolated to a handful of customers. It may be prevalent on a larger scale or nationwide.
And so, it is only natural for users to vent their exasperation on social media sites, which in turn prompts the authorities to address the said issue.
Hence, the pertinacity of looking up the issue on social media.
Downtime trackers could also aid you in confirming downtimes and outages concerning Starlink.
Downdetector.com is a popular downtime tracker that expands on the volume of outages and downtimes recorded in a given time frame.
Once you get enough info to affirm the issue to be with the satellites, try waiting out a few hours and check back again to see if it helped. Usually, it does.
Contacting the customer support of Starlink could also help in this case.
On the other hand, if the issue seems to be an isolated incident, you could perform a couple of troubleshooting steps to fix it. Let's check them out now:
Power Cycle Starlink Dish and Router
Refreshing the associated hardware when met with network issues is a proven method to fix the said problem.
The same goes for Starlink. With the Dish and the Router being the fundamental elements in the Starlink service, refreshing them could resolve any associated issues.
And what better way to refresh these devices than with a Power cycle test?
A power cycle test is a mode of system reboot with the added advantage of depleting static charges from the associated hardware. Doing so will make the peripherals more efficient.
Follow these steps to perform a power cycle test:
- Start by unplugging the Dish and the Power from the power source.
- With the Round Dish, unplug the Dish and the Router from their independent power supplies.
- In the case of the Rectangular Dish, the power supply for the DIsh and the Router comes integrated.
- Leave the devices unplugged for a few seconds, preferably a minute.
- Now, plug back the power supply and power ON the device.
- Open the Starlink app and make sure that both devices are connected and powered.
Check for the issue now.
Check for Starlink Dish Updates
Updates help uphold security integrity along with the progress of technology on your gadgets.
An outdated firmware version is pretty much an invitation for trouble.
The same applies to Starlink as well.
Fortunately, Starlink firmware updates automatically whenever an update is made available.
All you have to do is to maintain a steady and stable connection to the Satellites and leave the rest to the Dish.
But when it comes to updates, Starlink isn't very uniform with them. Users have pointed out that not all of them receive updates simultaneously, or in some cases, don't receive them at all!
And the only way to check if your Starlink is up to date or not is to check the firmware version. Here's how to do so:
1. From the home page, tap open the Settings tab.
2. Open the Advanced option.
3. Scroll down to the Starlink tile to check the firmware version.
One of the ways with which you can kick-start an update on Starlink is to refresh the Dish. A power cycle test should do the trick.
Once the hardware starts updating, the LED on the Router/Dish starts to flash white.
Update Starlink App
While updating Starlink Dish, there's no harm in checking and updating the Starlink app as well.
Unlike Starlink Dish, updating the Starlink app is pretty straightforward.
You can check and update the app by going to the associated application store of your device.
Follow these steps to do so:
1. Open the App Store and search for the Starlink app.
2. Tap on the Starlink app icon and select Update (If available).
Wait for the update to complete. Restart the device and log back into your Starlink account. Check for the issue now.
Reposition the Starlink Dish
Obstructions may be the prime reason for downtimes and loss of speed on Starlink.
Even if it may not be the most apparent reason for the Degraded Service message, checking for obstructions and repositioning the Dish wouldn't hurt to try.
If you do find any opaque objects to be in the vicinity of the Dish blocking its view of the sky, try moving it to a more favorable position.
Trees, fences, vertical walls, poles, and other antenna equipment can all impede signal reception.
Also, make sure your Starlink dish placement is correct and it's facing in the right direction.
And as luck would have it, Starlink does allow its users to assess the obstruction around the Dish through the app.
Here's how to do so:
1. Position yourself next to the Starlink Dish and open the app.
2. Click on the Obstructions tab. Then select Check for Obstructions.
3. Read through the instructions, and select I'm Ready.
4. Follow the instructions, and scan the sky as instructed by the app.
5. Tap on View Results to get an account of obstructions.
As much as the Starlink obstruction detection may seem useful, the feature is known to be inaccurate and undependable.
Factory Reset Starlink Hardware
A factory reset may perhaps be the final step in most troubleshooting guides. And there's good reason for that as well.
Factory resetting a gadget will get all its preset data and configuration reverted to its factory defaults.
Personal preferences, saved info, system configs, and of course, malicious files all get removed, too.
But, unlike most modern gadgets, Starlink doesn't have much info to lose, save the network settings and user info. Although, you do get all the errors and bugs removed.
With that said, here's how to factory reset your Starlink service:
On Round Dish:
1. Locate the Reset button on the bottom of the Router.
2. Press and hold the button for a few seconds or until the LED turns Blue.
Wait till the reset completes. Proceed to set up the service once again.
On Rectangular Dish:
1. Power Cycle the Router three times in a row. (Unplug and Plug back in the Power)
2. Once the reset is complete, the LED will turn White.
After resetting Starlink, you will have to log back into your Starlink account and reconfigure the Network parameters like SSID and password.
Getting your network to slow down with overshooting latency is indeed a nuisance.
With Degraded Service, you get to experience just that, and maybe a little more.
Fortunately, Starlink is quick to its feet with issues such as the one at hand, and you do get to experience the service to its fullest in no time.
Provided, too, are a few troubleshooting tips to help you resolve this issue.
If you still can't get the issue to settle, contacting the customer services of Starlink could help.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Why does Starlink keep disconnecting?
Common causes for the Starlink service to drop are:
- Obstructions in the FOV of the Dish
- Adverse weather conditions
- Faulty cable connections
- Lack of updates
How do I update my Starlink router?
Starlink hardware, including the Router, updates automatically whenever one is made available to it. You can't manually update them.
Why does my Starlink say stinky?
Initially meant as a joke, Starlink started changing the SSIDs of the network to STINKY to encourage users to change the SSIDs to a more unique one. The SSID reverts to STINKY every time you perform a factory reset.