Starlink Internet Plans Compared: Good and Bad [2022]

Starlink currently has several internet plans and there are new plans coming out every few months.

In this article, I explain what's good and bad about each of those Starlink plans and whether it could be a good choice for your needs.

Starlink PlanDescriptionPrice/Month
Starlink ResidentialThe most popular plan for home-use$110
Starlink Residential+PortabilityIn home-use plus traveling occasionally$135
Starlink RVConstant travellers, RV'ers$135
Starlink Best Effort ServiceDeprioritized service until eligible for Starlink residential$110
Starlink BusinessHigh-performance plan, more expensive$500
Starlink MaritimeFor use on boats and ships$5000
Starlink Plans Compared

Starlink Residential Plan

Starlink Residential

The Starlink residential plan is the most popular plan for Starlink internet.

It allows you to use Starlink internet at your registered service address.

Advantage:

  • No deprioritization.

The biggest advantage to this plan is that users of this plan are given top priority compared to other Starlink users (RV, portability, Best effort) by Starlink during periods of network congestion.

This advantage comes into play during peak hours (5 PM-11 PM) when everyone's at home and starts using their Starlink internet.

Disadvantages:

  • Long waitlist in some states
  • Cannot be paused

Starlink residential has a long waitlist in many southern and midwest states of the USA.

This doesn't apply to you if you live outside the USA as there's no waitlist anywhere else.

In fact, the waitlist in some areas is so bad that users who pre-ordered their Starlink in mid-2021 did not get Starlink even in mid-2022 as promised by Starlink.

Starlink had to launch a best-effort service to those users who got frustrated after waiting for more than a year.

In other states (without waitlist) of the USA, you can order Starlink residential and get it in your hands within two weeks.

Check if Starlink is available in your area to know if you live in an area with a waitlist.

All Starlink plans are without a contract, meaning they can be canceled anytime without a penalty.

Quick Facts: Starlink Residential

Purchase Fee (Onetime) for Hardware$599
Monthly Recurring Fee$110
Download Speeds50-200 Mbps
Latency20-40 ms
Data CapNone
Starlink residential details

Starlink Residential with Portability

Starlink allows a feature called portability as an add-on with Starlink residential for an extra fee of $25/month that lets you use your Starlink anywhere on your continent.

Advantage:

  • Use Starlink anywhere on the continent.

With this plan, you're no longer tied to just your service address.

You can take your dish with you whenever you travel and use the internet anywhere within the continent.

Note that this is just a feature that you can opt for in your Starlink customer portal and it doesn't require any kind of new hardware.

Since you first need to qualify for Starlink residential to get the portability plan (or feature), the waitlist for residential applies here.

Disadvantages:

  • Extra monthly fee
  • Deprioritized Service at secondary locations

You need to pay this extra monthly as long as you've opted for the portability feature.

Also billing is done for a full billing cycle and not on a pro-rata basis.

If you realize you don't need to travel anytime soon even a few days into your billing cycle, you'll be charged the full $25 fee even if you cancel it then.

Another thing to note is that you'll only get deprioritized service at locations outside your service address.

What does Deprioritized Service mean for Starlink?

During periods of network congestion (peak hours) deprioritized users can experience slower speeds and higher latency to give priority to Starlink residential users in their home cell.

This is actually a good thing. If you are a Starlink residential user, users coming into your Starlink cell can cause speed drops if they are not deprioritized.

If you live in an area that still has a lot of cell capacity, you're unlikely to experience the effects of deprioritization.

Deprioritization applies to Starlink portability users at secondary locations (outside registered primary service address), Starlink RV users and Starlink best effort users.

Starlink RV Plan

Starlink RV

The Starlink RV plan is for those who wish to constantly move around and want Starlink internet everywhere they go.

Advantages:

  • No waitlist
  • Permanently portable
  • Can be paused anytime

The biggest advantage of Starlink RV is that there's no waitlist for it like Starlink residential.

You order and you can get it in the next two weeks.

This can be a great way to skip the Starlink waitlist and avoid waiting a year for your Starlink.

The second advantage compared to Starlink portability is that you can stay at any location for however long you want without worrying about any service address change.

With Starlink portability, the maximum duration you can stay anywhere outside your service address area is 2 billing cycles.

Here's a quick comparison of Starlink RV with Starlink portability.

Starlink RVStarlink Portability
PriorityDeprioritized EverywhereDeprioritized at Secondary Locations
WaitlistNo waitlistWaitlist in some states
PausingCan be paused fully anytimePortability fee can be paused
Starlink RV vs Starlink Portability

Starlink RV can be paused anytime you wish for months long.

This is a great advantage if you have another internet service available but want to use Starlink during some months when that service is unavailable.

With Starlink residential plus portability, you can pause the portability feature to save $25 per month, but you need to keep paying the $110/month for residential and that cannot be paused.

With Starlink RV, you save the $135/month fully when you pause.

Disadvantages:

  • Deprioritized everywhere

The disadvantage to Starlink RV is that you will be deprioritized everywhere as explained earlier to give Starlink residential users priority.

You're most likely to face the effect of deprioritization in areas of low capacity on the Starlink map during peak hours.

With Starlink portability, when you go back to your registered service address you don't get deprioritized.

The dish for Starlink RV is the same as Starlink residential. There's no hardware difference and the purchase fee is also the same.

However, you cannot convert your Starlink RV to Starlink residential or the other way around.

Quick Facts: Starlink RV

Purchase Fee (Onetime) for Hardware$599
Monthly Recurring Fee$135
Download Speeds50-200, 5-100*
Latency20-40 ms
Data CapNone
Starlink RV details

*Expected speeds in congested areas during times of high usage.

Starlink Best Effort Service

Starlink's best-effort service was launched in August 2022 to address the huge backlog of pre-orders of Starlink residential.

This makes available a deprioritized service for users who waited a year after pre-ordering their Starlink.

The best-effort service plan is invite-only. This means you need to get the mail from Starlink offering the service to you and you cannot choose it yourself.

It's being sent only to users who've been on the waitlist for very long.

The features of this plan are almost the same as Starlink residential except that you get a deprioritized service even in your home cell.

The fee you pay is also the same as Starlink residential which is a bit disappointing since you get deprioritized service.

However, you can pause the service anytime you want unlike Starlink residential, which is a definite advantage.

Why should you opt for best effort over Starlink RV?

If your primary goal is to have Starlink residential and not travel around, Starlink's best effort is a better choice over RV for you.

With the best-effort service, you get converted to Starlink residential as soon as your turn comes on the waitlist.

You continue holding your place on the waitlist for Starlink residential and can use this best-effort service until then.

Starlink RV users do not have an option to convert to Starlink residential ever.

Starlink Business

Starlink Business

Starlink business is a high-performance plan for commercial users with higher speeds and greater throughput.

Advantages:

  • Higher Speeds
  • Lower Latency
  • More powerful, larger dish
  • 24/7 prioritized customer support
  • Publicly routable IPv4 address.

According to Starlink, business users can expect download speeds of up to 350 Mbps and latency of 20-40ms.

This plan is intended for offices with up to 20 users.

The dish that you get with Starlink business is called the "high-performance dish" which is larger (22"x20") in size compared to the residential dish.

According to user reports, Starlink business users experience much lower downtimes and outages, especially during bad weather situations.

Another advantage they advertise is the 24/7 prioritized customer support for business users.

Most internet services give prioritized support to business customers, so this is kind of expected.

However, just like Starlink's customer support for non-business users, the customer support for business users is nothing great.

Starlink business comes with a publicly routable IPv4 address.

The advantages this feature presents are several.

  • hosting a server is simple
  • Connecting to VPNs and remote access is easier.
  • VoIP calls and video conferencing works better

While it's possible to overcome this using special services even when you have a dynamic IP, this makes things much easier for businesses.

Disadvantages of Starlink Business:

  • Expensive
  • Not much better than residential in reality

Starlink business users aren't very happy paying the extra fee.

A lot of users are complaining that the actual speeds that they're getting with Starlink business isn't much better than what they get with residential.

Of course, this could vary wildly, but it's something you should be aware of.

Quick Facts: Starlink Business

Purchase Fee (Onetime) for Hardware$2,500
Monthly Recurring Fee$500
Download Speeds100-350 Mbps
Latency20-40 ms
Data CapNone
Starlink Business Plan Details

Starlink Maritime

Starlink Maritime

Starlink's maritime service is for use on large commercial boats, yachts, and ships for use in the sea.

It costs a hefty $10,000 for the hardware and a $5,000 monthly recurring fee.

Clearly, this isn't for your sea rays or bay liners.

While it's too expensive for smaller boat owners, Starlink maritime has disrupted the world of maritime internet services.

For starters, it's quite a bit cheaper than most other maritime internet services.

I go more in-depth on this topic here- Starlink Maritime vs Other Maritime Internet Options.

Maritime service can be paused and unpaused anytime which is great if your business is seasonal.

Starlink maritime is available in coastal areas of the USA, Europe, and Oceania. It's yet to be available in most other areas.

Starlink has planned a rollout in other areas too in the next 2 years to make it available universally in all marine waters.

Quick Facts: Starlink Maritime

Purchase Fee (Onetime) for Hardware$10,000
Monthly Recurring Fee$5,000
Download Speeds100-350 Mbps
Latency<99ms
Data CapNone
Starlink Maritime Plan Details

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Is Starlink unlimited data?

Starlink is unlimited data without any data caps of any kind. You can even use multiple Terrabytes of data every month on Starlink without any kind of throttling or data capping. This is quite unlike other competing satellite internet services that have a limiting data cap.

Is Starlink faster than fiber?

Starlink is not faster than fiber and never will be. Ground-based hardwire connections such as fiber have several inherent advantages which make them much faster and several times more stable. Satellite internet such as Starlink's performance depends on several external variables making it slower than fiber internet.

You May Also Enjoy Reading

About Doug Stevenson

Hey! I'm Doug, My passion for tech started by fixing phones and computers for my friends and family.

I started Blinqblinq to give reliable tech advice to anyone who needs it, for free! If you have questions on anything tech-related, feel free to contact me.

DIY Profile
Doug Stevenson

Hey! I'm Doug, My passion for tech started by fixing phones and computers for my friends and family.

I started Blinqblinq to give reliable tech advice to anyone who needs it, for free! If you have questions on anything tech-related, feel free to contact me.

Connect With Me
Thanks for signing up.
Some error occured. Please try again.

Comments

The comments are closed.