A lot of readers, especially gamers, have been asking me about the latency and ping I get with Starlink.
Having access to a Starlink connection helps me form a solid understanding of what ping times one can expect and how it affects your daily use.
Being an avid gamer, low latency is critical to me.
Starlink promises an average latency of 20-40 ms for their service, and the average tested latency is also between 20 and 100 ms with a median value of 48 ms. The latency values were tested for the USA by the Speed test service Ookla.
Starlink’s Latency and Ping Values: Real Life Results
Given below are some Starlink latency results from official sources, as well as tested numbers:
|Rated latency||20-40 ms|
|Tested latency(low traffic)||20 ms|
|Tested latency(high traffic)||100 ms|
|Tested latency(avg)||48 ms|
In a macro sense, latency is pretty low for Starlink connections.
Starlink boasts numbers ranging from 20-40 ms for all their plans, and the real-world use sits just about in the same ballpark.
When connected to high-speed servers that do not have a lot of traffic, Starlink can get to 20 ms speeds on both WiFi and over ethernet.
In high-traffic scenarios or when connecting to long-distance servers, the ping can get to about 100 ms with ethernet, and WiFi adding about 10ms on top.
On average, the latency sits somewhere near 48 ms, which is pretty decent and usable for casual gaming, but definitely not recommended for professional gaming.
Starlink’s Latency vs Competitors
Given below are some latency numbers of Starlink compared to its competing services:
|Starlink||20-40 ms||50-500 Mbps|
|Viasat (satellite internet)||500-800 ms||25-250 Mbps|
|Hughesnet (satellite internet)||600-900 ms||25 Mbps|
|AT&T Fiber (fiber internet)||10-15 ms||300 Mbps-5 Gbps|
|Google Fiber (fiber internet)||10-16 ms||1 Gbps|
|4G (cellular internet)||20-30 ms||Upto 100 Mbps|
|5G (cellular internet)||20-30 ms||Upto 10 Gbps|
|Spectrum internet (cable internet)||30-70 ms||Upto 300 Mbps|
|Xfinity internet (cable internet)||30-70 ms||Upto 200 Mbps|
A latency of 20-50 ms is often considered very good latency for casual gaming.
But strictly from the performance perspective, Starlink offers much better latency and download figures thanks to the Starlink constellations being much closer to the earth.
This is despite the slight dip in speeds Starlink faced recently in the US, most probably due to the number of users increasing by the day.
The 500-800 ms and 600-900 ms latency figures are quite rudimentary and in the current day and age can be considered only for emergency internet use for texting.
Coming to the fiber internet side of things, Starlink gets one-upped drastically by services such as AT&T Fiber and Google Fiber offering much better latency and speeds.
This is perfect for professional gamers and for other tasks that require fast communication between servers.
The cable internet options, from Spectrum and Xfinity, offer much more reasonable competition to Starlink by providing similar figures.
But these options are much cheaper compared to Starlink's plans.
The options many have recently started considering as a primary internet connection for their needs are 4G and 5G wireless cellular internet
But despite them having the capabilities to perform much better, they are restricted by the fact that they are a wireless communication standard like Starlink.
They also don't have a proper line of sight between the ground antenna and the base station, so the signal loss is much more apparent than on Starlink.
This leads to a situation where the speeds that 5G can achieve are much higher than Starlink's, but the actual speeds are much lower and are dependent on various factors.
The latency also takes a massive hit. It makes sense for a portable internet connection on the road, but not for a home or workspace internet that requires stability.
How to Fix Latency for Starlink Connections
Latency is a factor that you can have very limited control over.
Latency is after all, dependent on the distance between you and the server that you are communicating with, and all the obstructions in between.
Even if you have great internet speeds, it is not assured that you might get great latency pings.
But there are plenty of factors that affect latency when it comes to Starlink connections. Taking steps to nullify each factor can help improve your latency:
There can be certain obstructions that you can control that let you get much better latency, such as physical obstructions on your Starlink dish.
This is especially prevalent if you have set up your Starlink in a location surrounded by tall trees.
Making sure that your Starlink dish has a clear line of sight with the sky can do half the job of ensuring that your internet connection stays stable.
Closing Background Apps and Services
The background apps and services on your Starlink-connected device can potentially use up a lot of your bandwidth leading to slower speeds and higher latency.
Making sure that you close your background apps and services before you start with your game can help you get a better ping.
Switching to Ethernet
Connecting your device via WiFi can be a very convenient solution, but it can result in slower and unstable speeds during your session.
A wired connection will always be more stable and will experience much less signal loss when compared to a wireless connection like WiFi.
Plugging into your internet using an ethernet/LAN cable can ensure that you have very stable access to your internet connection leading to a much more stable ping.
I hope my article on the latency and ping times you can expect from a Starlink connection has been a helpful read and has aided you with the same.
Have a good day!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Is Starlink good for professional esports?
Starlink averages a latency of 20-40ms which is not ideal for professional esports, which requires a latency of less than 10 ms for accurate mapping.
Are ping and latency the same?
A ping is a signal that is sent from one server to another and back, whereas latency is the time taken for that ping to complete the communication.
Usually, ping and latency are often used interchangeably and refer to the same when used in context.