April 23, 2024

In the first quarter of 2023, Ookla, a website that tracks internet speeds, examined satellite internet performance and found that Starlink provided average download rates in the US of about 67 Mbps. Compared to the end of 2021, when Starlink had median download rates of slightly over 100Mbps, there is a dramatic decrease. Even yet, the outcomes are more than four times HughesNet’s median statistics and almost double those of Viasat, a competitor satellite provider. Starlink, however, is well short of the whole fixed broadband category’s (193Mbps) estimates, which also include satellite and other means of providing access to houses.

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“Starlink users typically experience download speeds between 25 and 220Mbps, with a majority of users experiencing speeds over 100Mbps,” according to the company’s website. “As we launch more satellites, install more ground stations and improve our networking software, data speed, latency and uptime will improve dramatically.”

In light of this, Musk said in a tweet from February 2021 that the service will quadruple its highest speeds to 300 Mbps by the end of the same year. Such statements don’t appear plausible in 2023, especially in light of the Ookla findings.

CNET’s John Kim registered for Starlink at his California home in 2021 and started using it in different places for testing. He recorded average download speeds of about 78 Mbps and average latency of about 36 ms at home. Watch the video above to see more of his initial thoughts.

What is the price of Starlink?

First-come, first-served orders are now being accepted by Starlink; thus, you will need to request service, pay a $99 deposit, and then wait through the backlog. Starlink said that certain preorders would take up to six months to fulfill during its beta in 2021; however, the company has since stated that new orders might not be fulfilled until late in 2023 in some countries.

The initial cost of the service was $499, which covered the cost of installing the router and mountable satellite dish at your house, in addition to the monthly billing of $99 (plus taxes and fees). Despite prior statements from SpaceX officials that the cost of the hardware will decrease over time, SpaceX increased those rates to $120 per month and $599 up front in March 2022.

For an internet connection, especially one that isn’t quite as fast as a fiber connection, $120 a month seems excessive. Musk is still placing his bets, though, that those who have not yet had access to a dependable link would find the expense worthwhile. However, Starlink does have a $90 monthly package for those who live in “high-availability locations.” However, the great majority—or “most locations,” as the website puts it—will have to pay $120 a month.

SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell stated in April 2021 that Starlink has no intention of introducing service tiers and intended to maintain pricing as straightforward and uncomplicated as feasible. That strategy was altered in 2022, though, when a new priority tier was introduced. This tier had download rates ranging from 40 to 220 Mbps and a scanning array twice as large as the normal plan. The three options at that class have monthly costs of $250, $500, or $1,500 in addition to a $2,500 equipment upfront investment.