Starlink is SpaceX’s constellation of its own low orbit satellites that its uses to connect users all over the globe in remote and sparsely populated regions that lack connectivity, speed and availability of competing providers. That makes SpaceX an internet service provider (ISP) much like Xfinity, CenturyLink, Verizon, T-Mobile and so on. What makes Starlink different, however, is if you live in a remote and beautiful location with only one or two ISP’s, slow speeds and high costs, the Starlink system from SpaceX gives you the freedom to live where you want, while being connected at a reasonable cost.
While some people like to live in bustling cities and sprawling suburbs with access to multiple ISPs and 500mpbs+ speeds, others prefer to live and work in beautiful, remote and quiet places and with that remoteness comes fewer choices to stay connected. Enter Starlink’s $100 per month service charge and 100-200mbps speeds and eventually offering an even fast 500mbps tier, enabling people to live and work wherever they want.
In the part 1 of this De.Central Review series, we will cover everything from unboxing, installation, speeds and more of SpaceX’s Starlink kit and service.
Getting Started with Starlink
Much like other service providers, SpaceX’s Starlink starts off the sign-up process with your physical address. But unlike other ISPs, Starlink literally has no geography limits. If you have an address on planet earth, then Starlink can get you connected, with very few exceptions. Once you have entered your address you will be taken to an order page. Here You will be asked to provide your name, number, email and shipping address. At the bottom of the page, you will then be asked to provide a (fully refundable) $99 deposit for your order. The page does note that some service locations can take up to 6 months for an order to be shipped. We only had to wait 3 months to get our Starlink kit here in the United States.
Now is the hard part…the wait. It amounts to a little short-term pain for long-term gain, however, especially if your current ISP can only provide your address with painfully slow speeds.
At some point while you are waiting, you will receive a notification from Starlink letting you know your Starlink kit is ready and you will be prompted to confirm your order by paying the remaining balance of the hardware within 7 days. Once you have paid and confirmed your order, you will get a notification that your order has shipped and get a tracking number. At this point the Starlink shop will become available to you.
Order your mount, ethernet adapter and anything else ASAP
At this point you should decide where you will mount your Starlink hardware. Based on your choice you may need to buy one of Starlink’s mounts from the Starlink Shop to properly install the kit.
Unboxing the Starlink Kit
Once your Starlink Kit shows up on your doorstep, you may need to still wait for the mount you chose and any other accessories to show up before you can actually install your dish. The included four-leg stand isn’t all that functional for a permanent install and waiting for your mount kit is the path to a cleaner install on your house.
De.Central Review Starlink Part 2
In part 2 of our Starlink review we will cover installation of the Starlink Kit using the Starlink Pivot Mount, ethernet adapter and the app to check for obstructions and go through the setup process.