An Honest Starlink Internet Review, According to Customers

Starlink’s speeds and prices are meh—but the service works well for rural customers.

Starlink internet at a glance
Starlink
Overall Quality ⁃ 3.4/5
bullet 3.0/5 - Speed and reliability
bullet 3.3/5 - Dollar value
bullet 4.0/5 - Customer experience
man popping out of a laptop with a speech bubbles with Wi-Fi, thumbs up, piggy bank
Brianne Sandorf
May 30, 2024
Icon Time To Read9 min read

Arguably the best-known satellite internet provider, SpaceX’s Starlink has a largely positive reputation. And surprisingly, it almost deserves the hype.

Starlink isn’t something you should get if you can sign up for a faster broadband connection in your area (like fiber or cable internet), but it offers sufficient speed and reliability for folks in rural and remote parts of the country. It’s also great if you yearn for the digital nomad life, since you can easily take versions of the service on the road—Starlink offers plans for RVs and boats.

“I am a very satisfied Starlink customer,” says Kelsey Proctor of Locust Grove, Virginia. “We love the speed of Starlink … We also love that if we wanted to take it with us, we could pay just a tad more for that.”

Starlink is slower than non-satellite options (as is the case with all satellite internet providers), and like most Elon Musk products, it costs a pretty penny. Potential customers should think twice (or thrice) before signing up—but they should most certainly opt for Starlink over Hughesnet or Viasat.

Info Box

Honest reviews written by real people

Why should you trust Reviews.org? Because we are real people writing these reviews, and we talk to real people in order to do our research.

Our brand partners do not see or approve our articles before they are published, but we make a commission if you click an affiliate link. Learn more about Reviews.org on our About Us page.

reviews.org next zip logo
Check if Starlink’s an option for you.

Get to know Starlink: Plans and prices

Plan
Best use
Price
Download speed
Recommended hardware
Details
Starlink StandardHome users$120/mo.*20-100 MbpsStandard antenna and router kit ($599.00)
Priority 1 TBBusinesses and high-demand users$140.00–$500.00/mo.*40–220MbpsFlat high performance antenna and router kit ($2,500.00)
Starlink for RVs RegionalRVs, digital nomads, and campers$150.00/mo. (Regional, U.S. only); $200.00/mo. (Global, outside U.S. access)*5-50 MbpsStandard antenna and router kit ($599.00)
Priority 40 GBBoats, emergency response, and mobile businesses $250.00–$5,000.00/mo.40–220MbpsFlat high performance antenna and router kit ($2,500.00)
* Plus hardware, shipping & handling fees, and tax. Fully refundable. Depending on location, some orders may take 2 weeks or more to fulfill.

Starlink is a satellite internet provider that operates a constellation of satellites hovering in low-Earth orbit (at an altitude of approximately 342 miles). The service offers standard and priority plans for regular home living, boats, and RVs and other #vanlife modes of transportation.

As is the case with all satellite internet services, Starlink’s prices skew much higher than what you’d pay for a standard broadband internet plan. But satellite internet is a worthy pick if you can’t get internet any other way.

Starlink’s residential service has no data cap, monthly overage fees, installation fees, cancellation fees, or contracts. There are also no monthly equipment rental fees—but you do pay for all your hardware in a kingly lump sum, with prices for antenna-and-router kits starting at $599. And you pay $120 monthly for the not-so-fast speed of 100Mbps, which is a high price even for satellite internet. So even with the freebies, it’s pricey.

Meanwhile, Starlink’s mobile services cost even more but are slower. You can buy priority data to speed things up—but that’s extra. (Data is fifty cents per GB for Standard and $2 per GB for Mobile.)

Starlink isn’t a great deal compared to non-satellite internet options—though compared to other satellite options, it leads the pack. In any case, Starlink’s flexibility (you can take it on the road!) is appealing, especially for travel influencers, digital nomads, and anyone else who’s unsure if the brick-and-mortar life is for them.

Starlink equipment fees

Standard equipment

$599.00

Mobile equipment

$599.00

Flat high performance equipment

$2,500.00

Data as of 05/02/2024.

What makes this review legit?

Our fact-based research process centers on interviews with internet customers across the country, helping us understand how internet services hold up against diverse needs and challenges.

To put together this review, we interviewed six Starlink customers across the world, combed through the Reddit Starlink community reading customer opinions, looked at plans and terms of service on the Starlink website, researched the mechanics of satellite internet, tried to find a non-existent Starlink spokesperson, and reviewed obscure Elon Musk lore.

how we review products and services

The rundown: Starlink by our criteria

For all our internet reviews, we give a rating based on three main criteria: Speed and reliability, dollar value, and customer experience—which we then average to make an overall score.

Want to know how Starlink stacks up? See our full take below.

Speed and reliability

internet speed
3.0/5.0

How fast is Starlink? And how reliable? Most satellite internet isn’t very fast, and Starlink is no exception. The Reviews.org 2023 speed test results show an average Starlink download speed of 39.24Mbps. That’s not great—okay, it’s kind of terrible. You can’t do a lot with 39Mbps. You’d probably have to shut off every connected device but the TV to stream a 4K movie.

But to be fair, that’s not unique to Starlink. Slow speeds are par for the course when your internet connection is beamed down from outer space rather than piped via a physical line. And actually, on our speed test results, Starlink was about twice as fast as its competitors Viasat and Hughesnet—which makes sense, considering that Starlink operates significantly more satellites than either of the other two.

Starlink also runs the satellites at a lower orbit, reducing the amount of time it takes for data to travel.

Provider
Number of satellites
Orbit altitude from Earth
Starlink6,350Below 600 km
Viasat436,000 km
Hughesnet335,000 km

Starlink customers who spoke to Reviews.org appreciate how fast Starlink is for a rural connection. Isaac Bullen of Auckland, New Zealand, says he feels it’s even quicker than broadband internet, while Jonas Zook, Jr. believes Starlink and broadband are neck and neck.

Zook operates an Airbnb in Potter County, Pennsylvania, near Cherry Springs State Park. He relies on Starlink to keep his guests connected and happy. “One of the things I appreciate most about Starlink is the broadband-like speeds it offers, which is a game changer for both managing our online business needs and enhancing our guest's experiences,” he says.

Starlink is also reliable enough for a satellite provider, although it needs a clear line of sight to work well. “The service greatly degrades if there are any obstacles in the satellite's view. Even the very tip of a tree in its view dome will cause periodic drops,” laments Lauren Morley, an off-and-on customer in Brimfield, Massachusetts.

Dollar value

dollar value
3.3/5.0

Starlink costs an arm, a leg, and a firstborn child compared to fiber, cable, and other common internet types. Even when weighed against other satellite internet providers, it’s still expensive: About $30–$60 more per month for 100Mbps, which in some cases is a nearly 100% increase.

Of course, as we mentioned before, Starlink speed is twice as fast as Viasat or Hughesnet. It also doesn’t have a data cap—a first for a satellite internet provider. With that in mind, the higher cost doesn’t look so bad.

Overall, whether the cost is worth it depends on your other internet options.

Says Kelsey Proctor, “It's not the best deal in the world, but for us, it's worth the price.” Proctor and her family live on old farmland in Locust Grove, Virginia, where she and her husband work at home. Proctor works for Spinnr, a video friendship app, and needs steady download and upload speeds for video creation.

Proctor’s family shares a private lane with another residence. “They have declined any sort of internet line (like FiberLync) to be run down the lane, so we had no other choice but to get Starlink if we wanted even half-decent internet.”

While Starlink is a godsend for Proctor's family, customers with options tend to be choosier.

“The benefits do not really outweigh the costs for me,” says Adam Wright, founder and CEO of Human Tonik in Myanmar. Wright tried Starlink’s 30-day trial (more on that soon). While he liked the service and the “fast and reliable connectivity,” he felt he could get a better deal from a different provider.

In short, Starlink’s value is relative to users’ circumstances.

Customer experience

customer experience
4.0/5.0

Most customers have a positive experience with Starlink.

Four of the six Starlink customers Reviews.org interviewed said they never need to interact with customer service. Adam Wright said his experience was “mostly positive.”

This jives with research statistics. For instance, in 2023, Ookla, a website that studies and diagnoses network performance issues, found, “Starlink users love their provider.” CableTV determined in 2024 that 87% of customers “said Starlink was extremely or very effective at meeting their internet needs.”

And while you have to install your own equipment, it’s easy to use. RV traveler Lauren Morley experienced no hassle, even when repeatedly taking down and setting up the equipment.

How long it took to get a real human on the phone: Annoyingly, Starlink doesn’t provide a public phone number. Users must request customer service support through the Starlink app.

How the chat service is: Starlink has no chat service, at least not one that’s findable on the website. Once again, the best way to get help is through the app.

How to try Starlink
Price Tag

Starlink has a 30-day trial. You pay just $1 to try out the equipment (instead of the total price of $599). Unfortunately, the trial is only for the hardware—you still have to pay the full monthly subscription service fee.

Overall quality

overall quality
3.25/5.0

If you have fiber, cable, or 5G internet options, don’t go with pricey and superslow Starlink. But Starlink is worth getting if satellite internet is your only choice, since it performs well and is flexible and easy to use.

Where does the name Starlink come from?
Heads Up

Elon Musk loves a good pop culture reference, and “Starlink” references The Fault In Our Stars. Maybe Musk cried while reading it like Scott Lang did in Ant-Man and the Wasp (and, honestly, everyone).

Starlink add-ons and perks


Priority data add-on

$2 per GB


What do customers think of Starlink?

Starlink’s customers are enthusiastic about the service, especially when they compare it to other rural internet options.

“There aren't that many options for remote locations, and what is there is low speed and expensive,” says Lauren Morley, who has used a Starlink Mobile plan to live a nomadic lifestyle in an RV with her husband. “It was very cool when we were traveling to set up the Starlink in the middle of a secluded forest and be connected!”

“Starlink ticks all the boxes for us.” —Isaac Bullen

“We had started out with Viasat—but it was awful. With their plan, you had so much data that was fast speed, but once you reach that point it throttles down and you can’t even watch a Netflix movie,” says Debra Blumenthal, who lives with her husband, LJ, on a friend’s farm in rural Montesano, Washington. “With Starlink, it is the same data straight across the board. No throttling down.”

“We like Starlink because it doesn’t throttle down on the speed.” —Debra Blumenthal

However, even otherwise happy customers don’t care for the price or the periodic gaps in service.

Jonas Zook Jr. of Pennsylvania says he doesn’t love “the initial setup cost and the occasional service interruptions during severe weather. These interruptions, although infrequent, can be a drawback in the hospitality sector, where continuous internet access is often a given expectation.”

Morley also mentions service interruptions. “Not a huge deal in most cases, but when you're in a video meeting or playing an online game, that is incredibly frustrating. It also takes a while to set up in a new spot, so if you move it, it will sometimes take up to a day to stabilize.”

“And, of course, I could do without its association with Elon Musk!” she adds semi-jokingly.

Need to contact Starlink customer service or tech support?

You can reach Starlink customer service through the Starlink app.

Digging deeper: Why is Starlink so expensive?

So why does Starlink cost so much, especially compared to other satellite providers?

Part of the cost is infrastructure—launching satellites into orbit isn’t cheap. While Starlink has previously reported operating at a loss, Elon boasted that the company reached a break-even point in late 2023, even with high costs and a growing customer base.

Andrea Lamari, managing partner at Cuatro Capital and a transitioning general partner at Manhattan Venture Partners (a venture firm that has invested in SpaceX) provided further comments on Starlink’s dubious profitability. “That profitability margin can increase, but the money that they spend on manufacturing the satellites and spending money on ground terminals has to continue decreasing,” says Andrea in an interview with Bloomberg Technology.

Starlink has a lot of satellites as part of its goal to offer service across the globe. It has 1,585 times more satellites than Viasat and 2,116 times more than Hughesnet. Just like shooting stars, those satellites drop and fall out of the sky and need to be replaced. In fact, about 1,000 Starlink satellites fall every year. With that in mind, it’s kind of miraculous that Starlink service is only about twice as expensive as the competitors. While that explains the cost of the service itself, it doesn’t fully justify why the user’s equipment costs $600—a mind-boggling price that no other internet provider comes close to charging.

Here’s one idea, though: There’s a theory on Reddit that the service and equipment are more expensive in first-world countries so SpaceX can charge less in developing nations. We wanted to run this by a Starlink spokesperson, but there is no Starlink spokesperson, at least not at this time.

If you’re of the thriftier sort, you do have the option to purchase Starlink’s refurbished hardware kit for $399 plus taxes and shipping, which, over the course of the first year of service, would cost only $101 more than Viasat Unleashed ($252 more every year after that). This is in the scenario where you include the costs of purchasing Viasat’s hardware upfront, professional installation, and monthly service.

Email
Have thoughts about home internet?

We’re eager to hear from internet customers about their experiences with their home Wi-Fi. Contact us at info@reviews.org to share your thoughts, recommendations, and hot tips.

Where is Starlink available?

This Starlink map shows availability throughout the United States except in small portions of New Mexico and West Virginia.

If you sign up for Starlink and decide to go abroad, you may be able to transfer your service to the ever-expanding list of countries within SpaceX satellites’ reach.

Also, Mars. There’s a clause in the terms of agreement dictating how Starlink service will be handled on Mars.

reviews.org next zip logo
See if Starlink is available in your neighborhood … or country … or planet.

Starlink vs. the competition

Starlink doesn’t look great next to our top internet providers. It’s more expensive, slower, and less reliable than fiber, cable, and 5G internet options. Google Fiber, for instance, starts out ten times faster than Starlink at about 60% of the cost.

Even when Starlink is available in cities, Reviews.org doesn’t recommend it over faster and cheaper competitors. It provides the most value in rural areas.

But in instances when it’s up against Viasat and Hughesnet, Starlink really shines. It costs significantly more but is also significantly faster, and it doesn’t have any data caps, so users shouldn’t see major throttling.

Compare internet providers and prices

Service
Prices
Download speed
Upload speed
Connection type
Details
Starlink$120-$50040-220 Mbps8-25 MbpsSatellite
Viasat Internet$69.99-$299.9912-100 Mbps3MbpsSatellite
HughesNet Internet$49.99-$79.99^50-100 Mbps5MbpsSatellite
Google Fiber$70-$150°1000-8000 Mbps1000-8000 MbpsFiber
AT&T Fiber$55-$225**300-5000 Mbps300-5000 MbpsFiber
T-Mobile 5G Home Internet$60.00/mo.††72–245Mbps15–31Mbps5G
Verizon Fios Home Internet$49.99-$89.99‡‡300-2300 Mbps300–2,300MbpsFiber
Spectrum Internet®$19.99-$89.9930-1000 Mbps^^4-35 MbpsCable and fiber
Data as of 04/05/2023. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
Plus hardware, shipping & handling fees, and tax. Fully refundable. Depending on location, some orders may take 6 months or more to fulfill.
Offer available to new qualifying customers. One-time standard installation fee may be due at checkout. Minimum 24-month service term required. Equipment lease fee is $12.99/mo. Taxes apply. Service is not available in all areas. Offer may be changed or withdrawn at any time.
^ Service plans require a 24-month commitment. Pricing not available in all areas.
° Plus taxes and fees. Upload/download speed and device streaming claims are based on maximum wired speeds. Actual Internet speeds are not guaranteed and may vary based on factors such as hardware and software limitations, latency, packet loss, etc.
** Price after $5/mo Autopay & Paperless bill discount (w/in 2 bills). Plus taxes $ fees. Limited availability. May not be available in your area.
†† w/ Auto Pay. Regulatory fees included in monthly price for qualified accounts. See full terms.
‡‡ Price per month with Auto Pay & without select 5G mobile plans. Fios plan prices include taxes & fees
^^ Limited time offer; subject to change; valid to qualified residential customers who have not subscribed to any services within the previous 30 days and who have no outstanding obligation to Charter.

Want Starlink? Find it in your area.

If Starlink sounds perfect, all you need to do is ensure you’re geographically eligible.

reviews.org next zip logo
Look for Starlink near you.
Brianne Sandorf
Written by
Brianne Sandorf
Brianne has a degree in English and creative writing from Westminster College and has spent 6+ years writing professional, research-based content. Before joining Reviews.org, she wrote safety and security content for ASecureLife.com. Her pieces and quotes are published across the web, including on MSN.com, Social Catfish, and Parents.com. Hobbies include wearing a seatbelt, wearing a life jacket, and keeping her arms and legs inside the ride at all times. Contact her at brianne@reviews.org.

Related Articles

Happy black male smiling and waving to computer while on a video call
How To Get Internet Without a Phone Line or Cable TV
There are many options for getting internet without a cable or phone plan. We’ll talk...
woman using cell phone and headphones standing against a blue checkered wall
T-Mobile Cell Phone Plans Review
If you’re looking for fast speeds and unlimited plan prices T-Mobile is a clear winner....
woman using cel phone in front of a blue background
Mint Mobile Cell Phone Plans Review
Mint Mobile offers unlimited plans for super cheap rates. Find out if there’s a catch...
Two persons compare smart mobile phones
Mint Mobile vs. Verizon Wireless Review
How do Mint Mobile’s cheap and simple cell phone plans compare to Verizon’s pricier, high-end...