What Is Starlink Mini? Here’s How to Get It

This new Starlink service gives you satellite internet access in a backpack-sized package—giving more options to digital nomads and travelers.

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
Jul 15, 2024
Icon Time To Read3 min read

Brand-new Starlink Mini is a small, portable way to connect to satellite internet anywhere, and it has the web in an uproar.

Travel influencers and remote workers are expressing excitement over this newly-announced service, which has the potential to give backpackers and far-flung travelers high-speed internet access off the beaten path without requiring the bulky antennae and router that come with Starlink’s full service.

“Out here where the surf meets the tech, having a tool like Starlink Mini to stay connected even when I’m chasing the sunset on some remote coastal road sounds like a dream,” Victor Zeng, global business director of coding company XMake, tells Reviews.org.

Starlink Mini plans and pricing
Plan
Cost
Use
Details
Starlink Standard$120.00/mo.Residential
Mini Roam with Starlink Standard$30.00/mo.Starlink Mini
Mini Roam alone$50.00/mo.Starlink Mini

*Data effective 06/25/2024. Offers subject to change.

What is Starlink Mini—and why should we care?

Starlink Mini is what it sounds like: a miniature version of the Starlink router setup popular with van lifers and rural internet users. For the uninitiated, Starlink beams down internet signals through a constellation of satellites. Starlink Mini is just a smaller, more portable way to receive those signals.

The Starlink Mini Kit costs $599, $100 more than the full-sized hardware. The portable service costs either $50 à la carte or $30 a month extra on top of your existing Starlink residential plan.

Internet users can already get a portable Wi-Fi connection through a mobile hotspot or smartphone—and at a much lower price than Starlink Mini. But Starlink Mini’s satellite connection means it works in rural areas and other remote parts of the country where cellular networks aren’t available. 

Michael Sawyer, the operations director at tour operator Ultimate Kilimanjaro, envisions Starlink Mini transforming customers’ hikes on the legendary peak in Tanzania.

“While guides only send weather conditions and real-time information, ascenders may keep in touch with loved ones, post about their experience on social media, or even work from anywhere if needed,” Sawyer explains. “Such unparalleled connectivity has the ability to greatly enhance hiking generally.”

Starlink’s head honcho, SpaceX founder Elon Musk, boasts that the service is game-changing. “I just set it up right now and am writing this post through space,” Musk announced in a post on his social platform, X. “Took less than 5 mins. Easily carried in a backpack. This product will change the world.”

How is Starlink Mini different from regular Starlink?

Unlike a regular Starlink setup, Starlink Mini is reportedly about the size of a laptop, making it small enough that you can carry it on your back and power it with a USB bank.

The Mini Roam plan has restrictions: unlike with residential Starlink, you only get 50GB of data each month, and you pay $1 per extra GB. This plan also currently works in the US only.

However, one thing that stays the same is the high price. Like the full version of Starlink, Starlink Mini costs significantly more than a typical home internet service. It makes sense that you’d pay more to account for the satellite upkeep and frankly unprecedented remote access—but the high price tag also means the service is out of reach to many customers who might benefit from it.

“If the entry price doesn't significantly decrease compared to other available portable internet solutions, it may become unaffordable for many,” says Cecelien Dambon, an SEO specialist at web traffic company Spark Traffic. 

Who can get Starlink Mini?

Anyone can get Starlink Mini now, though SpaceX touts Starlink Mini as a way for hikers and campers to get internet reception on the go—not as a primary internet connection.

Michael Sawyer of Ultimate Kilimanjaro suspects that the service could be particularly useful to help ensure hikers’ safety during guided trips and expeditions. “Starlink Mini will let us stay in constant communication with the base camps and the hiking groups should an emergency strike,” he says.

Zeng also sees potential broad and creative applications for Starlink Mini. “It’s not just smart; it’s a game-changer for folks everywhere from the Sierra Nevadas to the Saharan outposts,” he predicts.

At the moment, though, the Starlink Mini 50GB data cap means not all potential uses are possible. With just 50GB allotted to users per month, the portable internet device is best used for checking and sending messages, getting directions, and downloading small files.

Is Starlink Mini worth the money?

Unless you're an avid hiker or out-of-the-way traveler, Starlink Mini probably isn't worth your money, at least not at this point.

That may change, though. Former Starlink customer Hagan Kappler describes herself as “cautiously optimistic” about Starlink Mini’s future.

“I do have some concerns about how well it will work in practice,” muses Kappler, pointing out that the Mini may be difficult to set up or use when there’s no clear view of the sky (a must for satellite internet). “Overall, Starlink Mini is an exciting idea that, if executed well, could transform how we stay connected on the go. But as with any new technology, it may take time to work out the kinks and see if it delivers on its full promise.”

Brianne Sandorf
Written by
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.

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