In the US, Starlink’s median download speed in the second quarter of 2022 hit just over 62 Mbps, according to the network intelligence firm Ookla. That’s more than sufficient for one or two people to stream videos, download games or do whatever they want on the internet. However, a year prior, download speeds in the US were closer to 90 Mbps.
It turns out that Starlink’s growing customer base is having an impact on its performance. In fact, compared to a year prior, Starlink speeds decreased in every country Ookla surveyed in Q2 — across Europe, Oceania, North America and South America.
The decrease in speeds puts Elon Musk farther away from his Feb. 2021 claim that Starlink download speeds would hit 300 Mbps within the year.
Starlink’s upload speeds also slowed across the globe in Q2 2022, while latency remained relatively flat. In the US, Starlink’s median latency came in at 48 ms, below other satellite providers.
While Starlink’s speeds have decreased, the service in Q2 was much faster in the US than other satellite-based broadband offerings. Download speeds for Viasat, for instance, clocked in at just over 23 Mbps, according to Ookla. Download speeds for HughesNet were just below 23 Mbps. However, fixed broadband in the US was still notably faster than all satellite-based services, with download speeds of 150.12 Mbps.
In the US, you can get Starlink service beginning at $110 per month with a one-time hardware cost of $599. There are no long-term contracts, data caps or exclusivity requirements.
Starlink Business is available for remote and rural businesses across the globe for $500 per month with a one-time hardware cost of $2,500. This service provides connectivity for offices of up to 20 users, storefronts and demanding workloads across the globe with promised download speeds of up to 350 Mbps and latency of 20 to 40 ms.
Starlink for RVs costs $135 per month with a one-time hardware cost of $599. Customers can pause and un-pause service at any time and are billed in one-month increments.
Starlink Maritime costs $5,000 per month with a one-time hardware cost of $10,000 for two high performance terminals. It delivers up to 350 Mbps download speeds while at sea. As with Starlink for RVs, customers can pause and un-pause service at any time and are billed in one-month increments.
From a consumer perspective, Starlink works with the help of a Starlink kit — that includes a Starlink satellite dish, WiFi router/power supply, cables and base. The Starlink base is designed for ground level installation, or to support a quick-start setup to test your internet connection. However, you may want to purchase a permanent mount for the best installation.
The Starlink dish is self-orienting and connects quickly as long as it has a clear view of the sky. Once you set up the hardware, you can connect to the Starlink network and use the Starlink app to manage your service.
SpaceX delivers the Starlink service with its large satellite constellation in low Earth orbit (LEO), at about 550km. By comparison, other satellite internet services use single, geostationary satellites that orbit the planet. Since Starlink has many satellites that are relatively close to the ground, it can provide lower latency service.
Each satellite uses four phased array antennas and two parabolic antennas to provide increased capacity.