Online privacy is a major topic in 2023, and for good reason. It seems like every company is trying to use and sell your data these days. One of the internet technologies that helps solve some of these privacy issues is a virtual private network, or VPN, as it is commonly referred to.
The question of whether Starlink works with a VPN is one we get often, so today we will talk about what a VPN is, how it protects you online, and if it works with Starlink. The short answer is, yes, VPN’s work fine with Starlink. But in case you are interested in learning a bit more, let’s dive into the details.
What is a VPN?
A VPN (virtual private network) is not a recent innovation. Businesses, governments, and others have been using VPN’s for many years to allow for secure communication between their servers and remote access points.
To put it simply, a VPN creates a secure, encrypted “tunnel” from your PC to the VPN provider server. Your internet traffic is routed through this VPN server before it hits the public internet. This way, the public internet never really sees traffic from your PC. Everything goes through the VPN, which sort of shields your home network.
Since the data going between your PC and the VPN server is encrypted, it’s less likely to be stolen or exploited when it travels to and from your computer.
Why Would I Want to Use a VPN?
In a business environment, VPN’s are used to protect company files and data that may be traveling from a remote worker’s home to the company server. But what uses does a VPN have for the average consumer?
For starters, VPN’s give you more control over your data. Since your internet traffic is encrypted, data collectors on the internet are able to collect less information about you. VPN’s don’t hide everything, but they will prevent a lot of your personal usage data from being collected. For example, websites that record your location will not be able to see your true location, only where the VPN server resides.
Another reason people use VPN’s is to avoid censorship. In some countries, certain websites and apps are blocked from being used. A VPN allows someone to connect to the internet through a VPN server in another country or location, bypassing any local government restrictions on content.
On that same note about location, VPN’s allow you to spoof your location. Streaming services like Netflix will read your internet location and vary content based on it. With a VPN, you are able to spoof your location by connecting to Netflix through a VPN server located in another country.
The last reason we will mention is that VPN’s can hide some information about your online activity from your ISP. This feature is especially useful for torrenting files. With a VPN, your ISP is not able to see which files you are downloading and uploading.
Does Starlink Work With a VPN?
Yes, Starlink works with the vast majority of VPN providers. I personally use Private Internet Access (PIA) with no issues. Other popular options, such as NordVPN, have been confirmed to work well with Starlink.
In our research we visited the Reddit Starlink subreddit where we found very few reports of Starlink having issues with VPN’s. There is no technical reason why Starlink wouldn’t be compatible with a VPN.
Are There Downsides to Using a VPN With Starlink?
The main issues you might encounter while using a VPN with Starlink are increased latency and decreased speeds.
Because you are sending all your internet traffic through a VPN server first before it arrives at its destination, there is a chance of increased latency, or ping. This would be bad for online video games or video calling.
Since your traffic goes through a VPN server, your download and upload speeds are reliant on the VPN server. If a lot of people are using the same VPN server at once, you could see your speeds slow down.
Related: Starlink Internet Speeds
Note: This article may contain affiliate links for the products mentioned
Which VPN Should I Use with Starlink?
There are numerous VPN providers on the market, and most of them will work fine with Starlink. Because the number of options can be overwhelming, I’ve listed two of the market leaders below.
Private Internet Access (PIA)
Private Internet Access, or PIA for short, is the VPN provider that I personally use and recommend. Their user interface and software is simple to use, and their pricing is fair. A VPN is one of those products that you want to set and forget, and that has been my experience with PIA.
I’ve noticed good latency and speeds when connecting through the PIA VPN servers. One nice feature they have is auto connect, which automatically assigns you to the best performing VPN server.
ExpressVPN is one of the top rated VPN services because of their dedication to privacy. Their global footprint of servers out-classes much of the competition.
Like Private Internet Access, they have an easy-to-use interface and handy features like automatic server selection. They are the more expensive option, but you’ll find rave reviews to justify the performance.
Starlink works well with VPN services such as Private Internet Access. If you use Starlink as your internet service provider, you’ll be able to stay protected online by using a VPN. We recommend Private Internet Access, but you can’t go wrong with any of the options listed in the previous section.
Do you use a VPN and why? What VPN service are you using? Is it working well with Starlink? Let us know your feedback in the comments below!
why is my Starlink showing up as an unsecured network even though my account is password protected
Your Starlink account and your Starlink Wifi network are two different things. Go into the app and change the Wifi name and password to secure it.
Mesclun and Marc = “msec”
All vpns, and Cisco’s in particular are latency sensitive. The VPN app is constantly polling it’s tunnel partner to ensure that the encryption is still enforced. If the app doesn’t hear back it will drop the tunnel connection with the assumption it is insecure.So 30 mesclun might be okay to support the VPN but 50 Marc might be too long a delay.
About a week ago I started getting reconnect/connect issues with Starlink and Cisco VPN.. It seems others are having same issue.. can someone help?
It has to do with CGNAT. Starlink doesn’t give you a static IPV4 IP address. Instead, it’s dynamic, and some servers do not respond well to systems set up like Starlink.
Check for obstructions as well. Disconnects could be happening due to the signal being lost. You can see outages in the statistics graph in the app.
But this CGNAT issue is common for gamers and VPN users. It doesn’t really have anything to do with VPN’s themselves as a technology, but rather the dynamic IP causing problems (connecting/disconnecting as the IP is swapped).
My company makes us use GlobalProtect to connect to the company’s VPN. I am not experiencing latency or slowness. I am simply cannot do anything online which means I cannot do any work. Our IT department has asked me to contact you guys about it. This only started happening a few days ago. Have you made any changes?
Ironically when I turn off the VPN and get back to my normal connection it doesn’t work either. I have to turn Wifi off and on again for it to work again….
If your normal connection doesn’t work, it sounds like there is an issue with Starlink connecting to the internet in the first place. What does the app say the status is?
Starlink uses CGNAT, and some VPN services don’t play well with it. Could be the issue. Starlink updates their configuration occasionally.
Diagnose your connectivity issue first, make sure you can get online and connect to the internet. If the VPN doesn’t work after that, contact Starlink by going to the website or app and clicking Support.
More info on contacting support here: https://www.starlinkhardware.com/how-to-contact-starlink-customer-support/
Hi. I have just purchased Starlink. It has no ethernet port. How do I use my Liberty Shield VPN?
Starlink sells an Ethernet Adapter that will give you access to an Ethernet port.
My VPN has worked great with our new Starlink, until last Friday. Would not connect. My IT guy had to do a work around, what could be the problem?
Sorry, the VPN is working, it is the remote desktop. He thinks that there was a change with Starlink and it is not connecting…..
I’ve heard people having issues due to the way Starlink handles CGNAT. Might want to create a support ticket and let Starlink know, they might be able to update your configuration for better compatibility with remote desktop.
Do you know what the work around was? I’m having problems accessing my work’s private network again
What about connecting to a private VPN server? I can connect just fine to an OpenVPN server I own when not on Starlink… the second a connection over starlink is attempted, the connection is refused. Client is Win10 Pro, up to date, connection was attempted with OpenVPN’s 2.* and 3.* clients, using port 443.
Could be an issue with CGNAT. You don’t get a static IP with Starlink unless you have the Business plan.
@JCD – did they ever provide you with anything? I just got startlink and am trying to use anyconnect today for the first time and it just keeps cycling… connected/disconnected… I can’t keep a teams meeting running. So frustrating!
I have been operating on Starlink for about three days and am getting wi-fi throughput from 80Mbps to 190Mbps down, depending on time of day, weather, etc. So, I am very happy with overall throughput since my previous provider was limited to 25Mbps down.
The above said, I am having some significant issues with the Cisco AnyConnect VPN which I use everyday, issues I am not having with other VPNs and I use several. The primary issue with the Cisco VPN is the transfer of graphical interfaces from remote devices.
When I attempt to acces these devices over Starlink with Cisco AnyConnect VPN, I am unable to access these graphical interfaces in any reasonable aount of time, if at all. When I plug in the Ethernet cable from my previous previous ISP (still connected during this test period), I can access these interfaces without issue.
So, I have definitely narrowed this down to Cisco AnyConnect over Starlink wi-fi. I have ordered an Ethernet attachment to see if hardwiring to the Starlink router makes any difference. I would add, I have 38 years in the IBM large systems environment; so, I know how to assess communication issues.
Thanks for the report on using AnyConnect VPN. Have you tried to create a ticket with Starlink support? In many cases, if you report an issue with a specific service, they can investigate and tweak the network settings to fix the issue.
I don’t see on Starlink’s website where creating support tickets is an option, but I have discovered what the problem is. Using the Cisco AnyConnect VPN, my download speed drops to 0.1Mbps.
On the website when you visit the Support section, find any support article. Hit the thumbs down icon. It will bring you to a contact page where you can submit a support ticket.
I can now officially report Starlink has THE worst technical suppor of any communications organization I have had the displeasure of dealing with in the 38 years I have spent in the technical support industry, primarily in the IBM large systems market.
I have discovered a real and significant issue that Starlink has with Cisco AnyConnect and Starlink’s response to this is scripted support messages. Without regard to how Starlink’s product functions, anyone acquiring this product needs to understand STARLINK HAS NO REAL SUPPORT.
Having spent 38 years computer technical providing support nationwide, I know what a real support organization looks like. And Starlink ain’t it …
Starlink unfortunately has no real incentive to provide good support. Their target audience is people that have no real other option for high speed internet. Starlink could care less about competing with Comcast, Verizon, etc. Their target customer does not have access to these services. It would be nice to see Starlink offer better support. Maybe that will happen with time.
I have been doing research on whether Starlink would work with my company’s Cisco AnyConnect VPN. As I understand, the Starlink Business offers a static IP address for business tier customers and wonder if that would have solved the issues that JCDN Texas has outlined in their comments?
It could solve those issues, although I’m not familiar enough with Cisco AnyConnect to say for sure. The public IP policy that comes with a Starlink Business subscription allows you to set a publicly accessible address that wouldn’t change as much as the CGNAT addresses assigned to Residential customers. If your issue with AnyConnect has been the dynamic IP policy, a more stable public IP might be a solution.
JCDN Texas, were you using the Starlink Residential or Starlink Business option? I have been doing research on whether or not Starlink would work with my company’s Cisco AnyConnect VPN. As I understand, the Starlink Business offers a static IP address for business tier customers and wonder if that would have solved the issues that you documented?