Starlink is adding a new purchase option for customers in the US, Canada, and Australia. You can now choose to rent Starlink equipment, instead of purchasing it up-front. The three new countries, which are the largest markets for Starlink, join a long list of places where you can already rent instead of buy. However, there is one major difference you should be aware of.
Rent option is limited to Starlink Business plans
If you want to rent Starlink in the US, Canada, or Australia, you will need to subscribe to one of the Business (Priority) service plans. Renting is not currently an option for Residential or Roam plans. This policy is unique to the three new countries. In all other markets with the rent option, it is available for the Residential plan. It appears that Starlink is specifically targeting businesses with this new offer.
To see a full list of locations with the rent option, check this Starlink page.
Cost of renting vs buying
Renting spreads out the cost of the hardware, vs paying for it all up-front. In the United States, the monthly hardware rental fee for Starlink Business is $100/month, which continues until you cancel your subscription. If you choose to buy, there is an initial up-front equipment cost of $2,500. Whether you rent or buy, you’ll still need to pay the monthly service fee, which ranges from $140 to $500 per month for Starlink Business plans.
The breakeven period would be about 25 months. So, within the first two years, your investment on hardware would be less if you chose to rent. However, after 25 months, you’ll start to spend more compared to buying, without ever building any equity in the equipment.
Related: Starlink Prices In 2024
High Performance dish
Starlink appears to be clearing out existing inventory of their Gen 2 High Performance dishes, so that’s the only hardware available to rent in the US, Canada, and Australia. Other models, like the Standard or Flat High Performance, are not available for rent.
If you want to buy, your hardware options are different. Starlink allows you to pick between the Flat High Performance or Standard dish, which cost $2,500 and $599, respectively. For more detail on each hardware model, check out our post on the differences between the Standard and High Performance.
How renting from Starlink works
Renting is a simple way to get Starlink without a large upfront investment. When you pick the rent option during checkout, you will see all the fees associated with renting:
- $200 one-time activation fee
- $100/month equipment rental fee (starts 30 days after your hardware ships out)
- $140-500/month for the service plan
- $50 shipping
- Tax, if applicable in your market
The monthly rental and service plan payments start 30 days after your unit ships, and will continue until the service is cancelled. Upon cancellation, the rental equipment must be returned to Starlink within 30 days. Failure to return rental equipment will result in a retail penalty, equal to the full $2,500 cost of the High Performance hardware kit.
Buying rental hardware
Although Starlink doesn’t offer the option of purchasing the hardware you have been renting, I’ve received several reports that such requests have been granted in the past. You will have to create a support ticket to ask about your purchase options. According to reports from my readers, Starlink will offer renters a discounted equipment purchase price if they decide they want to keep their hardware.
More options are never bad thing in my book. For businesses, this new rental option in the US, Canada, and Australia spreads out the costs over time, instead of requiring a large equipment payment up-front. Starlink appears to be using their rental program to target certain markets based on equipment inventory, service plan demand, and other factors. I’m sure we will see more changes in the future, but for right now, rentals in these new markets are only available for the High Performance dish, and with one of the Business service plans.
If you own or manage a business, does this new rental option appeal to you? Let me know what you think in the comments below!