Starlink Internet Plans Explained

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Starlink launched in late 2020, and the service has been expanding rapidly since. Right now, there are multiple types of internet plans available from Starlink.

In this guide, we will cover each Starlink service tier. We will detail the performance, cost, and target customer of each plan. Finally, we’ll recommend which Starlink plan you should purchase for your needs.

How many Starlink internet plans are there?

There are 4 different internet service tiers available from Starlink: Residential, Best Effort, RV, Business, and Maritime. Portability is an add-on service for Residential plan customers.

With multiple options, it might seem difficult to know which service plan is right for you. In the next section, we will detail each plan. You’ll get a better idea of the features and specifications, so you can know which plan fits your needs the best.

Starlink Residential

Starlink Residential is the original internet plan offered by Starlink. It’s the standard level of service, intended for the majority of customers globally. Residential is meant to be used at one permanent location, and it’s meant for home users only, not businesses.

Residential service is capable of download speeds of 50-200 mbps, and upload speeds of 10-20 mbps. There are no data caps, and latency is between 20-40 ms.

The Residential internet plan costs $110/month, with a $599 equipment fee. There are no contracts, customers can cancel anytime.

Since the demand for Residential is so high, and the Starlink satellite constellation isn’t fully deployed yet, there is limited capacity at this time. In some areas, you’ll need to pre-order Residential and be put on the waitlist. As network capacity expands, Starlink allows those on the waitlist to order equipment and start using the Residential service.

Starlink Best Effort

Starlink Best Effort is an internet plan for Starlink customers who are on the Residential waitlist. Right now, the offer for Best Effort service is only being extended to select customers who have pre-ordered Starlink.

The idea is that those on the waitlist can get Best Effort and receive Starlink internet while they wait on their account to be converted to Residential service. Best Effort is basically what the name implies. You’ll get Starlink internet, but the performance will not be guaranteed, and you should expect it to be slow at times.

Best Effort is intended for the same customers as Residential. It’s for permanent home use.

Download speeds will range from 5-100 mbps, and with upload speeds of 1-10 mbps. Like Residential, there are no data caps. Best Effort customers are deprioritized on the Starlink network. The traffic from Residential customers has priority, meaning Best Effort customers will experience slower speeds in times of network congestion.

Best effort costs $110/month, with a $599 equipment fee. There are no contracts, and customers can pause and resume service as they please. When your account is eligible for Residential, it will be converted automatically, with no need to purchase additional hardware.

Starlink RV

Starlink RV is an internet plan for travelers. RV’ers, van dwellers, and overlanders are the intended customer market for Starlink RV. This service tier allows you to take Starlink anywhere, and use it to stay connected in areas with active Starlink coverage.

The hardware you get with RV is identical to the Residential hardware. The difference is the ability to use the dish outside of your registered service address.

With RV, you get download speeds of 5-200 mbps, and upload speeds of 1-20 mbps. There are no data caps, and latency remains identical to other service tiers at 20-40 ms.

Starlink RV costs $135/month, with a $599 equipment fee. RV can be paused and resumed at any time, and there are no contracts.

Since RV is intended to be used anywhere, there is no waitlist. Virtually anyone can order RV and use it anywhere with coverage. RV network traffic is deprioritized in favor of Residential customers, so RV users will experience degraded performance in times of network congestion.

Starlink Portability Mode

Starlink Portability Mode isn’t technically a separate internet plan, but it is an add-on service for Residential customers. Portability turns the Residential dish into a portable RV dish. If you purchase the Portability add-on, you’ll be able to pack up your Residential dish any use it anywhere, just like with RV.

Portability is aimed at Residential customers who will be using their dish at home primarily, but may have a need for the occasional RV trip, or visit to a vacation home.

When using the Starlink dish outside of the registered service address in Portability mode, speeds will be similar to the RV plan. 5-200 mbps download, 1-20 mbps upload. Like RV and Best Effort, Portability users are deprioritized on the Starlink network.

Portability will cost Residential customers an extra $25/month. Portability can be turned on and off as needed.

Starlink Business

Starlink Business is the Starlink internet service plan aimed at commercial customers. If you plan to use Starlink for business purposes, you’ll need Starlink Business.

Business uses different hardware than Residential. The antenna is larger for the more demanding workload requirements of commercial applications.

Speeds for Business are in the range of 100-350 mbps download, and 10-40 mbps upload. There are no data caps, and latency is 20-40 ms.

Business costs $500/month, with a $2,500 up-front equipment fee. There are no contracts with the Business plan.

Starlink Maritime

Starlink Maritime is the Starlink internet plan aimed at luxury yachts, research vessels, and other high-end maritime applications.

Maritime uses special hardware, combining two separate antennas to help maintain a reliable and fast signal while in-motion. Maritime is not intended for the weekend lake trip, or for personal watercraft that will be sticking to coastal waters.

Maritime speeds range from 100-350 mbps download, and 20-40 mbps upload. Latency is a bit higher, with the spec being <99 ms. There are no data caps with Maritime.

Maritime costs $5,000/month, with a $10,000 up-front equipment fee. There are no contracts.

Which Starlink internet plan should I choose?

You should pick Residential if:

  • Your primary need is for internet at home
  • You want the ability to travel with Starlink on occasion
  • You aren’t a business or organization
  • You are ok with potentially being on the waitlist
  • You won’t need to pause Starlink service

If you are on the Residential waitlist and are offered Best Effort, pick it if:

  • You are fine with deprioritized service while you wait for Residential
  • You don’t have any other internet options to get you by
  • You won’t need to use Best Effort to travel with
  • You are ok with paying full price for degraded performance

Residential customers should add Portability to their plan if:

  • You want to occasionally travel with Starlink
  • Your primary service location is at home
  • You want to pause and resume the Portability feature
  • You don’t want to ever completely pause Starlink service

You should order the RV plan if:

  • You primarily use Starlink while traveling
  • You don’t need the highest level of performance
  • You don’t intend on using it for home internet long term
  • You want to be able to pause and resume service

You should order Business if:

  • You are a business, organization, government, etc.
  • You want the highest level of performance
  • You don’t mind the high cost
  • You want the highest priority bandwidth on the network

You should order Maritime if:

  • You are a business, organization, government, or luxury vessel owner
  • You need internet beyond the coastal waters
  • You don’t mind the high cost
  • You can outsource the custom installation of the special equipment

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