SpaceX’s Starlink satellite internet service continues to expand around the world. Starlink internet speeds and latency are competing with fixed broadband, cellular, and other satellite internet providers. In this article we will check the latest Starlink speeds so you can decide if the service would work for your situation.
We will look at two different sources. First, we will look at the official Starlink specifications for download and upload speeds for the various service tiers. Then we will look at the real world data to see if the specs match what users are getting.
Official Starlink specifications
Starlink has different service tiers: Residential, Business, RV, Best Effort, Maritime, and Aviation. The table below lists the speed and latency specifications for the consumer plans in the US market.
|Residential||20-100 mbps||5-15 mbps||25-50 ms|
|Business||40-220 mbps||8-25 mbps||25-50 ms|
|RV||5-50 mbps||2-10 mbps||25-50 ms|
|Best Effort||5-50 mbps||2-10 mbps||25-50 ms|
Real world speeds for Starlink
Every quarter, Ookla.com publishes a report on Starlink internet speeds and latency. This report gives us great insight into the average performance a typical customer can expect. Here are the results from the Q2 2022 report, the latest available.
Note: The data below is for the US. Find details about other regions in the report linked above.
Median Download Speed
According to Ookla, the median download speed for Starlink is 62.53 Mbps.
Median Upload Speed
According to Ookla, the median upload speed for Starlink is 7.24 Mbps.
The median latency for Starlink in Q2 2022 was 48 ms. Unlike speed, lower is better with latency. For reference, fixed broadband comes in at 14 ms. Starlink is the only satellite option that comes anywhere near fixed broadband latency levels. HughesNet and Viasat have latency figures above 600 ms.
Real world vs Starlink specs
As you can see, the real world Starlink speeds that people are getting fall well within the advertised specifications. Keep in mind the report linked above gives us median speeds. Many Starlink customers are getting much higher download and upload numbers. How fast your Starlink connection is will depend on several factors, such as location, satellite type, and obstructions.
Is Starlink fast enough in 2023?
With a median download speed of 62 Mbps, and upload speeds of around 7 Mbps, Starlink is fast enough for the vast majority of users in 2023. With these median speeds, you’ll be able to stream shows and movies, download large files, and game online without issues. If you have a lot of devices sharing the internet connection you might run into bandwidth problems. Too many people trying to download or upload on the same connection could cause a noticeable slowdown. The typical family with 4 or 5 devices connected at one time will be fine using Starlink.
See also: Does Starlink Internet Have Data Caps?
Is Starlink latency good enough for online gaming?
48 ms is a higher latency than the median fixed broadband latency, but it is still within an acceptable range for online gaming. If you visit the Starlink subreddit on Reddit, you’ll find many reports from online gamers using the service without any lag. Typically, latency figures 100 ms or below will work fine for online gaming. Above 100 ms, lag becomes noticeable.
Check out our full article on gaming: Starlink for Gaming
Is Starlink unlimited data?
Starlink offers unlimited data, but speeds will be slowed after customers exceed 1TB of data. We have a full breakdown of the Starlink data policy here.
Does Starlink throttle speeds?
Yes, Starlink will slow down speeds for RV, Best Effort, and Portability customers. The bandwidth priority goes to Residential users, so users of these plans might experience lower speeds in times of network congestion. Residential users who have run out of Priority Access data for the month will also see throttled speeds.
How does Starlink compare to other broadband options?
Compared to other satellite providers, Starlink dominates in terms of performance. Not only are download and upload speeds nearly 2x faster than the median HughesNet or Viasat connection, the low latency of Starlink is a game changer for remote customers without access to terrestrial fixed broadband. Check out our article Starlink vs HughesNet for more details. We also compare Starlink vs Viasat.
Compared to fixed broadband, Starlink download and upload speeds are comparable, although fixed broadband has a performance advantage. The median fixed broadband download speed is 150 Mbps compared to Starlink’s 62 Mbps. For upload speeds, broadband comes in at 21 Mbps compared to Starlink’s 7 Mbps.
Related: Is Starlink As Fast As Fiber?
Starlink vs 5G speeds
5G service continues to roll out around the world, and we are seeing more and more 5G home internet plans with unlimited data. This gives customers without fixed broadband access another fast internet option.
T-Mobile is the current leader in 5G, with median download speeds of 191 Mbps. Their home internet service advertises expected speeds of between 30-100 Mbps. 5G home internet can be a great alternative to Starlink if it is available at your location.
The future of Starlink internet speeds
According to the Ookla Q2 2022 report on internet speeds, Starlink is about 30% slower than it was the previous quarter of 2022. As the amount of customers on the Starlink network increases, congestion becomes an issue.
We know that Starlink is capable of very fast speeds. In some countries, median Starlink speeds approach 200 Mbps. Right now, the issue in the US is congestion. As more satellites are launched, speeds should increase.
Elon Musk, SpaceX’s CEO, has promised speeds of 300 Mbps in the short term, and has hinted at much higher speeds as a future goal for the service. Will we see speeds as high as a gig? That remains to be seen, but the capabilities of the system continue to improve rapidly as the satellite network grows.
Starlink speeds range from 20-100 Mbps down, and 5-15 Mbps up. In real world testing, median Starlink speeds land right in the middle of those official specifications. SpaceX is launching new Starlink satellites regularly. As the constellation expands, we expect to see improvements for Starlink speeds.
See also: Why Are My Starlink Speeds So Slow?