Starlink is a satellite internet service operated by Elon Musk’s SpaceX company. The service has been in development for years, with the first public beta launching in November 2020. As of 2023, Starlink is in production, although network capacity remains limited as the satellite deployment schedule continues.
Acceptance into the program is offered on a first-come, first-serve basis depending on availability in selected areas.
Availability is limited due to the number of satellites in orbit, so this means that only a certain number of users within a specific area can sign up. Many thousands of satellites are planned to launch, and availability will increase over time.
In this article we will cover the basics of Starlink, and go over Starlink prices you can expect to pay if you are interested in the service.
There are five different Starlink service plans. Residential, Best Effort, RV, Business, and Maritime. With each service tier you’ll pay a one-time equipment fee, plus a monthly service charge.
The Residential Starlink service price is $110 per month. There is no contract, so users can cancel their service at any time without fees.
There is also a one-time fee of $599 for the Standard Starlink hardware kit. The hardware kit includes the dish, wireless router, and base stand. Other accessories, such as roof mounts and cable routing kits, are sold separately.
Residential orders have the option to upgrade to the High Performance hardware kit, at a cost of $2,500.
Best Effort is essentially a lower performance service offered to customers on the Residential waitlist. The idea is that people can enjoy Starlink internet, while waiting for capacity to expand in their area.
Best Effort costs $110 per month, with a one-time fee of $599 for the hardware.
When capacity expands, Best Effort customers are upgraded to Residential for free, and can keep using the same equipment.
Starlink RV is $135 per month. There is no contract, so users can cancel their service at any time without fees. Starlink RV can be paused/resumed for seasonal use.
Just like with residential plans, there is a one-time fee of $599 for the Starlink RV hardware kit. The hardware kit is identical to the residential version, and includes the dish, base stand, and router.
Starlink Business costs $500 per month. There is no contract, so Business customers can cancel at any time.
There is also a one-time fee of $2,500 for the Starlink Business hardware kit. The hardware kit includes the dish, power supply, wireless router, and base stand. Other accessories, such as roof mounts and cable routing kits, are sold separately.
Starlink Maritime is $5,000 per month. There is no contract, users can cancel at any time. Users can also pause service for seasonal usage.
There is a one-time fee of $10,000 for the Starlink Maritime hardware kit, which includes two Business dishes and mounting accessories.
Monthly Portability Fee
Residential customers can add the Portability feature to their account. Portability costs $25 per month, in addition to the regular service price. Portability gives residential customers the same roaming ability as Starlink RV. Portability can be paused/resumed for seasonal use.
What about pre-ordering Starlink?
Starlink offers two levels of access for the Residential plan. People who live in areas currently served by active satellites with enough capacity can purchase the hardware kit and obtain service.
Those who live in covered areas which are at capacity, or who live in areas of future expansion, can pre-order for $99. Customers who pre-order are put on a waitlist for their service area, and access will be given on a first-come, first-serve basis for pre-order customers when eligibility expands.
Will the price of Starlink go up or down?
Starlink is in its infancy and is rapidly growing. If Starlink fails to bring in enough revenue, costs to customers could increase.
On the other hand, if manufacturing and maintenance costs are streamlined, the cost of both the hardware kit and monthly service fee could go down in the future.
Update – March 2022: Starlink Increases Prices for All Customers
Are the costs of Starlink refundable?
Yes! According to the Starlink terms of service, 100% of the equipment fee and service fee is refundable within 30 days of receipt for any reason. Customers can buy with confidence knowing that if the service doesn’t work as expected, they don’t risk being stuck with an expensive Starlink kit.
Customers who have had their Starlink kit for less than a year are able to return the hardware for a partial refund.
March 2022 Starlink Price Increase
In March 2022, Starlink announced that all customers would see their prices increase. The primary reason for this increase is inflation. In the previous 12 months prior to March 2022, inflation in the United States was up nearly 8%.
The price for the hardware kit increased from $499 to $599.
The price for the monthly service fee increased from $99 per month to $110 per month.
Starlink Prices vs Other Satellite Internet
If you are interested in comparing Starlink to Viasat, we’ve written a complete comparison that you should check out. But in terms of pricing, Viasat has a cheaper equipment cost of $299.99, and a cheaper starting monthly cost of $69.99. Keep in mind, Viasat performance is much lower than Starlink, and you also have to sign a 2 year contract with Viasat.
It’s much of the same story with HughesNet. The equipment cost is closer to Starlink at $449.98, and the monthly rate starts out at $64.99. We wrote a complete comparison for Starlink vs HughesNet if you are interested in learning more. HughesNet is at a much lower level of performance compared to Starlink, so keep that in mind when comparing costs. Also, HughesNet requires a 2 year contract just like Viasat.
Starlink vs 5G Wireless Cost
5G home internet services are expanding around the world. If you have the option between Starlink and an unlimited 5G home internet plan, it can be a tough decision. The T-Mobile 5G home internet plan costs $50/month with no up-front equipment costs. Verizon 5G home internet plans start out at $50/month.
Starlink costs $110/month, with an up-front equipment fee of $599. The price of Starlink is comparable to other satellite internet providers, but Starlink delivers much better speed and latency. Starlink is less of a value compared to other options like fixed broadband, but then again, it’s not designed for people with access to other broadband options.
If you live in a rural area or don’t have access to any other broadband options, Starlink can be well worth the price. You get high speed, low latency internet without data caps or data throttling. We can only speculate as to whether the cost of Starlink will increase in the future, but for now it remains a great value for satellite internet.
See also: Starlink Internet Plans Explained