Have you been experiencing slower speeds with your Starlink internet connection lately? You aren’t alone, as many customers report slow speeds and performance issues. The issue is especially noticeable in the evenings, between 5pm and 10pm.
Starlink has been operational for about 2 years, and there are still some growing pains happening. A lot of the performance issues and slow speeds are due to network congestion, but there are some things on your end to check. In this article I will explain some of the causes, and offer potential fixes.
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What are the average Starlink speeds?
Before I get into the problems, it’s important to understand what your speeds should be. There are two good sources of information. The official Starlink specifications tell us the capabilities of the system, and the speeds that customers should expect:
Residential customers should expect between 20 and 100 mbps download speeds. For RV customers, speeds will be slower, especially during peak hours when your traffic is deprioritized. The RV download spec is 5-50 mbps.
But the official Starlink specs don’t tell us the whole story. What customers getting in real life? Fortunately, Ookla.com publishes regular reports about Starlink performance. They gather data from real users, and calculate median speeds:
Median Download Speed: 62 mbps
Median Upload Speed: 7 mbps
As you can see, the real world speeds are pretty close to the specifications provided by Starlink. These two data sources give us an idea of what to expect in terms of performance.
For more on performance, check out our full article on Starlink speeds.
What causes Starlink speeds to slow down?
What if you aren’t getting at least 20 mbps? There are several reasons that can cause your speeds to slow down. Here are the most common problems:
The biggest issue facing Starlink customers right now is network congestion. The demand for Starlink service is outpacing the capacity of the network. Starlink simply can’t launch satellites fast enough to handle the amount of people that want Starlink.
In the peak internet usage hours of the day, between 5pm-10pm, you may notice your speeds slow way down. This is caused by too many Starlink customers in your area trying to connect at the same time. Since there is limited bandwidth through the satellites, you are competing with other Starlink users for speed.
You can test to see if your issue is network congestion by performing a speed test outside of peak hours. For example, run a speed test at 7AM and compare it with a speed test at 7PM. If you get normal speeds early in the morning, but slow speeds in the evening, the cause is likely network congestion.
Most people are connecting to the internet through Wifi. If you are noticing slow speeds, check your Wifi connection. Open the Starlink app, and then tap on Network. Your connected devices will be displayed, with a Wifi strength meter.
The further you are from the Wifi router, the slower your speeds will be. You can test by performing a speed test on your phone, standing right next to the Starlink router. If you get better speeds next to the router, it means the Wifi signal in your house isn’t very good.
You can improve the Wifi signal in your home by installing a mesh system. For more details, check out our full guide to Starlink mesh systems.
There are several hardware components that can go bad, and cause slow speeds. If you are using a Starlink Ethernet Adapter, and you are experiencing slow speeds through Ethernet, it could be faulty.
If you have really bad speeds almost all the time, regardless of the time of day or Wifi signal, your Starlink dish or router could be bad.
If you suspect you have bad hardware, you will need to contact Starlink for an exchange. Starlink is able to remote in and check out your system. If they determine you have an issue, they will send out new hardware to fix your issue.
Using a 3rd party router? Make sure the settings are correct. If you use any aftermarket network gear in your system, it could cause conflicts with the Starlink router, causing slow speeds. Remember, if you use a 3rd party router, you must put the Starlink router into Bypass mode.
Try these tips to improve your speeds
Here are several tips you can try to maximize your Starlink speeds:
- Use Ethernet when practical to eliminate Wifi issues
- Use the Starlink app Range feature to check Wifi signal levels throughout your home. Add a mesh system if necessary
- Turn off devices when they aren’t in use. Devices like TV’s and computers can use bandwidth in the background
- If your dish has any obstructions according to the app, they will need to be fixed for optimal performance
- Separate the Wifi network into 2.4/5 GHz channels. Older devices may only be compatible with 2.4 GHz, while newer devices can connect to the faster 5 GHz channel
If none of the above helps you out, I suggest reaching out to Starlink for help. They have advanced diagnostic tools to remotely troubleshoot issues you may be having. Minimum performance specifications may be covered under the Starlink limited warranty period.
To contact Starlink, log in to the app or website and click on Support in the menu. Search the topics for your issue, click on one, and then click the thumbs down icon to create a support ticket.
More information on how to contact Starlink is available here.