The Internet offering by Elon musk’s company SpaceX is undoubtedly quite popular. While satellite Internet offered by SpaceX is currently under the beta program, there is a long list of customers who have pre-ordered it. The reason for the same is because it plans to offer revolutionary Internet connectivity.
Most of us know the offering only by the fact that Elon musk is behind it. However, before you opt for an Internet plan, you need to look at the exact offering by SpaceX. The first thing which you need to understand is that it goes by the name of Starlink. The corporate company behind it is SpaceX.
In this post below, we will help you understand what exactly Starlink is. Not only that, we will help you understand the details of the plan as well. Once you go through this article, it will become easier to know everything about Elon Musk satellite Internet.
What Is Starlink?
Starlink is launching a constellation of satellites. All these satellites are constructed and launched by SpaceX. It plans to eventually launch thousands of satellites that will create a network around the earth. With the help of these satellites, it aims to beam down signals to the earth so that its consumers can access the Internet easily.
Now that you are aware of what exactly Starlink is, it is time to look at how exactly it works. Once you look at its working, it is easy to understand how it is different from the other satellite internet providing companies available these days.
How Do Starlink Satellites Work?
The satellite launch for the Starlink project will be much closer to the earth than an ordinary satellite. The same is because the latency will be low, and the speed will be higher. Starlink aims to create a network with signals that are available in the rural as well as the urban area. It means that even if you are in a remote area, you will get excellent Internet speed.
The satellites of Starlink will directly beam the Internet signal to a gateway or equipment to the ground. This equipment will be present near your home or on your rooftop. After that, it will be connected with a Wi-Fi router. With the help of a Wi-Fi router, a Wi-Fi network will be created. Once you have a Wi-Fi network that is easy to access, you can connect as many devices as you want.
Not only that, each satellite will communicate with four other satellites in its vicinity. That is why there will be redundancy as well. In case there is any disruption in the signal of a single satellite, the other satellites will support the user.
That is why the redundancy and reliability are much higher as compared to the fiber-optic Internet. The higher redundancy means that you will not be disappointed if you want to use it for vital applications like education or video conferencing. We will also help you understand how the satellites are used to beam the Internet connection.
Does Your Internet Connection Come Through All Those Satellites?
The satellite is connected to 4 satellites in its vicinity. However, the beaming of the signal happens through a single satellite. It is connected to satellites in the vicinity so that they can beam down the connection in case the core-satellite cannot reach the cell.
Features Of Starlink Satellite
Now, we will highlight the features of this Internet offering to help you understand why it is such a good choice. The features of Starlink include:
1. Low Latency Internet
As we have highlighted above, the satellites are in low-level orbit. The low-level orbit means that the latency is on the lower side. The latency is often between 20 ms to 40 ms. It means that whether you’re using this Internet for video conferencing, gaming, or anything else, there will be no lag. That is why it will become easier to enjoy excellent Internet connectivity.
2. High Speed
During the beta testing where only 800 satellites have been launched, the speed of Starlink is between 50 Mbps to 150 Mbps. With the newer satellites being launched consistently and ground stations being set up, this speed will certainly improve in the future.
If you compare it with other types of Internet connection, you will realize that the speed of 50 Mbps to 150 Mbps is certainly pretty high. Such high speed means that you will not have to worry about any problem while using it for streaming, gaming, video conferencing, and so on.
3. Excellent Uptime
During the beta program, there were a few instances of downtime. However, the downtimes were negligible. With the setup of ground stations and the launch of new satellites, the downtime is certainly decreasing. At the time of formal launch, the uptime will be much better than the fiber-optic and other types of Internet plans you have.
Additionally, since each satellite will be connected to other satellites in the vicinity, it will become easier to get excellent Internet connectivity with little to no downtime.
4. Pan Country Coverage
Even with 800 satellites by SpaceX, it provides Internet throughout the country. It means that no matter where you are, you can use Starlink by SpaceX. With the coverage readily available, once you pay for the equipment and set it up, you will not have to worry about patchy Internet.
5. Easy Installation
The equipment kit you get for Starlink consists of a Wi-Fi router, power supply, cables, and antenna. With the help of the Starlink App, you can check the signal strength that has various spots around your home.
Once you determine the spot with the highest signal strength, you can easily set it up. The app will help you understand how to set everything up. In a nutshell, you will not have to worry about hiring anyone else to set it up. The easy installation certainly makes it a good choice.
6. Highly Versatile
One of the main advantages of high-speed Internet is that you can use it for various purposes.
Do You Know The Data Cap Of Starlink?
It offers unlimited data. That is why; you can use this Internet plan for a variety of applications like:
- Video conferencing:
In today’s work from home, you can easily use this Internet plan for video conferencing. It means that communicating with your colleagues and clients is certainly going to be easy.
In case you play multiplayer online games, the low latency connection certainly works well for you.
In today’s age, most people use various streaming apps and websites for entertainment. Since there is no data cap, you can use Starlink for the same quite easily.
- Educational needs:
Since you can connect the router to it and create a Wi-Fi network, it becomes easier to connect various devices. Your kids can easily attend online lectures with the help of their smartphone or computer. With no data limit, a single plan is suitable for educational needs as well.
As you can see, the Internet plan can certainly serve a variety of different purposes. It is versatile due to the same.
How Many Starlink Satellites Are Active?
As you might have noticed, the success of this Internet offering depends on the number of satellites currently launched by SpaceX. Currently, there are 800 satellites in the United States. Eventually, Starlink aims to launch 42,000 satellites. That is why; the overall network will be much intense. The dense network means that the coverage is excellent. Not only that, SpaceX aims to set up ground stations as well. These ground stations will provide fixed-satellite service.
Currently, the satellite ground stations are active in cities like:
- North bend
Eventually, it is seeking to set up 1 million earth ground stations as well. With these stations, there will be redundancy in the network. The signals will be beamed to these stations, and they can create a much easier-to-access network. That way, Starlink will certainly become more affordable over time.
What Is Starlink Beta?
Currently, Starlink is available in the beta program. During this beta program, you will get a speed between 50 bps to 150 Mbps. With 800 satellites already launched, the latency is between 20 ms to 40 ms. It means that you can enjoy high-speed Internet without any worry.
The beta program is on for quite a few months. During this time, the uptime has been excellent. That is why, currently, the service is well tested. SpaceX is consistently launching newer and newer satellites. It is also establishing more ground stations. That is why, with each passing month, the quality of Internet connectivity is getting better.
How Much Does Starlink Cost?
The beta program currently will cost you $99 per month. The company claims that after the formal launch as well, the plan will cost the same. That is why; you can safely assume that the plan’s cost is $99 per month. In addition to the monthly tariff, you will have to pay for the equipment as well. Below, we will help you understand the type of equipment you need and how much you will have to pay for the same.
Which Type Of Equipment Does Starlink Use?
To use the satellite equipment, you will need an antenna as well as a router. For the earlier email invites, the equipment cost was mentioned as $499. However, once the public launch happens, it is expected that the equipment cost will certainly come down.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
The Starlink app helps you know where you get the highest signal strength in your vicinity.
Yes, you can certainly opt for Starlink if you live in an apartment. Some existing consumers use it in houses, apartment buildings, and other multi-family units. Before you order Starlink, you have to speak with your landlord as well as the building management. Only when they allow you to assess the signal strength and install the antenna in the spot where the signal strength is maximum you should go ahead with Starlink.
In the kit, you will get a Starlink antenna, power supply, cables, mounting tripod.
The Starlink satellites are designed so that they will beam connection over a certain spot on the ground. The spot is referred to as a cell. It is a large enough area to cover the entire house and its vicinity. The Starlink antenna is designed in such a way that it will remain stationary. If you move it away from the cell, you will not receive Internet. In case you want to move it, you have to schedule the move in advance. That is why; it has some kind of geo-fencing. Due to the same, you cannot continuously travel with Starlink.
The best part about Starlink is that it has a Snow detection feature. Once it detects snow, it will melt it away. However, it cannot do anything about the snow in its vicinity. That is why, if the snow in the vicinity blocks the field of view, they might not be able to do much about it. Also, heavy rains can impact Internet connectivity and downgrade the speed to a certain extent. So, it can handle elements of weather but not the extreme ones.
In case the weather is proper, Starlink will be faster. However, in terms of reliability, 5G Internet has an advantage since it works with existing cellular tower infrastructure. Thus, unfortunately, there is no clear answer to this question. It varies from one situation to another.
So, if you have heard about Starlink by Elon Musk, it is easy to know everything about this type of Internet with our guide above. If you’re looking for high-speed Internet in any corner of the country, Starlink can certainly come to your rescue.