How To Set Up Starlink: Detailed Installation Guide (2024)

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Written By Viktor

Product manager by day, Starlink enthusiast by night.

Starlink has already connected millions of people to high-speed internet in regions that have traditionally been deprived of it.

One of Starlink’s major advantages, apart from providing subscribers with high download speeds and flexible cancellation policies, is the easiness with which users can get started.

In the following article, I am walking you through each step of the Starlink installation process to get you up and running within minutes.

1. Time To Unbox

The first step is to unbox your Starlink package, which you hopefully received by the time you’re reading this guide.

starlink standard hardware kit
Starlink’s Standard Hardware Kit

I detailed what you’ll find in the Standard kit (costing US$599) in a separate article that you can read here. To recap, you receive:

  • An antenna – commonly referred to as dishy
  • A base to mount the antenna on
  • A Wi-Fi router to connect to the internet
  • An AC power cable for energy
  • A 50 ft cable to connect the router to dishy

Don’t be surprised if the hardware you unpack seems to have been used. Starlink doesn’t always ship out brand-new kits, primarily to save costs.

But don’t worry: the kit has likely been used for less than 30 days and was thus sent back within Starlink’s 30-day return window.

Furthermore, if you discover any significant damages, then make sure to contact Starlink’s customer support immediately. I detailed those steps in a separate article that you can find here.

2. Download The App

While you’re patiently awaiting to receive your kit, you can already go ahead and download Starlink’s mobile app. Starlink maintains apps for both Android and iOS.

Alternatively, you can also manage your Starlink settings from within a browser. Simply navigate to the following URL, which mirrors many of the features available on the app.

But keep in mind that you first need to be connected to Starlink’s Wi-Fi network in order to access settings from a browser.

3. Find An Unobstructed Location

Before you go ahead and assemble your kit, you first need to find a location that is not obstructed by objects such as trees or buildings.

The way Starlink works is that it connects to the thousands of satellites that roam low-Earth orbit (LEO) at a distance of around 550 km (~ 341 miles) whenever sends a request (uplink) for a webpage or other online content.

Those satellites then receive the data and either pass it through to another satellite (via inter-satellite links) or straight down to a ground station (downlink), which is connected to the internet backbone and sends it to the server you’re trying to access. From there, it passes back up to the satellite and then your dishy.

Signals between all parties (dishy, satellites, ground stations) are transmitted via microwave radio frequencies, which travel in straight lines and thus cannot move through solid objects. As such, finding an unobstructed location is key to minimizing downtime.

Whether mounting your antenna on top of a roof or keeping it on the ground – the Starlink mobile app will allow you to find the best possible spot to minimize obstructions.  

First, open the Starlink app and click on START SETUP (picture #1). Then select the antenna that you’ve ordered (picture #2). If you’re subscribed to the Residential plan, then it’s likely the Standard antenna (top-left corner) that you’ve elected.

Starlink’s app then prompts you to plug in your power cables, which I’ll cover in the upcoming section. As such, click on FIND AN INSTALL LOCATION (picture #3) and then elect I’M READY! (picture #4) if you found a suitable spot.

You’ll then have to collect the green dots (picture #5) within your dishy’s theoretical field of view, which is marked by the darkened borders. Once the scan is completed, Starlink’s app will let you know how many theoretical obstructions your antenna will face (picture #6).

Keep in mind that this is only an approximation. Once your system is fully plugged in, it will collect data for the next 24 hours to determine the actual level of obstructions.

4. Plug In Cables

Now that you’ve found a suitable spot, it’s time to power up your Starlink antenna and router. By default, your 50 ft cable comes loosely plugged into the antenna (#7).

starlink cable in antenna
#7: the cable is plugged in loosely in the beginning

Remove the cable by pulling it gently. Don’t apply too much force. Some users, in the past, have reported that they damaged the cable that way.

Once you’ve removed the cable, insert it through the bottom end of your base (#8). Alternatively, you can also plug the cable into your antenna and then onto the base, both of which are fine.

starlink base and 50 ft cable
#8: Starlink 50 ft cable fed through base

Now insert the cable back into the mast. Make sure that it is fully plugged in. The antenna cable has a habit of not always fully plugging in, thus leading to power disruptions.

One neat trick to ensure that the cable is inserted properly is to cut out a piece of paper, which you’ll then insert below the cable (#9). Once the cable is plugged in, simply remove the piece of paper.

piece of paper below starlink cable
#9: use paper to properly insert the 50 ft cable

Now it’s time to put the antenna onto the mast. You should hear a clicking sound once it’s inserted properly (#10).

starlink antenna on base
#10: place the antenna on the base

Afterward, take the other end of the 50 ft cable and insert it into the left side of your Wi-Fi router. Do the same with the router’s power cable, which you plug in on the right side.

Once everything is properly connected, you will see a white light in the middle of your router’s bottom located in between the two cable ports (picture #11).

blinking starlink router
#11: Starlink router blinking

Furthermore, dishy will align itself in a horizontal position (picture #12), which means that it’s booting up.

starlink antenna horizontal position
#12: dishy booting up

One of the downsides of Starlink is that it possibly requires you to drill a hole through a wall as the antenna needs to stay connected to the router at all times. Plus, the router is made for indoor usage, so you can’t just place it outside.

I’d recommend first extensively testing Starlink before you begin making any significant alternations to your home.

5. Connect To The Internet

Now that your dishy is properly powered up, it’s time to connect to the internet. The Starlink app will prompt you to open your phone’s Wi-Fi settings by clicking on OPEN SETTINGS (#13).

starlink open wifi settings
#13: access settings

By default, Starlink displays two options, which are either called STARLINK or STINKY (in my case it was STARLINK). Simply click on the network. You will then be redirected to the following page (#14).

starlink wifi network naming
#14: name your network

Here, you can change Starlink’s default name (in the ‘WiFi Network Name’ field) and enter a password (under ‘Enter WiFi Password’). Finish the process by selecting CREATE.

You will then be redirected to Starlink’s mobile app from where you click on CONTINUE. The installation process is essentially completed and you’ll land on the homepage of the Starlink app. 🎉

Starlink app home screen after installation
#15: app home screen after installation

As mentioned and pictured above (picture #15), Starlink will need around 24 hours to collect obstruction data. Performance should also stabilize after around 15 minutes as the system needs time to calibrate.

Meanwhile, you should also download the latest software update (marked on the homepage) to ensure that all hardware pieces function properly.

6. Test Speeds

In case you’re curious about how fast your Starlink system performs, simply click on SPEED TEST on the app’s homepage (picture #16) or use a third-party provider like Speedtest by Ookla (picture #17).

Personally, I wouldn’t get too hung up on speed test results as long as the overall experience is satisfactory.

There’s too much variance within single results since Starlink speeds are affected by a variety of factors, including

  • how congested your cell is (i.e., how many other users are accessing the internet at the same time as you),
  • the location of satellites and ground stations,
  • your distance to the router,
  • whether you’re using Starlink’s proprietary hardware or not,
  • the Starlink plan you’re subscribed to,

With that said, if you’re subscribed to Residential (like me), you should probably see speeds of around 50 Mbps if you’re located in North America and Australia as well as 100+ Mbps in Europe and the rest of the world.

Wrapping Up

What I love about Starlink is just how easy and foolproof it is to get started, which I hope this guide highlighted.

If you still have questions or want to share your Starlink experience, then please don’t hesitate to comment down below.

24 thoughts on “How To Set Up Starlink: Detailed Installation Guide (2024)”

  1. I can’t access my new account on what I received my starlink kit . It always through me back to my old account on the starlink app what must I do

    Reply
  2. The cable from the dish is to be installed over the mount, not under. Installing it under the mount can cause the cable to pinch which will cause frequent interruptions and eventually disconnection.

    Reply
    • Hi John, I never had issues with my way of installing. Also, I have seen others report that their cable broke because they placed it over the base. Really depends on local weather conditions in my opinion..

      Reply
  3. If my son installs starlink for me can he use his phone? I want be there with my phone to do it. Will it mess up anything? I have a account.

    Reply
  4. so we run the cable that is provided from the dish thru the existing connection that we have from having ATT internet? I’m confused as to where the cable should go. I haven’t ordered it yet but am about to.

    Reply
  5. Hello, once the residential unit has been installed can I make phone calls thought the unit or do I still need a contract with a phone provider, cheers

    Reply
    • Hi Jim,

      Starlink will only provide you with internet and not a landline connection. So, you either need a separate landline installed or rely on WiFi calling (e.g., via WhatsApp).

      Reply
  6. I moved into a home that had the Starlink equipment already. I am connected to the internet but only through a cabled connection. I emailed support 4 days ago with no response:(

    Are you able to tell me what I need to get to be able to have wireless internet? I am assuming it’s either a router or modem (possibly both) but I am not a techie. It seems crazy that I am paying $120/month and can’t get any help from support. Thanks in advance for any help you can provide:)

    Reply
  7. Hi Victor,
    I have my App says Disconnected and internet. My router is working as I see green light on the App. But my Satellite shows Red. Looks like I may a connection issue at the Dishy or Dishy itself bad. My question is that can I use my friend’s Dishy which he had not used it for his internet service yet for verification.

    Reply
  8. I have a sudden fall of internet connectivity and I went through all the required routines per troubleshooting guidelines. Checked Cables at both router and Dish and found connections are fine. Also factory reset the router. Nothing is happening at the Dish side while router is powered-up. Not sure the failure is hard one at the Dish side. My question is can I use a Dish from my Friend who has a new one which is not used at all since he bought the Starlink package. Thanks for your very useful inputs. -Mani

    Reply
  9. Is the necessary angle of the dishy comparable to the necessary angle of my tv satellite dish? I understand dishy is to orient northward and Dish tv southward,but is the angle comparable?

    Reply
  10. What a Great lot of Questions And Answers
    As i am thinking about getting the system, As i have had it up to my eyes with the Australian Providers, No support and when they do finally answer the ph they have no idea how to fix
    Thanks So Much
    Dennis

    Reply
  11. The best dish location for me is 180 feet from where the router will be located. Is there a cable available that long? Can 2 cables be connected to each other to give me the length I need?

    Reply

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