Starlink sells a total of seven different internet plans, which are aimed at consumers like you and me as well as enterprise customers.
Two of its most popular options are Residential and Business, which I’ll compare across a variety of dimensions, including their key features, required hardware, pricing, and perks, in the article below.
Residential, also called Standard, is Starlink’s flagship internet plan, which allows subscribers to access high-speed internet at their registered service address.
It is primarily aimed at individuals and single-family households that are located in rural areas without access to fiber or mobile internet.
The same, in essence, can be said about Starlink Business (dubbed Priority sometimes) – except that it’s obviously aimed at business and enterprise customers instead of private consumers.
Both Business and Residential customers can test out the respective option for 30 days free of charge. Furthermore, contracts can be canceled at any time.
However, if you exceed the 30-day test limit, then the cost of the hardware (as well as shipping fees) won’t be refunded.
Lastly, Residential subscribers can upgrade to Business at any given time. I covered the process in a separate article, which you can find here.
Subscribers of Residential will receive the Standard rectangular antenna. Furthermore, the hardware kit includes a mounting base, router, and various cables.
On the other side, Starlink urges Business subscribers to purchase the High Performance antenna. The kit also includes a power supply, ethernet cable, and a total of 5 cables.
The High Performance option offers a few benefits compared to the Standard option, namely:
- Improved weather resistance (HP antenna has an IP56 environmental rating vs. IP54 for the Standard version)
- Better performance in hot climates (download speeds are typically 3x better at > 35°C (95°F))
- 1.7x better snow-melting capabilities
- 35 percent greater field of view, thus capturing more satellites, which causes fewer outages and lower latency
Right now, Business customers in the United States can only order the Flat High Performance antenna.
Luckily, Starlink allows you to choose whatever hardware you want to use. Residential subscribers can order the High Performance dish while Business customers can use the Standard antenna, too.
With that said, the High Performance antenna does consume substantially more power (110W to 150W) compared to the Standard dishy (50W to 75W).
The pricing of your plan is dependent on the country in which your account is registered. We keep track of all prices across the 60+ countries Starlink is available here.
To keep it simple, I will focus on the prices that Starlink charges to consumers and businesses in the United States, which is far and above its biggest market in terms of subscriber count.
Residential subscribers in the United States are charged based on the area they are located in.
Subscribers in excess capacity areas pay $90 per month while those situated in limited capacity areas are charged $120 per month.
On top of that, you will have to pay a one-time hardware fee of $599 for the Standard kit, plus shipping and handling fees (equal to around $23).
Business customers have three different options, depending on the data volumes they aim to consume:
- $140 for 40 GB
- $250/month for 1 TB
- $500/month for 2 TB
- $1,500/month for 6 TB
Hardware-wise, Starlink recommends purchasing the High Performance (HP) rectangular antenna, which costs $2,500 plus shipping.
Last but not least, enterprise customers ordering multiple kits can receive a discount on their hardware and monthly subscription. Use Starlink’s Quote Generator tool to check how much you’d save.
I want to preface this section by stating that performance is dependent on a variety of different factors, including how congested your cell is at any given moment in time, your location, and its distance to satellites and ground stations.
Users of Starlink generally observe download speeds that fall in the range of 25 to 220 Mbps, with a substantial portion of users achieving speeds exceeding 100 Mbps.
The usual upload speeds hover between 5 and 20 Mbps. Latency varies from 25 to 50ms on terrestrial connections.
With that said, expected speeds will likely differ for the two plans. That’s because Starlink prioritizes network resources for those subscribed to Business/Priority over those that pay for Residential/Standard.
Subscribers located in the US, according to Starlink, can roughly expect the following speeds and latency (columns #2 & #3):
However, Business users won’t be able to enjoy network prioritization forever. Depending on the option you opted into (1 TB, 2 TB, 6 TB), you are assigned a set amount of Priority data every month.
Priority data is given network precedence over Standard and Mobile (= Roam plan) data, meaning users will experience faster and more consistent download and upload speeds.
Once customers have depleted their Priority data and have not acquired any additional (costing $0.50 per GB), they will be granted unlimited Standard data for the remainder of the month.
Again, depending on the factors I mentioned above (location, business of cell, etc.), the speeds you experience on the Standard allotment may be totally fine to run your business.
For example, I reside in Germany where I regularly see speeds like the one pictured above.
However, Germany and Europe at large are fairly well connected, which means there aren’t as many subscribers competing for bandwidth near me.
As is usual with Starlink, testing the system is your only viable option to know how well it will perform. And since you can send it back within 30 days of receiving the kit, there’s no risk involved.
Generally speaking, whatever benefit you obtain from subscribing to Residential is also included in the Business tier. As such, I’ll mostly focus on the advantages that Business customers enjoy.
As previously mentioned, Business customers enjoy higher network prioritization over Residential users, thus leading to greater download and upload speeds.
Couple that with the more potent High Performance antenna and you will likely (!) experience download speeds that regularly surpass 200 Mbps.
Plus, Business is not subject to local availability, thus allowing you to skip the waitlist and get Starlink faster.
Another huge advantage of Business (also included in the Maritime plan) is that Starlink provides customers with a public IP, which can be directly enabled from the account dashboard.
Every Starlink is assigned a single IPv4 address and also given a /56 IPv6 prefix for network clients. If the router supports IPv6, all network clients connected to Starlink will be allocated an IPv6 address.
Starlink also has the ability to support larger accounts through a dedicated API, allowing them to manage accounts, user terminals, and services.
Alternatively, enterprise customers can also set up child accounts, which help organize your Starlinks. For example, a transportation company may want child accounts to delineate their Starlinks on busses, airplanes and trains.
And for an additional and recurring account management fee, enterprises ordering in bulk can receive additional support from the Starlink team to place orders, activate service, manage subscription features, and assist with other unique requests.
What Plan Is Best For Me?
Each plan has its pros and cons. In the end, whether you choose to subscribe to Residential or Business is solely dependent on how you intend to use Starlink.
Subscribe to Residential if:
- You need a decent connection for activities such as browsing, video streaming, or calls
- Your work doesn’t involve data-intensive tasks such as video editing
- You don’t have a huge family who needs to be connected to the internet at all times
- You want access to the cheapest plan available
Subscribe to Business if:
- You want the fastest possible download and upload speeds
- If you want to receive Starlink immediately (granted you live in a waitlisted area)
- You have over a handful of people, most likely your employees, accessing the internet throughout the day
- You’re in need of a public IP and dedicated priority support
- You don’t mind paying more for Priority data and possible top-ups
- If you need efficiently manage dozens of Starlink devices
In any case, you can always start out with Residential and then make the switch if the performance is not satisfactory. Alternatively, just order the kit and test it out for 30 days.
Summing it all up, Starlink’s Residential and Business plans each pack a punch, tailored to different usage needs and wallet sizes.
Whether you’re browsing from your homestead or crunching data in the office, there’s a Starlink plan poised to beam you the internet service you require.