Starlink Gen 3 Router: Here’s Everything You Need To Know

Photo of author
Written By Viktor

Product manager by day, Starlink enthusiast by night.

Starlink began offering its newest Gen 3 router to beta testers located in the United States, with a worldwide rollout being imminent. So, it’s time for a breakdown of what to expect.

In this article, I will detail how much the new router costs, what new features it comes with, and how to set it up.

How Much Does the Gen 3 Router Cost?

The Gen 3 router costs US$199 apiece right now. Pricing is only available for the United States since that’s where it’s currently being tested.

starlink gen 3 router invite
Invite

Starlink, in its invite email (pictured above), urges beta users to provide feedback on their general “experience, including setup, performance, or any other recommendations” they got.

Furthermore, customers can order a total of three routers per account, which is likely targeted at business customers utilizing multiple antennas.

With that said, I find it somewhat disappointing that Starlink would ask users to pay close to $200 for a test product instead of directly working with a selected few.

New Features

First and foremost, the router stands out thanks to its horizontal foundation – a stark difference from its vertical predecessors.

However, don’t get distracted by its appearance. The Gen 3 router offers a variety of new features, which I’m going to break down below.  

Wi-Fi 6

The new router comes enabled with Wi-Fi 6 connectivity. Meanwhile, the previous Gen 2 router relied on Wi-Fi 5.

Wi-Fi 6 offers a few key improvements compared to its predecessor, including:

  • Faster speeds: Wi-Fi 6 is faster than Wi-Fi 5, both for a single device and for multiple devices connected to one router.
  • Better safety protocols: Wi-Fi 6 has better safety protocols and backward compatibility with Wi-Fi 5 and Wi-Fi 4 devices.
  • Support for more devices: Wi-Fi 6 can support more devices and spatial streams than Wi-Fi 5.
  • Higher maximum data rate: Wi-Fi 6 has a higher maximum data rate and supports MU-MIMO (multi-user, multiple-input, multiple-output) technology1.

As a result, the new router can also support up to 225 devices. For reference, the previous generation ‘only’ supported 128 connections.

Two Ethernet Ports

Another huge change, in this case in the router’s design, is the two Ethernet ports that are located on the back of it.

starlink gen 3 router ethernet ports
Ethernet ports

Those ports are protected by a removable (R145) cover. However, the two ports have likely prompted Starlink to rethink its design as well.

The Gen 3 router, compared to the previous two versions, is set up horizontally. It also weighs substantially more than its predecessor (2.7 kg / 6 lbs vs. 1 kg / 2.2 lbs).

Interestingly, the Gen 1 router featured Ethernet ports, too. For the second generation, Starlink decided to remove the ports altogether in favor of its Ethernet adapter.

That said, the new router is also compatible with the first-gen Circular dish as well as the second-gen Standard and High Performance antennas.  

Misc

Apart from utilizing newer Wi-Fi technology standards and re-introducing the ethernet ports, Starlink’s new router also comes with tri-band radio.

This means that the Gen 3 router, compared to its predecessor, which relied on Dual Band – 3 x 3 MIMO technology, can operate on three frequency bands.

Typically, this includes one 2.4 GHz band and two 5 GHz bands. By having an extra 5 GHz band, it can accommodate more devices at a faster frequency without getting congested.

The Gen 3 router also comes with an IP56 rating (vs. IP54 for the predecessor), providing a higher level of protection, specifically regarding water resistance, as it can withstand strong jets of water, whereas IP54 is rated for protection against only splashing water.

Lastly, both the Gen 2 and Gen 3 routers come with WPA2 security, thus utilizing some of the most advanced encryption standards.

Though WPA3 represents the latest standard in Wi-Fi security and is generally more secure than WPA2, its adoption is still growing. We may receive it in a later Gen 4 or higher version.

Lastly, the process to factory reset the router is also new. In the previous version, you needed to use the Starlink app and perform a power cycle loop.

starlink gen 3 router factory reset
Factory reset on Gen 3 router

While you can still follow the same procedure, there’s now also a small reset button located in between the two ethernet ports (pictured above).

This reset button is consequently activated by using a paper clip that you use to push it (after removing the cover).

Installation

The installation of the router is dependent on what hardware kit (Gen 1 vs. Gen 2 vs. Gen 2 HP) you are using.

Most will likely either own the circular Gen 1 antenna or the rectangular Gen 2 dish, which I’ll focus on in the sections below.

Installation Gen 1 Kit

Start by making sure your Starlink dish is set up and connected to the internet prior to setting up your Gen 3 Router.

Then go ahead and unplug your router’s power supply while simultaneously connecting your Gen 3 router to a power outlet using the provided cable.

starlink gen 3 router installation circular dish
Gen 3 setup (circular dish)

Afterward, you connect the antenna with the ethernet adapter (included in the shipment), and the Gen 3 router, together with the provided Gen 3 ethernet cable, plugs into the adapter as well (pictured above).

You should now find a new connection in your Wi-Fi settings called STARLINK. Simply click on it to initiate a connection.

The Gen 3 router light should blink solid white (just like its predecessor) if everything functions properly.  Once again, you can use the Starlink app to play with your router’s settings.

Installation Gen 2

Interestingly, with the Gen 2 kit, the new router can be either used as a mesh node or as the main router.

Gen 3 router as mesh node

If you choose to use the Gen 3 router as a mesh node, then all you have to do is to plug it into a power outlet (preferably in a room that isn’t well connected) and wait for 1 to 2 minutes.

Then, you will see a message popping up in the Starlink app, asking you to PAIR the new mesh node (pictured below).

starlink gen 3 router mesh node
Enable mesh node

Simply wait another few minutes until the Gen 3 router is connected. The light on the Gen 3 router should be solid white, which you can check in the NETWORK tab under the homepage in the Starlink app.

Alternatively, you can also use the Gen 3 router as your base router, for which you will need the Starlink-branded ethernet adapter (picture below).

gen 3 router as base router
Gen 3 router as base router

The setup and procedure is fairly similar to the circular dish, except that you have to bypass the Gen 2 router.

Once everything is plugged in, bypass the Gen 2 Starlink router by clicking on SETTINGS –> Router –> slide right to bypass.

bypass mode
Bypass mode

Again, go into your phone’s Wi-Fi settings, select the STARLINK connection, and you should be good to go.

Wrapping Up

At present, everything that is known has been provided by Starlink. Unfortunately, I’ll have to wait to get my hands on the router since I’m located in Germany.

Until then, I will update this page with feedback from beta testers in the United States who’ll hopefully be satisfied with the product.

24 thoughts on “Starlink Gen 3 Router: Here’s Everything You Need To Know”

  1. SpaceX sent me this email regarding getting an upgrade modem. However, when I clicked on the link there was nothing listed. No new modem or anything. Yes, I logged in with my account information.

    Reply
    • I had the same situation.

      I sent a support request ticket, and then they responded with an email with a link button that worked and then I ordered it.

      Hope this helps.

      Reply
    • They do that when they have nothing to send out. Or you can fill in info but can’t enter payment info.
      This is a company that makes money foremost; which is hard to do being a start-up. Also, they give free equipment and net around the world. When caught up; I doubt they’ll lower prices; since it’ll be for profit at said pnt.
      Whole musk is badasz; their also slippery. That company will turn from altruistic to fascist as quick as others while making a hefty profit. Think about it… As big as they’ve become; still can’t get customer service on the phone.

      Reply
    • Hi Jon, Starlink doesn’t specify what mesh systems it works with. However, you can also use the Gen 3 router as a mesh node (or the previous Gen 2 router), so you wouldn’t necessarily need Eero anymore (if it’s just about extending your signal).

      Reply
      • Is the Gen 3 Router compatible with a Eero Mesh System?
        Victor, we have a long and wide ranch style house, with many walls. We use the mesh system to be able to get coverage both inside and outside the house (in a very rural area). I would like to try the Gen 3, but if doesn’t work better, can it be returned?

        Reply
  2. I am interested in getting Starlink but am wondering if I should wait for Gen 3? I guess the limit is whether or not I can upgrade easily or more importantly … cheaply. I would hate to get gen 2 and then have gen 3 be available within a month or 2 and then have to pay almost full price again.
    Any word on this?

    Reply
    • Hi Eric, wouldn’t bother waiting, will probably still take a few months until the Gen3 router is being delivered by default (likely together with the rollout of the new antenna). The current hardware set is more than sufficient for most use cases.

      Reply
    • Starlink is not about saving you money.
      There is no customer support that I’ve found which sucks because small companies have such
      But you can put in a support ticket. I’m still wondering how to get the app working since I changed phones.
      Nothing to do with smarts… I’m just an old fart that always had IT and secretaries. Yes, I’m technology stupid on my own with computers and such… So starlink is a pain
      Fortunately, starlink just works

      Reply
    • You buy the dish at current prices and pay 120 monthly.
      I ordered at one price and it took me five weeks to mount and the price went up.
      I’m thinking instead of another price increase… They just lowered my speed by at least thirty percent.
      Left Comcast once because their a socialist company, meaning I pay three times higher than my daughter and they gave her a laptop. Starlink or Elon loves to play king ant gives away free starlink to places like Ukraine and soon Gaza. Meaning higher prices and slower speeds.
      But I digress. I’m dying because I have the worst healthcare in the USA because I retired in the military… So musk gets a pass with me.

      Reply
  3. So, if I understand this correctly, you need a Gen 2 router to use the Gen 3 router as a base router. I assume the expected new dish will remove the need to use the Gen 2 router in by-pass mode otherwise it’s going to be very odd.

    Reply
  4. From what I can gather to be the best hookup and faster speeds–the Gen 3 Router should be the Main Router and use my current Gen 2 as a mesh? Correct? What happens to my surveillance cameras when changing to the Gen 3 Router? Will they need to be completely reset? ^Thanks in advance for any suggestions

    Reply
  5. Was wanting to get a starlink system but found out that the gen3 router not available plus gen3 requires additional cost. Without port forwarding and Ethernet ports it makes no sense to switch to starlink.

    Reply
    • It is easy enough to set the Starlink router to Bypass mode and use any current network router you may have with the ethernet adapter if using Gen 2 Starlink router. The ethernet adapter only cost ~$20 in the states.

      Reply
  6. Seems that Gen3 HW is now made available in Europe. When trying to order in CZ, im being presented with what looks as the Gen3 HW setup. Any feedback or experience if thats the case? Trying to wait to get Gen3 as I have existing UTP cabling to the roof.

    Reply

Leave a Comment