Part of the firm’s success can also be explained by the speed at which it introduces new products. Starlink now offers a variety of different plans aimed at both consumers and businesses.
In this article, we will detail the various internet plans that Starlink currently offers, how much they cost, how fast they are, and take a sneak peek into the future.
What Internet Plans Is Starlink Offering?
Starlink currently offers seven different internet plans aimed at both consumers and businesses.
They are called Residential, Portability, Roam, Best Effort, Business, Aviation, and Maritime.
Notably, the price that customers pay varies depending on their country of residency. In case you’re curious, we keep a list of all the subscription fees that Starlink charges for its Residential plan here.
So, without further ado, let’s take a closer look at each of the seven plans that Starlink currently sells as well as the ones it might introduce going forward.
Residential (also called Standard) is the regular plan that consumers subscribe to. In the United States, it costs $90 to $110 per month, on top of one-time hardware costs of $599.
The Residential plan is available to every consumer in Starlink’s coverage area. You can check out Starlink availability here.
Every residential plan comes with a hardware kit, which includes the regular dish, a router, and various cables. Starlink provides you with instructions for self-installation. However, if you do need help, feel free to check out our directory of Starlink installation services.
Subscribers also do not have to commit to long-term contracts, meaning the Residential plan (and all others) can be canceled at any time. New customers receive a free 30-day trial period as well.
The speed of the Residential plan is ultimately dependent on where you live. Areas with a lot of usage, such as the United States, have lamented about slower speeds in the recent past.
However, here at least in Germany, I regularly get download speeds of over 100 megabytes per second. And that’s on a bad day.
With that being said, Starlink continues to expand its satellite constellation while deploying its more potent Gen2 satellites, which should eventually lead to faster speeds.
Starlink Portability, as the name suggests, allows customers to take their dishy and use it at a location that isn’t their registered service address.
First introduced in May 2022, the feature “enables users to temporarily move their Starlink to new locations in order to receive service anywhere within the same continent Starlink provides active coverage.”
That perk comes at a cost, though. Starlink charges an extra $25 per month for the option to move your hardware. Luckily, users can deactivate Portability at any time, which means they won’t have to pay the add-on fee anymore.
Additionally, the plan is offered on a “best effort basis,” meaning that high speed and uninterrupted service are not guaranteed.
However, Starlink will always prioritize network resources for those accessing it from their registered service address. This will be particularly evident in areas with “low capacity” and during peak hours.
So, who is best suited for opting into portability mode? Primarily those who want to take their dishy for a short or extended trip, whether that’s for camping, fishing, hiking, and so forth.
Update 22/02/2023: Starlink just announced that the Portability option has been eliminated for Residential and Business users located in the United States. This essentially means that it’s not available anymore since Best Effort customers can’t access it either.
Update 27/04/2023: The Portability option has now been made redundant. Only active customers can continue using Portability while new ones won’t be able to purchase it.
Furthermore, Portability will now be charged at the beginning (instead of the end) of your billing cycle.
3. RV (now called Roam)
Starlink RV/Roam allows you to access the internet from anywhere in your continent of residence. As a result, the plan is aimed at digital nomads, full-time RV’ers, truckers, and so forth.
Starlink rebranded the RV plan in early March 2023, which is now commonly referred to as Roam. And two months later, in May, it also added the Mobile as an additional name.
With RV (or Roam or Mobile), internet access can be had while on the move or at a standstill.
Starlink has created a dedicated flat dishy that can be directly mounted onto the customer’s vehicle.
With that said, you can also use the regular dishy while being subscribed to the RV plan. Roam costs $150 a month for the Regional plan.
Check out the breakdown of how Residential & Roam differ from each other
Furthermore, Starlink now also offers a global roaming service as part of the rebrand. For $200 a month, users can take their hardware with them wherever there’s active service coverage.
4. Best Effort
In August 2022, Starlink introduced its Best Effort option, which is sold to existing pre-order customers in areas where Residential service runs at near maximum capacity.
As a result, speed is slightly slower, so you can expect 5 to 100Mbps for downloads and 1 to 10Mbps for uploads. This obviously represents a significant downgrade from the 50 to 200Mbps in download speeds Residential customers can expect.
Nevertheless, customers will still need to pay the regular subscription fee of $110 per month, plus the one-time hardware cost of $599.
Best Effort should therefore be thought of as a comprise because it allows customers on the waitlist to at least use the service. It may, after all, still be better compared to what they are currently dealing with.
Starlink Business (also called Priority) is aimed at companies that operate in remote locations with poor connectivity. As such, Business offers substantially higher speed and lower latency. Business customers can expect download speeds of up to 220 Mbps.
Starlink Business customers will benefit from 24/7, prioritized customer support, and a publicly routable IPv4 address.
However, the added service quality, speed, and latency reduction aren’t cheap. A monthly fee of $500 has to be paid on top of the $2,500 one-time hardware fee.
Starlink does not offer installation services for business customers, too. Interestingly, the Business plan can also be canceled at any time.
Starlink Aviation is aimed at businesses that transport people via airplanes, whether those are private jets or commercial airlines.
The service was first introduced back on October 19th, 2022. Airplane operators would receive “global coverage” with the help of a flat-panel antenna mounted on top of an aircraft.
Speed-wise, Aviation users could expect around 220 megabytes per second, thus “enabling all passengers to access streaming-capable internet at the same time.”
The Starlink Aviation Kit features a so-called Aero Terminal (technically the dishy), power supply, 2 wireless access points, and multiple harnesses.
Moreover, the plans include unlimited data while the hardware’s warranty has no expiration date. On the downside, SpaceX does not conduct installations, so airlines have to work with third-party providers.
The Aviation plan costs $12,500 to $25,000 per month while the hardware incurs a one-time fee of $150,000. Another $5,000 would have to be paid to be put on the waitlist. Interested customers can sign up here.
SpaceX has already secured some customers. In January 2023, airBaltic announced that it would equip all of its Airbus A220-300 models, which it owns around 39 of, with Starlink. And half of the fleet of public charter operator JSX has already been equipped with Starlink as well.
What Aviation is to the sky is Maritime to the sea. Starlink Maritime, which is also called Mobile Priority, was launched in July 2022 with the idea of getting internet access regardless of whether you’re on a boat, oil rig, yacht, or vessel.
Customers can expect similar speeds to Aviation of 220 to 240 megabytes per second.
Starlink currently charges $1,000 per month in subscription fees, on top of one-time hardware fees of $2,500 (for the lowest Maritime tier).
However, there’s also a 50 GB plan, which costs $250 per month. Lastly, the 5 TB option is equal to $5,000 per month.
Dishes are obviously optimized for business performance, so they are twice as large as the normal home terminals. Worldwide coverage is expected to be reached by the summer of 2023.
Future Starlink Internet Plans
While Starlink already covers many different transportation modes, there are still a lot of other options in the works.
Here are three internet options that Starlink is set to introduce in the future.
In August 2022, Starlink and T-Mobile released a joint announcement, stating that they would combine their respective networks to eradicate mobile dead zones across the United States.
Months later, in December, Starlink filed with the FCC to be able to launch the service. Essentially, Starlink would become a mobile carrier that allows you to access the internet over your smartphone.
It would achieve that feat by using spectrum from cellular partners, such as T-Mobile, to offer customers “voice, messaging, and basic web browsing” on their mobile phones.
In order to provide full coverage anywhere on earth, Starlink would need to deploy 2,000 Gen2 satellites. Remote Internet of Things (IoT) devices would also be able to connect to the service, building on SpaceX’s acquisition of Swarm Technologies.
SpaceX is currently in the process of securing more partnerships with telco providers across the world. In 2023 alone, it closed deals with Rogers in Canada and One in New Zealand for direct-to-cell coverage.
The mobile service, pending regulatory approval, is expected to launch sometime in 2024.
Starlink would compete with the likes of AST SpaceMobile, which has been securing partnerships with cellular carriers like Vodafone to offer similar direct-to-cell connectivity.
Trains, although not specifically advertised on Starlink’s website, have already been commercialized.
In early May 2023, US-based Brightline became the world’s first train operator to offer Starlink connectivity to its passengers.
The service, which is complementary for its customers, would roll out on Brightline’s fleet of trains servicing South Florida between Miami and West Palm Beach.
And Brightline isn’t the only one potentially benefitting from Starlink. Currently, Ukrzaliznytsia (Ukrainian Railways), together with the country’s Ministry of Digital Transformation, is testing Starlink on its trains as well.
Going forward, it can be expected that Starlink will specifically market to train operators. Many of them are likely still tied up in lengthy contracts, which prohibit them from switching.
However, the partnership with Brightline will likely serve as a testing ground and allow Starlink to iterate on the product experience, for example by coming up with a dedicated antenna (since the Flat High Performance dish can only withstand a maximum of 174 mph or 280 km/h, which isn’t suitable for all train models) similar to the one it offers for Aviation customers.
Charging Stations & Tesla
Another option through which you could connect to Starlink’s internet services is if you own a Tesla. Interestingly, Musk has hinted at a potential link-up between his internet and car company before.
As I’ve written in the prior chapter, Starlink will eventually offer cellular services, too. When asked if Tesla car owners will be able to access the mobile service as well, Musk simply replied with “yes.”
Unfortunately, Tesla drivers should not expect to be able to watch 4K movies or play games online in their vehicles. When further pressed about the mobile option, Musk said that the cellular coverage would provide speeds of 2 to 4 megabytes per second.
However, more stationary options may offer faster speeds, though. SpaceX has previously installed a dishy at its headquarters in Hawthorne, California.
The user that spotted the installation then received a response from Tesla’s Supercharger Twitter account, stating that “Wifi coming to a Supercharger near you.”
How exactly the service will be accessed remains unclear at this point. Given that Tesla does allow owners of other electric vehicles to charge their cars at its stations as well, it may very well just open up the internet connection to everyone nearby.
SpaceX, back in September 2022, filed with the FCC to enable Starlink connectivity in school buses across the rural United States.
Students could stay connected over the duration of their bus ride. During the pilot, Starlink would only install the solution on buses driving for more than 1 hour.
SpaceX, in the filing, stated that it already worked with some school districts during the pilot phase. Moreover, it urged the FCC to approve federal funding for internet connectivity on school buses.
4 months prior, in May, FCC chair Jessica Rosenworcel proposed bringing WiFi to school buses across the nation. Companies that would enable that connectivity would then be compensated via the regulator’s E-Rate program.