One of the biggest downsides of Starlink is that connections aren’t always 100 percent reliable. Your signal, depending on a variety of factors, may drop from time to time.
In this post, we’ll explore the meaning behind this error, the most common causes, and provide helpful solutions to get you back online as quickly as possible.
What The ‘No Signal’ Error Means
The ‘No Signal Received’ error message appears whenever your dishy fails to establish a connection with one of Starlink’s 3,000+ satellites.
You can check how often Starlink fails to establish a connection within the mobile app under the ‘Network Statistics’ page.
There, it shows how often the system faced obstructions, network issues, or failed to establish a functioning signal.
By clicking on ‘Outages’, you can then find a detailed report on the timeframe of the issues Starlink encountered as well as how long each individual outage lasted.
Most outages faced by Starlink are of temporary nature, meaning they only last for a few seconds or maybe a minute at best.
Furthermore, you often don’t need to do anything except wait it out. Dishy often just recalibrates itself and automatically reconnects with a nearby satellite.
Lastly, temporary outages may often go unnoticed, especially if you engage in activities where content is being buffered (i.e., when streaming on Netflix or YouTube).
Where frequent outages can become problematic is when you’re reliant on near-perfect uptime, for example during online gaming or video calls.
How To Fix The ‘No Signal’ Error
Unfortunately, there is no straightforward fix to the ‘No Signal Received’ error as a variety of different factors may be at play.
With that being said, here are the most common reasons why you would face those issues and how to fix them.
Obstructions are normally caused by solid objects interfering with the transmission of microwave radio frequencies, which dishy transmits to and from satellites as well as ground stations.
We covered obstructions and how to fix them in a dedicated article that you can access here. In almost all cases, objects causing obstructions are either houses or trees.
Fix: When setting up your dishy, make sure that the obstruction map shows as little of the red dots as possible.
This may, depending on where you live, require you to place your dishy at an elevated height. The most commonly used method is roof installation.
For example, Starlink allows you to order a dedicated ridgeline mount, which you can place on the top of your roof.
Obstructions caused by trees are often only resolved with the help of a pole mount. If you need help installing one, then feel free to check out our professional installers directory.
Extremely poor weather conditions can be another reason why you don’t receive a signal for an extended amount of time.
Solid objects like houses aren’t the only factor that can cause obstructions. Water molecules in the air, whether during rain or snow, can have similar signal-interfering effects.
In general, extremely poor weather conditions can negatively affect connectivity. A light drizzle or wind, on the other hand, should not cause outages, though.
Fix: In either case, it is advised to wait until weather conditions improve. You may be required to remove snow that lays dormant on the dishy if you haven’t enabled Starlink’s heating mode.
Outdated software may be another contributor to network issues. Your dishy and router update themselves automatically.
Fix: If your router does not update automatically, then it’s advised to reset it. We published an in-depth piece on how to do that here.
Similarly, make sure to unplug your dishy for a few minutes and then reinsert the power cable. The dishy should feature the newest available firmware once it finished rebooting.
You can check the current firmware versions of all Starlink hardware here. Keep in mind that updates are rolled out asynchronously, meaning you won’t always be on the newest version.
The last reason why you may not receive a signal is due to the location you’re residing in and whether a satellite is currently in proximity.
While Starlink does technically offer worldwide coverage, its satellites aren’t equally dispersed across low-earth orbit (LEO).
As a result, there may be connectivity holes, meaning it takes dishy a few seconds to establish a connection with another satellite.
This is best exemplified in the picture above where the movement of Starlink’s satellites is being tracked. As you can see, the majority of satellites are traveling in and around the equator area.
Only a selected few satellites are above Antarctica and the South Pole at any given time. If you were located there, you’d experience substantially more signal outages as a result.
Fix: All you need to do is wait for Starlink to continue expanding its constellation size. Starlink’s coverage and overall bandwidth, with more and more satellites entering their designated orbits, is improving on a continuous basis.
You may not always be at fault. For example, back in April 2023, Starlink experienced a worldwide outage that was caused by an expired ground station certificate.
Fix: Again, nothing to do but to remain calm and patient. Starlink has experienced multiple outages in the past and normally resolves those issues within minutes.
How Long Does It Take For Starlink to Find Signal?
Your dishy tries to establish a signal right within the setup process. This is visually expressed through the rotation of the antenna, which eventually points at a horizontal angle to the sky.
As such, it initially takes dishy maybe a few minutes at best to connect to the first satellite.
From there onwards, due to Starlink’s constellation size, it should realistically be connected to a satellite the entire time it’s turned out (when not facing a connection error).
If none of the above-mentioned fixes worked and you continue seeing the error, then get in touch with Starlink’s customer support here.
The ‘No Signal Received’ error can be caused by all kinds of factors, including bad weather, solid objects, and even your location.
However, in almost all cases, you’ll be fine simply by waiting them out. Again, if issues persist, then reach out to Starlink’s customer support team.