Starlink Portability Plan Explained

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Written By Viktor

Product manager by day, Starlink enthusiast by night.

One of the biggest promises of Starlink is the fact that it can theoretically be used anywhere on the globe.

The launch of Starlink’s Portability feature back in May 2022 brought us one step closer to that promised reality.

In this article, I will detail what Starlink’s Portability feature does, how it can be activated, its costs, who it is made for, and what its potential downsides are.

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. Residents of other countries can still opt into Portability.

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.

Update 20/06/2023: Starlink sent out an email notifying subscribers that the Portability feature is now being sunset for existing subscribers as well.

Those who are interested in remaining mobile need to subscribe to Roam or Mobile Priority now.

What Is Starlink Portability?

Starlink Portability is a feature that allows subscribers to temporarily move their hardware to a new location for a limited time period.

The hardware can be moved anywhere within the same continent Starlink provides active coverage in. For example, if your dish is registered in the United States, then you won’t have reception in Europe or South America.

Interestingly, Starlink has since added a new option for Portability users called transcontinental data, which essentially enables a user to access Starlink outside the continent of their Service address.

However, its hardware isn’t really meant to be transported on cross-continental flights anyways given that the dishy alone weighs 9.2 lbs (~ 4.17 kg).

Related: everything you need to know about Starlink

Service is offered on a best effort basis, meaning that network capacity will be prioritized for those on the Residential or any of Starlink’s B2B plans.

This is highlighted in Starlink’s Fair Use Policy, which is slated to go into effect starting in April 2023. As such, Residential users will be given 1 TB of data every month until hitting their best effort cap.

The Portability feature can be enabled right within the Starlink app. Simply sign into your account and search for the ‘Manage Service Options’ button, which then allows you to ‘Add Portability’ and leads you to a dedicated sign-up page.

How Much Does Starlink Portability Cost?

Starlink’s Portability feature costs $25 per month for subscribers in the United States. The charge will be added to your monthly bill.

As such, consumers in the United States will pay a total of $135 per month for the ability to move their dishy around.

Pricing is roughly the same in other countries. In Canada, for example, subscribers pay an additional CAD 30 per month while here in Germany we are charged €20 a month on top.

Portability can be activated and canceled at any time. Once enabled, the $25 add-on charge will be added to your upcoming monthly bill.

Consequently, should you have multiple Starlink devices enabled, then Portability must be selected and purchased for each location.

Who Is Portability For?

Portability is particularly aimed at those that wish to leave their homes (i.e., registered service address) for a limited amount of time.

For example, if you plan to take your kids on a camping trip, go on vacation, or visit family in a remote location, then temporarily enabling Portability may make sense.

Related: how the Residential and Roam plans are different from each other

Keep in mind that speeds and thus best performance won’t be guaranteed. So, you may end up receiving worse speeds than at your home address.

Another aspect to be aware of is that your service address needs to be activated before adding the Portability feature.

starlink unexpected location
Starlink App

Otherwise, you will encounter an error (“unexpected location”). As such, you need to enable it at your registered service address before purchasing Portability.

I would recommend activating Portability a day or two before your trip and then taking it for a test ride a few miles away from your registered service address just to be sure.

With that being said, should you plan to be away from your registered service address for an extended amount of time, then it is recommended to activate Starlink’s RV plan (now called Roam).

What Are the Downsides?

The biggest downside of Portability, apart from the fact that it costs money, is the deprioritization of download and upload speeds.

As stated above, bandwidth will be prioritized for subscribers on the Residential or B2B (Business, Maritime, Aviation) plans.

In reality, speed will depend on how congested the cell is. Users in North America, where most of Starlink’s customers are based, should thus experience the biggest speed drops.

Another downside is the somewhat limited availability. Users on the Best Effort plan cannot enable Portability as of right now.

Thirdly, subscribers are prohibited from using Portability while in motion and would otherwise risk losing their limited hardware warranty.

Therefore, Starlink recommends switching to the Roam plan and possibly purchasing the Flat High Performance dishy for those that want to access the internet while driving.

Lastly, Portability may not be useable everywhere. Some parts of the United States, namely around the East and West Coast, are still waitlisted.

Users testing Portability have reported that they received coverage in those very same areas, though. However, Starlink itself won’t guarantee that to be the case and thus leaves you to your own devices.

How To Cancel Portability

Canceling the Portability add-on is fairly straightforward. Simply log into your account and select “Your Starlinks”.

Then click on “Manage” and finally on “Change Service Plans” where you’ll be able to remove Portability.

Once you removed Portability, you won’t be able to subscribe to it anymore (as stated in the intro above).

9 thoughts on “Starlink Portability Plan Explained”

  1. We purchased Starlink residential about a year ago. Satellite internet is our only option. The attractive part of Starlink for us was the portability option. We spend three months a year at our camp in northern Maine (80 miles away) and portability allowed us WI-FI calling. Only means of communication in the area. (No cell service available). Now that portability is no longer available I have to change my plan to the RV plan. $60/ month more for less service. I also understand that I cannot change back to residential without being put on a waiting list. This could all be a game changer for us.

    • I agree, it’s a questionable policy change. There’s some hope that Starlink will eventually reverse pricing as more satellites are being deployed, thus alleviating some of those bandwidth issues. What speeds do you see with RV in your area?

  2. Hi Victor,
    I am using Starlink for two years in Germany (residential) and I am very happy.
    I would like order the portability for my boat but I need a second dish and router, than I dońt want retreat the other stuff.
    Is it possible to order a dish to use only on board (with portability function of course).
    Thank you for a short answer!
    Best regards

  3. Hi Viktor,
    I purchased a residential Starlink in April, primarily for my disabled father. We’re having some work done on our house in June and we’ll be staying at another house about 4 miles away while the work is being done. How can I move our Starlink there with the portability feature not available to us?
    Thank you, AL

    • Hi Al,
      I’d suggest to switch to Roam for the time being. You can now move back to Residential within the Starlink account portal. However, before you do that, check in with support to confirm that it works according to plan.

      Lastly, only do that if you reside in an area with excess (and not limited capacity) as Residential is only available to those living in areas with surplus capacity. Excess capacity areas are those where customers are charged $90 per month for Residential ($120 in areas with limited capacity).

      Hope that helps.

      Regards, Viktor

  4. I have looked for this answer everywhere, so maybe you can help? I run a school in Haiti and Starlink now is actually available there (yay!). But, as you might not know, sending anything to Haiti right now is very risky and it is even more dangerous to be on the streets to pick it up.
    So, I would like to ship it to Miami b/c I will fly through MIA on way to Haiti, and then we will have security with us on our drive to our location.
    But it seems that I cannot ship to a diff location that our service address and, because of this whole location issue, we cannot have our location in Miami but use indefinitely in Haiti.
    Any suggestions? There does not seem to be a way to contact Starlink if you do not already have an account . . . so catch22.

    • Hi Laura, honestly I’d just order it to your desired location in Haiti. If the dish does not arrive, then that’s not on you but on Starlink.

      Or, alternatively, order it to a friend’s house in Haiti and then just change the service address in your account profile.

      Hope that helps. 🙂


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