Starlink has quite literally taken the world by storm. The service has grown to over one million subscribers in record time while even connecting the remotest parts of the world.
Most of those customers are subscribed to Starlink’s Residential plan, which I’ll explain in this article. We will look at the hardware that’s included, the performance, pricing, and potential downsides.
What Is Starlink Residential?
Residential (also known as Standard) is Starlink’s flagship plan, allowing users located in remote locations to get access to high-speed and low-latency internet.
More precisely, users can expect download speeds of up to 100 Mbps, upload speeds of 5 Mbps to 15 Mbps, and a latency of 25 ms to 50 ms.
In reality, your speeds will vary depending on how congested the cell you’re currently residing in is (both physically and in terms of the time you use Starlink).
While subscribers in the United States, where around 80 percent of Starlink customers are located, tend to see slower speed, those in Europe and beyond are often getting much more out of their system.
The Standard Service Plan assigns an unlimited amount of “Standard” data each month to customers.
Users subscribed to Residential/Standard are thus prioritized over those who pay for Roam (also called Mobility).
However, Residential users receive less priority than subscribed to Business (also called Priority) or Mobile Priority.
Starlink reserves the right to degrade your prioritization if you consistently “exceed what is allocated to a typical residential user” – without specifying what that means in terms of GB/TB thresholds.
Bandwidth intensive applications, such as streaming videos, gaming, or downloading large files are most likely to be impacted by such actions.
Should all of that be not to your liking, then you have the freedom to cancel your Starlink subscription at any time. Consequently, you’re not tied into a lengthy contract.
With that said, those subscribed to Residential should more often than not experience sufficient performances. Here in Germany, where I am located, I regularly enjoy download speeds of 200 Mbps and more.
Starlink can also be tested for free for the first 30 days after which subscribers solely have to bear the costs of the hardware. If returned within the first 30 days, then you only end up paying for the shipment.
Lastly, in selected markets, such as the United Kingdom, Germany, and New Zealand, customers can also temporarily rent Starlink hardware – a feature SpaceX introduced back in early March 2023 and is looking to expand to other countries.
Residential customers will receive the standard rectangular dish alongside the base for mounting, the router, and two cables for power.
The rectangular version is 513 mm (20.2 in) tall, 303 mm (11.9 in) wide, weighs 2.9 kg (6.4 lbs) without the ancillary cable, consumes 50 to 75 watts of power, and is 100-240V AC powered.
You can, if needed, also order the High Performance rectangular dish, which offers a few additional advantages, including a greater field of view (thus being able to connect to more satellites) or better temperature resistance.
How Much Does Starlink Residential Cost?
The price of Starlink Residential is based on where you are located – both within a country and in the country itself.
In the United States, Starlink adjusted its pricing from $110 a month to between $90 and $120 a month back in February 2023.
The pricing is dependent on the area you are located in. Subscribers in locations with excess capacity pay $90 per month while those situated in limited capacity areas are now charged $120 every month.
Additionally, users pay a one-time hardware fee of $599 for the regular dishy and router, plus $50 for shipping and handling.
Consequently, the monthly and one-time hardware fees are different for each of the 50+ countries Starlink is licensed in. We at Starlink Insider keep an up-to-date list of all Residential prices here.
For example, up north in Canada, subscribers are charged CA$158.5 (~ $115) per month and pay a one-time hardware and shipment fee of CA$415 (~ $302). Down under in Australia a similar charge is levied upon subscribers.
Meanwhile, countries with a lower GDP per capita also pay substantially less. In Nigeria, where Starlink launched in February 2023, users are charged NGN 19,287.65 per month (~ $42) while those in Mexico pay the equivalent of $59.
Unfortunately, and for the time being, folks located in the United States will have to pay a comparatively high fee due to demand.
However, there’s at least some hope. Here in Europe as well as in East Asia (i.e., Japan), Starlink costs substantially less due to broadband internet availability.
As the US expands its fiber and cell tower infrastructure, more and more people will gain access to high-speed internet options.
On top of that, Starlink will eventually face competition from the likes of Amazon (vis-à-vis Kuiper Systems), which is working on a similar satellite-based internet option.
The heightened competition from all sides should eventually force Starlink to adjust its pricing. Until then, the kind folks at SpaceX will likely try to maximize profits as much as possible.
Starlink Residential vs. Its Other Plans
For comparability’s sake, I’ll only compare Residential to Roam and Business since both Best Effort and Portability are mere extensions of Residential while Aviation and Maritime are aimed at a very specific and financially potent set of customers.
With that being said, here’s a side-by-side comparison of Residential, Roam, and Business (prices for the US):
|Monthly Price||$90 (excess capacity) |
$120 (limited capacity)
|$150 for Regional $200 for Global||$250 for 1 TB $500 for 2 TB $1,500 for 6 TB|
|Hardware Fee||$599||$599 |
$2,500 for flat high-performance
|Download Speed||20 Mbps – 100 Mbps||5 Mbps – 50 Mbps||40 Mbps – 220 Mbps|
|Upload Speed||5 Mbps – 15 Mbps||2 Mbps – 10 Mbps||8 Mbps – 25 Mbps|
|Latency||25 ms – 50 ms||25 ms – 50 ms||25 ms – 50 ms|
|Public IP Address||No||No||Yes|
|Can Be Paused?||No||Yes||No|
Starlink customers on the Residential plan can switch to either the Roam or Business plan at any time.
Can You Use Starlink Residential For A Business?
Again, the answer to that question is largely dependent on where you are located as well as your connectivity needs.
For example, Business customers enjoy higher network prioritization over Residential users, thus leading to greater download and upload speeds.
Another big perk of Business 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.
Since you can switch from Residential to Business, I’d simply test the former and see whether your requirements are already met (and if not, then upgrade to Business in the Starlink app).
Disadvantages Of Starlink Residential
Residential, despite being the cheapest plan while offering comparatively better performance (at least vs. Roam and the likes), still has some flaws.
For once, you are ultimately tied to your registered service address and can’t just take your hardware wherever you want to.
Starlink, as a result, introduced the Portability option back in May 2022, allowing customers to move their dishy for an additional $25 per month.
Unfortunately, Portability is disabled for those residing in the United States. And since late April 2023, Starlink does not accept new Portability subscribers as it plans to sunset the plan in favor of Mobility and Mobility Priority.
Another way in which the Residential plan lacks flexibility is the ability (or lack thereof) to pause your contract.
While Roam users can pause at any time and for any duration, Residential users either need to pay up or cancel their plan altogether.
You’re also at the mercy of Starlink’s constant price changes to some extent. As stated above, Starlink changed its pricing from $110 to $120 per month for those in limited-capacity areas.
Residential users, by definition, lack the flexibility to just move to another location and often just have to swallow price hikes.
On the technical side, Residential users are assigned a dynamic IP. If you want a static IP, you need to use external hardware and/or software (such as VPNs). We detailed those steps in a separate tutorial here.
Lastly, Starlink users are also left to their own devices when it comes to installations. Obstructions, especially in wooded areas, can severely affect uptime and thus service reliability.
Therefore, we created a dedicated Starlink installers directory, which will allow you to get help in almost every country Starlink is licensed to operate in.
Starlink Residential should be a great option for anyone who has traditionally been deprived of high-speed internet options, i.e., those residing in rural areas.
While the offering certainly isn’t perfect, it remains leaps and bounds ahead of the competition on almost any metric that’s deemed important.
Plus, even if you’re dissatisfied with the overall service, there’s no risk in simply giving Starlink a try and returning your kit should you not be satisfied – which I have a feeling you won’t be.