By default, Starlink assigns every subscriber to a dynamic Internet Protocol (IP) address, which means they are assigned to you for a set amount of time and thus change dynamically.
However, some users may require a static IP address, for example, to use Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) for audio and video calls or to run web servers for others.
Whether or not you can take advantage of a static IP will depend on the Starlink plan you have chosen and a set of other factors – all of which I’ll outline in this article.
Does Starlink Have Static IP Addresses?
No, Starlink does currently not offer static IPs. Instead, the firm provides publicly routable dynamic IP addresses exclusively to its Business tier customers (also including those on the Maritime plan).
Those are currently not available for any other of its other internet plans, including Residential, Roam (formerly RV), and so forth.
Starlink previously hinted at public IP addresses becoming available to those on Residential, Roam, or other plans.
Unfortunately, no specifics have been provided by the company nor how much does would potentially cost.
What’s The Difference Between Dynamic & Static IP Addresses?
An IP address is a unique identifier assigned to devices connected to the internet. Dynamic IP addresses are assigned by an ISP for a limited time, while static IP addresses remain constant unless manually changed.
Dynamic IP addresses are commonly used by residential internet users due to their affordability and ease of management.
ISPs can reuse dynamic IP addresses, reducing the overall demand for IP addresses. Dynamic IP addresses can also provide an added layer of security by changing frequently.
Consequently, for most individual customers, the benefits of dynamic IP addresses outweigh the need for a static IP address.
On the other side, Static IP addresses are used by businesses, servers, and devices that require a consistent and predictable IP address for remote access or to offer services (e.g., website or game server hosting).
They are also necessary for some network configurations, such as VPNs and remote desktop connections.
What IP Addresses Does Starlink Provide?
Starlink offers two IP policies for its clients, with one being the default policy and the other being public.
The default IP policy is Carrier Grade Network Address Translation (CGNAT), which uses a private address space assigned to Starlink clients with DHCP from the 10.64.0.0/10 network.
Furthermore, Network Address Translation (NAT) is used to translate between Starlink’s private and public IPs.
With CGNAT, IP addresses are pooled together and then dynamically assigned on the fly whenever a customer accesses the internet.
The usage of CGNAT is necessary simply because IPv4 addresses, which are assigned to Residential, Roam, and other users, have a natural limit.
And because of that natural limit, Starlink requires you to subscribe to the Business or Maritime plans, both of which are substantially more expensive. As a result, a single IP address is often assigned to multiple users.
The public IP policy is optional and only available to Business and Maritime customers.
It assigns a public IP to Starlink network clients using DHCP, which is reachable from any device on the internet. But moving your hardware to another location may cause the public IP to change.
Unfortunately, Starlink doesn’t currently offer the public IP option to Residential or Roam customers. Subscribers who need inbound ports should consider products with a public IP option.
Each Starlink is allocated one IPv4 address and delegated a /56 IPv6 prefix for network clients. All Starlink network clients are assigned an IPv6 address if the router is IPv6 capable. However, IPv6 is not supported on the early-generation router in the Circular Starlink Kit.
The default IP policy using CGNAT blocks all inbound ports, but some customers may require inbound ports, which can be achieved by using the public IP option.
Also, for security reasons, Starlink blocks TCP/25 (SMTP) and TCP/445 (SMB) outbound ports for all customers.
Starlink claims to constantly be expanding and upgrading its global internet service infrastructure and capabilities.
Therefore, users may experience different IP address behaviors, such as publicly routable addresses, IPv6, and non-CGNAT.
With that being said, Starlink is actively working to provide closer internet geolocation so that customers receive internet (search results or TV shows) that is closer to their actual location (e.g., through expansion of gateway locations).
How To Set Your Starlink IP Address To Public?
To update their IP address to a Public IP, users can follow the steps below (Starlink IPs are private by default):
- Login to your account at http://www.starlink.com/account
- Select the “Dashboard” option at the top of your account page.
- Under the “All Starlinks” section, select “Manage” next to the Starlink which will be updated to a public IP address.
- Click on the “pencil” icon next to “IP Policy”.
- Select “Public IP” from the drop-down menu.
- Click “Save”.
- Reboot your Starlink.
Again, the above-mentioned steps are only applicable to those on Business or Maritime plans.
In the past, Starlink hinted at the option that public IP addresses may become available to those on consumer tiers but has refrained from giving specifics thus far.
Which Alternatives Exist?
There are three feasible alternatives to get a static IP if you cannot afford the Business tier, which currently costs $500 per month.
You could either use a virtual private network (VPN) that offers port forwarding, purchase a third-party router with port forwarding functionality, or tunnel the connection through a virtual private server (VPS).
On the VPN side, there are multiple providers that offer port forwarding. Example offerings include ExpressVPN, PureVPN, and PrivateVPN. They all offer guides on their respective websites on how to set up port forwarding.
Another alternative would be to set up port forwarding on the router level. In order to do that, though, you need to check if Starlink assigned you an IPv6 address. This can be done quickly with tools like these.
If you were lucky enough to receive an IPv6 address, then there are plenty of router options to choose from. Some of the most popular ones include:
- ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000
- TP-Link AX6000
- TP-Link AX1800
- NETGEAR Nighthawk RAXE500
Each router varies in terms of its cost and performance. In general, the costlier they are, the more throughput they tend to offer (the NETGEAR router, for example, costs $599 but offers up to 10.6 Gbps of throughput).
However, the most expensive version may not necessarily be required just because you are limited by the bandwidth Starlink’s ground stations and satellites can provide.
As of today, it seems highly unlikely that your download speed will ever exceed 300 Mbps, especially if you’re located in North America.
Lastly, you could also set up your own dedicated server through which the connection is then routed. Platforms like Digital Ocean allow you to set up a VPS for as little as $5 per month, which among others comes with a static IP.
You would still need a VPN service like WireGuard to do port forwarding onto the VPS from where all the ports are then mapped to their destination in your home server.
For the sake of simplicity (especially if you don’t have experience in running your own virtual server), I would recommend sticking to the VPN option I outlined above.
Keep in mind, though, that your speed will likely decrease as your connection is funneled through yet another port. Most of the above-mentioned VPN providers do offer money-back guarantees (within 14 days), so just test out the different options to see what works best.