Starlink offers five types of internet services total, but only five are actually relevant to most users: Starlink Standard (previously Starlink Residential), Starlink Business (which has three plans), Starlink RV (now Starlink Roam), Starlink Mobility, and Starlink Maritime (which is now actually considered part of Starlink Mobility). Download speeds for these plans range from 5–220Mbps with different levels of data prioritization depending on your plan and location.
Starlink Standard (which offers residential home internet) is the one most users are after, and its probably all you need if you want an at-home connection. The Starlink standard plan price depends on your coverage area. If you live in an area where the network is at low-capacity (not many people using it at the same time), you'll pay $90 a month, and if you're in a high-capacity Starlink area (which is most of its areas), you'll pay $120. You'll only know which one when you sign up—or when Starlink tells your area's changed from one to the other.
Overall, Starlink residential is a great internet plan, as long as you remember that it isn't available everywhere and that Starlink's network can be a little unreliable. That last part goes doubly if your network area is currently overtaxed, or if you have Starlink Business or Starlink Mobility customers nearby because their data gets prioritized over your Starlink residential standard data.
For more on Starlink data tiers and how they affect your plans, read our Starlink data section below.
Starlink vs. Viasat and HughesNet
Equipment and installation
|$90.00–$250.00/mo.||50–500Mbps||Unlimited||$599.00–$2,500.00 one-time equipment fee;
|$49.99–$174.99/mo.***||15–50Mbps||15–200GB||$14.99/mo. equipment lease; Free professional install||View Plans|
|$69.99–$299.9/mo.**||12–100Mbps||12–500GB||$9.99/mo. equipment lease; Free professional install||View Plans|
Starlink and Viasat are about equal when it comes to speed, though Viasat offers less data than Starlink and Starlink's coverage map is smaller than Viasat's. Either one will treat you well for speed and data, but we'd give the edge to Viasat just because you're more likely to be able to get it.
Plus, Viasat just launched its new Viasat-3 satellite with terabyte capabilities, so its speeds and/or data could increase in the near future, while Starlink has been struggling to maintain its network.
HughesNet, meanwhile, doesn't match up to either Starlink or Viasat's speed, but it's not trying to. HughesNet is the budget pick intended to deliver you broadband internet speeds for basic connectivity at cheaper prices than either. If you're looking just for something that lets you browse your email and occasionally video call your family, this is the right choice for you.
Starlink's only competition isn't just other satellite internet providers, though. Some of the best rural internet options are now 4G and 5G home internet providers. So how does Starlink satellite stack up against fixed wireless?
Starlink satellite internet vs. 4G and 5G home internet
If you can get Verizon or T-Mobile 4G or 5G home internet, we suggest going with them instead of Starlink. Starlink is a solid satellite internet service provider (where it's available), but Verizon and T-Mobile will give you all the same benefits (no contracts, high speeds) at a significantly cheaper price, and with even less latency.
If you're a Verizon mobile customer already, we suggest going with Verizon LTE Home internet over T-Mobile home internet just because you'll get blazing speeds for only $25 a month.
The only downside to Verizon and T-Mobile home internet providers is that they aren't available everywhere, just like Starlink. Check out our reviews on Verizon LTE Home Internet or T-Mobile Home Internet for more, or search your zip code below to see if one of these great internet providers are in your area.
Enter your zip code to see what internet options are available near you.
How can you get Starlink?
You can get Starlink internet by placing an order on the Starlink website. When Starlink has internet coverage and bandwidth capacity in your area, you can get your Starlink Kit shipped directly to you within 2 weeks.1
To check if Starlink's availability in your area, check out our Starlink beta sign-up page, where we'll walk you through the waitlist, area availability, and more.
If Starlink isn’t in your area yet, you can still place an order and secure your spot on the waitlist by paying a $99–$500 deposit, depending on if you want the standard Starlink service, Starlink RV internet (now called Starlink Roam) or Starlink Business. The easiest way to see when you can get Starlink is to enter your address on the Starlink website.
Starlink availability vs. the competition
Winner: Viasat and HughesNet
SpaceX’s Starlink currently falls short in one of the most important concerns for the rural internet community: availability.
Starlink is regularly using SpaceX rockets to launch more satellites to increase worldwide availability, but there are still major gaps in Starlink internet coverage compared to established nationwide satellite providers like Viasat and HughesNet.
You can sign up for Starlink even if it’s not quite available in your area. But you’ll have to pay a $99.00 deposit and might be waiting months longer than promised due to supply chain issues. SpaceX has cited these issues specifically as chip and silicon shortages.3 Starlink also services customers on a first come, first served basis, which could be an issue for you if Starlink is in high demand in your area and you’re low on the list. If you need satellite internet now, go with Viasat or HughesNet.
See if Starlink internet is available where you live.
You can check when Starlink will be available where you live by entering your address on the Starlink website
. Starlink will give you a general estimate of when you can expect service to
arrive in your area. It will also allow you to place a deposit if Starlink isn’t yet available in your area.
Where is Starlink internet available?
Starlink internet is currently available to most of the continental US, with notable black spots across the South and West, especially for Starlink RV coverage.
Starlink is also available in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Denmark, Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. SpaceX is regularly launching more satellites (and Elon Musk is tweeting about them), which means its availability is continually expanding.
For more on Starlink availability, check out our When Will Starlink Be Available? guide to determine when Starlink will be available near you or sign up for the Starlink waitlist.
Starlink uses reusable rocket boosters to launch thousands of low-Earth orbit satellites into space to create its satellite internet network. Source: Starlink
SpaceX has recently run into hiccups with taking preorders in Pakistan and India without a license, which will certainly delay its ambitions for global coverage.9,10 In the US, SpaceX has approval from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for a Starlink network of 4,408 satellites. But it’s seeking additional FCC approval to expand that network to over 30,000 satellites, which would mean a drastic increase in coverage and performance for the US.11
How Much Does Starlink Cost?
Monthly Starlink prices for satellite service range from $90 to $5,000 dollars, depending on the type of plan you want (fixed location or mobile) and how much Priority data or Mobile Priority data you want with it. Obviously, that's a pretty big range, so we'll break it down for you by plan.
Starlink Business offers three different satellite internet plans. Priority 1TB, like Starlink Standard, is intended for a fixed location, but unlike Starlink Standard it comes with Priority data, which means faster speeds. Priority 1TB costs $250 a month, Priority 2TB costs $500 per month, and 6TB $1,500 a month.
For the record, most families don't use more than 1TB, so if you have a small business, definitely go with $250 plan to start. If you need more, can always upgrade without hassle.
You can pick what equipment you get with Starlink Priority, but Starlink recommends the $2,500 high performance satellite to keep up with your Priority data.
Starlink RV (Starlink Roam)
Starlink Roam, once called Starlink RV, is the first of Starlink's portable internet plan options. It costs either $150 per month for Regional access or $200 a month for Global. And don't forget your up-front equipment costs of either $599 for a satellite you have to setup each time you stop or $2,500 for in-motion technology.
For more details on Starlink RV costs, check out our full Starlink Roam review.
Starlink Mobility is Starlink's newest internet plan, and it shares a lot of similarities with Starlink Roam, except that its significantly more expensive and uses the highest priority data available for Starlink services. In fact, it costs $250 per month for 50GB data, $1,000 a month for 1TB data, and $5,000 per month for 5TB of data.
Starlink Mobility also exclusively uses the Flat High Performance Starlink, which means you have to pay $2,500 up-front equipment fees. The high prices aren't really intended for most people. Starlink Mobility is much more geared towards mobile businesses like emergency responders or luxury vehicle fleets.
Starlink Maritime plans are technically now under the same umbrella as Starlink Mobility as well, but with a few differences. Learn more about them in our Internet for Boats review.
Starlink Maritime costs the same amount for the same data tiers as Starlink Mobility, so refer to the costs above when deciding if this is the plan you need. Like Starlink Roam's Global plan and Starlink Mobility, Starlink Maritime uses the Flat High Performance Starlink dish that costs $2,500 up-front.
|Starlink Standard||$599.00 + shipping||Free (self-installation)|
|Starlink Business||$2,500.00 + shipping||Free (self-installation)|
Like we’ve said, the Starlink Kit equipment fee is $599–$2,500, which is more than a little hefty—especially if you get any of Starlink Business's plans: Priority 1TB, Priority 2TB, and Priority 6TB. It’s definitely a major financial barrier for the service, which is unfortunate since Starlink’s mission is to provide affordable broadband for underserved rural communities. The good news is that Starlink plans to reduce this cost in the future, with Elon Musk claiming it will eventually be as low as $250.12
Starlink customers can find some financial relief in the lack of installation fee for Starlink, which we’ll cover more below.
Starlink has no internet contracts with its service. You can cancel your service at any time without paying cancellation fees. Your service will continue to the end of the payment period and then stop. You can also get a refund on your equipment fee if you cancel your service within 30 days and return the equipment in good shape and in the original packaging.
Starlink data caps coincide with its different service plans, starting first with Standard data, then Priority data, Mobile data, and Mobile priority data. Keeping track of these data types, the Starlink plans they belong with, and the prices you'll pay for both can be a bit complicated, so we've divided them out for you below.
Starlink data for fixed-location plans
Compatible Starlink plan
Additional data cost
|Starlink Standard||Standard data||Unlimited*||N/A||$90.00–$120.00/mo.|
|Starlink Priority 1TB ||1TB Priority data||1TB||$0.50/GB||$250.00/mo.|
|Starlink Priority 2TB||2TB Priority data||2TB||$0.50/GB||$500.00/mo.|
|Starlink Priority 6TB||6TB Priority data||6TB||$0.50/GB||$1,500.00/mo.|
Starlink Standard is the simplest data situation you'll come across. You get unlimited standard data all month long for the plan's $90–$120 monthly price. That unlimited satellite internet does come with a small asterisk, though. Starlink may no longer have 1TB caps on its Standard plan, but it does say it will slow your data if you use more than the average Starlink user. It doesn't disclose what that amount is, so what your data cap is remains to be seen.
Starlink's Business plans, on the other hand, get a bit more complicated. You'll select your Starlink Business plan based on the amount of priority data you want, hence why it's divided into Starlink Priority 1TB, 2TB, and 6TB.
Having priority data means your internet activities will be prioritized above those with Starlink Standard (residential users, essentially), so you don't have to fear slowdowns even if there are a lot of people on the Starlink network in your area (unless there are Mobile Priority users—but more on that below).
Starlink Priority plans are from there divided up by how much priority data you want. The more data, the more expensive your plan will be per month. If you do run out of priority data in a month, you can either buy more (see table above for prices) or rely on the Standard data you'll automatically be rerouted to thereafter.
That covers Starlink plans that are designed for a fixed location or permanent address. Things get a bit more complicated, or nicely customizable if you're feeling optimistic, with Starlink's mobile internet plan offerings.
Starlink data for on-the-go plans
Compatible Starlink plan
Additional data cost
|Starlink Roam Regional||Mobile||Unlimited*||Upgrade to Mobile Priority for $2.00/GB||$150.00/mo.|
|Starlink Roam Global||Mobile||1TB||Upgrade to Mobile Priority for $2.00/GB||$200.00/mo.|
|Starlink Mobility/Maritime||50GB Mobile Priority||50GB||$2.00/GB||$250.00/mo.|
|Starlink Mobility/Maritime||1TB Mobile Priority||1TB||$2.00/GB||$1,000.00/mo.|
|Starlink Mobility/Maritime||5TB Mobile Priority||5TB||$2.00/GB||$5,000.00/mo.|
Starlink Roam plans offer unlimited Mobile data, but pay attention to that asterisk because Mobile data is deprioritized beneath even Standard data. That doesn't mean you'll experience slow speeds necessarily, but it does mean if Standard data, Priority data, and especially Mobile Priority data customers will all have priority over you if you're in an area where lots of them area using the Starlink network.
Starlink Mobility plans, however, have the highest priority data, mostly so they can cater to the needs of first responders and other mobile emergency needs. These are also some of Starlink's most expensive plans, the price depending entirely on how much of the Mobile Priority data you desire.
As an important note, Starlink Maritime plans run by the same rules as the Mobility plans and data amounts listed above, so keep that in mind before you purchase.
Starlink data vs. the competition
The biggest difference you’ll see when comparing Starlink to Viasat and HughesNet is the monthly data allotment. Starlink offers unlimited data and Viasat and HughesNet have data caps. Although Viasat and HughesNet technically offer unlimited data as well, your speeds will be slowed significantly (almost to unusable speeds) once you hit the data cap for your plan. If you’ve had satellite internet in the past, you know that having enough data can be an issue—especially if you stream on satellite internet or use a lot of data working over Zoom.
Starlink whisks those worries away with big priority data caps and then unlimited standard data. "Unlimited" isn't a word you don’t hear very often in the rural internet world, so even if there is an asterisk about slower speeds, it's worth it.
Starlink’s unlimited data combined with its above-average broadband speeds are its most intriguing features by far. They’re a big part of Elon Musk’s mission to bring better internet options to underserved areas throughout the world.
Starlink aims to close the rural broadband gap by providing a better, faster, and cheaper internet solution for hard-to-reach areas. Source: Official SpaceX Photos.