Starlink Satellite Dish


Dave Schafer
Aug 22, 2023
bullet6 min read

As a satellite internet provider, Starlink makes its dish star of the show (pun intended). However, Starlink offers multiple dish options. While the model names are somewhat descriptive, they don’t tell the whole story.

In this article, we dive deep into each  Starlink dish: Standard, High Performance, and Flat High Performance. We’ll walk you through specs, prices, use cases, and more—then wrap up with some tips on troubleshooting common issues.

Let’s dig in!

What dishes does Starlink offer?

Starlink offers three different satellite dish options tailored for different use cases, plans, and budgets.

Dish
Plan
Price
Environmental rating
Field of view
Orientation capability
Standard StarlinkStandard (Residential), Roam$599.00IP54100°Motorized self-orienting
High Performance StarlinkBusiness$2,500.00IP56140°Motorized self-orienting
Flat High Performance StarlinkMaritime, Mobility$2,500.00IP56140°Fixed

Starlink satellite dishes go by many names. The company sometimes refers to its satellite dishes as “Starlinks,” and many call them by the nickname "Dishy" (short for Dishy McFlatface). More technical sources call the dish an antenna or terminal. It's a little confusing if you’re not aware of the terminology going in. It’s also not super consistent, which doesn’t help when you’re shopping for satellite internet service.

Anyway, let’s unpack some of the other important specs for these dishes—er, Starlinks.

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What does the IP rating mean?

The IP in the environmental rating stands for Ingress Protection. This is a ratings standard developed by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) to grade the resistance of an object against dust or water intrusion.

The ratings consist of two numbers; The first is the dust protection rating, and the second is the water protection rating. IP54 (the Standard dish) means the device is dust-protected and can survive being splashed with water. IP56 (High Performance and Flat High Performance dishes) means dust-protected and protected against powerful water jets.

In practical terms, that means the Standard Starlink dish is suitable for outdoor use, but you may want to cover it during a superheavy downpour. The High Performance and Flat High Performance dishes should be fine in almost any weather conditions.

What does the field of view mean?

Field of view refers to the amount of sky the dish can cover from any one position. A larger angle means the dish can “see” more of the sky, and thus more potential satellites, at one time. In practical terms, this leads to a stronger and more consistent signal, so the High Performance and Flat High Performance dishes are better in this regard.

What does orientation capability mean?

The orientation capability of the dish refers to whether it can be moved or angled to pick up a stronger signal. The Standard and High Performance Starlink dishes are both motorized and orient themselves automatically to ensure you get the best performance. The Flat High Performance dish is designed to be used in motion, mounted to the roof of a vehicle, so it is fixed. However, it does have a wide field of view to compensate.

Standard Starlink dish

The base level dish is called the Standard Starlink, and it’s designed to work with the provider’s Standard and Roam plans. It costs $599 up front, which is a lot—although a lot less than the High Performance dishes Starlink offers.

This dish is about 12 inches wide and 20 inches tall—not terribly huge—and the stand it comes with is pretty short. But you can add additional mounts and accessories when ordering, so you can find the right setup to mount it to a roof, tall pole, wall, or almost anything else you might want.

The Standard Starlink is capable of self-orienting—a built-in motor automatically adjusts the dish to find the best angle for maximum signal reception. All you need to worry about when installing is that you have a clear view of the sky. The handy Starlink app will help with ensuring the dish can pick up a good signal from wherever you place it.

In the box, you’ll find the following items:

  • The Standard Starlink dish
  • A base stand for the dish
  • The Starlink wireless router
  • A 50-foot Starlink cable
  • A 6-foot power cable
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High Performance Starlink

The High Performance Starlink dish works primarily with the Starlink Business plan, although you don’t have to be a business to use it. This dish costs a whopping $2,500 up front. That’s going to be a lot to stomach for most non-business customers, but the dish does deliver great performance for that price.

The High Performance dish is IP56 certified, which means it has much better water resistance than the Standard Starlink. This dish should be fine in nearly any weather you can throw at it, from heavy rain to snow and sleet.

The High Performance Starlink is larger than the Standard, at about 20 x 22 inches. It’s much more of a square shape than the basic dish. This extra area helps it pick up more signals and cover a wider area of the sky—140° vs 100° for the Standard dish.

Like the Standard, the High Performance Starlink has the motorized self-orienting feature, so it can automatically adjust itself to find the best signal. That means maximum signal with minimal fiddling or hassle on your part.

The High Performance Starlink comes with the following items:

  • The High Performance Starlink dish
  • A base for the dish
  • A power supply
  • The Starlink wireless router
  • An 82-foot Starlink cable
  • A 16.5-foot Ethernet cable
  • A 6.5-foot router cable
  • Two 6-foot power cables

Flat High Performance Starlink

The third and final Starlink dish option is the Flat High Performance. This dish is designed for in-motion use and pairs with the Starlink Maritime and Starlink Mobility plans. Like the regular High Performance Starlink, this dish costs a pretty penny—$2,500, to be exact.

The Flat High Performance dish is IP56 certified, so it should be able to handle all your outdoor adventures. That’s good, because this dish is designed to be mounted to the roof of a vehicle, meaning it’ll always be exposed to the elements when not in a garage or storage.

The Flat High Performance Starlink dish is the same size as the regular High Performance (about 20 x 22 inches), minus the stand. The Flat High Performance is, as the name implies, meant to lay flat, so it doesn’t have the mounting pole and stand like the other dishes. It’s only about 1.6 inches thick, so it won’t stick up very far off whatever you mount it to.

Perhaps the one downside of the Flat High Performance dish is that it’s not self-orienting. This is because of the low-profile nature of the dish. On one hand, this means it can’t track with satellites and lock onto the strongest signal. On the other hand, it’s the only Starlink option suitable for use while in motion, making it ideal for boats, RVs, buses, and other vehicles. The wide 140° field of view helps it find a strong signal despite the lack of automated tracking.

The Flat High Performance Starlink comes with the following items:

  • The Flat High Performance dish
  • A power supply
  • A power supply mount
  • The Starlink wireless router
  • A router mount
  • A 26.2-foot Starlink cable
  • A 16.5-foot Ethernet cable
  • A 6.5-foot router cable
  • Two 6-foot power cables

How much does a Starlink satellite dish cost?

One of the unique aspects of Starlink compared to other satellite internet providers is that you pay for your equipment in one lump sum, up front. The downside is obviously that it can be expensive. However, the silver lining is that you actually own the equipment, meaning you can then do whatever you want with it, including selling it to reclaim some of the cost.

As for how much the dish will run you, there are two price brackets:

  • $599: The Standard Starlink is a one-time fee of $599, plus any mounting accessories you may need.
  • $2,500: The High Performance and Flat High Performance Starlink dishes are a whopping $2,500 up front. Granted, these are meant for more specialized use cases, but still—that’s a lot of money.

Which Starlink plan do I need?

Plan
Price
Speeds
Recommended equipment
Equipment cost
Starlink Standard (Residential)$120.00/mo.Up to 100MbpsStandard$599.00
Starlink PriorityStarts at $140.00/mo.Up to 220Mbps High Performance$2,500.00
Starlink Mobile$150.00/mo. for Regional, $200.00/mo. for GlobalUp to 50MbpsStandard$599.00
Starlink Mobile Priority (Maritime, Mobility)Starts at $250.00/mo.Up to 220MbpsFlat High Performance$2,500.00

Which plan is best for you depends almost entirely on where and how you’ll use your Starlink service. Most people will get by just fine with the Standard plan (formerly called the Residential plan), which comes with the Standard dish and offers speeds up to 100Mbps for about $120 per month.

Starlink Mobile is for users who want to take their satellite service on the road but don’t need to use it while they’re moving. In other words, you don’t mind arriving at your destination and unpacking the dish before getting online.

The other plans (Business, Maritime, Mobility) are geared towards specialized use cases, so you’ll likely know if you need one of them.

One thing to keep in mind is that, despite being a satellite internet service, Starlink isn’t available in every area. Make sure to check with the provider to ensure the plan you want is available before starting the order process.

How to solve common problems with the Starlink satellite dish

How to fix a “Starlink Disconnected” error

The “Starlink Disconnected” error occurs when there’s no communication happening between the device and the Starlink router. This is most commonly caused by

  • A power issue, such as an outage or tripped circuit breaker
  • A defective router

To troubleshoot, check the router for power. If there’s none, you may have a tripped breaker or damaged power cable. If there is power, try rebooting the router by unplugging it for 30 seconds and then plugging it back in.

If both of the above tips fail, you can try factory resetting the router following this guide on the Starlink forums. If you still encounter the error after this, you may have defective hardware—so contact Starlink for assistance.

How to fix a “Starlink Unplugged or Rebooting” error

This error occurs when there is no connection to the Starlink dish. This can happen for a few reasons:

  • The dish is rebooting.
  • The cable running from the router to the dish is damaged or disconnected.
  • The dish itself is damaged.

To troubleshoot this issue, start by unplugging the power cord from the router. Wait about 30 seconds, then plug it back in. Let the system reboot (this can take several minutes) and check if the error is resolved.

If that didn’t work, check that the Starlink cable is securely connected to both the dish and router. If it is, check the length of it for damage.

If none of the above solutions work, you may have faulty equipment. At this point, you’ll want to reach out to Starlink support to see what your options are.

Dave Schafer
Written by
Dave Schafer
Dave has written professionally for tech companies and consumer technology sites for nearly five years, with a special focus on TV and internet. He uses his industry expertise to help readers at HighSpeedInternet.com get the most out of their services. No matter the project, he prefers his coffee black (the stronger, the better).