Starlink Speed Test


Dave Schafer
Jan 24, 2024
bullet6 min read

Starlink is the most famous (or infamous) of the major satellite providers. Between long wait times, controversies over its satellite constellations, and the antics of Elon Musk, Starlink has had its fair share of press. However, it is very fast for satellite internet, and the unlimited data is a huge bonus.

Let’s check out your Starlink speed test results and see how you can get more performance from your connection.

Understanding your Starlink speed test

Download speed: Download speed is what most people think of when they hear “internet speed.” It measures how your connection performs when data travels from the web server to your device. Download speed determines how fast web pages and files load and how streaming services perform. For example, you’ll want fast download speeds to watch Netflix in 4K.

Upload speed: Upload speed is how quickly data travels from your device to the web server. Examples of uploads include sharing photos and videos to social media, backing up files to cloud storage, sending emails, and other outgoing tasks. Upload speed can also impact video calls, like Zoom and Facetime.

Latency: Latency measures how long it takes data to travel from your device to the server and back. It’s measured in milliseconds, and the lower the better. One of the biggest contributors to high latency is distance—latency increases the further you are from the tower or web server you’re connected to. It’s most impactful in online gaming, where quick response times are needed.

Ping: Ping is often used interchangeably with latency, but that’s not technically correct. A ping is the piece of data (known as a packet) that’s used to measure latency. That said, the practical result is the same: Higher ping, like higher latency, means a longer response time.

Starlink internet plans

Plan
Speed
Price
Equipment cost
Starlink StandardUp to 100Mbps$120.00/mo.$599.00
Starlink BusinessUp to 220Mbps$140.00–$500.00/mo.$2,500.00

Starlink offers a few different plans, but the Standard (residential) and Business plans are the most relevant to most users. Both plans have unlimited data, but the Business plan introduces Starlink’s Priority data: Faster speeds up to a data limit and slower Standard speeds after that. These slower speeds are the same as the Standard plan, so they’re not necessarily slow, just slower than Priority. Customers on the Business plan can choose 40GB, 1TB, or 2TB priority allotments for $140, $250, and $500 per month, respectively.

Starlink recommends different equipment for the two plans. Starlink Standard customers can get by with the basic Starlink dish, which is a bit smaller and much more affordable. For the Starlink Business plan, the company recommends the high-performance dish, which is capable of picking up a stronger signal to support the faster speeds of the Business package.

Choosing between the two plans comes down to how much speed you need. If you can get by with the Standard plan, we’d probably go that route—it’s certainly a lot more affordable, while still offering faster speeds and way more data than most other satellite services.

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Check out our full Starlink review for a deep dive into all the details.

How to check your Starlink internet speed

The simplest way to check your Starlink internet speed is to use our Starlink speed test tool. Connect to your network and click the Start Speed Test button at the top of this page—that’s all there is to it! You’ll get your results in just a few seconds, with measures for your download speed, upload speed, and latency.

Alternatively, you can run a speed test from within the Starlink mobile app. Simply open the app and find the speed test option on the main screen—it’ll be the fourth choice. It won’t necessarily provide more detailed information than our test, but some may prefer a more official option.

What’s a good internet speed?

The types of activities you do online and the number of connected devices in your household both impact how much internet speed you need for a smooth online experience.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) defines broadband internet as a minimum of 25Mbps download and 3Mbps upload speeds. This is a solid minimum goal to aim for, but it doesn’t guarantee a good experience. For example, 4K video streams can easily max out a 25Mbps connection—and that’s only on one device. If you have multiple devices online at once, you’ll need more bandwidth.

Streaming video is generally the most speed-intensive activity users engage in online. This is especially true for 4K streams. Gaming, which seems intensive on the surface, is actually relatively light on bandwidth, needing just a few Mbps for a good experience. Although downloading large games is another story.

We think that a good minimum target for rural users is 50Mbps for a single-person household and 100Mbps for a multi-person household. More would obviously be better, but rural internet options don’t always leave many choices.

What’s the average speed of Starlink internet?

Starlink’s plans advertise speeds between 25–100Mbps (Standard) and 40–220Mbps (Business). Starlink claims that the majority of users experience speeds over 100Mbps. Further, it claims that upload speeds are typically between 5–20Mbps.

These speeds are quite good—especially the average download speed of over 100Mbps. That makes even the most affordable Starlink plan very usable and faster than many other rural options.

Why is my Starlink internet so slow?

There are a few reasons your Starlink internet might be slow:

  • The network is congested due to too many simultaneous users in your area. This is most commonly an issue during peak times, such as the evening.
  • Too many people are using your connection at once to perform intensive tasks, such as streaming video, downloading large files, or video calling.
  • There is signal interference affecting the network, such as inclement weather.
  • You’re too far away from your Starlink router, resulting in a weaker signal.

Some of these are obviously easier to work around than others. For example, if you're encountering slow speeds during peak times, you may need to try to find a different time to do your speed-intensive activities. On the other hand, there’s not much you can do about the weather besides wait it out.

When in doubt, you can always contact Starlink customer service for assistance. It’s probably the weakest part of the Starlink service, but it can still be helpful.

How can I increase my Starlink speed?

If you find you need more speed than you’re getting from a residential Starlink Standard plan, you can consider upgrading to Starlink Business. This is a significantly more expensive plan, but it can potentially double your speed. It may be worthwhile for high-demand users that can afford the costs.

Alternatively, if you feel you’re not getting the speeds you’re paying for, there are a couple of things you can try:

  • Check your devices for background processes that might be using up bandwidth, such as large downloads.
  • Run a virus scan on your devices to check for malware that could be using your connection (sending out personal data, for example).
  • Check your router for connection issues.
  • Check your dish to ensure it’s unobstructed. The Starlink app has a function that makes this process easy. If you’re using Starlink while camping, you should check this every time you set up your dish, as tree coverage can interfere with the signal.
  • Make sure you’re not too far from your router. As you get further from the router, signal strength goes down—even if your device says you’re connected, the signal may be too weak to do much.

Finally, if you find that Starlink just doesn’t seem to be right for you, you can consider alternatives, such as other satellite providers or a 5G home internet service.

Starlink alternatives: Starlink vs. HughesNet vs. Viasat vs. T-Mobile Home Internet

Price
Speed
Data cap
Details
$120.00–$500.00/mo.25–220MbpsUnlimited
$64.99–$174.99/mo.25Mbps15–200GB/mo.
Starts at $59.99/mo.12–150Mbps40–500GB/mo.
$40.00—$50.00/mo.* 72–245MbpsUnlimited

*w/ Auto Pay and qualifying mobile plan

Compared to satellite competitors like HughesNet, Viasat, and OneWeb, Starlink is quite a bit more expensive—and remember that these prices don’t take into account the big equipment fees. However, it also has the potential to be quite a bit faster. Starlink also offers unlimited data, which other satellite services don’t offer.

T-Mobile’s 5G Home Internet provides an interesting alternative to Starlink (and other satellite services), with fast speeds and unlimited data at an excellent price. That price also drops to just $40 per month if you have a qualifying T-Mobile cell plan. The catch here is availability—satellite internet, like Starlink, is more widely available because it doesn’t need as much infrastructure.

Ultimately, choosing between these providers is going to come down to a combination of availability, budget, and how you use your connection. If you don’t need unlimited data, you could get by with a cheaper plan from HughesNet or Viasat. If you have T-Mobile available, you could try 5G Home Internet. Finally, if you need speedy satellite and unlimited data, Starlink is the way to go.

About our Starlink speed test methodology

When you take our Starlink speed test, a file (called a packet) is sent from the server to your device, and then back to the server. This transfer is used to determine your download speed, upload speed, and latency.

When taking speed tests, including this one, it’s important to remember that your internet speed will vary throughout the day. This is particularly true during periods of high traffic in your area, such as the evening hours. To get a complete picture of your speed, you may want to run speed tests at different points throughout the day and calculate the average.

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).