Is Starlink still in Beta, or is it now available for everyone? This is the most commonly asked question among people interested in Starlink services lately.
SpaceX restricted Starlink’s use to several people for a test. However, Elon Musk announced in early 2021 that they would ditch the beta tag later that year.
So many people have been seeking to know whether the test ended, which is why we have composed this article.
The company reported that they got more than half a million pre-orders but only gave the service to a few for a test.
If you plan to purchase the service, this article will clarify everything about this program.
Table of Contents
- What is Starlink Beta?
- Is Starlink Still in the Beta Phase?
- What the End of Beta Phase Means for Starlink Residential Users
- What the End of Beta Testing Means for Starlink RV Users
- Where Can I Get Stralink Services Now?
- Final Thought
What is Starlink Beta?
Beta is a testing term used in technology to describe the last steps in testing software or a product.
Starlink assigned more than 100,000 users to test their program. The test was to ensure the service performed as it should.
The program ran for a year, during which the company tracked users’ usage and performance data.
SpaceX used the data collected to improve its services as it prepared for its final release.
Beta users enjoyed a decent speed of around 80-150 Mbps and low latencies of around 40ms, which is similar to what you will enjoy now.
However, the hardware cost and the monthly charges were slightly lower compared to what you pay now.
Beta residential users got the equipment at $500 and were charged $100 monthly.
The current charges for residential use stand at $599 for equipment and $110 monthly fees.
Is Starlink Still in the Beta Phase?
SpaceX began this program in October 2020 and ended it in October 2021.
If you were in the program, you might not have noticed when it ended.
A lot of things remained the same, including performance.
Furthermore, Elon Musk did not explicitly say what users should expect when the test ends.
However, we have noticed some upgrades since the company removed the beta tag from its website.
We have seen the upgrade on the dish and the ability to use the service on the go, which was never possible with beta tests.
What the End of Beta Phase Means for Starlink Residential Users
SpaceX reported it had more than 500,000 preorders. With only 10,000 Starlink users selected for beta testing, it is clear that the majority who made the preorders didn’t get the service.
When the beta test ended, it meant that those who made the preorder could go and get their dish.
We have also seen the introduction of rectangular dishes, which differ from the circular ones used during the test.
The dishes are smaller and light but efficient. They no longer distribute the circular dishes that they used for the test.
Rectangular Starlink dish
What the End of Beta Testing Means for Starlink RV Users
Beta users never could move around with the Starlink system, and this was one of the biggest drawbacks.
The system had a GPS that tracked its location once you set an address, and when you tried to move it, it automatically shut down.
The end of beta testing ended the geo-restriction as well. The system is now fully mobile and available to RV users too.
You can order and get service for your RV or digital nomad and move around as long as Starlink is available in your location.
The original Starlink round dish
Where Can I Get Stralink Services Now?
Theoretically, you can access Starlink Internet anywhere with a clear view of the sky.
However, the company has not expanded its services worldwide, and you can only access the Internet where the service is available.
SpaceX did conduct the beta test mostly in the northern part of the US and some parts of Canada.
However, it has since spread the services to other parts of the country and the world.
The service is now available in the Western US, including California, Washington, and Oregon. It is slowly getting to the Eastern part.
Outside America, the service is available in some parts of New Zealand, Australia and part of 10 European countries, including the UK. Africa is already getting their share too.
That said, Starlink’s internet is spreading faster; soon, you can access it anywhere.
You can check on their website if it is already available in your area or when it will be available.
Just signup and request a notification when they will roll out the service in your area.
If it will soon be available, you can pre-order and be included on the waitlist until the company expands its services to your area.
Global network connection
Where Exactly Is Starlink Available in Africa?
In 2022, SpaceX CEO tweeted that Sarlnk has been given regulatory approval in Nigeria, Mozambique, and Malawi.
So far, it has gone live in Nigeria and Rwanda. Other African countries, including Elon Musk’s country of birth, the South Africa Republic, will soon follow.
Can I get Starlink Now?
Whether you can get Starlink services or not depends on your location. Just enter your address on their website and find out if it is available in your area.
Is Starlink Faster than Fiber?
Starlink may not be as fast as fiber, but it meets the recommended Federal Communication Commission (FCC) broadband.
Most residential users report a speed between 50-200 Mbps, while business users report between 150-500 Mbps and as low as 20-40 Ms latency.
Starlink has been tested and verified to be a stable satellite internet option, especially for users in remote areas.
The end of beta testing means there are no geo-restrictions. Therefore, the service can expand to other parts of the world for anyone interested.
We are getting closer to reliable global internet, especially in remote areas.