Starlink Best Effort Service: The Detailed Guide

Are you struggling to get even the bare minimum internet service? Starlink’s Best Effort service might be the answer to your problem.  Space X has made huge steps in ensuring Starlink is up and running …

A person frustrated with poor internet connection

Are you struggling to get even the bare minimum internet service?

Starlink’s Best Effort service might be the answer to your problem. 

Space X has made huge steps in ensuring Starlink is up and running in most areas in the US.

However, even with their subscriber numbers running into millions, there is still a long waitlist.

And while they are revving production to meet customer demands, it might be a year before some people on the waitlist get their Starlink Residential kit.

Starlink’s Best Effort service is their solution to ease some of that pressure. 

Is it worth it? Let’s dig deep.

Table of Contents

Starlink connection in a calm location

Starlink connection in a calm location

The best way to describe Starlink’s Best Effort service would be ‘we are trying our best.’

Starlink Best Effort service is a service for residential users that gets you a working Starlink connection and full kit but at lower speeds than priority members.

You can only get Best Effort service if you are already on the waiting list. 

When Starlink started onboarding pre-order users in 2021, other users who didn’t get their kits had to wait until mid-2022 to connect.

The current pre-order waitlist supposedly has about 500,000 users and counting. 

The Best Effort service is for users needing a decent connection. You are a prime candidate for Best Effort service if:

  • You live in a rural area with absolutely no internet options
  • You have no internet, and you need a connection for basic tasks
  • Your current connection (mostly DSL) is terrible
Internet speed test showing download and upload speed

Internet speed test showing the download and upload speed

Starlink’s Best Effort plan has the lowest expected download and uploads speeds of all Starlink’s plans. 

A Starlink Best Effort Speed Test shows download speeds between 5 and 100Mbps.

The upload speed ranges between 1 and 10 Mbps. 

Latency stays between 20ms and 40ms across the board for all plans. Starlink Best Effort users experience about 15ms jitter. 

Since speed is the most pressing need for users on this plan, there are reports of struggling to crack the 10 Mbps download and 0.1 Mbps upload speed barrier.

Most people complaining about the low speeds are those in ‘waitlist areas’ with many residential users.

Additionally, these slow speeds are due to deprioritization during peak hours(7 AM-11 PM). 

There is no way to apply for Starlink Best Effort. However, you can get on Starlink Residential’s waitlist.

Once you confirm Starlink coverage in your location, apply through the official Starlink Website and join the beta program waitlist. 

Sync your email so you can receive updates. Starlink sends out emails to qualified subscribers on the waitlist in uncongested areas.

Join requests from Starlink are typically time-sensitive. You might miss a spot if your reply isn’t quick. 

Once you place your order, wait for your Starlink Best Effort kit. 

Setting up Starlink’s Best Effort service is like setting up a Residential plan. 

How Much Does Best Effort Cost?

Starlink Best Effort costs the same as Starlink Residential.

You’ll pay $599 for the kit and a monthly $120 fee.

Some users consider it unfair because they aren’t getting the same speeds.

However, it makes sense when your factor in convenience and having a decent connection. 

RV with a satellite dish

RV with a satellite dish

Starlink Best Effort is vastly different from Starlink RV. 

First off, Starlink RV is meant for highly mobile users.

Starlink RV users mount the kit on their RVs and get an internet connection.

And that’s where the main difference is between Starlink Best Effort vs. Starlink RV. 

Furthermore, you can’t switch between Best Effort and RV. 

Here are more key differences. 

FeaturesStarlink Best EffortStarlink RV
Monthly Cost$120$135
Equipment $599$599
Download5-100Mbps50-200Mbps 5-100Mbps(peak hours in a congested area)
Upload1-10Mbps1-10Mbps peak 10-20Mbps offpeak
Data CapAfter 1TB monthlyNo data cap
PortabilityBest Effort is not portableHighly portable

Starlink RV and Starlink Best Effort have pause service. Starlink’s pause service allows users to temporarily stop service for a short period at a monthly fee. 

Is Best Effort Still Better Than HughesNet and Viasat?

Starlink Best Effort performs better than competitors HughesNet and Viasat at current speeds.

Not only does Best Effort provide good download and upload speeds, but users also experience less latency. 

HughesNet and Viasat have different satellite constellations than Starlink.

Starlink has more satellites in low-earth orbit, making data transmission ultimately quicker. 

FeaturesStarlink Best EffortViasatHughesNet
TechnologyLow earth orbit satellitesHEO geosynchronous satellitesHEO geosynchronous satellites
Monthly Cost $120$69.99-$299.99$59.99-$149.99
Equipment$599.99$299 or a monthly $5 lease + Free  Installation$449 + professional installation on first setup
Download speed5-100 Mbps12 to 300 Mbps+25 Mbps
Upload Speed1-10 Mbps3 Mbps3 Mbps
Latency20-40 ms-1ms600ms-1200ms
PortabilityNo portabilityNo portabilityNo portability
Data CapAfter exhausting 1TB for the monthAfter 500GB monthly15-100 monthly, depending on your plan. Unlimited data at 1-3 Mbps after monthly exhaustion

Starlink Best Effort outperforms Viasat and HughesNet in activities such as gaming and streaming.

However, the service quality depends on satellite movement and current bandwidth.

Moreover, you’ll need to be in a low-uptake area to experience speeds close to Starlink Residential if you’re on Starlink’s Best Effort service. 

Starlink Best Effort Service is worth it if you are on the Starlink Residential waitlist with worse alternatives.

Starlink online communities have testimonials from real users praising a great improvement in performance compared to their prior service providers. 

You can only rely on Starlink Best Effort service some of the time for intensive activities such as online gaming, speed-reliant trading, 4k streaming, or HD movies.

Still, it is a step against most competitors, especially in low-traffic areas. 

You can pause Starlink’s Best Effort service if you’re unimpressed with its performance.

It still puts you in a good position to get the upgrade to Starlink Residential at the same monthly rate. 


Q: Can you shift from Starlink Best Effort Service to another Starlink plan?

A: You can shift from Starlink Best Effort Service to a different Starlink plan.

However, you would have to cancel your current plan.

Canceling the plan would remove you from the Starlink Residential plan.

Cancel Best Effort service if upgrading to Starlink Business, Maritime, or RV. 


Starlink’s Best Effort Service reduces the waiting time for people who’ve been on the waitlist for too long.

While it won’t give you priority speeds at all times, you can still get a decent connection as you wait for the proper upgrade.

It works best in an uncongested area.