Starlink vs. Nomad Internet: Is Satellite Internet Better Than Cellular?

The following guide covers Starlink vs. Nomad Internet in another battle between two wireless internet juggernauts.  Traditionally, wired internet connections such as fibre offered consumers the best solution for fast-speed broadband internet.  However, thanks to …

LEO Satellites

The following guide covers Starlink vs. Nomad Internet in another battle between two wireless internet juggernauts. 

Traditionally, wired internet connections such as fibre offered consumers the best solution for fast-speed broadband internet. 

However, thanks to the Internet of Things (IoT), more wireless devices need to connect to the Internet than before. 

Consequently, there is a rising demand for reliable portable internet solutions. 

Starlink and Nomad Internet are currently two of the most notable new-gen internet service providers.

Now the question is, which one delivers the most value to you?

Table of Contents

The following is a quick summary of each service’s key attributes.

StarlinkNomad Internet
Year Company/Service Was Formed2002 (SpaceX)2017
First Satellite Deployment Date2018 (Test Satellite – Tintin A and B)
2019 (Official Internet Satellite – L1 Operation Satellite) 
Average Download Speeds50-500 Mbps (Depending on your plan)20-200 Mbps (Depending on your plan and region)
Average Upload Speeds2 – 20 Mbps50 Mbps (maximum)
Hardware Costs$599 to $2500 (Depending on which plan you choose)Free* 
Monthly Subscription Costs$120 to $500 (Depending on which plan you choose)$109 to $199 (Plan Dependant)
PortabilityPortable through Starlink Roam (formerly known as Starlink RV)Offers a portable plan.
Wait-ListYes. There may be a long waiting list depending on your region.None
Data Cap1 to 6TB (Plan Dependant)No data caps
Ease of InstallationIt requires no internet.It requires no internet
Number of Subscription Options (Plans)6+3+

Starlink has been generating headlines for the last few years now, mainly because of its ties to Elon Musk. 

However, it’s a very innovative product, and any controversy surrounding its owner should not diminish this.

It offers the fastest satellite internet speeds of any provider, including ViaSat. This is due to its large, low-hanging satellite constellation. 

But one of the biggest disadvantages (as you’ll see) is its price. 

So if you live in a rural area where you have no access to cable internet and reliable internet is too expensive, what other options do you have? You can get wireless or mobile internet instead. 

Rural Internet Coverage Vector

Rural Internet Coverage Vector

That’s where Nomad comes in. Much like Starlink, it markets its services towards remote areas, mobile homes, and RVs. 

However, the difference is Nomad uses cellular broadband network connections (primarily 4G/5G LTE).

Thus, this isn’t just an examination between two wireless internet service providers but a comparison between cellular data and satellite internet. Who will win?      


5G Network Image

5G Network Image

As we previously mentioned, Starlink is an innovative product. That’s one of its key selling points.

 While low-Earth orbiting (LEO) satellites aren’t a new concept (the first was launched in 1964), it’s how SpaceX paired this technology with a large satellite constellation that makes the difference.

The biggest disadvantage that LEO satellites have is that they cannot cover areas as large as geosynchronous satellites. 

SpaceX has managed to overcome this limitation by creating a field of small interconnected satellites. 

Starlink currently has over 4,000 satellites in orbit. It’s this redundancy that makes Starlink’s satellite internet connections more reliable. 

Although, even with this redundancy, Starlink doesn’t cover the entire globe. But it hopes to one day.

Even if Starlink doesn’t cover your region, you can still pre-order a package and be on their waiting list

Additionally, Starlink has a limited capacity even in the areas they cover. As such, the company may still put you on their waitlist, which it charges $99 for each entry. 

This also goes towards your equipment costs, so it’s not a complete loss. You can use Starlink’s official coverage map to see where your area stands

Nomad Internet markets its services to rural areas. Since the company facilitates its products through cellular data, internet speeds highly depend on a customer’s/device’s proximity to cell phone towers and extenders.

Nomad Internet’s reach isn’t global. It covers most of the United States of America. You can view more information about its availability from its coverage map

Hardware Costs

Telecommunications Tower

Telecommunications Tower

Nomad Internet’s equipment fee is included in the upfront payment – at least partially. 

If you lose or incur irreparable damage to the equipment, Nomad Internet will charge you up to $300 to replace it.

This also applies to service cancellation. The company requires you to return all equipment after you cancel your services. 

This includes paying for shipping expenses. If you can’t return the equipment for whatever reason, you will have to pay the replacement fee. 

So it seems not much of the upfront registration fee goes to the equipment cost. Instead, you rent or borrow it for as long as your subscription/plan lasts.

Starlink’s hardware prices are plan-dependent. The Roaming plan’s equipment can cost you as much as $599.99, while the business plan costs $2,500. 

Fortunately, Starlink offers flexible payment plans for their equipment too. 

Starlink’s upper-tier and specialty plans use hardware that a certified specialist must install. This could cost you an additional $99.    

On the other hand, much of Nomad Internet’s equipment does not require installation. 

When you successfully apply for one of Nomad Internet’s plans, they send you a preactivated modem that you can simply plug in and use immediately. 

Starlink’s residential plan features hardware that you can self-install. However, setting it up is slightly more complex when compared to Nomad Internet’s offerings. 

Plan Costs

Satellite Dish Blue Sky Background

Satellite Dish Blue Sky Background

Currently, Starlink offers the following monthly subscription plans:

  • Residential: Starlink’s standard plan. It caters to everyday consumers. Starlink charges between $90 and $120 depending on what equipment option you used (upfront or paid off in monthly installments). This plan provides internet speeds between 25 and 220 Mbps.
  • Business: A plan catering to small, medium and large enterprises. Internet speeds can reach as much as 220 Mbps. Monthly subscription costs can be between $250 and $1500, depending on your equipment options. Equipment can be purchased upfront through a fee of $25000.
  • Starlink Roam: Starlink’s mobile plan, previously known as Starlink RV. Speeds sit between 5 and 50Mbps. Monthly plans can run you between $150 and $200, and equipment can cost you as much as $2500 depending on what hardware your RV needs.
  • Starlink Mobility: Starlink’s car satellite internet plan. Equipment can cost as much as $2500 and monthly payment plans are between $250 and $5000. 
  • Starlink Maritime: Starlink’s sea plan, covering boats and ships. Monthly plans start at $250 and go as high as $5000. Hardware costs $2500.

Nomad Internet has three main price plans:

  • Nomad Unlimited Residential: For everyday consumption. This plan can reach speeds as fast as 100Mbps. It costs $109 per month.
  • Nomad Unlimited Travel: Caters to RVs and mobile homes. Offers download speeds of up to 100Mbps. It costs $129 per month. The plan can be paused at any time. 
  • Nomad Unlimited Power: A business plan that can reach download speeds as high as 200 Mbps. It costs $199 per month.

Nomad Internet offers a 14-day trial for all its plans. If you find that the service does not meet your requirements, you can cancel it before then.

 The company does not perform any credit checks or enforce data limits for any of its plans. 


The above guide explores Starlink vs Nomad Internet. Please note that much of the information in this guide is subject to change. 

Such is the nature of technology. Regardless, we tried to make this guide as accurate as possible. 

Make sure you visit both services’ websites for updated information (including prices).