What is the Downside of Starlink? 6 Disadvantages to Know

What is the downside of Starlink? This is the most common question asked by those who are planning to get this service.  No company will be selling the negative side of their product and therefore, …

Starlink satellite train orbiting the Earth

What is the downside of Starlink? This is the most common question asked by those who are planning to get this service. 

No company will be selling the negative side of their product and therefore, it is upon you to research and learn from those who have tried the product. 

However, we are going to save you from that. This article will walk you through Starlink’s pros and cons with our main focus being downsides so that you can make an informed decision.

Table of Contents

Starlink refers to a satellite constellation that uses a Low Earth Orbit  (LEO) to develop a broadband network. 

It works by beaming the internet signals to the ground stations and user terminals.

Internet users can receive Starlinks internet via satellite dishes or terminals set up randomly by the parent company SpaceX. 

Since beginning its launch in 2019, this company currently has 4,487 operational satellites orbiting the Earth. 

Their target is 42,000 satellites which they promise to achieve soon. 

Starlink low earth orbit constellations aim to reduce latency and lag. 

The service is capable of transmitting more than 250 Mbps, which is more than most of the satellite services you will find there. 

However, there are some downsides that you should be aware of. 

Starlink satellite train orbiting the Earth

Starlink satellite train orbiting the Earth

Here are some of the most common Starlink internet issues: 

Steeper Initial and Monthly Fees

One of the biggest issues with Starlink that we can’t ignore is its steeper pricing. 

Depending on the package location, you can spend between $599 to $2,500 on Starlink equipment alone. 

After installation, you start paying the monthly fees. The fees range from $90 to $5,000 monthly, depending on your location. Remember, the equipment charges don’t include the shipping cost and the taxation, which will depend on your location. 

Fortunately, the company designed their service for a DIY installation, so if you are a DIY enthusiast, you will not spend on the installation. 

If you have to hire someone, you should factor in this, too. 

Sincerely speaking, with everything factored in, Starlink can be 5 times more expensive than the standard cable and DSL.

According to the company, their packages are steeper because of the initial infrastructure cost. 

The Starink technology is an ambitious project whose initial investment totaling tens of billions. 

Another issue with Starlink is their prices that keep on rising. Initially, the residential package was $90. Two years later, the company raised it to $110 and in 2023, there is a price change. 

According to SpaceX, the company develops and tries new software and hardware every day. These amounts end up to the end user. 

However, the company is confident to cut its cost corners once it reaches the ideal satellite density.

If you’re an active user, you may have experienced the two most common Starlink internet issues. 

The first is the “Starlink disconnected” message. This problem results whenever there’s an error on your app, usually between your router and the Starlink dish. 

You can solve your “Starlink disconnected” problem by checking if the router inside the dish is seated correctly. 

You should be able to hear a click whenever you properly plug the cable into its optimal sitting position.

 But if this fix doesn’t help, check whether there is damage to the metal pin on the plug or if there are signs of a damaged cable.

The second most common problem is the “Starlink Unplugged or Rebooting” error message. 

This message signifies no connection to the Starlink dish.

 Your Starlink will experience connection problems when rebooting or updating after a power outage.

 If that is the case, expect the error message to go away immediately after the device finishes booting. 

But if it persists, check the whole length of the cable connectors for damages or if it didn’t plug in and sit well.

Network Congestion

Starlink experiences regular network congestion, common in areas with numerous users.

 As such, you may experience low speed and low latency from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. 

When the bandwidth is quickly used up, remember that the technology is still in its beta phase.

 The satellite density still needs improvement, hence the need to launch more satellites in high-demand areas.

That said, Starlink doesn’t have as many disadvantages as it has advantages over its competitors. 

Below is a brief guide on some of its advantages over the traditional network. 

Affected by Weather

Satellite internet services, including Starlink, are negatively affected by weather. 

Starlink may be reliable, but poor weather conditions such as fog, heavy rain, snowfall or strong wind can cause disruption. 

Satellites transmit signals through microwave radio frequencies, which travel in a straight line. 

These radio frequencies cannot move through solid objects. 

The water molecules in the air can also disrupt these waves, resulting in lower speed or, in the worst case scenario, an outage. 

However, Starlink has introduced features to mitigate this problem.

 For instance, it has a built-in heating feature that will automatically heat and melt snow that accumulates on the dish. 

Starlink dish placed in a busy environment

Starlink dish placed in a busy environment

Data Cap

High usage of this service led to the introduction of a data cap that limits customers to 1B per month. 

Once you hit the data cap, you will start experiencing a slower speed. 

However, you enjoy this cap when you are Business or Maritime (Mobile) Priority plans.

 Once you exceed the cap, Starlink will downgrade you to the Standard package

The Partying Shots

Every coin has two sides. Starlink has its downsides, too, and we have discussed a number of them.

 If you are planning to purchase the service, you now know some of the issues you are likely to meet. 

However, Starlink’s advantages outweigh the disadvantages.

It is the most reliable satellite service you can have, boasting of great speed and low latency. 

That said, Starlink is worth your try.