Will Starlink work in wooded areas? This is the most common question asked by potential Starlink users living in heavily wooded remote areas.
Starlink satellite is the new solution to internet problems in remote areas.
However, obstruction is the biggest challenge users face.
While Starlink can work under trees, the performance will be impacted, resulting in slow speed, interrupted service, buffering, and packet loss.
The company says their service will have a great performance where the antenna has a clear view of the satellites in the sky.
That said, we will explore all the challenges you may face when using Starlink in areas with many trees and how to overcome them.
Table of Contents
- How Starlink Antenna Communicates Satellites
- Understanding Trees Obstructions
- Solutions for Home Users in Wooded Areas
- Solution for RV Users
- Will Starlink Work in Wooded Area: FAQ
- How to Make Starlink Work in A wooded Area: Final Thought
How Starlink Antenna Communicates Satellites
Learning how Starlink communicates with satellites will help you figure out how you can overcome the challenges.
Starlink uses a phased array to communicate with satellites in low earth orbit.
The satellites communicate with the phased antenna using radio waves.
The antenna can track and automatically connect to the satellite to maintain the connection.
Remember, the satellites move around the earth, but the array antenna comprises several mini antenna elements working together to dissipate the beam electronically.
With this, the antenna can communicate with numerous satellites simultaneously as they orbit the Earth.
However, the dish needs a clear view of the satellites to establish connections with the satellites.
Obstructions such as trees can interrupt the signals and reduce internet speed.
Understanding Trees Obstructions
Obstruction is any obstacle standing in the way of the Starlink antenna and the satellite.
There are many obstacles, including buildings, but trees are the biggest worry in remote areas.
The branches, leaves, or any other part of the tree can block the signal, slowing down the speed or interrupting the service completely.
Furthermore, trees form the worst obstacle because they have water content.
Radio waves satellites use to communicate to the antennas are not good at penetrating through the water.
You can check for possible obstruction using the Starlink app before purchasing and installing your equipment.
Simply download the app on your smartphone and scan the area around the potential installation.
The app will help you check for possible interference from trees, buildings, poles, and other obstacles.
Satellite dish with a clear view
Solutions for Home Users in Wooded Areas
Proper antenna installation is very crucial in achieving optimal performance no matter the mounting method you have chosen.
The company encourages its potential customers to always install their antennas to the highest height possible if they live in wooded areas.
This will help reduce the risk of blocked signals between the satellite and the dish.
While this may be the ideal way to avoid tree obstruction, it may be challenging in some areas, especially where the trees are very tall.
Besides, each house property is different, and some mounting methods may not apply. However, you can try the following.
The chimney can offer additional height for mounting your antenna and getting optimum performance.
You can install a long mast or a pole on your chimney and achieve the required height above the trees.
Starlink dish chimney mount
Tree trimming or Cutting:
Maybe the trees are too tall, and you cannot install the antenna above them.
Simply trim the trees around the antenna that are obstructing its view.
Tree branches will reemerge, so remember to keep them trimmed all the time.
Install away from your house
: Another way to deal with extremely tall trees around your house is to find somewhere within your compound clear of obstacles and install your antenna.
Just order the 150 ft extension cable from the company so that you can run a long length away from your house.
Satellite dish away from your house
Tower Mount involves installing a tower to help elevate the Starlink dish above the obstacles.
It is one of the best solutions to achieving the required height in the wooded areas for your dish mount.
However, this method can be costly and may require a professional. Before deciding to go for it, you must exhaust all the options mentioned before.
Whichever method you settle on, follow the manufacturer’s guidelines strictly. Be careful not to install the antenna closer to electronics that may interfere with the signals.
Solution for RV Users
Each camp spot is different, and the most challenging one for recreational vehicle (RV) users is one in wooded areas. Starlink can work under trees but with a regularly interrupted connection.
Remember, you don’t own the camp, so trimming or cutting trees is not a solution.
RV may not offer the opportunity to mount your Starlink antenna higher than the trees. So, how do you go about it?
You can mount your dish temporarily to shift the angle whenever you want. Alternatively, you should consider running a long cable away from the obstacles.
A forested campsite
Will Starlink Work in Wooded Area: FAQ
How Much View Does Starlink Require?
The sky must be clear with no obstruction, at least 100 degrees around the dish and above it.
Your Starlink dish doesn’t have a fixed orientation, so using a large swath of view is necessary.
The good thing, the figure will improve as SpaceX installs more satellites into orbit.
Does Starlink Work in the Mountain?
Starlink can work wherever the company has active coverage as long as the antenna has a clear view of the satellites.
If you raise the dish well above the mountain, it will deliver great performance.
Does Starlink Work in All Weather?
Starlink performs well in most weather conditions. However, heavy rain can cause a reduction in internet speed by about 20-30%.
However, wind, hail, and snow rarely affect Starlink.
How to Make Starlink Work in A wooded Area: Final Thought
There you have it. You can still use Starlink even if you live in wooded areas but with careful mounting.
Three key approaches exist to making your Starlink achieve optimal performance in wooded areas.
These include installing the dish higher than the trees, away from the trees, or trimming/clearing the trees. It all depends on what works best for you.