Be sure to check out our Starlink for RVs: Ultimate Guide for all things Starlink RV!!
UPDATED TO REFLECT MAJOR CHANGES IN FEBRUARY 2023!!
I have noticed a lot of confusion when it comes to which type of service to order from Starlink. Now they have options like “Starlink RV” and Residential (UPDATE: RESIDENTIAL NO LONGER HAS THE OPTION OF ADDING PORTABILITY IN THE UNITED STATES!) Which one should you sign up for? Which one is better for your situation?
Well, I’ll tell you the differences and you decide. Ready? Hope you’re sitting down and have a cold beer ready.
First of all, there are 5! Starlink account types currently, and some have multiple equipment options:
- Starlink Residential Standard Dishy (no more Portability add-on ☹️) $599 equipment, $110/mo
- Starlink Residential High-Performance Dishy $2500 equipment, $110/mo
- Starlink RV Standard Dishy $599 equipment, $150/mo
- Starlink RV Flat-Mount HP In-Motion Dishy $2500 equipment, $150/mo
- Starlink Business HP Dishy $2500 equipment, $500/mo
- Starlink Maritime Dual HP Dishy’s $5,000 equipment, $5,000/mo
- Starlink Aviation Aviation-specific Dishy $150,000 equipment, $12,500-25,000/mo (not typos!)
We are going to cover the first 4 options here. The last 3 are generally meant to be enterprise options, so I won’t go into those in this post.
There are a lot of options, so hopefully this irons out some of the details to help with what can be confusing to navigate when trying to choose an equipment package and account type
Starlink Residential w/ Portability
There are now two equipment packages when ordering a Residential account type.
One is the standard Rectangle Dishy that we have become familiar with over this past year, and one is the newer (released under Business account/equipment initially) HP (High-Performance) hardware.
The standard Dishy is smaller in size, weighs less, uses less power and is significantly cheaper at $599. This is the best choice for most mobile users, as the power requirement is much easier to deal with.
The HP Dishy is quite a bit larger, heavier, requires more power and costs quite a bit more at $2500. For actual Residential users, there is a much easier argument for the cost and power. So, why would a mobile user want this?
A Few Reasons You Would Want the HP Equipment Over the Standard:
- The HP Dish has a 140 degree field of view vs a 100 degree FOV for the standard. This will allow it to see more satellites, giving you better performance overall.
- It has an IP56 rating vs an IP54 rating on the standard Dishy, giving it protection from high pressure water jets from any direction, whereas the standard Dishy’s IP54 rating gives it protection from water spray from any direction. This would likely be something that would be more relevant for Starlink on boats.
- Better snow melt, if this is a concern (though would use a LOT of power if you are an RVer using it off-grid).
Residential Service Explained
UPDATE: AS OF FEBRUARY 2023, RESIDENTIAL ACCOUNTS ARE NO LONGER VIABLE FOR MOST MOBILE USERS, AS PORTABILITY IS NO LONGER AN OPTION
Residential service, when used at your home service address and not roaming out of your cell, will get priority service over accounts with Portability enabled (on Residential accounts) and RV accounts.
Since Portability is no longer an option, Residential account types can only be used at the service address listed on your account. You can change your address at any time if you are moving, going somewhere to a fixed address for the season, etc. Fair warning, once you change your address, you may lose the ability to change it back if that “cell” becomes full. This may be a concern for some with a residence, but also wants to travel or goes south for the winter.
As with Residential, there are now 2 equipment packages you can get when ordering Starlink RV. You now have the option of the standard Rectangle Dishy at $599 or the newer HP Flat-Mount Dishy at $2500.
The performance reasons are the same as explained above as to why to choose the HP over the standard equipment, but the flat mount option could be enticing for some mobile users. The Flat-Mount HP Dishy option is great if you want a “set it and forget it” Starlink setup. Once mounted and connected, you can leave it and never have to disassemble it for travel. Sounds great, right? Well, here’s a few reasons you may not want the Flat-Mount HP Dishy:
- You have to park much more strategically to avoid obstructions. This is probably the biggest reason you would want to avoid getting it…You can’t set it out on the stand to get around obstructions, which are the biggest connection killers for Starlink.
- Roof real estate. The HP Dishy is quite large at 22.7″x20.1″. If you have solar on your roof or a smaller RV/trailer, this could be a challenge to find a spot that it will fit and won’t be obstructed.
- Power consumption. Starlink states that the HP Dishy uses an average of 110-150w of power vs 50-75w for the standard Dishy. These estimates both seem a little high when looking at real world feedback, but figure about double the power consumption for the bigger, more powerful HP Dishy.
Starlink RV Service Explained
UPDATE: As of February 2023, Starlink RV had a price increase of $15, bringing it to $150/mo.
If you are an RVer, it seems like this is a no brainer, right?! I mean, they literally named it STARLINK RV!! Well, before you click “submit order”, take a look at the breakdown of it.
One of the biggest benefits of ordering Starlink RV service is that you don’t need to have an available service address. All they ask for is a shipping address since it is always roaming. You can submit your order and have your Starlink Kit in about a week from order date!!
That being said, Starlink RV will ALWAYS be deprioritized EVERYWHERE. There is no “home” address for these accounts, so there is no way for them to plan for your service needs in a specific cell.
With Starlink RV service, you can pause/unpause service altogether easily in your account without having to contact Starlink via a support ticket, making this process much more streamlined. This would be beneficial if you aren’t going to use the service for a month or more at a time (or use it seasonally, or are part time and aren’t using it as your primary home internet).
Residential No Longer Viable For Mobile Users
In February 2023, Starlink discontinued Portability in the U.S. This was hastily done, and account holders were not informed, nor given the opportunity to enable (or re-enable) it before it was taken away.
If you currently have Portability enabled, you are grandfathered in to having it…until you remove it. Once you remove it, the option to enable it again will not be there. Anyone (like myself) that didn’t have it turned on when they did away with it no longer has the option of enabling it going forward.
If you are looking to sign up for service, and need Starlink for RV/mobile use, you really have no choice but to sign up for an RV account. You will be paying $150/mo every month you don’t have your service paused, and will always be subject to deprioritization, no matter what.
Order Starlink Residential service here
Order Starlink RV service here
Is the Satellite Dish & Equipment the Same?
Currently, the dish and equipment for Residential and RV is exactly the same. There is absolutely no difference in the kit you order (except Business accounts, which we’re not discussing here). The standard Starlink kit comes with the Dish with a removable stand, a 75’ cable, a router and instructions.
Check out storage and mounting options for Starlink in my article here.
Time to Order Starlink!
Since the recent changes, ordering for specific needs has become a lot easier, since Residential accounts are no longer viable for most mobile users. Many of us will be forced into converting our Residential accounts to RV accounts so we can use it on the road.
Hopefully this has helped you make an informed decision on which account type to select from Starlink. They keep updating (changing) offerings, terms, etc. on their site. We are always looking to keep up, so check back for the latest information on Starlink!
If you have a question on what to order, we would love to hear. Drop a comment below!