SpaceX has designed its Starlink equipment as a plug-and-play device.
They don’t provide any professional installer service. Moreover, Starlink doesn’t have a PR team, and its customer service is very slow.
This article discusses six common problems related to Starlink equipment and possible fixes that will work for most users.
Starlink at Capacity
During the ordering process, if Starlink says that “Starlink is currently at capacity in your area,” it means Starlink has reached the maximum number of active users in your area, and SpaceX isn’t taking more subscribers.
In this scenario, you can do two things.
If you urgently need Starlink internet and have no other alternatives, you can order “Starlink for RV.” It has no waiting period and will ship immediately.
Moreover, it doesn’t cost extra. SpaceX charges the same for the equipment for residential and RV users. You can use the “Starlink for RV” at your home without any issue.
However, there are two drawbacks.
One, The monthly subscription fee is $25 higher than the residential Starlink subscription. For residential users, it’s $110 per month, but for RV users, it’s $135.
Two, RV Starlink speed is deprioritized over residential users. It means that you will get slower internet access.
Residential users typically get 50 Mbps to 150 Mpbs speed, but RV users get 5 Mbps to 50 Mbps download speed.
Moreover, during peak hours (5 PM to 10 PM), many RV users have reported that their speed doesn’t go above 7-8 Mbps. Therefore, you will pay more for a slower speed.
You can put in a deposit and place yourself on the waitlist. This way, as soon as Starlink is ready to take new subscribers to your area, they will notify you. For residential users, it’s better to wait to get the Starlink.
The residential package has an add-on package that allows roaming. It costs $25 and can be canceled anytime.
If you order the RV Starlink, you will get stuck with it. Your internet speed will be slow all the time. SpaceX will not allow you to change the subscription to “Residential Starlink.”.
Therefore, waiting until a spot opens up in your area is better.
Before installing your Starlink Dish, you need to know some crucial things to get optimal internet speed. This article describes 6 essential things about installing and maintaining Starlink for the best user experience.
Starlink Is Offline
If you are setting up the Starlink for the first time, wait 30 minutes after powering up everything. It takes about 30 minutes to install the latest dish firmware. Once it’s updated, it will look for satellites and establish a network connection.
Ensure the cable is firmly connected to the Dish and at the router. Sometimes the cable at the Starlink router doesn’t seat very well.
The Starlink dish comes with the cable connected. Check whether the cable is firmly connected to the Dish. Believe it or not, it can get loose.
Make sure the cable isn’t bent anywhere. It is very susceptible to bends. If there are some bends more than 1-inch, straighten those. Also, make sure that the cable isn’t damaged.
If the Starlink still says offline after doing all these and waiting for 30 minutes, power reset the entire system.
Sometimes, the Starlink dish auto-updates and fails to reboot correctly. In this case, the Dish needs a hard reboot.
Problems Due to Reboot Failure:
In the Starlink App, there’s a stow option which is typically used to stow the antenna for shipping. Using the option, stow your Starlink dish.
Turn off all the power, then turn back on the Dish. It will force a hard reboot which doesn’t typically happen when you “power cycle” the equipment. It will fix the issue most of the time.
If your app fails to connect to the Starlink, you can manually stow your Starlink dish by the following procedure:
- Keep the Starlink powered on.
- Remove the base.
- Now, place the Starlink dish face down. The flat surface should point down, and the base leg should be up.
- Wait a few minutes. The Starlink dish will automatically tilt into a stow position.
- Unplug the power cable.
Now, turn on the Starlink Dish again.
However, if still, your Starlink app shows you are offline, contact support immediately. Probably your Starlink dish or router is faulty. Ask and insist they replace your equipment. Don’t take no for an answer.
Many HOA will ask you to paint the Starlink Dish. In some areas, you must bury the cable to protect it from animal bites or lawn mowers. This article discusses 6 important things about the Starlink dish, router, and cable.
Starlink Keeps Disconnecting
If your Starlink internet keeps getting disconnected, it’s a significant issue. If your Starlink continuously searches for satellite signals after connecting to the network, there could be issues either on your side or from the SpaceX side.
First, go to your Starlink App -> Stats -> Outages. See what kind of messages there are.
Check for Obstruction:
Please check whether there are trees, hills, or other structures where you placed your Starlink dish. These obstructions will deteriorate the satellite signal. Thus you will receive intermittent signals, and your Starlink will keep disconnecting.
SpaceX’s satellites are constantly on the move. Starlink’s phased array antenna can rotate and change the direction of its signal beam without physically moving.
SpaceX is still short of satellites that are necessary for reliable internet.
The issue could be you don’t have enough satellites directly above your house. Sometimes those satellites are down near the horizon and moving fast.
If there are trees, poles, fences, or other structures, it will severely block Starlink signals, and your internet will keep disconnecting.
The only solution is to put your Starlink dish where you have a clear sky view without any obstruction.
If you received flawless internet before, but now your Starlink drops connection and keeps disconnecting, the probability is your Starlink Dish firmware has issues.
It frequently happens on the network.
Sometimes, the Starlink dish fails to update its firmware and gets stuck in an old software version. If it happens, wait for the next software update.
SpaceX also updates its satellite firmware weekly. Sometimes those also create problems.
Most of the time, these firmware issues get auto-fixed by SpaceX.
Starlink does have hardware issues. If your connection problem isn’t fixed within a few days, contact customer care through your app, report your situation, and ask them to replace your Starlink dish.
If you get replacement hardware, make sure that it’s not used.
Recently, Starlink has been shipping used and returned hardware. These used Starlink dishes usually cause issues because people returned these due to connection problems.
Starlink is a substantial investment. Sometimes, you no longer need the Starlink equipment for personal reasons and want to recoup some of the money. This article discusses 5 things about Starlink sales, transfer, service cancellation, and related problems when you move to another address.
Starlink is Slow
If your Starlink internet is slow, the problems could be either your equipment or SpaceX.
The Starlink router has two channels: 2.4GHz and 5 GHz.
The 2.4GHz channel travels farther but provides a very slow internet speed. The 5GHz channel provides faster internet but travels at a shorter distance. Connect all of your devices to the 5 GHz channel.
However, if there’s no problem on your side, then the problem is on the SpaceX side.
Over the last few years, hundreds of thousands of new users have started using Starlink. As a result, in most areas, it’s oversubscribed, and users are experiencing slow internet speed.
The internet significantly slows down during the peak hours (from 5 PM to 10 PM.)
Moreover, if the weather in your area is bad, Starlink’s internet will deteriorate. If the internet slows down due to weather, you must wait until the weather conditions improve.
Starlink doesn’t work in every weather condition. In this article, you learn how snow, rain, clouds, and storms affect Starlink internet.
Starlink Router blinking Red or White
If you got the circular Dish, the lights are in front of the router. The meanings of the lights are as follows —
No Light: If there’s no light, power is disconnected from the router. Check your cable whether it is properly connected.
Red Light: Starlink is not connected; there’s no internet.
Flashing White Light: Starlink dish is searching for satellites. The Dish will search for an internet connection for 30 minutes. If it fails, the light will turn from blinking white to solid red. The flashing white light also means your Starlink dish is updating its firmware.
Solid White Light: You have a good internet connection. Check the Starlink app if you want to know about service outages.
For the rectangular Starlink dish, the router lights are at the bottom.
No light: It means the router doesn’t have power. It’s offline.
Solid white light: It means the router has power. Unlike the first generation, you have to use the Starlink app to diagnose and check for your Starlink internet quality.
If you face issues on the router side, turn off everything and wait a few minutes.
Contact Starlink for replacement hardware if you still fail to get internet through the official router.
Why Does Starlink Lose Connection?
SpaceX has been building its satellite internet constellation since 2019. So far, they have launched thousands of satellites and still need tens of thousands of satellites for better and reliable internet. This project will not be completed until 2026.
HughesNet, Viasat, DISH, and other telecommunications companies use geostationary satellites. In contrast, Starlink is using Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites.
The benefit of LEO Starlink communication satellites is that they provide fast, low latency internet. However, one major drawback of these LEO satellites is that their life span is very short.
GEO satellites can last more than 15 years in orbit; in contrast, SpaceX’s satellites have a maximum of 5 years. Moreover, these satellites are small and have low bandwidth capacity.
These satellites are constantly moving, and the Starlink dish is tracking them. During the satellite handover phase, the Dish loses signal and internet connection. You will not notice if you are browsing the internet or watching videos on YouTube or Netflix. However, if you are on a video call, your call will get disconnected.
Many RVers are surprised that they are getting very slow internet access over Starlink. Starlink is not always the best internet for RVers. This article discusses the important reasons you should remember before ordering your Starlink for RVs.