The Starlink Router is an ideal solution for wireless connectivity for Starlink users. While ethernet adapters have existed for existing Starlink customers for some time. The official Starlink router provides a good deal of features that most consumer routers don’t seem to accommodate, however. Providing enough coverage for a single-family home, it is an easily expanded system that can integrate mesh nodes to provide more excellent coverage for optimal network output. Conversely, for those on the Starlink service, it’s a heavily recommended product, albeit one with a slightly steeper cost than standard routers.
It does have feature parity with a good deal of consumer routers on the market, supporting the same suite of wireless standards and hardwired connectivity as many others. It excels in its tidier integration with the service itself.
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Starlink Router Overview
Release Date and Price
The Starlink Router launched officially in June of 2022. Additionally, the Starlink Router acts both as a wireless router and a mesh node for greater coverage over larger homes. The standalone router retails for $130 on Starlink’s official shop, which seems to be the best option for obtaining it. Very few third-party vendors, except Amazon, are selling it on their own and the markup makes it less cost-effective overall compared to going through the official site.
Starlink does offer bundled deals, with options like additional mesh nodes and satellite receivers available.
Different Models and Variants
This is the only router officially provided by Starlink. Previously, a different model shipped with the internet kit, but current users report Starlink kits now ship with an ethernet adapter for using their own purchased routers. There are additional kits for a higher cost on Starlink that include the focus of this article, but the previous router and the rounder satellite Starlink dish have since been discontinued.
The Starlink router covers 2,000 square feet, which can be further extended through the purchase and installation of Starlink mesh nodes. It’s a dual-band 3 x 3 MIMO router, or multi-in multi-out. This can be beneficial for reducing network congestion. The router supports the latest wireless standards, with compatibility with 802.11n and 802.11ac wireless standards. When using a device with an older network interface, further this also ensures compatibility with older wireless protocols like 802.11b and 802.11g.
The security protocol supported is WPA2, a standard across most routers. WPA2 uses nearly impossible encryption to keep data in motion safe. It has operational temperatures ranging from -22°F to 122°F.
|Wi-Fi Technology||IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac|
|Radio||Dual Band – 3 x 3 MIMO|
|Operational range||185 square meters or 2000 square feet|
|Mesh Compatibility||Supports up to 12 Starlink Mesh nodes|
|Ethernet adapter||Can be purchased in the Starlink shop|
Starlink Router Review
Overall, the performance of the Starlink router is great. Wireless coverage is good, its reach was ideal for single-family homes during the course of testing. It performed efficiently while under heavy network loads. The router performed well while streaming shows, listening to music, and playing games. Speed was stable, wirelessly during testing showed a steady 95-100 Mbps download with a further 5mbps up depending on the time of day.
It being a unique and proprietary system is where some shortcomings are found. While setting up the Starlink router was easy, there are of course other solutions for home routers with easy setups and more documentation and support. Third-party routers benefit from continued support and documentation, it remains to be seen if Starlink will do the same going forward.
For many home mesh systems, there is a package deal to integrate them into the household. Starlink doesn’t benefit from that, with the router and mesh nodes being separate purchases on top of the satellite receiver. Three mesh nodes are the absolute limit for accounts.
If you’re in a rural area or an area with poor network coverage, having this with the included kit is a great deal. The Starlink documentation for installation is for the satellite receiver and this router. If you’re more tech-savvy or are wanting to cut some corners, this isn’t for you.
For less tech-adept people, this presents great value, as it is everything you need to set up and enjoy your Starlink internet service. People who aren’t afraid to piece together their home network could look at other options. Someone with any degree of tech experience could get by with a cheaper router and mesh system.
For its price range, it is a solid and dependable piece of hardware. The router has modern features and supports streaming, gaming, and much more.
One of the most touted features of this router is its ability to use Starlink mesh nodes. Mesh nodes serve multiple functions. With a mesh-enabled network, it amplifies the ability to share bandwidth, extend coverage, and ensure optimal network functionality. Mesh networks have existed as part of the business world for some years, and as of the last few years, they have made strides in entering the home. Starlink’s integration with this is seamless, provided you have the additional mesh nodes for installation.
Home network setups can get pretty congested at times with streaming shows, podcasts, games, or other media for multiple users. The Starlink router made this an easy setup, installation was painless with the included documentation.
If you’re seeking an easy introduction to mesh networks, this is a great option. With this all in mind, be aware there are other third-party options that might bring down the cost.
Starlink Router Pros and Cons
- Easy to set up
- Can be packaged as part of an internet kit
- Integrates with Starlink mesh networking
- More expensive than alternatives
- Only available through select retailers and Starlink shop
- Only works with Starlink devices
Buy It If…
You’re looking for a hassle-free router and mesh system for your Starlink internet service. The Starlink router presents great value, provides information security, and is easy to set up. So on one hand, not everyone is a tech guru, having something just work has value all of its own.
Don’t Buy It If…
If you’re technically minded and don’t mind the extra setup, this isn’t a great choice. External ethernet adapters are sold directly by Starlink for third-party routers. Honestly, it is extra work but results could be more flexible depending on personal needs.
On the other hand, this also presents a poor value if mesh networking isn’t necessary. Not every home is going to be suited for such options.
Anyone designing their home network should be mindful of hardware selection. While the Starlink router is capable, it certainly depends on network needs. In view of this, it might prove unnecessary or too expensive compared to other devices.