Starlink vs. 5G: Which is Better?

5G telecommunications tower cell phone

Starlink vs. 5G: Which is Better?

Key Points:
  • Those who are customers of bundled services that include television and internet often pay less per service when subscribed to both.
  • 5G is a network technology that provides ultra-high-speed, localized internet connectivity through a dense network of small cell towers.
  • Starlink can travel long distances and connect even the most remote areas on Earth. A small disk-shaped receiver is required to communicate with the satellite.

Are you considering changing your internet provider? If so, you’re likely trying to decide between a Starlink and 5G network. Both offer a wide range of features and benefits, but there are some key differences to consider before deciding.

Companies are competing to be the best option as people in the modern world demand reliable, fast, and strong internet service. Currently, there are two major providers in the race who are at odds with one another and appear unable to share the market.

5G is a network technology that provides ultra-high-speed, localized internet connectivity through a dense network of small cell towers. Meanwhile, Starlink can travel long distances and connect even the most remote areas on Earth. A tiny disk-shaped receiver the size of a pizza is required to communicate with the satellite. Using a LAN cable, a wireless connection, or both is possible. 

This article compares Starlink and 5G internet so you can figure out which one may be best for you. Despite the fact that there is no parallel between the two, we will nevertheless cover some important information you should be aware of to make an informed decision.

What is it?The Starlink satellite network’s purpose is to give global internet connectivity. This strategy is especially beneficial in areas where internet access is intermittent or nonexistent, such as more rural and remote areas.5G is the fifth-generation technology standard for broadband cellular networks in telecommunications, which cellular phone providers began implementing globally in 2019. 5G networks are anticipated to be the successors of 4G networks, which now connect the vast majority of mobile devices.
DeveloperSpace X3GPP
Release DateMay 23, 2019April 3, 2019
PriceStarlink RV $135(monthly fee), Equipment $599
Starlink Business $500(monthly fee), Equipment $2500
Verizon 5G Home $50 (monthly fee), Download Speed 85-300 Mbps
Verizon 5G Home Plus $70 (monthly fee), Download Speed 300-1000 Mbps
  • The data rates for 5G can be higher than 4G, with peak data rates of up to 20 Gbps and average data rates of 100 Mbps or more. 5G can handle more data and has lower latency than 4G. With 5G, we expect to see a one-hundred-fold traffic capacity improvement and network increase.
  • AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, and Verizon — the big four U.S. mobile network providers — have all launched mobile 5G services in select U.S. cities. By July, Sprint made mobile 5G available in select areas of Dallas-Fort Worth, Atlanta, Houston, Kansas City, Chicago, and Missouri.
  • Starlink satellites use laser technology to communicate with one another, making them unique among satellites. Because the speed of light is 186,282 miles per second, lasers allow for very fast communication, which is thought to be superior to slower methods.

What are the key differences between Starlink and 5G? From their internet service providers to speed and latency to pricing, here’s what sets these two competitors apart.

The Mode of Providing Internet

SpaceX builds its internet with satellites. As of March 9, 2022, SpaceX’s Falcon 9 had launched 48 satellites. In total, 2234 satellites are in orbit. Because there are always satellites in space capable of sending or receiving signals, no obstacles such as the Earth’s atmosphere or rotation can disrupt wireless connections. To transmit clear signals, an adequate number of satellites is required; Elon Musk has set a goal of 20,000 satellites to achieve this. 

5G uses radiowaves to deliver internet and supports a wide range of frequencies (in the high, mid, and low bands). High-band spectrums are extremely high-frequency millimeter waves that quickly and efficiently convey large volumes of data in a short period. Low-band spectrum broadcasts over larger distances, albeit at the sacrifice of speed and data. The mid-band spectrum band can travel across a moderate distance at a moderate speed. This implies it may strike a balance between capacity and coverage.

Telecommunication connections above smart city. Futuristic cityscape concept for internet of things (IoT), fintech, blockchain, 5G LTE network, wifi hotspot access, cyber security, digital technology
5G uses radiowaves to connect your devices to the internet, unlike Starlink, which uses satellites.

Speed and Latency

SpaceX launched satellites into low Earth orbit (LEO), the most cost-effective choice for satellite deployment. LEO satellites have the shortest latency, ranging between 20 and 35 milliseconds. Also, Starlink provides its users with download speeds of 100 to 200 Mbps, making it ideal for online gaming, video calls, and content streaming.

5G typically has a peak speed of 10 Gbps and a latency of 1ms. Consider how much faster 5G is than 4G: downloading a two-hour movie with 5G takes less than a minute but takes closer to seven minutes with 4G. Because of its effectiveness, 5G can be used in various cutting-edge applications, such as vehicle automation, smart manufacturing, AR or VR realization, IoT connections, and live-streamed video games.

Watch Elon discuss space-based internet
Starlink is exceptionally fast, with download speeds of 100 to 200 Mbps.


Starlink’s satellite launches and development are not cheap. Connecting to the internet is straightforward using the Starlink Kit, which includes a Wi-Fi router, a base, and some wires, as well as the Starlink App. While the Starlink service is convenient, it is expensive, costing $599 to $2,500 for the equipment and a monthly subscription of $110-500. 5G is undoubtedly less expensive.

Since there are so many 5G carriers in the United States, we’ll use Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T as examples. None of the aforementioned service providers charge more than $100 per line on a monthly basis. Furthermore, some programs provide freebies, such as Netflix 4K UHD streaming, Disney+, HBO Max 35+ live TV channels, and so on.

There’s no doubt that both Starlink and 5G have advantages and disadvantages, so it all depends on your requirements.

If you want quick speeds with low latency, 5G is the way to go. However, if you need more widespread coverage, especially in rural regions, then Starlink may be a better alternative. Here are some of each provider’s important benefits and drawbacks.

Pros of StarlinkCons of Starlink
Fast internetSlow internet in cities
Easy to installNo hardware installation service
Available everywhereNot portable
Faster disaster recoveryService disruption during lousy weather
Pros of 5GCons of 5G
Fast speedsLimited global coverage
Low latencyDecreased broadcast distance
Increased capacityUpload speeds
More bandwidthWeakened device batteries
Powering innovationCyber security

For now, there is no incentive for someone with access to cable or fiber-based high-speed internet to consider either of these options.

For the most part, you are undoubtedly presently paying less for your current, superior connection. Those who are customers of bundled services that include television and internet often pay less per service when subscribed to both. Additionally, people who only have internet access through a mobile data plan often pay more per month than home users.

You have a few options if you reside in an area where faster-wired broadband connections are unavailable. If you’re looking for an affordable option and don’t play games, work from home, or video conference, T-Mobile or Verizon’s 5G home internet service is a better value. It would be best if you choose whatever has the strongest signal near you.

If you need more from the internet, Starlink is the way to go. Except for a few drops, Starlink’s performance is generally satisfactory. Give your dish a clean view of the sky if you want it to perform properly and stay in place. More satellites being launched over the next few years should improve Starlink’s stability.

Up Next…

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is Starlink so much better?

Starlink is more expensive than Viasat and HughesNet, especially when you consider the cost of the necessary equipment expenses. Still, it delivers more data and faster internet speeds for the same monthly fee.



Does Starlink have a future?

Even without a full constellation, the Starlink connection is fairly reliable, and they expect to be able to give 10Gps rates in the coming years. This is a significant improvement over the average web download time. In other words, Starlink’s speed may increase in the future.

Is Starlink faster than Wi-Fi?

The latency of fiber internet is roughly 17ms, which is slightly faster than the latency of cable internet, which is around 20 to 30 milliseconds (ms). Fiber currently has lower latency than Starlink. On the other hand, Starlink’s latency is anticipated to be less than 20 ms in the not-too-distant future and less than 10 ms in the long term.



Does Starlink have 5Ghz?

To change Starlink’s settings, go to the bottom of the app and click the Settings icon. The Split 2.4/5Ghz Networks option may be found here.

How many devices can I connect to Starlink?

Starlink can connect an infinite number of devices. Your only limitation is the capacity of your equipment. The Starlink application claims that 128 devices can be connected to the Starlink router simultaneously.

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