Starlink vs. Cable: 4 Must-Know Facts
- It is anticipated that Starlink satellite internet will be the first satellite service to match or even outperform cable internet providers in terms of speed and accessibility.
- Starlink internet costs are probably comparable to some of the fastest unlimited cable internet options.
- Starlink internet can reach up to 1Gbps, while cable internet’s speeds are typically much slower.
- Starlink internet services consume more power. You’d have higher electricity bills by opting for Starlink over Cable.
Are you in search of a stable internet connection? If so, you may be contemplating which service is best for you to subscribe to. For fast internet service, Starlink and Cable internet can’t be overlooked. Even in the farthest corners of the planet, both internet service providers can provide reliable internet service at extremely high speeds.
Starlink was first made public in January 2015 when the SpaceX satellite development center in Redmond, Washington, opened. But, the introduction of Cable, which uses cable television lines rather than a phone connection to supposedly provide better internet speeds, came after ADSL broadband. The amount of bandwidth that a cable wire can carry is what determines how quickly the internet service can function.
Both internet service providers strongly emphasize providing fast and superb internet connections. Without further ado, let’s compare Starlink and Cable to help you make your decision.
Starlink vs. Cable: A Side-by-Side Comparison
|Power Consumption||More compared to cable||Negligible|
|Internet Speed||50 Mbps to 150 Mbps. |
For business users, 150 Mbps to 500 Mbps
|Typically 100 Mbps to 1 Gbps|
|Monthly Fee||Residential – $110|
Business – $500
|Starts at $50|
|Reliability||Less reliable than cable internet in every area||More reliable than satellite internet|
|Installation Limitation?||Needs a clear view of the sky||None|
|Installation Help From Provider?||No||Yes|
|Suitable for?||Rural and areas with low population density||City, urban areas|
Key Differences Between Starlink and Cable
Let’s get into the primary differences between Starlink and Cable.
Both service providers have competitive services and subscription packages. However, Starlink is ineffective when the weather is inclement.
Starlink uses satellites in low Earth orbit (LEO) for a faster internet connection. The incidence of bad weather conditions obstructs every satellite signal. Starlink and other satellite providers are impacted by this, so the connection is not always completely reliable.
Even while Starlink is less weather-dependent during periods of severe rain or snow, its internet speed will still decrease, and the quality of the service will deteriorate.
Fog, light snow, light rain, and clouds have no impact on Starlink’s service. However, when there are clouds with lightning storms and heavy rain, your internet connectivity will be significantly reduced. Furthermore, until the bad weather is over, the internet may be completely disconnected.
In contrast, cable internet usually isn’t affected by bad weather. No matter the weather, users will always have access to the same internet speed. Unless they cause power outages or damage to the internet cables, snow, rain, or lightning storms have no impact on the speed or quality of the connection Cable provides.
As a result, if you intend to utilize Starlink, keep in mind that poor weather can and will result in an unreliable internet connection. Internet via cable is therefore preferable in this case.
Evaluating the installation service of Starlink and Cable is very important if you want to know the best provider that suits your needs. Starlink does not have qualified installers. They provide you with a hardware kit that contains DIY plug-and-play gadgets. To access the internet, you must install it yourself.
Even though customers claim that setting up Starlink is simple, mounting the dish is sometimes tricky. Since clear skies are required for Starlink, you might need to put it on a pole or the rooftop. You must hire experts who will install the dish by scaling your roof. It is more expensive, and you have to hire the right person. You will not receive any installation assistance from Starlink.
However, cable companies will send a qualified technician to your home or business to install cable service. Additionally, there are no installation fees to be paid.
Cable internet is a better option if you’re concerned that you might require assistance installing Starlink and there’s no expert available in your neighborhood.
Cable offers better internet speeds than Starlink in the majority of locations, with a range between 100 Mbps and 1 Gbps.
Starlink also offers fast speeds ranging from 50 Mbps to 150 Mbps, but over the past few years, as more and more people joined the network, its speed has declined. Starlink users have reported experiencing internet speeds as low as 5 Mbps during peak hours (5 PM to 10 PM)
With the Starlink corporate subscription, you may get speeds of up to 500 Mbps. As a residential subscriber, your speed will never increase over 150 Mbps.
Starlink has higher monthly fees, costing $110 per month. For comparison, high-speed cable internet subscriptions typically cost $50 per month.
Starlink uses more energy than Cable as a result of the power consumption needs of the router, modem, and satellite dishes. Your monthly internet price will surely go up due to the electrical bill.
The most recent rectangular Starlink dish typically uses 50W of power. The power consumption can increase to 90W during cold and snowy days, though, as the dish will likely employ its snow melt capability to heat the antenna and melt the snow.
Cable is preferable in this situation because of its low monthly subscription rate, which can be as little as $50.
Generally, the most significant benefit of satellite internet is that it can be accessed from almost anywhere, making it the only option for internet access in some rural and distant areas. With 30,000 satellites, Starlink is the largest and most accessible internet network ever created.
Even though cable internet service is among the easiest to access due to its existing state, some regions do not allow cable installation.
So, for this reason, Starlink is much more available and accessible, regardless of where you lie–urban or rural areas, alike.
Starlink vs. Cable: Overview
Let’s wrap up the comparison with an overview of the two internet service providers.
Despite being a satellite internet service, Starlink internet is not similar to any other satellite internet you’ve ever used. Low-Earth orbit (LEO), at 300 miles above the planet’s surface, is where Starlink’s constellation satellite network is situated. This is thousands of miles closer than ordinary satellites, which orbit about 22,000 miles above Earth.
The internet network from Starlink is believed to be the most extensive satellite network ever constructed. Up to 30,000 LEO satellites were launched by SpaceX as part of their Starlink network. Currently, there are a total of about 2,000 satellites orbiting the globe.
Due to its wide accessibility and quick connectivity, cable internet is one of the most used ISP types today. The signal is transmitted via copper wires that are only used for internet frequencies, but it uses the same coaxial cables that deliver cable TV service. By doing this, your internet service provider can provide internet access to your home without interfering with the signal from your television.
Data travels swiftly from the servers of your ISP to your computer, thanks to the electrical current that travels along those lines. Furthermore, unlike its competitors, cable networks are widely used nationwide, making them an accessible and reasonably priced alternative for most customers.
Starlink vs Cable: Which One is Best for You?
Both ISPs offer dependable high-speed internet. Cable is more cost-effective and versatile in pricing, but Starlink is accessible everywhere, even in the most remote locations.
Ultimately, the decision of which is better for you will depend on your specific needs, so be sure to analyze exactly what you’re looking for in an internet service provider and use that to make the right choice for you.
Interested in similar articles? Click on the links below:
- Starlink Business vs. Residential: How Do They Compare? They promise high speeds, ease of installation, and low latency. Discover the key differences which distinguish them and which one is the better option for you.
- Top 12 Internet Providers in California: What internet providers in the Golden State can guarantee the fastest speeds, low latency, and lenient contract terms? Find out here.
- Top 10 Internet Providers in Arizona: What are the very best internet providers to be found in the Grand Canyon State? Discover them all here.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Blue Planet Studio/Shutterstock.com.