A couple of years ago, people paid deposits to join a massive waiting list to get Starlink equipment. However, the times have changed, and now it’s much easier to acquire.
While it was once only available online, you may be able to grab it on your next trip to the store. Several users have posted pictures of it for sale at stores near them.
Today, we’re diving into the Starlink kits on Costco’s shelves. Are they worth it?
Let’s look and see!
Starlink is a satellite internet company created by Elon Musk and his company SpaceX. Since 2019, SpaceX has been launching low-Earth orbiting satellites into space to create the Starlink constellation.
What started as 60 satellites is now over 5,000. However, the hope is to expand it to at least 12,000, with the potential for upwards of 42,000.
Because of the massive satellite infrastructure, Starlink provides internet in underserved and remote areas. Individuals without access to high-speed or reliable internet can now stay connected like never before.
While it was previously in a beta program in 2022, it’s now fully operational for users.
In mid-December 2023, Sawyer Merritt posted on X that Costco was now selling Starlink kits. Shortly after, posts began going viral, from users posting pictures of stands at their local stores to Reddit and other online platforms.
The posts generated tremendous buzz as customers got excited about snagging the equipment.
However, in researching for this article, we discovered that Costco isn’t the only store selling Starlink kits.
Now that Starlink is out and users are putting it to the test, we can truly see its benefits. Here are some of the things that customers love most about it.
Near Global Coverage
Starlink’s massive infrastructure provides internet access to just about anywhere on Earth. This is especially useful for remote or rural areas where fiber optics and other high-speed internet options aren’t available.
Being able to transcend geographic complications makes Starlink the Internet of the Future. It allows individuals and entire communities to access the same internet as those in urban areas.
While some sites may experience intermittent issues, these will hopefully get resolved with future iterations and advancements.
One of the most significant advantages of Starlink is its low latency, which is the delay between sending and receiving data. This is critical for those who use their connection for online gaming, video conferencing, and other real-time applications.
Overall, it creates a smoother experience for the user. They no longer worry about “buffering” or “glitching” when watching videos or playing games online.
Users are able to enjoy seamless communication and entertainment from just about anywhere.
A quality internet connection needs not only low latency but also high speeds. Another benefit of Starlink using low-Earth orbiting satellites is the increased reliability and speed of data transfers.
While speeds can vary based on several factors, it’s not uncommon for users to receive speeds equal to standard residential internet connections.
Whether downloading files for work, school, or leisure, having a speedy internet connection is essential. Thankfully, these will likely only improve as the company expands its coverage.
Ease of Installation
While previous satellite internet providers required professional installation, most users can install the equipment themselves.
Whether you’re permanently mounting the hardware or setting it in a temporary location, the dish can align itself automatically to the satellite constellation.
If you’re mounting it permanently, running the cabling and sealing any holes you might make is the hardest part. Once you get everything in place, the Starlink app on your smartphone can walk you through the entire process to set it up.
Many users discover that the dish will make minor adjustments to best position itself to the constellation. This helps ensure you get the best possible connection and experience while using the service.
Mobility and Portability
Starlink is incredibly popular with the nomadic community because of its mobility and portability. All you need is a clear view of the sky for the dish to connect to the orbiting constellation.
While it does require a power source, it makes it easier for remote locations and mobile operations to have a reliable and high-speed internet connection.
What’s even more incredible is that the service doesn’t require the user to be on land. Some versions of the service are compatible with marine applications.
This enables boats and ships to use the service at sea or on large lakes. Several of the largest cruise lines in the industry have partnerships with Starlink to provide passengers with internet.
While Starlink may sound like the ultimate solution for the internet, it has some disadvantages. Let’s look at a couple of the things that customers don’t love about the service.
One of the biggest hurdles that customers have to conquer is the price. Unlike many other internet providers, Starlink currently requires users to purchase their equipment.
Currently, the equipment costs approximately $600. This cost is not worth the initial investment for many, especially if other options are available.
Additionally, the monthly service fee for Starlink is costly. Many residential customers typically spend $50 to $75 monthly for high-speed internet.
However, Starlink’s service currently ranges from $120 to $250 per month. They’ve also increased rates multiple times over the last couple of years.
Requires Clear View of Sky
Another major disadvantage of Starlink is that it, like most satellites, requires a clear view of the sky. If you place it in an open area without trees, this likely won’t be a problem.
However, many nomads discover that some campgrounds or areas have many trees, making it nearly impossible to get a stable connection.
This is one reason why many nomads have difficulty getting rid of their cellular internet providers. These sources don’t require a clear view of the sky, and their more extensive networks make it easy to stay connected in many campgrounds.
Be sure to read 5 Reasons to Avoid Starlink Internet before making your final decision to purchase one.
Starlink can be a fantastic option for many people, especially if you live or spend a lot of time in remote and rural locations. For nomads who work or go to school remotely, it’s hard to beat.
However, don’t overlook the weaknesses; it may not always be your best option. While it works most of the time, having a backup is always good.
Have you bought Starlink Internet? Was it worth it?
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