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  • Writer's pictureCzechAusOut

Is the Starlink RV worth it??

Updated: Mar 7, 2023

In this post we share our experiences with the Starlink RV portable satellite internet setup which we have been using for a numer of weeks now and tested in remote areas.


We will discuss:


We also did a video review that covers all of the above that you can watch here:




What is it?

Starlink is a satellite internet constellation by SpaceX and provides satellite internet access to something like 46 countries - and. Australia is one of those countries which has 100% effective coverage according to them.


What comes in the box?

In the box you get:

  • A modem

  • The dish

  • The dish legs or base

  • A power cable that goes from 240v power into the modem

  • A long cable that goes from the modem to the dish


Setup

To set up the Starlink, you need to:

  • First register your account via their app

  • Plug in the modem and connect the dish to the modem

  • Place the dish where you have a clear line of sight to the sky - the less obstructions around, the better

  • You then connect your phone to the Starlink wifi (which we named Indy)

  • Initially, you will need to go through some setup and calibration - set passwords etc.

  • Then you just let the Starlink do it’s thing. In 5-10 mins you will have satellite internet!


Cost

There are two costs associated with Starlink, the initial hardware cost and then the ongoing

data or service costs.


The hardware at the time of thi article is priced on their site at $924, however they have a

promotion with hardware discounted to $450 which is what we paid.


Then for the RV, portable version it costs $174 per month for unlimited data - we also managed to get a promotion with 2 months free.


Cons


Set up Because you can’t use this version on the move, you need to set up and pack up each time you get to a new location - this can be annoying if you move around a lot to multiple sites a day and have to wait for it to boot up. This also means you can’t use it whilst driving. Now we do know of some companies that are producing permanent mounts for these versions, so it is possible, but we can’t comment on the effectiveness of those solutions.


Storage

As this until is rather big compared to mobile internet options, you need to consider storage. For us with a bus that was already finished, we hadn’t planned a space for this unit, however we have made it work, though it’s not ideal.


Cable management

Because the unit needs to be plugged in and setup outside, cable management can become an issue. Some people run the cable out windows and doors, or skylights, but then

you have a window or door ajar if it’s raining or gaps for mozzies and bugs to get in at night.


Luckily for us, we managed to come up with a cable management system using an extra water inlet hole so we can run the cable outside without needing to open a window or door and the cable is also hidden and stored out of the way.


Obstructions

Something you have to consider but is easy to solve. You just need to be careful not to set up the unit under big trees or structures that might block the signal. So just be careful where you park, or use the cable length to set up the unit in clear space. This can be tricky in caravan parks where you often can't pick your location.


Pros


Coverage

We have been super impressed with the coverage. We have got signal in some pretty remote locations where Telstra and others have SOS. We have been on Kangaroo Island for example and have had no coverage issues in any spots.


Speed

Again, the speed is super impressive. I dont think we have had a connection with speeds under 120mbps, in fact we constantly get speeds over 170mbps


Unlimited data

You don’t need to worry about hitting your data limit, ever. We often chewed through our monthly data allowance on our old system half way through the month. Not anymore!


App

We find the app really user friendly and you can get all the stats you need from speed, uptime and downtime, obstructions, range and more.


It is important to note that this review is based on our personal experiences for our individual lifestyle - 2 people living in their motorhome and working part time online jobs. One thing we forgot to mention in the video is that Starlink offer a 30 day trial where you can return the product for a refund if it doesnt suit your lifestyle.


Summary

So, after all that, do we think it is worth the additional cost, size and setup? For us, do the pros outweigh the cons?


Well for our individual needs as two people who still work online part time, we believe the pros do outweigh the cons. For us, reliable and fast internet is crucial for our lifestyle and not needing to worry about finding a spot with phone coverage or a cafe or something with free wifi gives us the ultimate freedom of choice on our working days.


It has been a big improvement from our old system which gave us often patchy service, or needing us to use our phones as hotspots instead and we would often hit our data limit halfway through the month. The increase in speed is also very noticeable on our work video calls, accessing remote desktops and also in our downtime when streaming or editing and uploading content.


So for us, because we did manage to find a cable management and storage solution that works for us, and because of our individual internet needs, this upgrade has been well worth the investment and we feel the pros well outweigh the cons.


We would love to hear your thoughts and if you have any questions, post them below.

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