Topics

Starlink Satellite Internet Beta Testing Results #satellites #QST


Alan - W6WN
 

I've had a Starlink Beta system now for a little over a month. Here are some results:

  1. Set Up - The system comes virtually Plug and Play. You snap on the pre-assembled, motorized dish to the included tripod stand and place it where it has a decent view of the Northern sky. The 100' of cable is pre-attached to the dish. The heavy-duty cable terminates in a rugged CAT-6 connector, which plugs into a POE power brick. An included WiFi router then plugs into a second network port on the brick. I set the dish and stand on the corner of the roof, threw the cable over the the back side of the house and ran it through the window. The unit automatically self-configured and the motorized antenna pointed itself to get optimum reception. About 30 minutes total from unboxing to Internet.  
  2. Speeds - Not all the time, but I've hit download speeds as high as 150 Mbps and as low as 40 Mbps. Lately, I've been consistently getting 100 Mbps downloads. Other Beta Users have been reporting download  speeds over 400 Mbps but this may be based on locations further north where there is apparently better, denser coverage. Of course, not many Users yet but also not many satellites (they've launched about 1,000 500-pound satellites so far, with 60 launched just a couple of weeks ago). Speeds may vary throughout the day, perhaps due to the number of satellites overhead.
  3. Latency - This has been the Achilles Heel of conventional satellite Internet systems. With latency ranging between 20 ~ 100 ms, Starlink should be able to support VPNs and online gaming. 
  4. WiFi Calling Works - I could not tell the difference between making a WiFi call over the Starlink system. In fact, the WiFi calls were clearer with less distortion than our weak Verizon connection usually has here. However, the WiFi calls did occasionally drop in the middle of a call.
  5. Streaming Video - Runs well on our 65" One or two brief hiccups.
  6. Connectivity - You can use the supplied WiFi router, or you can connect your own router or wired switch. The Starlink router WiFi supports 802.11b, 8.2.11a/g, 802.11n, and 802.11ac – with 802.11ac standards and can provide data transfer rates up to 866 Mbps.
  7. Stability - The system does drop out every so often. Again this is probably an issue with the current satellite density overhead.
  8. Mobility - Apparently, you can't move the system more than about 20 miles from where the system is registered. There are thousands of "cells" and each system is married to a particular cell, based on it's registered address. I haven't tried moving the system more than about 100 yards so far but I hope to test this further. There is talk that SpaceX is planning on making these systems mobile but that they can't support that currently.
  9. Cost - At $588 upfront for the gear, and $100/mo. for the service, it's not the cheapest alternative in more populated areas. Worth it, though, especially if you're beyond the reach of Wireless or Cable. Also, it's a month by month contract (at least, the Beta system is).
The system is getting a really good work out this week. On Sunday morning, our PG&E transformer blew, frying the network cable running to my sister's house and severing our connection to her Comcast modem. 

Two speed tests attached, one from Feb 21 and one from a few minutes ago.


Dennis - WU6X
 

Great report, very thorough ... thanks, Alan.
Dennis- WU6X


Mark - W2MWK
 

Good to hear, I’ve payed my money and am waiting delivery. After a little research I see that deliveries have been taking 2-3 weeks once your payment has been processed. 

What kind of delivery time did you see?

Mark - W2MWK

On Mar 27, 2021, at 9:47 PM, Alan - W6WN <Alan.W6WN@...> wrote:

I've had a Starlink Beta system now for a little over a month. Here are some results:

  1. Set Up - The system comes virtually Plug and Play. You snap on the pre-assembled, motorized dish to the included tripod stand and place it where it has a decent view of the Northern sky. The 100' of cable is pre-attached to the dish. The heavy-duty cable terminates in a rugged CAT-6 connector, which plugs into a POE power brick. An included WiFi router then plugs into a second network port on the brick. I set the dish and stand on the corner of the roof, threw the cable over the the back side of the house and ran it through the window. The unit automatically self-configured and the motorized antenna pointed itself to get optimum reception. About 30 minutes total from unboxing to Internet.  
  2. Speeds - Not all the time, but I've hit download speeds as high as 150 Mbps and as low as 40 Mbps. Lately, I've been consistently getting 100 Mbps downloads. Other Beta Users have been reporting download  speeds over 400 Mbps but this may be based on locations further north where there is apparently better, denser coverage. Of course, not many Users yet but also not many satellites (they've launched about 1,000 500-pound satellites so far, with 60 launched just a couple of weeks ago). Speeds may vary throughout the day, perhaps due to the number of satellites overhead.
  3. Latency - This has been the Achilles Heel of conventional satellite Internet systems. With latency ranging between 20 ~ 100 ms, Starlink should be able to support VPNs and online gaming. 
  4. WiFi Calling Works - I could not tell the difference between making a WiFi call over the Starlink system. In fact, the WiFi calls were clearer with less distortion than our weak Verizon connection usually has here. However, the WiFi calls did occasionally drop in the middle of a call.
  5. Streaming Video - Runs well on our 65" One or two brief hiccups.
  6. Connectivity - You can use the supplied WiFi router, or you can connect your own router or wired switch. The Starlink router WiFi supports 802.11b, 8.2.11a/g, 802.11n, and 802.11ac – with 802.11ac standards and can provide data transfer rates up to 866 Mbps.
  7. Stability - The system does drop out every so often. Again this is probably an issue with the current satellite density overhead.
  8. Mobility - Apparently, you can't move the system more than about 20 miles from where the system is registered. There are thousands of "cells" and each system is married to a particular cell, based on it's registered address. I haven't tried moving the system more than about 100 yards so far but I hope to test this further. There is talk that SpaceX is planning on making these systems mobile but that they can't support that currently.
  9. Cost - At $588 upfront for the gear, and $100/mo. for the service, it's not the cheapest alternative in more populated areas. Worth it, though, especially if you're beyond the reach of Wireless or Cable. Also, it's a month by month contract (at least, the Beta system is).
The system is getting a really good work out this week. On Sunday morning, our PG&E transformer blew, frying the network cable running to my sister's house and severing our connection to her Comcast modem. 

Two speed tests attached, one from Feb 21 and one from a few minutes ago.
<Screenshot_20210327-204334_Chrome.jpg>
<2021-02-21-SpeedTest.jpg>


Alan - W6WN
 

I placed my order on Feb. 8 and it was delivered February 21st.

Update: I had the system disconnected last week while I worked on other projects. Apparently, I had missed a major system update that other Beta Users had been talking about. Looks like the update may have downloaded last night.


Brian - AI6US
 

Thanks Alan!

I am interested in how port reliant applications will be supported on Starlink. I am going to really research this, while I only have a $99 refundable deposit. :)

The Flex Radio forums are discussing that the Starlink double NAT does not work with the Flex SmartLink unless VPN is used. May need to wait for IPv6.

Best Regards! 
Brian Gohl - AI6US 
(916) 770-7751 cell


-------- Original message --------
From: Alan - W6WN <Alan.W6WN@...>
Date: 3/27/21 9:47 PM (GMT-08:00)
To: sfarc@w6ek.groups.io
Subject: [from W6EK Groups.io] Starlink Satellite Internet Beta Testing Results

I've had a Starlink Beta system now for a little over a month. Here are some results:

  1. Set Up - The system comes virtually Plug and Play. You snap on the pre-assembled, motorized dish to the included tripod stand and place it where it has a decent view of the Northern sky. The 100' of cable is pre-attached to the dish. The heavy-duty cable terminates in a rugged CAT-6 connector, which plugs into a POE power brick. An included WiFi router then plugs into a second network port on the brick. I set the dish and stand on the corner of the roof, threw the cable over the the back side of the house and ran it through the window. The unit automatically self-configured and the motorized antenna pointed itself to get optimum reception. About 30 minutes total from unboxing to Internet.  
  2. Speeds - Not all the time, but I've hit download speeds as high as 150 Mbps and as low as 40 Mbps. Lately, I've been consistently getting 100 Mbps downloads. Other Beta Users have been reporting download  speeds over 400 Mbps but this may be based on locations further north where there is apparently better, denser coverage. Of course, not many Users yet but also not many satellites (they've launched about 1,000 500-pound satellites so far, with 60 launched just a couple of weeks ago). Speeds may vary throughout the day, perhaps due to the number of satellites overhead.
  3. Latency - This has been the Achilles Heel of conventional satellite Internet systems. With latency ranging between 20 ~ 100 ms, Starlink should be able to support VPNs and online gaming. 
  4. WiFi Calling Works - I could not tell the difference between making a WiFi call over the Starlink system. In fact, the WiFi calls were clearer with less distortion than our weak Verizon connection usually has here. However, the WiFi calls did occasionally drop in the middle of a call.
  5. Streaming Video - Runs well on our 65" One or two brief hiccups.
  6. Connectivity - You can use the supplied WiFi router, or you can connect your own router or wired switch. The Starlink router WiFi supports 802.11b, 8.2.11a/g, 802.11n, and 802.11ac – with 802.11ac standards and can provide data transfer rates up to 866 Mbps.
  7. Stability - The system does drop out every so often. Again this is probably an issue with the current satellite density overhead.
  8. Mobility - Apparently, you can't move the system more than about 20 miles from where the system is registered. There are thousands of "cells" and each system is married to a particular cell, based on it's registered address. I haven't tried moving the system more than about 100 yards so far but I hope to test this further. There is talk that SpaceX is planning on making these systems mobile but that they can't support that currently.
  9. Cost - At $588 upfront for the gear, and $100/mo. for the service, it's not the cheapest alternative in more populated areas. Worth it, though, especially if you're beyond the reach of Wireless or Cable. Also, it's a month by month contract (at least, the Beta system is).
The system is getting a really good work out this week. On Sunday morning, our PG&E transformer blew, frying the network cable running to my sister's house and severing our connection to her Comcast modem. 

Two speed tests attached, one from Feb 21 and one from a few minutes ago.
--
Brian- AI6US


Mark - W2MWK
 

Brian,

It might be a feather of the router Starlink uses. You are not limited to using their router. Their YouTube videos talking about alternate routers and the settings you need to set to get full functionality. Not sure if that would work for your issue.

Mark - W2MWK 

On Mar 28, 2021, at 1:24 PM, Brian - AI6US <ai6us@...> wrote:


Thanks Alan!

I am interested in how port reliant applications will be supported on Starlink. I am going to really research this, while I only have a $99 refundable deposit. :)

The Flex Radio forums are discussing that the Starlink double NAT does not work with the Flex SmartLink unless VPN is used. May need to wait for IPv6.

Best Regards! 
Brian Gohl - AI6US 
(916) 770-7751 cell


-------- Original message --------
From: Alan - W6WN <Alan.W6WN@...>
Date: 3/27/21 9:47 PM (GMT-08:00)
To: sfarc@w6ek.groups.io
Subject: [from W6EK Groups.io] Starlink Satellite Internet Beta Testing Results

I've had a Starlink Beta system now for a little over a month. Here are some results:

  1. Set Up - The system comes virtually Plug and Play. You snap on the pre-assembled, motorized dish to the included tripod stand and place it where it has a decent view of the Northern sky. The 100' of cable is pre-attached to the dish. The heavy-duty cable terminates in a rugged CAT-6 connector, which plugs into a POE power brick. An included WiFi router then plugs into a second network port on the brick. I set the dish and stand on the corner of the roof, threw the cable over the the back side of the house and ran it through the window. The unit automatically self-configured and the motorized antenna pointed itself to get optimum reception. About 30 minutes total from unboxing to Internet.  
  2. Speeds - Not all the time, but I've hit download speeds as high as 150 Mbps and as low as 40 Mbps. Lately, I've been consistently getting 100 Mbps downloads. Other Beta Users have been reporting download  speeds over 400 Mbps but this may be based on locations further north where there is apparently better, denser coverage. Of course, not many Users yet but also not many satellites (they've launched about 1,000 500-pound satellites so far, with 60 launched just a couple of weeks ago). Speeds may vary throughout the day, perhaps due to the number of satellites overhead.
  3. Latency - This has been the Achilles Heel of conventional satellite Internet systems. With latency ranging between 20 ~ 100 ms, Starlink should be able to support VPNs and online gaming. 
  4. WiFi Calling Works - I could not tell the difference between making a WiFi call over the Starlink system. In fact, the WiFi calls were clearer with less distortion than our weak Verizon connection usually has here. However, the WiFi calls did occasionally drop in the middle of a call.
  5. Streaming Video - Runs well on our 65" One or two brief hiccups.
  6. Connectivity - You can use the supplied WiFi router, or you can connect your own router or wired switch. The Starlink router WiFi supports 802.11b, 8.2.11a/g, 802.11n, and 802.11ac – with 802.11ac standards and can provide data transfer rates up to 866 Mbps.
  7. Stability - The system does drop out every so often. Again this is probably an issue with the current satellite density overhead.
  8. Mobility - Apparently, you can't move the system more than about 20 miles from where the system is registered. There are thousands of "cells" and each system is married to a particular cell, based on it's registered address. I haven't tried moving the system more than about 100 yards so far but I hope to test this further. There is talk that SpaceX is planning on making these systems mobile but that they can't support that currently.
  9. Cost - At $588 upfront for the gear, and $100/mo. for the service, it's not the cheapest alternative in more populated areas. Worth it, though, especially if you're beyond the reach of Wireless or Cable. Also, it's a month by month contract (at least, the Beta system is).
The system is getting a really good work out this week. On Sunday morning, our PG&E transformer blew, frying the network cable running to my sister's house and severing our connection to her Comcast modem. 

Two speed tests attached, one from Feb 21 and one from a few minutes ago.
--
Brian- AI6US


Mark - W2MWK
 

Feature not feather

Mark

On Mar 28, 2021, at 1:41 PM, Mark - W2MWK via groups.io <mwkoehler@...> wrote:

Brian,

It might be a feather of the router Starlink uses. You are not limited to using their router. Their YouTube videos talking about alternate routers and the settings you need to set to get full functionality. Not sure if that would work for your issue.

Mark - W2MWK 

On Mar 28, 2021, at 1:24 PM, Brian - AI6US <ai6us@...> wrote:


Thanks Alan!

I am interested in how port reliant applications will be supported on Starlink. I am going to really research this, while I only have a $99 refundable deposit. :)

The Flex Radio forums are discussing that the Starlink double NAT does not work with the Flex SmartLink unless VPN is used. May need to wait for IPv6.

Best Regards! 
Brian Gohl - AI6US 
(916) 770-7751 cell


-------- Original message --------
From: Alan - W6WN <Alan.W6WN@...>
Date: 3/27/21 9:47 PM (GMT-08:00)
To: sfarc@w6ek.groups.io
Subject: [from W6EK Groups.io] Starlink Satellite Internet Beta Testing Results

I've had a Starlink Beta system now for a little over a month. Here are some results:

  1. Set Up - The system comes virtually Plug and Play. You snap on the pre-assembled, motorized dish to the included tripod stand and place it where it has a decent view of the Northern sky. The 100' of cable is pre-attached to the dish. The heavy-duty cable terminates in a rugged CAT-6 connector, which plugs into a POE power brick. An included WiFi router then plugs into a second network port on the brick. I set the dish and stand on the corner of the roof, threw the cable over the the back side of the house and ran it through the window. The unit automatically self-configured and the motorized antenna pointed itself to get optimum reception. About 30 minutes total from unboxing to Internet.  
  2. Speeds - Not all the time, but I've hit download speeds as high as 150 Mbps and as low as 40 Mbps. Lately, I've been consistently getting 100 Mbps downloads. Other Beta Users have been reporting download  speeds over 400 Mbps but this may be based on locations further north where there is apparently better, denser coverage. Of course, not many Users yet but also not many satellites (they've launched about 1,000 500-pound satellites so far, with 60 launched just a couple of weeks ago). Speeds may vary throughout the day, perhaps due to the number of satellites overhead.
  3. Latency - This has been the Achilles Heel of conventional satellite Internet systems. With latency ranging between 20 ~ 100 ms, Starlink should be able to support VPNs and online gaming. 
  4. WiFi Calling Works - I could not tell the difference between making a WiFi call over the Starlink system. In fact, the WiFi calls were clearer with less distortion than our weak Verizon connection usually has here. However, the WiFi calls did occasionally drop in the middle of a call.
  5. Streaming Video - Runs well on our 65" One or two brief hiccups.
  6. Connectivity - You can use the supplied WiFi router, or you can connect your own router or wired switch. The Starlink router WiFi supports 802.11b, 8.2.11a/g, 802.11n, and 802.11ac – with 802.11ac standards and can provide data transfer rates up to 866 Mbps.
  7. Stability - The system does drop out every so often. Again this is probably an issue with the current satellite density overhead.
  8. Mobility - Apparently, you can't move the system more than about 20 miles from where the system is registered. There are thousands of "cells" and each system is married to a particular cell, based on it's registered address. I haven't tried moving the system more than about 100 yards so far but I hope to test this further. There is talk that SpaceX is planning on making these systems mobile but that they can't support that currently.
  9. Cost - At $588 upfront for the gear, and $100/mo. for the service, it's not the cheapest alternative in more populated areas. Worth it, though, especially if you're beyond the reach of Wireless or Cable. Also, it's a month by month contract (at least, the Beta system is).
The system is getting a really good work out this week. On Sunday morning, our PG&E transformer blew, frying the network cable running to my sister's house and severing our connection to her Comcast modem. 

Two speed tests attached, one from Feb 21 and one from a few minutes ago.
--
Brian- AI6US


Alan - W6WN
 

Spot on about external router options. I'm using my D-Link Router connected directly to the power brick (which means it's a lot more than just a power brick).

Here's the config: 

Interesting that Starlink is using Google's DNS servers....


Greg - KO6TH
 

Hi Alan,

You might try running some of the network port scanning tools at Gibson Research's "Shields Up!" page:

https://www.grc.com/default.htm

I used to work with Steve, and his engineering is top notch.  These tools will show you how your network looks, from the Internet side on in.  You want "Stealth".

Greg  KO6TH


Alan - W6WN wrote:

Spot on about external router options. I'm using my D-Link Router connected directly to the power brick (which means it's a lot more than just a power brick).

Here's the config: 

Interesting that Starlink is using Google's DNS servers....


Alan - W6WN
 

I'm familiar with that tool, but haven't used it in a few years.

Here's current status through the Starlink brick and WiFi R\router:


Alan - W6WN
 

Some stats after a recent relocate:
  


Jef - N5JEF
 

Very useful reports. Thanks!

- Jef


On Mon, Mar 29, 2021 at 9:37 AM Alan - W6WN <Alan.W6WN@...> wrote:
Some stats after a recent relocate:
  


Greg - KO6TH
 

Hi Alan,

Looks pretty clean, at least for those ports.  Good start!

Looking back to the router settings, it's really odd that they are using a 10 bit subnet mask.  That's a huge subnet!  I'm guessing that the double NAT is so that one Starlink user can't peek into other users' networks.  If the second NAT is your own Dlink router, connecting directly to its WAN connection might be, um, "interesting"...  Wireshark, anyone?

One of the products I worked on years ago divided the wireless client world into /30 IP subnets and then blocked routing between them for this reason.  Everyone was in their own little world, blissfully unaware of the networking chaos around them.

Greg  KO6TH


Alan - W6WN wrote:

I'm familiar with that tool, but haven't used it in a few years.

Here's current status through the Starlink brick and WiFi R\router: