How does Starlink work?

Jessica Watkins

How Does Starlink Work

The frequency of rocket launches has increased over the years and is now becoming normality. Recently, there have been witnesses of lines of satellites around the world in night skies. As much as this unsettles many, there is an inherent need for them to be there.

The need for fast and dependable internet has caused satellite network providers such as Starlink to find ways to better their coverage and bandwidth across the globe. Read further to know about how Starlink work.

Starlink, for example, can now serve over 40 countries with fast and affordable internet. Knowing and witnessing these satellite networks’ physical and functional evidence prompts us to ask how Starlink works and operates.

Exactly how Starlink can transmit and provide internet remains a riddle to many all over the world. Starlink constellation was invented to provide rural areas with high-speed internet. However, this is only possible if a huge network of interlinked satellites exists in the lower orbit. These satellites provide rays, which are collected and transmitted for your use.

Below is an in-depth understanding of Starlink’s operation and functioning procedure.

Starlink Satellite Internet

Satellite internet refers to the internet made available by satellites orbiting the earth. Starlink is an internet provider that has taken the internet industry by storm. A Satellite network is only achievable if a satellite is out of the earth’s orbit.

That ISP depends on a signal sent through one of those satellites in high or low orbits and a receiver dish. The receiver must be placed in your home or business spot with unobstructed access to the sky. You can use a network modem to translate the incoming traffic to a working internet connection.  

You will need to power the receiver dish like any other electronic component. Moreover, situate it where there is a clear view of the sky for effective functionality. Satellite internet is not dependable on cable or fiber lines.

Ground-based technologies like those are not as well developed in rural areas. Rural areas feature a low population density, thus forcing internet providers to stretch their expenses to cover more ground.

Satellite internet bypasses that problem by not utilizing any ground-laid infrastructure. Truly, launching satellites into space normally is expensive but still preferred by companies needing fast internet services.

How Does Starlink Operate?

The magnificence and reliability of Starlink internet have pushed many to ask how it can achieve its applications. Like any satellite internet provider, Starlink works using user terminals commonly referred to as Starlink dishes at your residence or workplace to communicate with Earth-orbiting satellites.

The Starlink dish sends and receives data signals wirelessly on several frequency bands. These high-frequency bands travel through the atmosphere to reach your house, where the Starlink dish collects them.

These signals are then converted into signals and internet data by your router. If you have placed your dish in open skies, then the Starlink network will work properly.

Objects that may block the dish from an open sky view prevent the receiving and sending of signals, bringing about lagging to your network. Starlink internet works more like cable internet though it has more moving parts. A summary of how they operate is discussed below:

  1. You go to your computer and head to your favorite website. The data passes from your computer to your Starlink dish that is attached to your home
  2. The Starlink dish broadcasts the data you requested to a Starlink constellation satellite orbiting the earth. Starlink satellites occupy the earth’s low orbit, thus, the distance covered is less than other satellite network providers.
  3. In turn, the Starlink satellites send the request to the ISP.
  4. Sending your data reverses the process of transmitting data from the provider to the Starlink satellites. The satellites then transmit to the Starlink dish, which transmits to your router and computer processor.
  5. You arrive at your website and begin your adventure.

Starlink services are the best simply because their satellites occupy the earth’s lower orbit. This greatly reduces the distance the rays pass to reach a satellite. Thus enabling their customers to enjoy fast speeds of up to 125 Mbps.

Fixing slow satellite internet

Satellite internet can be notoriously slaggy. Therefore, Starlink satellites tend to occupy lower earth orbits of 340 miles (550 kilometers) above the earth’s surface to counter the delays. As a result, Starlink is useful for fat internet requirements such as online games.

Current space-based internet providers are challenging to keep up with the Starlink satellites. Starlink is rapidly expanding and is soon expected to deliver up to about one-gigabit speed. That is more than enough for data-hungry applications.

SpaceX has over 3162 Starlink satellites in orbit. About 2822 are fully operational or slowly adjusting themselves in the desired orbit. SpaceX can manage the huge loads of launching because they utilize the Falcon 9, typically a workhorse in launching a satellite in the atmosphere. 

While focused on solving delays by far-orbited satellites, Starlink’s satellites now become visible from the ground. Starlink satellites shine at times in the night sky: They are close to us. Older communication satellites for things like TV were located in higher orbits. Starlink orbits are closer to the ground and thus require thousands of satellites to provide simultaneous global coverage.

Facts on the working of Starlink

Those that possess Starlink know the advantages that Starlink comes with. Some facts that you need to know about Starlink’s service include:

1. It has super-fast speeds

For remote and rural dwellers, fast internet speed is not a common thing to have. Starlink has changed the game, and now you can access high-speed internet. Being capable of reaching speeds of 150 Mbps only on a clear sky is something we all appreciate.

2. It needs an open, clear view of the sky

Starlink operates by transmitting high-frequency waves through the atmosphere to your Starlink dish. This means that a block, for example, trees and buildings, can cause a delay in receiving these waves, causing lagging. To solve this, place your Starlink dish in an open-view sky on an open field or roof, away from blockages.

3. Easy to install

Installing a Starlink dish is a simple DIY procedure that any person can achieve. Termed a five-minute procedure, there is no need for a professional or technician. Remember that your dish needs a clear view of the sky for proper functionality when installing it. Always look for a clear view area in your household for installing space. Starlink goes an extra step to provide a field of view analyzing function that determines where on your property the best views of the sky have

4. No restricting data Cap

Starlink has no restrictions on how much data its customers can use. This grants the Starlink internet suitable for gaming and video streaming. Additionally, as a user, you can cancel the Starlink service anytime.

5. It is durable

The Starlink is designed to withstand harsh rain, snow, and cold. Fitted with heaters inside the dish, it can melt surrounding ice. Hailstorms and strong winds can adversely affect the dish’s functionality. They also come with built-in lightning protection that protects them from lightning strikes.

6. You cannot move your Starlink dish

Starlink satellites are made to serve one location, so you cannot move it to any other place, such as your car. When moved, the Starlink dish seizes to provide an internet connection. SpaceX has put forward that this might be probable soon.


Who can use Starlink?

Currently, Starlink is available in over 40 countries. But with the increased launches of satellites into the atmosphere, the services will offer global coverage.

Does Starlink benefit remote areas?

Starlink internet could change how remote persons view the internet entirely. Starlink does not necessitate the need for ground infrastructure. Additionally, Starlink eliminates the latency issue facing remote areas. Starlink data transmissions take place in a vacuum space, thus no latency.

How much does Starlink cost?

The standard Starlink configuration will cost you $599 solely for the equipment and an additional $110 subscription fee per month. The Starlink premium model costs $2500 for the equipment and a $500 monthly subscription fee.

Is Starlink safe?

Starlink is safe regarding data transmission and is not the same as Wi-Fi. Starlink uses existing frequency bands long used for satellite communication without any issues.

Can bad weather affect Starlink?

Starlink uses satellites in low earth orbit. But their dishes are also different than most, using a phased array antenna. Both are beneficial when it comes to performance in weather


It is a fact that Starlink will solve high-speed internet problems and help rural areas to access some internet. Soon much of the planet could get its internet signal from space as SpaceX is launching more satellites each day to cover the earth.

As the company iteratively improved its services and increased its coverage area with plenty of satellites in space, it pushed for the providence of beta service to the emergency responders and areas without internet. Understanding how these Starlink satellites transmit data through high-frequency rays will help achieve the best of Starlink services.

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