Starlink has emerged as a game-changer in the world of satellite internet, promising to revolutionize global connectivity. With over 4,000 low earth orbit (LEO) satellites, which are still growing, Starlink aims to provide high-speed, reliable internet access to even the world’s most remote areas. Starlink has been expanding its operations, and today, it offers several service options.
With the world’s growing demand for connectivity, having stable, secure and reliable internet solutions is a basic need. Starlink offers this solution through 2 of the products under the Space X global connectivity program. These are the Starlink Roam and Starlink Residential Services. While both services aim to provide high-speed internet connectivity, they cater to different needs and use cases.
To better understand the two, below is a comprehensive comparison.
- Starlink Roam Services
- Starlink Residential
- Roam Vs Residential: How to Make the choice
- Roam vs Residential: How much do you pay?
Starlink Roam is a service specifically designed for mobile and on-the-go connectivity. It caters to users who require internet access while traveling or in areas with limited terrestrial infrastructure. Starlink Roam enables users to maintain high-speed internet connectivity across various locations, allowing seamless browsing, video streaming, and communication.
One of the key advantages of Starlink Roam is its mobility. Users can take their Starlink terminal and associated equipment, providing internet access. This particularly benefits travelers, RV owners, remote workers, and explorers who require reliable connectivity.
Starlink Roam aims to provide internet access worldwide, regardless of location. This feature sets it apart from traditional terrestrial-based internet services, which often need help to reach remote areas or suffer from coverage gaps. With its extensive satellite network, Starlink Roam offers the potential for ubiquitous global connectivity.
Starlink Roam promises high-speed internet with low latency, rivaling or surpassing terrestrial broadband connections. This is made possible by Starlink’s LEO satellite constellation, which reduces signal latency and enables faster data transmission, delivering an enhanced online experience for users.
Starlink Roam allows users to switch between different Starlink satellites, optimizing connectivity as they move across regions. This feature ensures uninterrupted internet access, even in areas with limited terrestrial infrastructure or during international travel.
Despite its revolutionary role in communication and internet connectivity, Starlink Roam services have limitations. Some of these include:
1. Hardware Limitations
While Starlink Roam offers mobility, users must set up a Starlink terminal at each location. This setup may only be ideal for frequent travelers or those who require quick and easy connectivity with complex installation procedures.
2. Cost Considerations
Starlink Roam is expected to have a separate pricing structure, including equipment costs, data usage fees, and roaming charges. Depending on individual usage patterns, the cost of maintaining a reliable mobile connection with Starlink Roam may be higher compared to traditional mobile data plans or residential subscriptions.
On the other hand, Starlink Residential is a revolutionary satellite internet service offered by SpaceX’s global connectivity project. Like the Starlink Roam services, the residential plans bridge the digital divide by providing reliable, high-speed internet access to individuals and communities in remote regions.
The services offer access to high-speed internet even in the many rural and underserved areas still struggling with limited connectivity options.
Starlink Residential leverages SpaceX’s ambitious Starlink constellation of low Earth orbit (LEO) satellites to deliver internet services directly to homes. Unlike traditional geostationary satellite internet, Starlink’s LEO satellites orbit much closer to the Earth, resulting in significantly lower latency and faster data transfer speeds.
Some key features from Starlink Residential include:
Starlink Residential aims to bridge the digital divide by bringing broadband internet to remote and underserved areas. By leveraging its LEO satellite network, Starlink can reach traditionally challenging regions to connect via terrestrial infrastructure, empowering individuals and communities with improved internet access.
Starlink Residential offers fast internet speeds comparable to or surpassing traditional broadband connections. This ensures a seamless online experience for various activities, including video streaming, online gaming, remote work, and educational purposes.
Latency has long been a challenge for satellite internet. However, Starlink Residential’s LEO satellite network significantly reduces the time it takes for data to travel from the user to the server and back, compared to geostationary satellite internet. This improvement allows for real-time online interactions, making video conferencing, gaming, and other latency-sensitive applications much more enjoyable.
Roam Vs Residential: How to Make the choice
Starlink Roam Services have the potential to strengthen international communication and foster global connections. Individuals and businesses can access the internet seamlessly while traveling, promoting cross-cultural collaboration and knowledge exchange. On the other hand, Starlink residential services make it possible to access the internet, stream online content, play games and study in remote areas where traditional internet connection is limited.
Let’s compare the benefits and suitability of Starlink Roaming and Starlink Residential to determine which option may be better for different scenarios.
Starlink Roam is perfect for individuals who require internet connectivity while traveling internationally or in areas with limited terrestrial infrastructure. It is ideal for frequent travelers, digital nomads, explorers, and remote workers on the move. Starlink Roaming ensures seamless connectivity across regions and offers global coverage, enabling users to stay connected wherever they go.
Starlink Residential is your perfect choice if you need high-speed internet access in your home, particularly in rural and underserved areas. It suits individuals and families seeking an alternative to traditional terrestrial internet providers. Starlink Residential brings broadband connectivity to remote locations, bridging the digital divide and empowering communities with reliable internet access.
Starlink Roam aims to provide global coverage and enables users to access internet services in various countries, ensuring connectivity even in remote or challenging areas. However, coverage may vary depending on the availability of local partnerships and regulatory approvals in different regions.
Starlink Residential coverage is focused on providing high-speed internet to residential areas. It targets underserved regions with limited traditional terrestrial infrastructure, offering a viable solution to improve connectivity in rural communities.
Starlink Roam is designed for mobility, allowing users to take their Starlink terminal and associated equipment while traveling. This mobility feature benefits individual who frequently move between locations or require internet access. However, it should be noted that setting up the Starlink terminal at each location may require some installation and configuration.
Starlink Residential is not designed for frequent mobility or portability. It is intended for fixed installations at homes, requiring the installation of a satellite dish and other equipment at a specific location. While it can provide reliable and high-speed internet to homes, moving the equipment between locations is not as seamless as with Starlink Roaming.
Starlink Roam offers high-speed internet with low latency, ensuring a smooth online experience for various activities, including streaming, browsing, and communication. However, network performance may vary depending on the local partnerships and the number of Starlink satellites available in the specific region at any given time.
Starlink Residential provides high-speed internet with low latency, rivaling or surpassing traditional broadband connections. It offers consistent and reliable performance, as the satellite network is specifically optimized for residential use. Users can enjoy fast internet speeds that support all sorts of online activities, including video streaming, gaming, and remote work.
Starlink’s residential and roaming services cater to different audiences. But if you are wondering how to tip the scale, here are additional pointers to choosing between Starlink Residential and Roam services.
Are you traveling or staying at home?
Starlink Roam may be the better option if you are a digital nomad, a frequent traveler, or need internet access while moving. It provides global coverage and seamless connectivity across different regions. With Starlink Roaming, you can take your Starlink terminal and associated equipment, ensuring reliable internet connectivity wherever you travel.
On the other hand, Starlink Residential is more suitable if you are only interested in high-speed internet connectivity for your home in areas with limited traditional internet connection.
Coverage and Availability
For this, both options provide wide coverage. However, availability and coverage may vary depending on the region and the partnerships established with local telecommunication carriers. Before choosing, check the availability and coverage of Starlink Roam and Starlink Residential in your intended locations.
Installation and Portability
Starlink Roaming offers the advantage of mobility, allowing you to set up your equipment in different locations as you travel. However, each location may require installation and configuration of the Starlink terminal, which may take longer and more seamless than traditional mobile data services. On the other hand, Starlink Residential requires a fixed installation at a specific location, which may not be suitable for those who frequently move between residences or travel extensively.
Pricing and Costs
The pricing structure and costs associated with both services are important considerations. Starlink Roam is expected to have a separate pricing structure, including equipment costs, data usage fees, and potentially roaming charges depending on the specific agreements with local carriers. Starlink Residential, on the other hand, typically involves the purchase of the Starlink Kit, which includes the necessary equipment for installation, along with a monthly subscription fee.
Roam vs Residential: How much do you pay?
While Starlink now offers an option to switch between Starlink Roam and Starlink residential subscriptions, the two differ in cost. If you have a Residential setup, you could carry your dish while traveling to enjoy the Starlink Roam services.
While this might seem like a win-win situation for subscribers, the pricing differs. Here are some plans and pricing for Starlink residential and Starlink Roaming services.
|Plan||Speeds (Mbps)||Subscription cost ($/Month)||Where can you use it?|
|Starlink Residential||20-100||120||One fixed location|
|Starlink Roam – Regional Coverage||5-50||150||Continental Coverage|
|Starlink Roam – Global Coverage||5-50||200||Anywhere in the country|
You can transform your roaming service into a residential one to save on some of that monthly charge, but by doing so, you will be sacrificing your connection. This is because Starlink Residential takes priority over roaming services on a first-come, first-served basis.
In addition, you lose your browsing privileges when you exceed your data cap. This means that you have to wait for the traffic on the network to clear before you can browse or stream that movie when you are on the road.
Another thing to note is that despite the residential plan being quite pricy, it is relatively competitive in the market. Other residential internet providers also range within this price, making it at par.
On the other hand, the roaming services are some of the priciest in the market. Compared to your residential plan, you may pay twice your internet bill when you go for the Starlink Roam service.
As mentioned before, Starlink boasts its position thanks to its inclusivity. One of these features is the ability to switch from your basic residential plan to Starlink roam when you are hitting the road.
If you have your system set up, here is how to switch:
- Log into Starlink
- Go to “My Starlinks”
- Find your current plan
- Click “Manage”
- Next to the service type, select the pencil
- Change your subscription to “Roam”
- Accept the new terms by checking the box
With this, you can carry your dish around and enjoy a fast, latency-free internet connection on the road. However, you lose the priority access you enjoy with the residential plan and join the “best effort” team.
Disclaimer: You cannot change your residential subscription once you switch from Residential to Roam. That means you get stuck with Starlink Roam unless you do a new installation of the Starlink Residential kit and start from scratch.
Also Check Starlink Power Requirements for RV.
Starlink Residential and Starlink Roam are revolutionary additions to the ever-evolving telecommunication industry. Both have their benefits and limitations. If you were to travel the world, a roaming service would be the best for you. However, a residential plan is your best fit if you stay in one place.
While both options are unique, they cater to different needs and speak to different audiences. For instance, while the Roaming service is affordable, portable and user-friendly, it requires much time to set up in each station. On the other hand, the residential plan is quite permanent, which means you also leave your connection at home when traveling.
Finally, it is possible to migrate from Starlink Residential to Starlink Roam in a few steps. However, be sure when making the move as it is permanent. Once you roam, there is no going back. With that said, which is the best plan for you?
We’ve written a complete solution to fix Starlink network issues.