Like any other satellite internet, an antenna is an important part of the physical construction that allows transmitting signals to and from the satellites in orbit. With such functions, it becomes a key component you can have as a satellite internet user.
The Starlink dish, also known as the Starlink antenna or Starlink terminal, is a compact satellite dish designed to receive and transmit signals to and from the Starlink satellite constellation. Understanding the operational characteristics and the different Starlink dishes available is vital. That said, what are the different types of Starlink dishes?
Categorized by software updates and improvements, rather than any significant hardware changes, there are only two types of Starlink dish or antenna, namely the rounded and rectangular dishes.
The rectangular dish was introduced with some minor hardware, updates, and modifications to the rounded dish. These updates were intended to improve the dish’s performance, durability, and user experience. For a better understanding of the different types of Starlink dishes, below is a detailed discussion on each.
The Starlink dish is a sleek device made of durable, weather-resistant material that can withstand extreme temperatures and weather conditions. The two Starlink dishes are mounted outdoors, either on a flat surface or on a pole, and can be installed by the user without any specialized equipment or technical knowledge.
The Starlink dishes are powered by a small, energy-efficient power supply that can be plugged into a standard electrical outlet. They also include a built-in Wi-Fi router, allowing users to connect their devices to the internet wirelessly. The router can deliver download speeds of up to one Gbps and upload speeds of up to 100 Mbps, making it one of the fastest satellite internet services available.
Besides their technical capabilities, the Starlink dishes are aesthetically designed to please and be unobtrusive. Additionally, the dishes are designed for low maintenance, with no moving parts or sensitive electronics that can be easily damaged.
Both the Starlink dishes are cutting-edge technology that promises to revolutionize satellite internet service. With its advanced antenna designs, high-speed performance, and easy installation, they offer users a fast, reliable internet connection that is accessible from almost anywhere on the planet.
Two Starlink dishes are currently available: the rounded Starlink dish and the rectangular Starlink dish. The rounded dish size is similar to a pizza and can be mounted on a pole or placed on a flat surface.
On the other hand, the rectangular Starlink dish is a larger, more advanced version of the Starlink dish designed for commercial and enterprise customers. Below is an in-depth explanation of the different types of Starlink dishes.
The rounded Starlink dish is a satellite dish developed by SpaceX as part of their Starlink satellite internet service. To greatly define this type of dish; below are some parameters that are used to define it:
The dish is a compact, rounded satellite dish with a unique rounded shape, measuring approximately 23 inches in diameter and 6 inches in height. It is designed to be easy to install and operate, with a low profile that allows it to be mounted on a roof, balcony, or other surfaces without drawing too much attention.
The dish has a reflective surface covered with a white composite material, which protects against the elements while also helping to reduce the dish’s weight. The dish is connected to a base unit that contains the electronics necessary to communicate with the Starlink satellite network.
Apart from the aesthetic purposes, the rounded shape also provides more aerodynamic features than traditional satellite dishes. This feature helps to reduce wind resistance and improve signal reception during adverse weather conditions.
The Starlink dish work ensures connectivity by communicating with a constellation of satellites in low Earth orbit. The dish is mechanically designed to automatically track the satellites and maintain a constant connection to the network, even as the satellites move across the sky.
The rounded dish uses phased array antenna technology, allowing it to electronically steer the antenna beam without needing mechanical movement. This means that the dish can quickly and accurately switch between different satellites in the Starlink network, allowing fast and reliable internet connectivity.
The dish can provide high-speed internet access with low latency, making it well-suited for high-speed internet applications such as video conferencing, online gaming, and streaming media. The Starlink service is designed to provide internet access to areas that traditional broadband providers, including rural and remote areas, underserve.
The Starlink rectangular dish is a new version of the original rounded Starlink dish. To perfectly describe this type of Starlink dish, below are the parameters that identify it:
This dish, designed for residential use, is a flat rectangular shape with dimensions of 23.2 inches by 13.9 inches (59 cm by 35 cm) and a depth of 6.5 inches (16.5 cm). With a weight of about 18 pounds (8.16 kg), it is designed to be mounted outdoors on a pole or other sturdy structure, similar to a traditional satellite dish.
The rectangular dish is also designed to be more durable and weather-resistant than its predecessor. It has a solid metal construction and a protective glass dome that covers the dish elements, protecting it from wind, rain, and other environmental factors. The dish also has a built-in heating system to prevent snow and ice buildup during cold weather.
The Starlink rectangular dish has an array of advanced features that improve its performance and reliability. One of the most significant advancements is the use of phased array technology, which allows the dish to dynamically adjust its beam direction and shape to track the position of Starlink satellites in the sky. This means the dish can maintain a constant connection to the Starlink network, even as the satellites move across the sky.
The Starlink rectangular dish is a high-performance device capable of delivering high-speed internet with low latency to users in remote areas. It has a maximum throughput of 300 Mbps and an average latency of 20 milliseconds, making it perfect for applications that require low latency, such as online gaming and video conferencing.
The rectangular dish also supports Wi-Fi 6, the latest wireless standard, which enables faster speeds and improved connectivity for Wi-Fi devices.
Overall, the Starlink rectangular dish represents a significant advancement in satellite internet technology, offering improved performance, reliability, and durability compared to the original rounded Starlink dish.
It is intended to provide high-speed internet access to users in remote areas. Its advanced features make it well-suited for a wide range of applications, from streaming video to remote work and online education.
Some key differences between the rounded and rectangular Starlink dish types include:
- Physical Dimensions – The rounded Starlink dish has a circular shape with a diameter of 19.7 inches (50 cm), while the rectangular Starlink dish has a flat rectangular shape with dimensions of 23.2 inches by 13.9 inches (59 cm by 35 cm). The rectangular dish is also deeper than the rounded dish, with a depth of 6.5 inches (16.5 cm).
- Phased Array Technology – The rectangular Starlink dish is equipped with phased array technology, which allows it to dynamically adjust its beam direction and shape to track the position of Starlink satellites in the sky. On the other hand, the rounded dish does not have this feature and relies on manual adjustments to maintain a connection to the network.
- Durability – The rectangular Starlink dish is designed to be more durable and weather-resistant than the rounded dish. It has a solid metal construction and a protective glass dome that covers the dish elements, protecting it from wind, rain, and other environmental factors. The rounded dish is less sturdy and can be affected by wind and weather conditions.
- Performance – The rectangular Starlink dish can deliver higher speeds and lower latency than the rounded dish. It has a maximum throughput of 300 Mbps and an average latency of 20 milliseconds, while the rounded dish has a maximum throughput of 150 Mbps and an average latency of 30 milliseconds.
- Availability – The rectangular Starlink dish is a newer model currently in limited availability, while the rounded dish is more widely available. As a result, users may have to wait for an invitation to purchase the rectangular dish or opt for the rounded dish instead.
Overall, the rectangular Starlink dish represents a significant advancement in satellite internet technology, with improvements in performance, durability, and advanced features like phased array technology. However, it is also more expensive and less widely available than the rounded dish, which may be a consideration for users looking for a more affordable and accessible option.
To conclude, there are currently two distinct types of Starlink dishes, with all current dishes having a rounded, circular, and rectangular design. Some define rounded dishes as initial prototypes of Starlink dishes that are ultimately phasing out in favor of the more compact and efficient designs. Both the Starlink dish is equipped with phased array antenna technology, allowing for high-speed internet communication with the Starlink satellite constellation.
The sleek and discreet design makes the dishes attractive for users seeking an easy-to-install, low-maintenance satellite internet solution. As the Starlink system continues to evolve and expand, new types of dishes may be developed to meet the needs of specific users or use cases.