Starlink may slow down users if they use too much data (2023)

Elon Musk’s satellite internet company is about to start slowing some users down.

According to Starlink’s (the internet division of SpaceX) new fair use policy(Opens in a new tab), folks who use Starlink for home internet may now experience throttling if they use too much internet during a monthly billing cycle. If you don’t know, throttling is the practice of deliberately slowing down someone’s internet speed to the benefit of the overall network’s performance.

Specifically, users who use more than 1TB of data cumulatively between the hours of 7 a.m. and 11 p.m. during a month will be throttled. They can spend $0.25 per GB of data if they want to continue getting higher speeds before the next billing cycle starts, but otherwise, it’ll be a one-way trip to slowdown town for them. Starlink says less than 10 percent of current users exceed 1TB per month, according to The Verge(Opens in a new tab).

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Still, it’s not impossible to imagine using more than 1TB of data in a month if you live a certain lifestyle. Gamers, in particular, regularly have to deal with game and patch downloads that can reach or even exceed 100GB. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II, for example, is about a 100GB download on its own. In other words, it’s probably a good idea to hold off on any big downloads until after 11 p.m.

This isn’t a horribly uncommon practice in the world of ISPs. Some providers(Opens in a new tab) have monthly data caps under certain plans, like AT&T. Depending on the provider, you may get throttled or you may simply get charged an overage fee for any data used after you surpass the cap.

(Video) Starlink Ends Unlimited Data - Two Ways To Check Your Usage

As Starlink grows, it’s naturally going to hit some of the same speed bumps that other ISPs hit. A recent report from September found that median Starlink speeds had dropped in several countries, possibly as a result of network congestion after the service had become more popular. Now, Starlink is slowing people down on purpose.

Such is life with new, experimental technology.

(Video) How I Fixed Recent Starlink Slow Speeds & Reliability Issues


Does Starlink limit data usage? ›

In response, the company plans on limiting how much high-speed data Starlink subscribers can use each month. Under the Fair Use policy(Opens in a new window), residential Starlink customers will only receive 1TB of high-speed data each month.

Will Starlink slow down with more users? ›

Starlink simply can't launch satellites fast enough to handle the amount of people that want Starlink. In the peak internet usage hours of the day, between 5pm-10pm, you may notice your speeds slow way down. This is caused by too many Starlink customers in your area trying to connect at the same time.

How slow is Starlink throttled? ›

As you can see, the caps for Starlink business are 500GB, 1TB, or 3TB per month. Once the cap is exceeded, the company can throttle speeds to 1Mbps. For more priority access, customers have to pay $1 for each additional GB used.

Is Starlink being throttled? ›

After Priority Access data is exhausted each month based on your data limits set per Service Plan, Starlink will throttle your upload and download speeds for Business and Mobility Service Plans unless additional Priority Access is purchased.

Is Starlink truly unlimited data? ›

And as their names suggest, users with Basic Access data will experience slower speeds during congestion than Priority Access users. Nobody loves when their data speeds slow, but rest easy that with Starlink you'll still have unlimited service with no hard data caps.

Is Starlink always unlimited data? ›

Starlink: Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, Starlink comes with unlimited data. However, those who use more than 1TB of data within a month may see bandwidth deprioritized in favor of customers who have priority data.

What slows down Starlink? ›

Network congestion is probably the most common issue when it comes to slow speeds from Starlink. Starlink, despite being the company responsible for launching and maintaining the most number of satellites orbiting the Earth, still has miles to go to support its users.

What are the disadvantages of Starlink? ›

Here Are The Biggest Disadvantages Of Starlink
  • Customer Service.
  • Limited Availability.
  • Price.
  • Network Congestion.
  • Complicated DIY Installation.
  • Weather Sensitivity and Reliability.
  • Being an Early Adopter.
  • Conclusion.
Nov 23, 2022

Does Starlink cause problems? ›

With the sheer numbers shooting across the heavens, the concern is that they can severely disrupt ground-based astronomy, ruining an image or spectroscopic measurement as they streak through the telescope's field of view.

Why does my Starlink internet keep dropping? ›

The most common cause of the error is a loose or disconnected cable. Most commonly, this occurs on the Starlink dish side of the system. A damaged cable or dish can also cause the error. When the app is saying “Starlink Disconnected”, it means that there is no communication between the router and the dish.

Is Starlink slower than fiber? ›

Conclusion. Starlink isn't as fast as fiber, but it still reaches broadband speeds according to the FCC. Fiber can be 4-5x faster vs Starlink, with a lower monthly cost, and better reliability. Latency is also lower.

What does stinky mean on Starlink? ›

"We're changing Starlink's default wifi name to Stinky," Musk tweeted. The implication being, of course, that when you set up Starlink wifi for the first time the entire neighborhood can see its name. It's actually a pretty clever way to use a "everybody's on the good ole' bandwagon" marketing strategy.

What are the limitations of Starlink? ›

Here Are The Biggest Disadvantages Of Starlink
  • Customer Service.
  • Limited Availability.
  • Price.
  • Network Congestion.
  • Complicated DIY Installation.
  • Weather Sensitivity and Reliability.
  • Being an Early Adopter.
  • Conclusion.
Nov 23, 2022

Does Starlink use cellular data? ›

Starlink and T-Mobile partnership

The new system will use T-Mobile's existing cellular frequency bands. For now, the global roaming service will support very low data messaging, but Elon Musk has indicated support for voice calls and real-time messaging in the future.

Will Starlink provide mobile data? ›

SpaceX has already launched 3,500 first generation Starlinks and says it could offer "full and continuous" smartphone coverage with 2,000 equipped Gen2 satellites as soon as 2024.

How many hours of streaming is 1tb? ›

One terabyte gives you the option of storing roughly: 250,000 photos taken with a 12MP camera OR. 250 movies or 500 hours of HD video OR.


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