Starlink initial testing results

by | Jun 10, 2022 | Upcoming Tech, Web

This week I received delivery of a Starlink for RV’s system, and decided to evaluate if it would work reliably for attending meetings and working from the road. I set the system up and connected my laptop wifi to it, and attended several hours of meetings with video, phone calls, OneDrive/SharePoint collaboration, and typically heavy use of the internet.

I discovered that it is of course affected by trees, to the north specifically.  I was able to mitigate the effect of tall trees by placing the dish on the ground about 75’ away from them.  Placing the antenna higher would also be useful for providing clear line of sight.  Obstructions to the east or west did not seem to affect it as much – clear line of sight to the northern sky is key.  However if you are in an area with heavy, close trees – like we might find in many places in NW Oregon – it will almost certainly not work. 

Once I had mostly clear line of sight, the system worked well for videoconferencing, certainly as an attendee.  If you are speaking or presenting, you may experience brief cutouts – but I found it to be better than cellular-only options.  I believe anything negative I experienced was due to my placement of the dish, and not the Starlink network itself.  Upload speeds are limited to 10mbps, and download speeds exceed 100mbps.  The limited upload speeds could present an issue for multiple people presenting or being on-camera at the same time, but seemed to work fine for one person.

As a bonus, it worked quite well for streaming video to our TV – with no data caps.

I would not recommend Starlink for office use at this service level – but Starlink is offering soon a more expensive “Starlink for business” service level with a larger dish and higher speeds that would be appropriate for a larger number of users. 

Conclusion – it’s a game changer for people that do not have access to high speed, landline based internet service.

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