Starlink Internet in Canada – A Starlink Review for February 2024

Posted on February 20, 2024 by Dan Kent
Starlink Internet in Canada – A Starlink Review

The Starlink home web page promises fast, reliable, and affordable service. Does Starlink deliver the goods or what? I'll review the popular internet service in this article.

Finding reliable internet service at a cheap cost has always been difficult, especially considering how oversaturated the market has become. With different providers seemingly offering the same thing under different wording, finding the fastest download speeds and general internet speed can seem impossible. 

However, Starlink by SpaceX hopes to change this with their unique self-proclaimed high-speed internet services throughout Canada and other parts of the world. This review will dive deep into who exactly this internet provider is and their offerings, including whether it's worth switching. 

What is Starlink Internet?

You'd be forgiven for not having heard of Starlink Internet before today, as the advertisements for this branch of SpaceX have been lacking. This brand has been advertised as the first and largest satellite constellation to use a low Earth orbit to deliver broadband internet services such as streaming, video games, video calls, and more. 

SpaceX

Taking a step back, Starlink is a division of the broader company SpaceX and was first introduced as a concept in 2014. The first 60 satellites intended to make up Starlink were later launched in 2019 aboard the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. From 2019 to 2022, hundreds of satellites were launched regularly, with the most recent launch being 54 satellites sent into low-Earth orbit at the tail-end of 2022. This has resulted in over 4,000 satellites currently orbiting the planet, which make up the Starlink network.

The coverage area of Starlink Internet spans the globe, providing internet services to residential and business customers. 

How Does Starlink differ from other internet providers?

From a high-level overview, Starlink can seem the same as any other internet provider currently operating. However, how Starlink differentiates itself from the others has to do with those previously mentioned satellites. The majority of satellite-based internet providers around the world make use of single geostationary satellites that orbit the Earth at an astounding 35,786 kilometres. 

On the other side, Starlink operates by creating an interconnected web of satellites all over the globe at a lower orbiting distance of just 550 kilometres above the ground. This results in lower latency, which refers to the distance between a user and the satellite they are using. 

With standard providers, a connection must come from the user and meet the satellite tens of thousands of kilometres above the ground. In contrast, with Starlink satellites, the connection only needs to go hundreds of kilometres. This allows for a unique 25ms latency vs. 600+ ms latency on average, as mentioned by the Starlink website. 

Going further, it's not just the internet speed that differentiates Starlink from competitors but the hardware itself. When people sign up for one of the Starlink Internet plans, they are sent a kit with everything they need to connect to the low-Earth orbit satellites. This kit includes the following:

  • A Starlink hub
  • A WiFi connection router
  • A number of cables
  • A secured base

With all the above equipment, a person just needs to plug the items in and ensure the Starlink hub has a clear view of the sky. The hardware is self-orienting, meaning there is no need for an on-site technician to help with the setup. In just a few minutes, the entire system can go online, and lightning-fast speeds promised by the company should be available. 

For those worried about leaving their Starlink exposed to the elements, the company themselves have stated that it can withstand everything, including extreme cold, heat, sleet, hail, rain, gale force winds and, perhaps facetiously, rocket takeoffs.

Earth

Where is Starlink offered in Canada? 

Currently, Starlink is offered across the entire country of Canada with only a few exceptions. Specifically, small rural pockets outside of Edmonton, Calgary, Dryden, and Ottawa are without coverage. However, they are marked for gaining coverage in 2023. Starlink is meant to provide faster speeds for rural and urban dwellers alike, a unique aspect of their internet access. 

As a note, Starlink is not only a Canada-based service, as they do provide internet services to countries around the world, including France, Germany, The Netherlands, and even Australia and New Zealand, to name a few. 

Starlink plans and pricing: What you need to know

With the basics of Starlink Internet covered you are undoubtedly wondering what type of internet plans and pricing the company offers. The company offers six main plans at this point:

Residential

The most basic plan offered by Starlink is their residential package, providing users with high-speed and low latency. This plan offers no contracts and a 30-day trial period where hardware can be returned for a full refund if a customer is unsatisfied. The pricing for this plan is broken down as follows:

  • One-time hardware cost of $599 or $2,500 for high performance
  • One-time shipping and handling cost of $50
  • Ongoing monthly service cost of $120

Business

Rather than just offering their services to residential customers, Starlink also allows businesses to get in on the action of their satellite internet service. With the company promising to reduce slow speeds by ensuring download speeds of up to 220 Mbps, upload speeds of 25 Mbps, and latency of 25-50ms, Starlink hopes to keep businesses running with this plan. The pricing for this is as follows:

  • One-time hardware cost of $2,500
  • One-time shipping and handling cost of $50
  • Ongoing monthly service costs of $250, $500, or $1,500, depending upon how many TB are required by the business

Roam

For those who may not need internet services from Starlink at a predictable rate, the Starlink Roam package aims to provide services to remote areas on an as-needed basis. Those who purchase this package can even enjoy on-the-go internet service by taking advantage of the fact that the hardware with this package is designed to be securely strapped to campers. Currently available in select markets, the pricing for this plan is as follows:

  • One-time hardware cost of $599 or $2,500 for high-performance
  • One-time shipping and handling cost of $50
  • Ongoing monthly service cost of $150 for regional service, $200 for global service, or $250 for 50 GB of Mobile Priority service

Mobility

The mobility package offered by Starlink aims to take the benefits of the Roam plan to the next level through its high-performance Starlink hub with a wider field of view and enhanced GPS capabilities. This allows travellers on the go to connect to more satellites at once and is designed to withstand harsher travel conditions than the Roam hub. Advertised for mobile businesses and public sector use cases, this plan retails for:

  • One-time hardware cost of $2,500
  • One-time shipping and handling cost of $100
  • Ongoing monthly service cost of $250 for 50 GB of Mobile Priority service, $1,000 for 1 TB of Mobile Priority service, or $5,000 for 5 TB of Mobile Priority service

Maritime

A newer offering from the Elon Musk-helmed Starlink is the Maritime package that offers up to 220 Mbps download speed all while at sea. With a small footprint barely occupying any space on deck, the easy-to-install hardware is a quick addition to any boat. The cost for this plan is as follows:

  • One-time hardware cost of $2,500
  • One-time shipping and handling cost of $100
  • Ongoing monthly service cost of $200 for Mobile Global service, $250 for 50 GB Mobile Priority service, $1,000 for 1 TB Mobile Priority service, or $5,000 for 5 TB Mobile Priority service 

Aviation

Finally, Starlink's last plan is still being rolled out. It is designed solely for the aviation space. Of all the service plans offered by the company, the aviation package is the costliest due to its technical requirements and the high speed travelled by planes. The low-profile Aero Terminal features an electronically steered phased array antenna that allows passengers to enjoy new levels of reliability, redundancy, and overall performance. Those interested can place orders now to be delivered later in 2023, with the cost being as follows:

  • One-time $5,000 credit card deposit for a reservation
  • One-time hardware cost of $150,000
  • Ongoing monthly service costs between $12,500-$25,000, depending on the airline or aircraft

The benefits and drawbacks of using Starlink Internet

Those who find themselves intrigued by the promises of Starlink Internet should consider the benefits and downfalls of using this new internet service. Only after evaluating each of the following should a person think about switching their internet provider:

Benefits of Starlink Internet

  • Starlink Internet offers no contracts, meaning you can cancel at any time without incurring a cancellation fee
  • The company offers a 30-day trial period so that you can ensure the Internet service is the right choice for you
  • Multiple different service plans appeal to a variety of subscribers
  • No technicians are required to set up the equipment, and the installation location can essentially be anywhere with a clear view of the sky
  • Starlink is available in remote areas where traditional satellite Internet providers may not have offered services in the past
  • Quick Mbps download speed and upload speeds, even in rural areas
  • There is no bandwidth cap on internet services, which means high-demand users don't need to worry about running into a wall with their internet use
  • Overall improved internet and latency speeds as compared to traditional satellite internet providers

Drawbacks of Starlink Internet

  • The price charged by Starlink for even their cheapest package is affordable but still stretches the budget
  • While Starlink offers faster speeds than traditional satellite providers, it is still outpaced by cable or fiberoptic providers
  • The Starlink hardware can withstand bad weather of all types, but internet speed tends to be seriously impacted during this time
  • As with all types of satellite internet providers, Starlink is susceptible to outages due to gaps between the satellites

Those still interested in the service and who believe the pros outweigh the cons may find that ordering Starlink Internet will ultimately benefit them. Fortunately, the process is both quick and simple. 

How to order Starlink Internet

For those thinking of checking availability for Starlink in their area, you'll also be glad to hear that the technology's ordering process is quick and easy. It can be done in as little as five simple steps:

  1. Visit the Starlink website to view the product offerings
  2. Consult the availability map or simply put in your address to see if your area is within the service range
  3. Click 'Order Now' to be taken to a portal to checkout
  4. Select your choice of hardware 
  5. Review the details and pay

Once a Starlink order has been placed, a person will be given access to the proprietary Starlink app, which will be used during the setup process. This is also the app that will be used to manage internet services. However, a person can still access their account through the company website. 

Does Starlink Internet live up to the hype?

Starlink provides high-performance internet services for a reasonable cost. While their website advertises them as a cheap provider of internet services, the cost of Starlink hardware coupled with ongoing monthly payments for the Starlink service can quickly add up. 

However, those who can afford the service will be met with lower latency, faster upload speeds, fewer internet obstructions, and better service.

Disclaimer: The writer of this article or employees of Stocktrades Ltd may have positions in securities listed in this article. Stocktrades Ltd may also be compensated via affiliate links in this post. Stocktrades Ltd will run advertisements on our posts. These advertisements do not represent an endorsement by us.

Dan Kent

About the author

An active dividend and growth investor, Dan has been involved with the website since its inception. He is primarily a researcher and writer here at Stocktrades.ca, and his pieces have numerous mentions on the Globe and Mail, Forbes, Winnipeg Free Press, and other high authority financial websites. He has become an authority figure in the Canadian finance niche, primarily due to his attention to detail and overall dedication to achieving the highest returns on his investments. Investing on his own since he was 19 years old, Dan has compiled the experience and knowledge needed to be successful in the world of self-directed investing, and is always happy to bring that knowledge to Stocktrades.ca readers and any other publications that give him the opportunity to write. He has completed the Canadian Securities Course, manages his TFSA, RRSPs and a LIRA at Qtrade, and has compiled a real estate portfolio of his primary residence and 2 rental properties, all before his 30th birthday.