The following is an in-depth review and analysis of Starlink user experiences written on various online forums and social media websites to summarize how well the service is performing in Canada and who stands to benefit most from it.
Even in its early stages, Starlink is much, much ‘better than nothing’ in Canada and provides considerably better speeds and latencies than its traditional satellite internet and LTE wireless internet competitors for a reasonable, if somewhat elevated, price.
However, outages have been a challenge for some customers, so if having an internet connection at all times is vital (eg. working from home, home security, etc.), it is recommended that you have a backup (failover) ISP connection in place to handle this downtime.
- Ease of installation
- Ease of use
Even in it’s early state, Starlink is much, much ‘better than nothing’ in Canada and provides considerably better speeds and latencies than its traditional satellite internet and LTE wireless internet competitors for a reasonable, if somewhat elevated, price.
- Unbelievably high upload and download speeds for rural areas
- Low latencies that allow for video calling and gaming
- No bandwidth cap (unlimited)
- Competitive pricing
- Some users experience regular connection drops due to system maintenance, coverage gaps
- Subject to weather-based performance reduction (eg. storms, snow, ice) like traditional satellite internet
- Can’t beat the performance and consistency of a cable or fibre connection
- Unclear as to how network will be managed in the future (eg. data caps, throttling and price increases)
|Price||$759 (was $649), $65 for shipping|
|Price for deposit holders||$699 (was $649)|
|Monthly cost||$140 (was $129)|
|Download speed (Mbps)||50 to 150|
|Upload speed (Mbps)||15 to 20|
|Latency (ms)||20 to 40|
|Uptime||Poor to Good|
Prices of the kit and monthly plan were increased in March 2022 due to “excessive levels of inflation”. You can cancel your service and return your hardware within 30 days of receiving it for a full refund, or at any time in the first year for a partial refund of $200 USD.
What is Starlink?
Starlink is a low earth orbit satellite internet service provider that offers internet access to a large part of Canada. It’s goal is to provide high-speed, low latency broadband internet access anywhere in the world using a network of 900 (and growing) low earth orbit satellites with plans to launch 12,000 in the next 5 years into the constellation (or network).
The satellites are launched by SpaceX and circle the earth in 53-degree inclined orbits which means their path does an arc-swing over the middle of Canada, spending more time and providing more coverage than in most other areas. They complete an orbit every 90 to 120 minutes.
You can track Starlink satellites live and see ground station locations here: satellitemap.space
The estimated cost of deploying the Starlink constellation of satellites is at least $10 billion USD. As of February 2021, Starlink has more than 10,000 subscribers.
How is it better?
The satellites used by existing internet services (Xplornet) orbit at 35,000 km above the earth, where latencies (round trip data time) are around 700 ms while Starlink’s low orbit constellation is only 550 km above the earth – over 60 times closer. At this altitude, it takes much less energy to launch them into orbit.
In addition to physical proximity, the signals are sent through the vacuum of space which is 47% faster than through the glass in fibre optic cable (300 million metres per second compared to 204 million) which allows for much lower latencies of 20 to 40 ms.
As additional, upgraded versions of satellites are added to the constellation and hundreds of them are repositioned to optimize coverage, the service will continue to improve.
Who is Starlink for?
The primary target market is Canadians living in rural and remote areas that have been consistently underserved by existing internet service providers across Canada and where internet access is unreliable or unavailable. The 41% of rural households who do not have access to 50/10 Mbps or better and the households who have “access” to those advertised speeds but in reality get low single-digits.
Some urban customers may be able to get the service, but since the system’s bandwidth is limited in each designated geographic area (or “cell”), they can’t accept too many customers in densely populated areas. The service is not intended to compete in areas with fibre internet and 5G.
How much does Starlink Canada cost?
In Canada, the cost of Starlink is $759 plus $65 shipping upfront for the hardware (total of $824 plus tax) and then $140 per month (no contract) for unlimited internet. The Starlink Kit includes all of the necessary hardware including dish, tripod, wifi router, power supply and cables.
For comparison, a traditional satellite internet provider such as Xplornet charges $100 to $120 per month for a 25/5 Mbps connection near Erin, ON (population of a little over 10,000) and while there is no cap, you must sign up for a 1 to 2 year term.
- $115/m for 25/1 Xplornet in Frederickton, NB
- $200/m for 25/5 Xplornet in northern MB
- $120/m 25/5 Xplornet outside of London, ON
In more remote areas such as southern Labrador the difference is even larger. For example, Bell is charging $120 per month for a DSL and the maximum you can receive is 6 down and 0.45 up.
Starlink availability and coverage in Canada
“Starlink is available to a limited number of users per coverage area at this time. Orders will be fulfilled on a first-come, first-served basis.”
So they appear to only be approving orders if a) you’re in an area with coverage and b) the area isn’t over-subscribed based on the current capabilities of their network. Approving too many would cause congestion and lower speeds.
Starlink can provide internet service in a very specific range: between 44.9 and 51.8 degrees latitude (Minneapolis to Saskatoon). At this time, orders have not been filled for customers in Newfoundlan, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, PEI, Quebec or Yukon.
To find your latitude, lookup your location in Google Maps and right-click. The first number is your latitude.
|Alberta||49.0 – 51.5|
|British Columbia||48.4 – 51.7|
|Manitoba||49.0 – 51.1|
|New Brunswick||45.3 – 47.6|
|Newfoundland and Labrador||TBA|
|Nova Scotia||45.0 – 46.0|
|Ontario||43.1 – 51.0|
|Prince Edward Island||TBA|
|Saskatchewan||49.6 – 50.7|
The dish can be placed on the roof, ground or almost anywhere in-between, but requires a clear view of the northern sky. It has motors to self-orient to an optimal viewing angle. Once mounted, all you have to do is plug it in and point it at the sky.
Starlink’s Basic International Telecommunications Services (BITS) licence was approved by the CRTC on October 15, 2020. On November 6, 2020, they were given fixed-satellite services (FSS) regulatory approval.
‘Better than nothing’
“By design, the experience will be imperfect. Our goal is to incorporate feedback from a variety of users to ensure we build the best satellite broadband internet system possible.”
“When connected, your service quality will be high, but your connection will not be consistent. This means it may support streaming video with some buffering, but likely is not suitable for gaming or work purposes.”
How fast is Starlink internet?
Claim: Starlink provides internet speeds of 50 to 150 Mbps.
Starlink is indeed as fast as some of the fastest fibre internet plans offered by Canada’s major players Bell, Rogers and Telus. Typical reported download speeds range from 40 to 80 Mbps.
Typical reported upload speeds range from 15 to 20 Mbps.
There have been some reports of lower speeds 10 to 30 Mbps down and 1 to 5 Mpbs up in the late afternoon and evenings.
The satellites currently do not have the ability to communicate with each other. Instead, they send data back and forth to ground stations in order to connect to the internet’s fibre optic ‘backbone’ and send and receive data across the internet. Some cellular towers of some mobile service providers may also use Starlink’s system to connect to the core network.
SpaceX only has 1 ground station licensed in Canada located at Eastlink’s Duffy Place location in St. John’s, NL but it is for demonstration purposes only at this time.
Canadian users’ data is currently being routed through US ground stations in Maine, New York, Minnesota, Montana and Washington.
Getting approval for and getting ground stations online in Canada will help improve network performance and expand Starlink’s coverage area as terminals must be within 941 km of one.
Claim: Starlink’s latency will be 20 to 40 ms to start and drop to below 10 ms as more satellites are added to the network.
In addition to speed, latency is what Starlink has been able to deliver on, especially when compared to the 600 to 700 ms of latency inherent to traditional satellite internet services.
Claim: Starlink does not guarantee uptime.
The Starlink app’s statistics page lists 2 types of downtime: Obstructed and No Satellites:
What is obstructed downtime?
Any obstruction such as a tree, pole, etc. – anything that blocks the direct line of sight between the satellite and dish will cause full loss of connectivity. Obstructions to the North need to be at least 2.5x further away than they are taller than the dish. So, if a tree to the North of your install location extends 20 ft above your dish, then it needs to be at least 50 ft away from your dish.
Obstructions to the East and West should be 1.5x away and to the South, 0.5x away. Some solve this issue by installing their own tower. Even a 2% obstruction can mean frequent, short connection drops.
Even with no obstructions detected by the system, multiple disconnects an hour have been reported, but most users report one hiccup or full disconnect every 1 to 3 hours. Some users have managed this downtime by keeping a backup internet service and installing a multi-WAN router to balance loads between the two connections.
What is no satellites downtime?
If ping success is 0%, no obstructions are registered and downtime is not “Scheduled,” the downtime is counted as “No Satellites” in the app, meaning there is no satellite in position to provide a signal. The dish knows when each satellite is due to be in view and will show a “Next satellite in XX Seconds” countdown.
Installing the Starlink Terminal (or ‘Dishy McFlatface’ as per the official installation guidelines) can be a straightforward DIY project – no contractor required. If you would rather not do it yourself and want a professional quality permanent installation, any contractor experienced with satellite TV, TV antenna or cell phone booster installation should be able to do it.
The dish is 11.6 lbs and about 19” in diameter. Its mast is 1.41″ outside diameter and has a 1/2″ hole about 2 inches up from the bottom of the pole. The 100 ft cable provided is hardwired into the dish for waterproofing purposes, but this can make running the cable challenging. The cable has a ferrite ring on it to reduce electromagnetic interference that’s 3/4” thick.
Use the app to find a place where it will have line of sight to the northern sky with no obstructions.
Plan a route for the 100 ft cable to enter your home. Here are a few options:
- Through an existing hole.
- If you have roof vents, go up the roof vent. Ensure water cannot travel down the wire into the vent. Only go upwards into the vent with the cable.
- Through the soffit into the attic. Ensure you protect the cable from the sharp soffit if metal.
- Travel down the wall to the nearest point you can go through an existing hole in the wall.
- Drill a hole in the wall.
Note: If you’re in an area with rodents or birds who might chew through the cable or damage the cable, consider running it through a conduit or cable channel/protector.
The quickest way to get up and running and can take a little as 5 minutes. Simply attach the dish to the tripod, place it down and connect the cable to the power supply and the power supply to the router. The dish will then self-orient to an optimal viewing angle and connect to the network.
If you’re in an area surrounded by trees, poles and other obstructions or that experiences inclement weather, you’ll probably want a more permanent location for your dish.
Roof mounting will take another 1 to 2 hours if youIf you live in an area with high winds, you may want the unit to be affixed to a structure. It involves drilling holes in your roof, so it should ideally be installed on an overhang in case of a leak
As per the Volcano Mount Guide, you’ll need a Volcano Roof Mount which is sold separately for $24 USD as well as a ½” socket wrench, 5/32” drill bit, stud finder and drill.
- Use a stud finder to find a stud (joist) on the roof.
- Place the mount over the stud and mark the 6 holes on the roof.
- Drill pilot holes into the marks.
- Place the sealing (mastic) tape over the holes.
- Place the mount over the holes and use the socket wrench to tighten lag bolts.
- Place the mast into the mount.
If you’re hesitant to drill holes in your roof, simply weighing down the unit might work.
As per the Ridgeline Mount Guide, the Ridgeline Roof Mount which is sold separately for $99 USD and 16 standard bricks or 4 concrete blocks.
- Place mat on ridgeline.
- Unlock mount and place over mat.
- Add 40 lbs. of ballast to each side.
- Place the mast into the center of the mount.
Pipe mount (J mount)
For a good combination of security and invasiveness it can be attached to a pipe or pole which is secured to the eaves, a deck railing or mounted to fascia.
With Starlink’s pipe adapter kit (sold separately for $24 USD) you can attach the dish to any pole up to 2.5” in diameter. If you do not have an existing pole to mount it on, you can use a satellite antenna mount such as the Winegard DS-2000 universal mount.
Running cable and connecting
Running the cable into your home will take another 1 to 2 hours.
- Route the other end of the cable into your home.
- Connect the cable to the power supply.
- Use wall clips to fasten the cable to the wall along its route.
- Connect the router to the power supply.
- Plug in the power supply.
- Wait up to 30 minutes for Starlink to self-adjust and connect to the internet.
- Connect to the Starlink’s wifi network using your phone, tablet or computer.
- The ferrite choke is ¾” in diameter, so conduit should be 1”
- Leave a drip loop
Ease of use
The Google Play and App Store apps provide step-by-step setup instructions including identifying an install location that has a clear view of the sky, checking for obstructions, verifying your wifi connection and troubleshooting connection issues. Both are rated over 4.2 stars.
Starlink comes with its own router that supports 802.11ac wifi 2.4GHz and 5GHz (up to 866.7 Mbps) on both for your home, but its functionality is limited. It does not support mesh networks so wifi extenders aren’t compatible. If you want to do more than just plug in, change your password and start using wifi, its recommended that you replace it with your own router. Doing so will mean you lose your stats in the app unless you play with the settings of your new router. The terminal will still receive updates.
There are a handful of troubleshooting posts written every day on the Starlink subreddit including not infrequent cases where the dish stopped working. In almost all of these cases the user reported that the issue was either resolved or the unit was replaced by Starlink.
What about snow and ice build up on the dish in winter?
Inclement weather including heavy rain, snow and ice build up can have an impact on performance leading to slower speeds and outages in extreme cases. Starlink should be installed in a location where snow will not build-up around it and obstruct its field of view.
The dish has a hydrophobic coating to allow water to shed off fast. The heat the dish generates while transmitting signals helps melt the snow off and was updated with a Snow Melt Mode in December 2020 to generate more heat than usual to minimize the impact of snow build-up. Icicles on the edge or underside should not have any significant impact.
If you live in an area that gets very heavy snowfall, you’ll want to install the dish within reach of a broom or roof rake just like for a traditional satellite dish.
There is no phone number for support. You must be a customer and have signed up for an account on their website or through the app to access their email and online ticketing system. You may also be able to get help with general and pre-sale questions from other owners on the Starlink Support subreddit.
Their response times depend on the nature and complexity of the issue. Most tickets receive a response within 2 to 3 days, but can take upwards of 1 week.
Cancellations and returns
The service is paid month-to-month (no contracts) and cancellation is easy and no hassle.
You can return your Starlink Kit within 30 days of shipment for a full refund of your hardware payment if you decide this service is not a good fit for you.
Compare Starlink to traditional satellite, LTE & DSL
Starlink vs. standard satellite internet
|Starlink Internet||Standard Satellite Internet|
|Avg. (actual) speed||75/15 Mbps||5/1 Mbps|
|Avg. latency||40 to 100 ms||600 ms|
|Uptime||Poor to Good||Poor to Average|
|Price/month||$129||$100 to $200|
Starlink vs. LTE data vs. DSL internet
|Avg. (actual) speed||75/15 Mbps||50/3 Mbps||6/1 Mbps|
|Avg. latency||40 to 100 ms||80 to 200 ms||50 to 100 ms|
|Uptime||Okay to Good||Good to Great||Great to Excellent|
|Cap||Unlimited||350 GB + $4/GB or throttled speed||Unlimited|
|Price/month||$129||$100 to $150||$80 to $100|
Popularity vs performance
A significant unknown about the future of Starlink is how SpaceX will manage its network – specifically how they will balance the number of subscribers accepted and overall capacity of the network.
They have not made any firm commitments regarding the use of data caps, speed throttling, network traffic shaping, cost increases and tier structures used by other ISPs to manage their networks and maximize profits.
For example, when other ISPs such as Xplornet and Bell first offered their fixed wireless LTE services, the quality of the service was great and was passed quickly via word of mouth. After many switched over to the new service, the towers became oversubscribed and performance dropped considerably.
Starlink LEO competitors
While no similar services are available in Canada yet, there are many other low earth orbit constellations in development and many more in the planning stages. The most notable are the following:
- OneWeb – 648 Gen 1 satellite fleet by end of 2022 with plans to start selling services in 2020 in Alaska. Plans of up to 1980 LEO and 2560 MEO Gen 3+ satellites total. Owned by UK Gov., Bharti Enterprises, SoftBank and Hughes Network Systems
- Kuiper – 3,236 satellites in LEO over the next 10 years at a cost of approximately $10 billion. Owned by Amazon.
Is Starlink right for you?
Best for those with 1 or no internet options and:
- Are paying an arm and a leg for single-digit Mbps satellite, LTE or DSL service.
- Want the freedom to work from home.
- Want to watch YouTube and Netflix without having to wait 5 minutes for buffering.
- Want to vote with your wallet against the incumbent providers.
- Want to be able to download large video game files quickly.
Not recommended for:
- Consumers in urban areas and cities.
- Individuals working from home who need near-perfect availability (VOIP calls).
- Properties that are covered with tall, dense forest.
- Competitive online gamers.
Can it replace my cell phone, be used on a vehicle (eg. RV) or boat or moved to a different address?
While the dish is physically small and portable, it cannot be used on-the-go, for travelling or at a different location at this time. It must operate from a predetermined fixed location at an address you register with the company.
To communicate with the satellite, the antenna must maintain a narrow, direct line of sight beam to it from a specific area on the ground (or “cell”) that is assigned to your dish on a set schedule. The signal frequency it transmits on does not penetrate walls or roofs.
If the unit is moved outside of its designated cell, it will not be on the schedule to receive internet and therefore won’t work.
However, they are working toward making this possible filed with the FCC to get the go-ahead on producing Earth Stations in Motion (eg. for mounting on RVs), but have yet to mention a date this functionality will be available.
Is Starlink good for streaming video (YouTube, Netflix)?
Yes. YouTube recommends bandwidth of 1 to 10 Mbps to stream 1080p video. They buffer well ahead of the viewer, so latency and short connection drops are not really a concern.
Yes. Netflix recommends bandwidth of 0.5 to 25 Mbps to stream in HD. They buffer well ahead of the viewer, so latency and short connection drops are not really a concern.
Is Starlink good for gaming?
At times and mostly for casual gamers. For online gaming, a latency (or ping) of 100 ms or less is considered acceptable for gaming, but the lower the better which based on reports should be attainable for most users.
Online games actually use very little bandwidth (100 to 300 MB per hour), so it is unlikely that speeds will be an issue.
However, the intermittent unexpected connection losses of even 10 to 15 seconds can be frustrating and enough to disconnect you from your game – especially in the case of trying to play competitive online games like COD: Warzone, Apex Legends or League of Legends. It may be stable for days at a time, but it can change in an instant. For the time being, it is probably best to stick to playing casual online games.
Is Starlink good for video calls (Zoom, Meet)?
At times. Zoom and Meet recommend that bandwidth should be around 1 to 3 mbps for 2 callers and 2 to 4 mbps for group calls. Latency should be less than 100 ms and ideally 50 ms. Starlink is able to meet these requirements, but as above, momentary connection drops may cause jitteriness and those longer than a few seconds may cut the call off entirely.
What are the concerns about Starlink’s constellation?
Low earth orbit (LEO) satellites only have a small field of view to the surface of the earth, so a large network (constellation) is required to provide continuous coverage. They also fall out of orbit slowly due to atmospheric drag and must be deorbited (reentering earth’s atmosphere) and replaced with new units.
Space debris can be a hazard to satellites and spacecraft.
Starlink satellites have ion thrusters powered by their solar panels to maneuver in space and deorbit at the end of their lives – which are designed to be shorter so that they can still be maneuvered before the point of failure. To deorbit, they use their thrusters to slowly lower their orbit until they are broken up and destroyed by the heat of reentry, keeping debris out of space.
However, about 3% of Starlink satellites have failed so far meaning they are not responding and cannot be maneuvered. These are expected to deorbit naturally within 5 years, but pose a small collision risk in the meantime. They are travelling at 28,080 km/h (7800 m/s) and if they collide with another object would cause a catastrophic breakup and the resulting debris could cascade into other collisions (Kessler syndrome).
The FCC’s rules regarding mitigation of orbital debris were updated April 2020 for the first time in 15 years to require satellite operators to disclose exactly how and to what extent each craft is uniquely identifiable, trackable and controllable and how they plan to share adjustments and maneuvers with spacecraft tracking authorities.
All satellites in orbit above the International Space Station (includes Starlink’s) must be equipped to perform collision avoidance maneuvers. They also have to estimate the likelihood of collision with large and small objects, the possibility that the satellite will fail and what risk that creates for anyone on the surface.
Debris falling to earth
Satellites being deorbited pose a risk to people on the ground.
In December 2018, NASA’s Debris Assessment Software found that once the entire constellation was in orbit, there would be a 45% chance that one of the satellites would injure or kill someone about every 6 years.
In March 2019, SpaceX stated that the majority of its satellites will no longer contain dense metallic components that could survive reentry and endanger people on the ground and “No components of…the satellite will survive atmospheric reentry, reducing casualty risk to zero,”
“The components of each satellite are fully demisable and are expected to quickly burn up in the earth’s atmosphere – a measure that exceeds all current safety standards.”
Light pollution and radio frequency interference (RFI)
Astronomers have also raised concerns about the constellation interfering with ground-based astronomy as the satellites will outnumber visible stars and that their brightness in both optical and radio wavelengths will severely impact scientific observations.
According to SpaceX, satellites will be visible at sunrise and sunset for a fraction of starlink’s 90 minute orbit and they’re experimenting on how to make them less bright.
To contact Starlink, cancel an order, request a refund or cancel the service, log into your account.
To pre-order, go to Starlink.com.
Stolen Starlink and now I cannot cancel it.
Starlink was on my motorhome and the motorhome was stolen, along with my laptop, cellphone, passport etc. I cannot get into my email because I don’t know the password. I had to cancel my credit card just to cancel Starlink service because there is no possible way to contact them. The company has the resources to find my stolen motorhome but alas, I can’t talk to them. The one star is for customer support, internet was good.
RV Dish/Plan has price increase + poor service/no support
We purchased the RV kit for use on our boat while we are docked at various marinas on Lake Ontario. At first, the RV kit was sold and advertised to work in motion which it did however Starlink has removed that functionality AND increased the price. We have also learned we will be on the no-priority level of service which has contributed to our low speeds (compared to when we first got it) and short disconnections every couple of hours. All this and not a single department to complain to or ask for support or resolution. Starlink only seems to be getting worse unfortunately even with more and more satellites going up so im not sure how adding 1000s more will ever make this better
We are very fortunate to have Starlink as our internet provider, yes it is a bit expensive but after having it for over 2 years we are just plain grateful. The Canadian government has done nothing and I mean nothing for rural subscribers and future plans are not given out for public consumption, which means they remain useless and very quiet. You might not be an Elon Musk fan but I sure am and I am very grateful.
Release from Long Standing Misery
Starlink works amazing. Any faults I will experience or have experienced pale in comparison to my negative experiences with Telus and Xplore. Telus is a bit of a mystery and was on a trajectory to being useable in a decade. Xplore on the other hand does not care about its users and only about getting their money. They will load balance and deny people service at a whim (probably network reasons) and blame it on topography and then have their sales people talk you into paying for nothing just a bit longer. Thank you for releasing me from this misery Starlink. In my case, the last straw to switch was when investigating an external Telus modem, it required ‘professional’ installation. No thanks to clowns dancing on my roof again, I installed Starlink the way I wanted. The resources for Starlink are readily available while the others hide behind human obfuscation. After a week of wasted time on the phone with Telus and Xplore over the past two years, I was ready for a self install and bot support 😀
The overall system works excellent in rural Ontario although that took several months. The added satellites seem to have increased speeds to where I can now expect an average of 90 mbp download but that fluctuates considerably.
I would give them 4 stars if they had better support and 5 if they had reasonable pricing. The price went up while I was waiting for dishy to arrive, once again in three months later and I haven’t even had the service for a full year. Now Mar of 2023. Canadians continue to get fleeced for the cost of internet internet services. $158 a month, Wow!
Leave a review
If you have a Starlink we’re interested to know your thoughts. How long have you been with them and what do you think about their fees, rates and customer service? Let us know by leaving a review below!
- Starlink Subreddit
- Why SpaceX is Making Starlink – RealEngineering (video)
- How Will Elon Musk’s Starlink Deliver Internet Around the Globe? (video)
- Starlink Mission (video)
Over to you
Are you considering getting Starlink? Do you live in an area with poor/no internet? Who is your current provider and what kind of service do you get? Let us know by leaving a comment below!
Since moving to this acreage in 2008, I’ve had the local internet provider which lately sold out and never upgraded their equipment from spotting 5/1 MB/s. I’ve also had 3 Telus hubs, 1 Bell Hub and Xplore. Bell and Telus oversell and under deliver their services which I would say averaged 20% ‘as advertised’, 60% sketchy and 20% unusable. As bad as they were and their customer service practically speaking, I would say my worst experience was Xplore. I believe they could have in the end given me 25/5 MB/s service, they chose to limit me to 10/1 MB/s because the best tower was a heavily loaded one, their service had the feel of a old vacuum cleaner salesman in that they had no concern about the utility of their service, only getting money. I would say I’ve spent a good week of my time over the past number of years in fruitless conversations with them about a number of issues and have studied, intervened and purchased unsupported add-ons which at times helped. For instance, before moving to higher frequencies, a booster did help one of my Telus services. Another time, I actually got an Xplore technician who new something and talked to them about my tower map and pointing the antenna.
The biggest reason I decided to go to Starlink was the external Telus Antenna required ‘professional installation’, something I have not witnessed, especially watching the Xplore techs pound around on my roof. Also, after doing a bit of investigation, thought it best to change technology. Now that I’ve installed it as I’d like, the Starlink has been awesome and now I’m worried about the 1 TB limit 😀 although I still have basic satellite and other services using the limited cell network, so useage should come in line.
Price is $158 a month in Ontario.
This is outrageous yet keeps getting promoted as prices being reasonable. The price was advertised as $120 a month when I ordered and when it finally arrived one year ago, Mar 2022, my first charge was $146 and three months later it went to $158. I don’t think I am the only one feeling fleeced by Starlink.
Starlink is absolutely available on PEI. We joined the beta and are using it since then. Works like a charm and we’ve seen some others on the island having it now as well.
We currently have a cable service in western Canada. However, we would like to have one service for a boat in Mexico, our home in Edmonton and on our RV. Can I buy the Starlink equipment and service in Mexico and then move it back and forth to Edmonton?
Very poor service! No customer support! Refunds not received! Stay away from Starlink!
I’m currently with xplornet, experiencing problems with streaming – like Netflix and zoom at a seasonal use cottage. I am considering the RV Starlink that costs more per month but allows for no charge service suspension. However I have seen information about the RV service being de-prioritized with throttling speeds of upload and download. Do you know if this is true? And what is the downside (penalty) of suspending the regular residential service?
My understanding is there is no “Re-activate” option and you have to contact Starling support to attempt reactivating the service. When you order they basically give you a spot on their satellite network, when you cancel it goes to someone else. If there are too many people in your area waiting on an available spot (high demand, not enough availability) you’ll be on that waiting list to get back in.
The Roam service is the way to go for safe seasonal, but its $170 ($30 more) and I don’t know if the current $200 discount for some rural customers would apply to the Roam account.
Best review to date on Starlink in Canada. So glad I stumbled on this link. Very complete — cost, speeds, support and installation — and super helpful when choosing between Starlink/Xplornet/Bell for rural customers. Keep up the good work!
Unfortunately, the review is no longer accurate as the performance has significantly degraded since publishing. While the service was originally great, we now often have single digit download speeds, regularly dropped connection, and unloaded ping times that are rarely below 100ms. Loaded ping times are pushing a half second. Support just defers to future system improvements and blames it on congestion. We round dish owners are now locked out of transferring to a new owner, so the dishes would become paper weights if we would move to a different ISP. Honestly, if you can get a service that provides consistent 25 Mbps+ for the same price, I would suggest staying away from Starlink.
Do you just make a deposit then pay when it comes, how does it work. How long will it take to receive.
Are you able to put Starlink on vacation mode for a lesser monthly payment as we are seasonal users at our cabin
Had Starlink for 2 weeks now on the Bruce Peninsula. Xplornet was a joke (lucky to get 2 Mbps download speed and couldn’t even watch Netflix, let alone other streaming services). Figured if I was going to throw money away to Xplornet, I might as well give it to Rogers, so we relied on a Rocket Hub for over a year. With COVID, we streamed more, and (this is the honest truth) several bills nearing $600 (for approx. 320 Gb), I was so excited to finally receive our dishy. We hired a professional, because we’re older and arthritic and not wanting to be climbing up to our roof, and because it was a unique installation in terms of placement. Dishy immediately kicked into action and moved to almost straight up. However, could not obtain anything from the router after trying everything we could find online to resolve. Always a blinking white light followed by red. Finally, I tried plugging my own router into the brick – still no signal showing on my phone app. So I connected a laptop to the router via ethernet cable, and bang, everything popped up. So, defective router. After a very long wait in help tickets (2 weeks), they apologized for the delay, gave us a rebate (I never asked for that, so that was nice), ordered us a new router, and told us the old one was ours to keep. I had read one post advising not to piecemeal a replacement (i.e., don’t skimp and replace the entire install, dishy, cables and router), because Starlink would brick the original stuff (dishy and router), and you would be back at Square 1. I specifically asked about that and was told by support that this would not happen – I would receive uninterrupted continuance of service, whether I chose to remain with my own router, or switch to the new Starlink router. Since my router offers much more flexibility (and just as much info on stats), I may just stay with it, since it’s working almost flawlessly since it was hooked up, and we have coverage throughout the house and patio and deck.
We’ve had one hiccup where we lost connection for maybe 10 seconds while streaming TV, but no big deal, compared to what we were used to. Our speeds fluctuate constantly, but never below 50 Mbps. Average is 150, and I’ve seen as high as 300+. So keeping the rocket hub as a backup (but it’s disconnected), because if something did happen, it could literally take up to 2 weeks to get a response (I believe they are just overwhelmed and understaffed from all the new customers in similar situations as us, where we’re rural, miles from our next neighbour, no landline, no hydro on our road (we had to run it 1/2 km from the barn to the house, yada yada), and no other options but Rogers and Xplornet. Believe me, I spoke to every company in existence and we had no other option, but to pay the local service company to run DSL 1/2 km piggybacking on our private hydro poles, to the house, only to receive below-desired speeds. We were actually considering this (about $4,000) before we heard that Starlink was coming. We’re pensioners and on fixed incomes, but the money was bleeding out monthly to Rogers, so we would have made that amount up in a year. We jumped on the waiting list for Starlink, and waited over a year before it was shipped. Just loving the service (but obviously not loving the long wait for response to tickets, but it is what it is). Hoping it never changes. We’ll never see fiber or cable where we are (not enough population density – all farmland), but man, you should see the projects popping up in the small villages nearby (broadband cable and fiber optics being strung), so Starlink has the usual suspects worried for sure.
Does anyone know if Starlink will work around the Preeceville Saskatchewan area. When you check what they say with the longitude it shows not but yet i know people north of saskatoon with similiar longitutudes and there starlink works great. also being the preeceville mailing address is Rural Route no box number or street it seems the starlink site will not except that. Any advice on either of these?
I have bell internet that connects to the cell towers and its unbeleivably fast and never had a single problem with it….dont understand why anyone would need a faster internet unless they illegally downloading and illegaly streaming live sports events
Definitely considering Starlink – thx for the article. Currently have Bell DSL in North Augusta, ON. Getting about 4.5 Mbps until the evening hours when user load must be high and streaming becomes almost completely unavailable. Used to have Cable at our last house with 120 Mbps so we know what we’re missing! 😥
I’m considering getting this for my cabin in the Whiteshell. Question is, can it be paused over the winter since we do not visit the cabin very much during the winter. I don’t want to be paying an extra $130/month for 5-6 months.
I found this to be a very helpful and well written article. Thank you very much.
out of curiosity why don’t you include silicone gaskets for the roof mount so if someone does install it in an area not over an overhang that it won’t leak through the hole in the shingle, if you gave silicone tipped screws and a silicone gasket as a washer and you put in the instructions to drill the holes first you could completely avoid leakages
Thanks for the detailed review Alex. This is very helpful. I see you mentioned about Erin, ON, does that mean you are based out of Erin, ON? If yes, I am excited to hear that as we are moving in the next couple of months to Erin as well.
I have a question…we live in Middlesex County, province of Ontario…is Starlink providing service in this area in the near future?
We’ve had Starlink since last spring and it’s been a fantastic service. We live in Rural Manitoba, about an hour and a half north from WPG. So internet options are limited and pricey. The price point for Starlink seemed steep at first but a lot of directional LTE services usually require the installation of a tall tower that usually ranges in the 1000’s so the $800 bux cdn vs the price of a tower installation was a no brainer. The 144per mth we pay for Starlink also seemed high but the best available out here *(aside from Starlink) out here 120+tax for 25mb download, which we were paying and that service was never consistent. Starlink since it came out the box consistently been at 150-200 down everyday with little to no down time. The down time was noticeable when we first got it, now our down times have been averaging under 2seconds over a 12hr span. I’m assuming the launch of more satellites have decreased the outage times? Latency tends to fluctuate but so far I don’t hear too many frustrations from the 3 gamers in the house.
Covid lockdowns brought with it all three of our kids doing on line learning. In spite of there being a lot of reviews that says the internet doesn’t handle it well, there was very little lag in with the kids on line learning. My wife was also viewing zoom meetings in that time for her schooling, and I was also having zoom meetings while working from home and again I didn’t notice any significant lag even with all 5 of us streaming either live presentations or streaming from different streaming services. Inclement weather be it snow, rain or high winds may bring our speeds down slightly but there again it’s so marginal we are still able to carry on with all of our internet needs.
So far I’m very impressed but because we are still in Beta I have no idea if there will be adjustments in price point, data limitations or speed caps. So far there has been no mention of what or if there will be a change to the payment structure. Our family averages 500GB per month with all the streaming, gaming, video conferencing. I can’t see any advantages to having this setup in a city with more options like fiber available. Obviously fiber would be better all around, but if you are in a Rural setting with little to no options and the initial cost and the 144 per month doesn’t discourage you, I would highly recommend this service. You won’t regret it.
Was really hoping to have the kit in time for Christmas. All I have is an account number, but no way to talk to anyone. Our property is rural with terrible internet, so we had our hopes on Starlink. We are on the 46th parallel in Cape Breton Nova Scotia. The lack of communication is what is frustrating. Not sure if Santa is going to show up regarding this internet solution or not. We sure hope so.
Not impressed with my starlink internet, having around 7 to 20 max when we were supposed having 100-200….I do regret spending almost 800$ for that crap…..Ontario Canada.
You have 30 days to return the unit if not satisfied, to get you 699.00 back., Have you tried that..
Hi I live in Tides Brook, Newfoundland, I just saw a topic that a couple here on Little Bay Islands installed the Starlink! While i am not near where they live I am interested to see if its available in my area! My Latitude is 47.127260 and longitude is -55.257156. I would also like to know the speeds i would receive if it was available here. I have two lines of internet at the moment to keep the 4 of us going. I have a line with Bell Internet (I won’t start with the horrible experience i have had with them the last 6 months) and a customer for at least 13 years. I also have xplornet which is “ok” but still not what i would like to get for speed. I kind of had to keep the Bell for my son, he has an xbox and plays online, The xplornet wont run it. its not only me in this area having lots of internet issues so if its a bit costly to start and you gets the speeds you want there could be lots of interest in this area. Thanks for your time
I live in British Columbia.
50.50 N Lat
I live in a floating home that is anchored, but still moves a bit Will the system adjust for that?
Thanks very much!
I am planning on spending the next 5 years or more visiting all regions of Canada. I need a system that will give me internet access all over with minimal setup time. Will starlink ever be able to satisy my needs ?
Hi Al, at this time, you have to register it at a specific address and can only access from there. However, they are working toward the use case you describe – they recently filed with the FCC to give them the go-ahead on producing Earth Stations in Motion (eg. for mounting on RVs), but have yet to mention a date this will be available. See: https://camperreport.com/starlink-internet/
I live in northern Saskatchewan (53.3 degrees lat) and currently have Xplornet LTE. I am moving 1 mile down the road and have no internet service there from any of the surrounding towers. I was told by the technician that I am moving to a low spot, so the terrain is the issue and not the many trees surrounding my house. They have hooked me up with their satellite service for now. He also mentioned to look into Starlink as a possible alternative. I work from home and use Microsoft Teams as my communication tool as I have co-workers all across Canada from Nova Scotia to BC. It is imperative that my internet is stable and consistent or I will be required to be in the office (a 2 hour drive from where I live) or quit my job. I am on the fence about whether I stay with Xplornet satellite service or switch to Starlink. Any feedback from anyone in Northern SK with experience with both satellite providers would be much appreciated!
do you have service available in Kitsault, BC yet?
Can we get 2 dish system and for 1 monthly fee? I would like a system for my motor home so when I am travelling I would have the system without having to remove the one on my roof to bring with me.
I live in rural ontario for 6 months and in Az for 6 months.When do you think starlink will be portable for someone like myself?
We have a smart hub with Telus. There is considerable congestion on the towers and often we cannot stream and sometimes can’t even run a speedtest. The speed is often below 3 MBS download. After hours on the phone with tech service and customer service, there is still no plan to build another tower to relieve the congestion, and no indication of any intention to do so.
we live in a log home with in floor heating, so WiFi coverage throughout the home is a problem. We use apple Airport and Apple Extreme extenders ( which I don’t think will work with Starlink? )We are in a summer village, and our previous provider, Explorenet, declared us unserviceable due to line of sight difficulties to towers close by but obscured by trees. We mount the dish on the top of our house and have clear sight to the north.
This is a dilemma – wait for telus or take a chance on Starlink beta. We have Shaw satellite TV – the original promise from Star Choice was that they would provide satellite internet but that never materialized even though we have had the Shaw/Starchoice since the late 80’s.
I enjoyed your review and have subscribed. Good work.
I have had this service since mid December in North-Mid-Ontario (Sault Ontario Area) so my unbiased review is yes it’s really getting a lot better with the disconnects as promised. Yesterday I had 1 disconnect for 15 seconds or less and that’s been pretty much the standard if any at all lately. A month ago I’d see several a day and sometimes one after another while using Teams for school.
As for speed, yes it’s an internet service you just use till you forget that you have internet these days. By that I mean you can pretty much click on anything, download any large file etc without the old feeling of “boy I better not click on that”! Now with that said if you run speed tests (at least for me) you will see speeds like a roller coaster. One test to the next for me is at the lowest 50 then the next is 130 and back to 50 then up to 100. It’s apparently more stable in other areas of the world like in the UK where a guy talks and just keeps hitting the “Start Test” button and he is always above 200?
So my guess is that in order for Canada to be able to see the really high stable speed we likely need ground stations which supposedly we only have 1 (demo) in Nova Scotia and I think we know why that is..(CRTC-BELL-ROGERS cough). So for us we have to connect through US stations which for me are far away and the GEO-Location is also placing me as being local in Winnipeg? I’m around 1300km’s away from there?
If you don’t know what GEO Location does it sets you location to this location when you use services like shopping online for example, if you go to HomeDepot etc it’ll select the closest store to show you if a product is in stock so you have to manually always enter your actual location to see if products are in stock at your store.
This minor nuances aside the service is far superior by leaps and bounds to anything rural where I am! The freedom to not have to count the data clock and pay overage fee’s, the ability to watch anything on streaming services glitch free and full HD without fail etc are beyond belief!
My dish is installed high on my roof on my farm with 100 percent clear sight to the Northern Sky, I have my own router installed 100 percent of the time as I keep the Starlink router in a box incase mine breaks down. I game online quite extensively and manage to play 90 percent of the time without a hiccup in games that are latency sensitive.
My hope is that Starlink becomes less dependent on ground stations and more in line with their priority where the data passes between each air borne satellite to increase stability, speed and latency like they are touting!
hi, I have signed up and paid my deposit for my house, we also have a cabin and am wondering if there is a second location deal?
Are there any customers in Truro or Shortts Lake area in Nova Scotia?
We live in Shortts Lake and interested if anyone Subscribes to your service if this area.
Thank you for this in-depth review. Very helpful to me a lot and maybe to a lot of people. Appreciated and keep on the good work.
Hey To, thanks for the kind words and for taking the time to comment! It keeps us motivated! Sharing this post with anyone you know who could benefit from Starlink would be very much appreciated.