Friday, June 28, 2024

Starlink Mini

Chris Wedel (via Hacker News):

However, since I first began using these low-orbit satellites to power my internet, not only has the price gone up $30 per month, but the speeds and reliability have degraded significantly. I’ve talked to others in my area who use Starlink, and since January, we’ve experienced frequent downtime and fluctuating speeds between 30-50/2-10Mbps. I’m aware Starlink states that what I’m getting served is within stated expectations. I could deal with that if it were consistent and reliable and also if I wasn’t getting charged $120 per month.


This has forced me to look for alternate options. For the last two months, I’ve gone back to T-Mobile Home Internet because I can get T-Mobile for only $50 per month and because speed and reliability are on par with what I’d been getting from Starlink. But even getting T-Mobile at my house required some extra work and money on my part. If you can believe it, I had to first walk into the store and ask for a modem and reassure them that I knew my experience might not be great because, officially, according to the T-Mobile website, the internet isn’t available at my home. I also had to purchase a $400 external antenna kit designed to connect directly to the router since I don’t get a good cellular signal from any U.S. carrier at my house, and I need the boost from an antenna.

Thomas Ricker:

The new compact DC-powered Starlink Mini is about the size of a thick laptop and integrates the Wi-Fi router right inside the dish. And despite using less power than other Starlink terminals, it can still deliver speeds over 100Mbps.


Notably, the Mini kit consumes an average of just 20-40W compared to the 33-62W we measured just two years ago with a Standard Actuated dish and separate AC-powered Wi-Fi router. That means you can power the Mini dish for two to three hours from something like an Anker Prime 27,650mAh (99.54Wh) power bank, or a little over an hour with smaller 10,000mAh (40Wh) portable batteries you probably already have laying about. It requires a USB-C PD power source with a minimum rating of 100W (20V/5A).


In the US, Starlink Mini is an add-on to Residential plans — at least for now. The Mini kit costs $599 which is $100 more than the standard dish, and will cost an extra $30 per month to add the Mini Roam service to existing $120 Residential plans. That gives Starlink Mini users up to 50GB of mobile data each month, with the option to purchase more for $1 per GB, according to early-access invitations sent to some exiting US Starlink customers.


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