SpaceX is offering more transparency about the internet speeds you can expect from Starlink through a new function on its website.
The coverage map on Starlink.com was originally designed to show users if they’d be waitlisted for the residential Starlink service. But this past weekend, SpaceX added the ability to see the estimated download, upload, and latency speeds for each state across the US. Access the feature by clicking the drop-down menu next to the “Availability” icon.
The function promises to clear up some ambiguities about the residential Starlink service, which starts at $90/$120 per month. SpaceX’s own specification document currently says US subscribers can expect a large range of download speeds, from 25Mbps to 100Mbps.
Download speeds in Kansas (Credit: Starlink.com)
In contrast, the new maps from SpaceX offer a more precise speed estimate for each state, making it a helpful tool to better understand whether buying Starlink is worth it in your area. Most importantly, if you hover your mouse over a state, the map show expected speed ranges.
For many areas in the US, particularly in the south, download speeds can range from as little as 30Mbps to over 100Mbps, the map shows. The median download experience in these areas is at 25Mbps to 50Mbps.
Starlink map showing precise speeds for Greenville, SC. (Credit: Starlink.com)
The slower speeds are likely because these localities are still facing congestion issues with too many Starlink subscribers stretching the internet service’s capacity. As a result, broadband quality can suffer during peak times of the day.
In other parts of the US, particularly in the west, download speeds can range closer to 50Mbps to over 120Mbps, with the median download speeds at 75Mbps to 100Mbps. Upload speeds, on the other hand, are largely consistent across the US at around 9Mbps to 18Mbps.
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To calculate the speeds, the map adds: “Metrics range from 20th to 80th percentile for the ‘Standard’ service plan only, during local peak hours, and are refreshed monthly. Map coloring is based on the median for each metric. These metrics are not guaranteed and will vary based on geography, time of day, Wi-Fi performance, and other factors.”
For other parts of the world, the maps show that Starlink offers significantly better broadband quality in Europe, where the download speeds can range from 150Mbps to over 220Mbps. This is probably because Starlink has fewer users in Europe compared to the US market. To improve the speeds, SpaceX is working to launch thousands of additional satellites in orbit.
Starlink coverage map of Europe (Credit: Starlink.com)
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The post How Fast Is Starlink in Your Area? SpaceX Maps Now Show an Estimate first appeared on www.pcmag.com