Will Starlink Work in Apartments?

In this article, you will learn how Starlink will work in apartments and how they perform.

You’ll also learn how to optimize your chances of receiving uninterrupted high-speed coverage anywhere in the world!

You’ve likely read the mixed reviews from users who tried the service. The experiences range from very positive to non-impressive, especially in larger cities. 

We have attempted to break down the controversy and explain how Starlink will perform in an apartment or condo building.

The newest connectivity scene competitor is undoubtedly making big claims such as fast, accessible internet accessibility for almost everyone on the planet. Getting great internet in an apartment can be challenging, especially if you consider options other than cable. 

To answer questions such as “Will Starlink work in the city?” And does a Starlink dish have to be mounted on a roof? Can Starlink work on a condominium?

It’s crucial first to understand what Starlink exactly is.

Are you in an urban center looking for Apartment Internet? You may have other land-based options you should know about before going to the skies.

How Is Starlink Different?

In oversimplified terms, Starlink is satellite internet. However, how it operates and the type of satellites used to provide this faster internet stream differ from traditional internet modules.

You probably have DSL, wireless, or Cable internet installed in your home and workplace, allowing you to enjoy reliable and uninterrupted internet. 

While cable or wireless internet users usually report a hiccup-free internet experience in cities and moderately sized towns, customers in rural or remote areas are not always so lucky. Fiber-optic cable can be expensive and tricky to maintain when covering larger areas or connecting to spaced-out homes and offices.

Elon Musk is aiming to solve this global problem by launching a large number of satellites into orbit. The distance of These satellites will be less than traditional Geostationary Satellites(GEO). They will be about 60 times closer to Earth than typical satellites.

Data is transmitted to these satellites by ‘ground stations’ that also convey signals back to Starlink customers. The naked eye can observe these low-flying satellites if you time them correctly. Making for an interesting sky-watching experience that’s gaining hype these days.

Also, they will be in constant motion around the globe. Elon’s long-term plan is to send enough of these low-earth orbit satellites to form a chain of satellites around our planet. Working in conjunction to provide high-speed internet to virtually everyone, everywhere in the world.

Check out this blog post Is Starlink Internet Worth it? To learn more about SpaceX’s Starlink and how it’s changing how the internet works.

So Will Starlink Work in My Apartment?

Unprecedented high-speed and easy global access are excellent and all in theory. But you’re wondering if all these benefits can still be leveraged for you as an apartment dweller.

Steaming Netflix or having a gaming marathon are no longer the only reasons we need high-speed internet in our homes. The recent COVID-19 pandemic has cemented the need for reliable and speedy internet, even in residential areas. More of us are working remotely now than at any other point in recent history.

One of the most essential things to understand about Starlink’s model to supply internet is that it needs an unrestricted view of the sky to provide high-speed internet. Now, you can make this possible in an apartment or other closed residential spaces in several ways. But whenever there are obstacles between your dish and the open sky, your net speed will suffer or diminish completely. You can download the Starlink app. Open up the “obstructions” and do a test for your location.

Like all other internet options, Starlink has its pros and cons. Here, we have addressed some basic questions about Starlink Internet and reviewed its performance in apartments versus other internet options:

How Does Starlink Perform in the City?

Technically speaking, Starlink is now available in over 32 countries worldwide, with plans to expand to even more countries, such as India, in the upcoming year.

Theoretically, the company envisions connectivity for all, no matter which part of the globe they might be in. Starlink Internet was designed to provide internet to remote places that otherwise don’t have many options for acquiring a secure connection. While the brand is also selling kits for city dwellers, the priority is still far-fetched areas.

Although Starlink is now out of beta phase, its coverage is still spotty in some larger cities. So, if you live in a highly populated city such as Toronto, Montreal, Calgary, or Ottawa, you might have a better chance if you stick with DSL or Cable internet, at least for now.

Starlink has outlined a detailed expansion plan the company claims will improve coverage in densely populated areas over the next year. The plan includes the launch of more satellites into the constellation, resolving these issues. It will also increase both internet speed and availability. 

Considering signing up for Starlink for your business as an entrepreneur? This blog post can help you make a more informed decision.

Does Starlink Have to Be on the Roof of an Appartment?

Starlink sells easy-to-set-up kits that contain everything you need to connect your apartment to the internet. The company offers multiple mounting options for the small satellite dish that needs to be mounted outdoors and requires access to the open sky to deliver optimal internet speed.

The Starlink satellite dish is IP54 rated, making it resistant to most weather extremities. It also includes an automatic heater to melt any snow accumulated on the dish.

Placing the dish on a rooftop is ideal but not necessary. As long as your dish has an unobstructed view of the sky, you can even place the dish up to 100 feet away from your apartment. It’s best not to have tall buildings or dense trees that might interfere with internet signals.

Which Dish Mounting Options Are Best for Apartment Buildings? 

The company offers many options for securing the dish on the terrace or roofs of apartments and condos. Here are our top picks that work well in apartment buildings:

J Mount 

Readily available and modifiable, the J mount is an economical way to secure your Starlink dish. The J mount can be installed on a side wall or the roof, as needed.

Non-Penetrating Mount

Also known as the ridge line mount, this is an excellent solution for mounting your dish if you rent. It holds your Starlink dish in place securely without drilling any holes. The base is held in place by the use of weighted blocks. 

This mounting style would be used on a ground-level apartment with a large yard or a penthouse apartment with access to the roof. Anyone in the middle is likely unable to get enough “night sky” visibility.

That makes for a quick installation and easy to transport if you change apartments. If your area gets a lot of strong winds, this option might not be suitable for you. 

Tripod Mount

A tremendous mounting option that is set up permanently or temporarily. The tripod mount is most suited for apartment roofs with spacious, flat surfaces. It provides more height than a J mount for your Starlink dish. 

Some of these mounts can even be mounted on the side of the building from an angle, as the satellite dish does not need to be placed on a level surface to work. Here are some things to look out for when choosing a spot to mount your dish;

  • Poles
  • Tall trees
  • Surrounding buildings

That’s possible because of the motors built into the dish’s antenna. The phased array antenna positions itself automatically to better align with the passing satellites overhead, ensuring a steady flow of internet connection for your home.

Can the Router Survive Outside?

The router included in the Starlink kit has a range of up to 200 feet, meaning it can cover an average-sized apartment without much issue.

Positioning the router correctly, however, poses another challenge. A cable needs to be brought in to connect the router to your satellite dish, requiring a hole to be drilled. If that option is not feasible for you because you’re renting, the router can also be placed outside.

Many customers have reposted excellent singles with the router placed near windows, so that’s another option for you to consider. Another way could be propping the window open and passing the cable from the opening.

Remember that the more glass/concrete/ wood layers between your Starlink router and devices, the more internet quality will suffer.

How Can I Maximize Signals if the Router Is Outside My Apartment?

Like the satellite dish, the router is IP54 rated, so it can be placed outside. Here are some tips for placing your Starlink router outdoors:

  1. Never place the router in direct sunlight.
  2. Place the router close to your apartment to ensure a good signal range.
  3. Bury the cable connecting the router and the dish, if possible, to protect it from trampling and animal bites. If living on higher floors, protective cable coating can be used.
  4. Trees, signboards, and surrounding buildings can lower the range of your router. An open space is best to optimize your router’s capability.
  5. To minimize fire hazards, ensure adequate ventilation when you’ve placed the router, as it can heat up when in use.
  6. Shield the router from snow, rain, prolonged exposure to direct sunlight, and strong winds.
  7. Never let the router get submerged in water.

If you can get the router inside, check out our guide to Boost Apartment Internet Speed

Can You Move With Starlink Internet?

Starlink’s most prominent feature and selling point is the unprecedented mobility it can afford its users. It needs no wires or physical cables to join you to the internet. High-speed internet for all is not the only innovation SpaceX is currently working on. The company also promises internet that’s flexible and in a state of constant motion, just like their satellites.

However, Starlink is only providing geo-restricted connections to its customers now. It’s expected that this limitation will be removed sometime this year. As more and more of SpaceX’s satellites join the constellation orbiting around the planet, the company will be able to offer enhanced mobility and better internet speed.

The FCC recently granted Starlink approval to provide internet to moving vehicles. That’s a massive vote of confidence in the brand as airlines such as Hawaiian Airlines and JSX signed deals making Starlink their official internet supplier.

So, Will you Starlink work anywhere? Eventually, yes. Right now? Probably not.

Should I Sign Up for Starlink?

SpaceX has made some huge promises, but our research shows it can keep them.

Signing up for the waiting list to get the Starlink kit can give you a head start for when the company does deliver on all its promises. Also, you can cancel anytime and receive a full refund, so it’s not a bad idea even if you reside in an apartment.

We are just as excited as you about the possibilities Starlink aims to bring to the global connectivity scene. Keep checking internetadvice to keep updated on the latest technological changes and updates on Starlink.

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Michael is the main author and Editor on the InternetAdvice blog. With a decade of experience under his belt, Michael stands at the forefront of the telecommunications industry. As a Senior Telecom Strategist, Michael has witnessed firsthand the rapid advancements in technology and has been an integral part of pioneering efforts in the adoption of cutting-edge telecom solutions across Canada.

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