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My Starlink adventure, 2 months later: real innovation or false good idea ? (Ep. 2/3)

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In this series of three episodes, I study, through my personal experience, the advantages and disadvantages of the Starlink offer. Each episode addresses the three phases of this experience: before, during and after.

In this second episode, I talk about my first two months of daily life with Starlink. From speeds to uses, I discuss the strong points and the weak points of this solution often described as revolutionary.

Flow rates: very good and not so good

My Starlink adventure, 2 months later: real innovation or false good idea ? (Ep. 2/3)

© The WiFi of the Starlink modem is catastrophic/Lemon squeezer

On its official website, Starlink promises a speed of 260 Mbit/s in France, almost ten times more than ADSL. In fact, the downstream flow revolves around these figures.

Remains that this flow rate is theoretical and that it varies greatly depending on several parameters: cloud cover, satellite position, number of machines connected simultaneously, WiFi power, modem position etc.

During my experience, I regularly achieved these downstream flow rates. Surprisingly, I even happened to exceed the promised 260 Mbit/s: often in the evening, very late, when the number of connected devices is more limited.

If the downstream speeds are excellent, the upstream speeds are less impressive. They very rarely exceed 25 Mbit/s, a speed that is too slow for many uses, including sending large files to online servers.

Finally, latency remains Starlink's main weakness. Very variable, it sometimes reaches peaks which can have a direct impact on the daily experience, particularly in gaming or for multimedia uses.

On a daily basis, what does that look like?

My Starlink adventure, 2 months later: real innovation or false good idea ? (Ep. 2/3)

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Concretely, this performance allows you to work without the slightest problem. As part of my activity as editor-in-chief, I am permanently connected to the web, for uses that are sometimes basic (editing, messaging software, web browsing, social networks) sometimes advanced (photo, video).

For basic use, Starlink is convincing in all respects. On the other hand, sending large files requires a lot of patience if you have a fiber connection. Those who come from ADSL will logically find Elon Musk's solution much more interesting.

The multimedia experience is also optimal. I can easily watch series and films in 4K Ultra HD quality without the slightest slowdown.

For gaming, latency issues are sometimes a problem. For a single-player online game, Starlink does the job perfectly, including with high graphic quality. On the other hand, nervous games like Warzone (Battle royale of Call of Duty), the latency has a significant impact on gaming performance. I'm not shying away from my pleasure but I definitely feel this variation in latency during certain games.

Finally, and probably the most annoying, I often experience service interruptions.As soon as the connection between the satellite and the dish is obstructed, Starlink interrupts the signal for a few seconds every 15 minutes. Problem: I can't keep an eye on obstructions in real time.

So sometimes I see my screen freeze in the middle of a movie, during a video or in the middle of a video game. In the first case, I wait a few seconds without problem. In the second, the interruption sometimes makes communication complex. In the last one, I got eliminated more than once at a crucial moment in my game because of this interruption.

Some will say that I misplaced my parable. It is not so. As I explain in the first episode, I took great care to position my dish in a place where no physical obstruction (tree, roof of the house, opposite) can disrupt the signal. Obstructions therefore come from other elements such as a heavy sky for example.

A WiFi system to boost Starlink?

My Starlink adventure, 2 months later: real innovation or false good idea ? (Ep. 2/3)

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As I indicated in the first part of this series of articles, the quality of Starlink's WiFi network leaves something to be desired. This is even the main weak point of this solution. To remedy this, I equipped myself with an Orbi 860 WiFi system with WiFi 6E promising a clear improvement in wireless performance.

After several weeks of use, I recommend opting for such a solution in large homes (more than 100 m2). In my two-story, 120 m2 home, the Orbi 860 has completely transformed my experience. For example, the WiFi signal from the Starlink modem does not reach my room. The Orbi 860 extends to this room.

Above all, the quality of the WiFi signal can significantly reduce the loss of throughput. By connecting directly to the Starlink modem, the throughput can be divided by three on my iPhone 15 Pro when I'm on the other side of the house. With the Orbi 860, the loss does not exceed 30 to 40%. My flow rates are therefore significantly better since adding the Orbi 860 to my configuration.

The fact remains that this solution has a cost: count 40 euros for the Starlink adapter allowing you to connect the router and 750 euros for the Orbi 860 solution. A very high price which only makes sense if Starlink is a long-term solution and you live in a large home.

Starlink is validated?

My Starlink adventure, 2 months later: real innovation or false good idea ? (Ep. 2/3)

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After two months of experience, I still do not regret my choice of subscribing to Starlink. The performances delivered are light years ahead of what access providers offer with their ADSL packages.

On a daily basis, apart from a few limitations (slightly slow upload speeds, sometimes high latency), Starlink stands out as a truly innovative solution.

For residents of rural areas where fiber is not available, I am firmly convinced that Starlink is even a miracle solution. And that's just the beginning. The company promises improvements over time, particularly in terms of throughput and latency. For 50 euros per month (dish rental included), it's validated!

See you in a few months, for the final assessment!

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Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116