Starlink (Generation 2) testing

GotNoRice

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jul 11, 2001
Messages
10,946
My Starlink arrived this morning. I wanted to make this thread to catalog my experiences with the new rectangular antenna and router, and testing the service overall. I'm currently on Mediacom Cable, with speeds about 330/25. It's decent, but it's very expensive (more than 2x Starlink) because it's a business plan, which is the only way to get unlimited data with this ISP. They also wouldn't run Coax to my house so I have my Cablemodem sitting in a little shack 300+ft from my house, with Cat6a running the rest of the way. I got Starlink because it would be nice to cut the monthly cost and get rid of the less than ideal arrangement with the Cablemodem. But it will need to be fast and reliable otherwise it doesn't matter how cheap it is. Time to find out.

Package arrived shipped from Southern California.
Box.jpg

Box1.jpg

The Antenna is actually a lot smaller than I thought it would be.
Box2.jpg

And the WiFi router, which also acts as a power supply for the Antenna.
Box3.jpg

Only two cables connect to the router, the power cable, and the cable to the Antenna. No Ethernet port on this version of the router :( There is an Ethernet adapter, which I ordered at the same time as the kit, but it has not even shipped yet, so WiFi only for now apparently.
BoxRouter.jpg

The port is some odd port that looks like a slightly larger micro-USB connector. You can see the water-proofing on the plug. I don't believe Starlink encourages you to set the router up outside but it seems pretty rugged in that respect. The built-in 90 degree angle at the very end makes it almost impossible to push that end of the cable through a pre-drilled hole, which is rather annoying.
RouterPort.jpg

And here it is on the little stand. The stand doesn't seem as stable as I thought it would be. I'm thinking I will probably have to use tent spikes or something to stop it from being knocked over in the wind. We'll see. We are on the top of a hill with a perfect unobstructed view of the northern sky. Zero obstructions according to the app.
Starlink.jpg

It took about 10 minutes to boot up. The antenna adjusted itself automatically. I completed the setup using the starlink app on my phone, which also allows me to control the very limited settings on the router.

Trying to find out what WAN IP it gave me was more challenging than it should have been, because the configuration options with this router are so limited. It doesn't even tell you what the WAN IP is until you open up the Debug Data and scroll down and find the entry for "ipv4WanAddress". My heart sank when I saw that it had given me a 100.78.x.x CGNAT IP Address......... :wtf: :cry: :rage:

I've run my own webserver from my own home internet for over 15 years and it's come in handy countless times and saved me from ever having to deal with trash services like photobucket, etc. I'm sort of screwed in that respect if I don't have a public IP to work with. I knew that many were getting CGNAT IPs but starting in November or so there began to be reports of users having actual public IPs assigned to them. I had my fingers crossed, but now I know... I'm still holding out some tiny hope that maybe when I get the ethernet adapter and put the starlink router into bypass mode so I can use my own router, perhaps that will somehow allow me to get a public IP. I'm really hoping that the whole CGNAT nonsense just goes away as the service matures.

Despite being stuck on WiFi for now, I decided to start running some tests anyway. Speeds are variable, and seem to fluctuate between 150-300Mbps on the download, and 12-25Mbps on the Upload.
Speedtest.jpg

The Latency is pretty amazing compared to what I was expecting. For most sites, the latency is actually lower than what I was getting via Cable, sometimes by quite a bit. The two main Starlink ground stations for Northern California aren't really that far from me. That might help with the latency. The connection is very consistent and I have not been having any significant interruptions.
pings.jpg

Downloading a Windows 11 ISO gives a better picture of the way the speed fluctuates. With my Cable connection it would just be pegged at 330Mbps.
graph.jpg

Well so far my experience has been pretty good. I'm really happy with the speeds, latency, and reliability that I am seeing so far. Not having an Ethernet port is annoying but as long as the Ethernet adapter actually arrives and works as advertised, it shouldn't matter. The whole CGNAT thing is really the only thing that is giving me some pause. I look forward to doing some gaming and more real-world activities to test for lag as numbers don't always tell the whole story.
 

hity645

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
May 11, 2005
Messages
7,530
Nice write up. I'd be curious about weather related issues, such as storms and general cloud coverage. When I deployed one of these for our beta at my previous company we attached the antenna to a mast (kit purchased separately). We saw momentary disconnects due to high weather and typically only long enough for our backup connection to turn on and then switch back over. The area is so remote however that barring that, the performance was phenomenal and they kept it in place as the primary connection.
 

vegeta535

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jul 19, 2013
Messages
8,803
I just checked out Starlink and surprising I don't have it available in Baltimore. Say late 2022 as estimate. I am perfectly happy with my fiber but it is a good to have more options. The ping is seriously impressive.
 

bigstusexy

2[H]4U
Joined
Jan 28, 2002
Messages
3,194
Thanks for the write up! I'll keep following this.

I think the CGNAT issue isn't going to go away unless they switch to IPV6.
 

GotNoRice

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jul 11, 2001
Messages
10,946
I think the CGNAT issue isn't going to go away unless they switch to IPV6.

Yeah we'll see. There are already reports from some people that have got a real public IP, i'm just not sure what the determining factor is or if it's just random.

I just finished repurposing an old laptop with a broken screen to be a dedicated web server. I'm going to set it up at a family member's house who has Comcast, and then I can manage the server remotely. Since everything else about the service is great so far, I guess that will allow me to work around the CGNAT issue for now. I'm still waiting for the Ethernet adapter to ship, until then all I can really do is maintain my Starlink internet as a parallel network for testing purposes.
 
Last edited:

bigstusexy

2[H]4U
Joined
Jan 28, 2002
Messages
3,194
I don't think the ethernet adapter is going to change how the public side works. I'm thinking that most of the difference on what people are getting is probably going to be where they hit down links - but I've done zero looking into starlink as I live in pretty populated areas and hoping to always have fiber.
 

Nobu

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jun 7, 2007
Messages
8,352
I don't think the ethernet adapter is going to change how the public side works. I'm thinking that most of the difference on what people are getting is probably going to be where they hit down links - but I've done zero looking into starlink as I live in pretty populated areas and hoping to always have fiber.
Yeah, the local hub is probably what assigns IPs. If they haven't assigned a range of public IP addresses to that hub yet, then they're stuck using the private range and (hopefully?) NAT.
 

cdoublejj

Gawd
Joined
Apr 12, 2013
Messages
664
i this kit requires you to use their crappy router though form what i heard. i hope bridge mode is out by the time my area gets Star Link.

I guessing you're not a fan for dynamic DNS via sync application of some sort?
 

FlawleZ

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Oct 20, 2010
Messages
1,586
Latency looks A LOT better than I would expect. Thanks for sharing!
 

longblock454

2[H]4U
Joined
Nov 28, 2004
Messages
2,309
I read somewhere that the 1st gen power consumption was around 100 watts 24-7, how does this generation compare?
 

mashie

Mawd Gawd
Joined
Oct 25, 2000
Messages
4,285
My sister should get her StarLink kit next week in Colorado. Will be interesting to see how it works out. It will be quite an upgrade from her rural 10mbit wireless service for the same price pretty much.

Are there any wall mount kits or similar for the dish?
 

GotNoRice

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jul 11, 2001
Messages
10,946
i this kit requires you to use their crappy router though form what i heard. i hope bridge mode is out by the time my area gets Star Link.

The issue is that there is no Ethernet port. The Starkink router has a bypass mode, that turns off the WiFi and allows you to use your own router, but it only works with the optional ethernet adapter (which you have to purchase separately). You can't hook up your own router via WiFi unless you want to double-NAT (which would actually be triple-NAT if you get a CGNAT IP from Starlink).

I guessing you're not a fan for dynamic DNS via sync application of some sort?

I've never had a need for Dynamic DNS because I have a real domain and just plug my public IP in there instead. In practice, most ISPs will give you the same WAN IP for long periods of time, especially if your router is on 24/7 and always renewing the same lease from the DHCP server. I'm not sure what you mean by "sync application", but even if there is a service that would somehow let me host my web server from behind a CGNAT IP, the entire reason I host my own web server is so that I don't have to rely on 3rd party services.

Are there any wall mount kits or similar for the dish?

They sell all sorts of mounts in the Starlink shop.
 

cdoublejj

Gawd
Joined
Apr 12, 2013
Messages
664
The issue is that there is no Ethernet port. The Starkink router has a bypass mode, that turns off the WiFi and allows you to use your own router, but it only works with the optional ethernet adapter (which you have to purchase separately). You can't hook up your own router via WiFi unless you want to double-NAT (which would actually be triple-NAT if you get a CGNAT IP from Starlink).



I've never had a need for Dynamic DNS because I have a real domain and just plug my public IP in there instead. In practice, most ISPs will give you the same WAN IP for long periods of time, especially if your router is on 24/7 and always renewing the same lease from the DHCP server. I'm not sure what you mean by "sync application", but even if there is a service that would somehow let me host my web server from behind a CGNAT IP, the entire reason I host my own web server is so that I don't have to rely on 3rd party services.



They sell all sorts of mounts in the Starlink shop.
then that doesn't sound like real bridge mode to me. as my modem-router in bridge mode acts as a modem. :-( maybe i'll be able to pay more for the older kit in a few months. if it's aviable. i'd rather deal with a permantley attached cable lol

i also have a domain name and provider also gives me me dynamic IP, i just made provisions in my router to sync it up. there is a chance if the IP changes between sync intervals that it will fail to resolve for 5 or 15 minutes.

you rely on a 3rd party service to host your domain unless you run your own ICANN services and claim your own domain through ICANN. i use Gahndi and i use one of the free dynamic IP services. all you have to do is constantly report your current IP to back to domain name host. i have mine set to to every 5 or 15 minutes. it is setup in the router. HOWEVER you don't have to do that you can even run a app on one of your PCs that reports your current IP back. i did that for a while before i built an untangle router. i do something similar at home with my dd-wrt router.
 

GotNoRice

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jul 11, 2001
Messages
10,946
then that doesn't sound like real bridge mode to me. as my modem-router in bridge mode acts as a modem. :-( maybe i'll be able to pay more for the older kit in a few months. if it's aviable. i'd rather deal with a permantley attached cable lol

I do believe that it does act like a modem when Bypass mode is enabled. The adapter actually goes between the Starlink router and the antenna. In Bypass mode, the WAN IP is given directly to the WAN interface of your router, and the Starlink router isn't doing anything at that point. That's the same as what you would get when plugging your router into a Cablemodem, etc. You can't completely remove the Starlink router because it also acts as a PoE power supply for the antenna and the connection is proprietary.

i also have a domain name and provider also gives me me dynamic IP, i just made provisions in my router to sync it up. there is a chance if the IP changes between sync intervals that it will fail to resolve for 5 or 15 minutes.

On Mediacom my IP has changed, on average, less than once per year, and that almost always corresponds with a specific event like a power outage, etc. So it's predictable, and trivial to just update the IP manually when it does happen. We'll see if Starlink is similar, if I ever get a public IP at all.

you rely on a 3rd party service to host your domain unless you run your own ICANN services and claim your own domain through ICANN.

I don't know that paying a domain registrar a small fee once per year just to point my domain to my WAN IP counts as "hosting". I just don't want to pay for 3rd party web hosting (as in, paying someone else to use their web server), or cloud computing services when I can do it using my own equipment and internet connection instead.
 

Nicklebon

Gawd
Joined
May 22, 2006
Messages
821
I've never had a need for Dynamic DNS because I have a real domain and just plug my public IP in there instead. In practice, most ISPs will give you the same WAN IP for long periods of time, especially if your router is on 24/7 and always renewing the same lease from the DHCP server. I'm not sure what you mean by "sync application", but even if there is a service that would somehow let me host my web server from behind a CGNAT IP, the entire reason I host my own web server is so that I don't have to rely on 3rd party services.
Can't promise it would work but ... Setup a 4 to 6 tunnel with Hurricane Electric. This would get you a publicly routable /56 or even a /48 IPv6 block. Put your webserver on an IPv6 address with corresponding dns.
 

cdoublejj

Gawd
Joined
Apr 12, 2013
Messages
664
st don't want to pay for 3rd party web hosting (as in, paying someone else to use their web server), or cloud computing services when I can do it using my own equipment and internet connection instead.
yeah i self host too. not web server yet. the dynamic IP is free, there are a few services that are free. My ISP changes IP upon modem IP upon modem reboot.

sounds like pointing a fan on the router/modem/poe adapter might be a good idea. i like those little arctic cooling USB fans and the AC infinity 120v AC fans too.
 

GotNoRice

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jul 11, 2001
Messages
10,946
It took 3 extra weeks but the Ethernet Adapter finally showed up. It's pretty unremarkable and goes between the antenna and the Starlink router, which makes sense since that's literally the only port on the entire router aside from the power.

EthernetAdapter.png

EthernetAdapter1.png

It was nice to get the whole house switched over finally. Using the ethernet adapter didn't change anything as far as what type of IP I got. Still CGNAT for now.
 

TheToE!

[H] Brewmaster
Joined
May 17, 2005
Messages
8,446
It took 3 extra weeks but the Ethernet Adapter finally showed up. It's pretty unremarkable and goes between the antenna and the Starlink router, which makes sense since that's literally the only port on the entire router aside from the power.

View attachment 433902

View attachment 433903

It was nice to get the whole house switched over finally. Using the ethernet adapter didn't change anything as far as what type of IP I got. Still CGNAT for now.
I set one of these up for a client friday. I was temped to cut off the router end of the cable and crimp an end on then just plug it into her PoE switch. But she wanted to order the adapter. I wonder if it would work or does the dish have to uplink to the SL router?
 

GotNoRice

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jul 11, 2001
Messages
10,946
I set one of these up for a client friday. I was temped to cut off the router end of the cable and crimp an end on then just plug it into her PoE switch. But she wanted to order the adapter. I wonder if it would work or does the dish have to uplink to the SL router?

There are those who have done it.

One slight catch is that the Starlink Antenna can use more power than most common PoE switches can provide. The antenna even has built-in heating elements to melt snow or ice that forms on the surface, etc, which uses quite a bit of power. Those who have done it successfully used custom PoE power supplies that can supply more power.

https://www.reddit.com/r/Starlink/comments/sb4dei/homebrew_poeethernet_adapter_for_rectangle/
 

GotNoRice

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jul 11, 2001
Messages
10,946
I've noticed some odd quirks since getting the service.

There is something seriously odd going on with the IP Geolocation information. A handful of days ago all of a sudden Hulu is insisting on giving me local channels for the Seattle area (I'm in Northern California). Same thing for websites and apps that give weather information, etc based on your IP location. And in fact it shows my hostname now as "customer.sea3.mc.starlinkisp.net", with "sea" referring to Seattle I assume. Internet connectivity overall has not been impacted, but Hulu has. Hulu has such Nazi policies when it comes to trying to prevent "abuse" of their service that it seems happy to believe the geolocation info as gospel.

I also noticed that when I went to a certain Wikipedia page, it gave me a notice saying someone with my public IP had made an edit but didn't provide proof so the edit was removed. I certainly didn't make any Wikipedia edits, so I assume this was someone else also stuck on CGNAT and sharing the same public IP as me. The chance of me just randomly stumbling on a Wikipedia page that had been edited by someone with my same IP seems like it should be extremely remote, so that does make me wonder just how many people are sharing the same IP address under this CGNAT setup... Possibly hundreds or even thousands?

I'm also noticing that Starlink is less friendly to heavy torrenting overall. This seems at least partially due to the highly variable speeds compared to a terrestrial connection. When you have your download maxed out with torrents and the speed tanks (due to normal variability), it causes everything to grind to a halt and I will get some brief ping timeouts. When I was still on Cable, pings would increase once my download was maxed out but not as much and I would rarely ever get full timeouts. I would liken it to the difference between a freeway that is traveling slowly but consistently compared to a freeway that is experiencing stop-and-go traffic. It's not a huge issue but I do get some buffering when I stream while torrenting, and I generally now have to quit my torrent client when I game online, whereas when I was on Cable I didn't usually have to do that.
 

Nobu

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jun 7, 2007
Messages
8,352
I've noticed some odd quirks since getting the service.

There is something seriously odd going on with the IP Geolocation information. A handful of days ago all of a sudden Hulu is insisting on giving me local channels for the Seattle area (I'm in Northern California). Same thing for websites and apps that give weather information, etc based on your IP location. And in fact it shows my hostname now as "customer.sea3.mc.starlinkisp.net", with "sea" referring to Seattle I assume. Internet connectivity overall has not been impacted, but Hulu has. Hulu has such Nazi policies when it comes to trying to prevent "abuse" of their service that it seems happy to believe the geolocation info as gospel.

I also noticed that when I went to a certain Wikipedia page, it gave me a notice saying someone with my public IP had made an edit but didn't provide proof so the edit was removed. I certainly didn't make any Wikipedia edits, so I assume this was someone else also stuck on CGNAT and sharing the same public IP as me. The chance of me just randomly stumbling on a Wikipedia page that had been edited by someone with my same IP seems like it should be extremely remote, so that does make me wonder just how many people are sharing the same IP address under this CGNAT setup... Possibly hundreds or even thousands?

I'm also noticing that Starlink is less friendly to heavy torrenting overall. This seems at least partially due to the highly variable speeds compared to a terrestrial connection. When you have your download maxed out with torrents and the speed tanks (due to normal variability), it causes everything to grind to a halt and I will get some brief ping timeouts. When I was still on Cable, pings would increase once my download was maxed out but not as much and I would rarely ever get full timeouts. I would liken it to the difference between a freeway that is traveling slowly but consistently compared to a freeway that is experiencing stop-and-go traffic. It's not a huge issue but I do get some buffering when I stream while torrenting, and I generally now have to quit my torrent client when I game online, whereas when I was on Cable I didn't usually have to do that.
I always had my downloads and uploads throttled in the torrent app for that reason. In my case, I think it was cox I had, and everything suffered if I didn't throttle the torrents.

Iirc, the uplink was the major issue. if you saturate the uplink, then it can't negotiate more data to download, so everything crawls until it's free.
 

TheToE!

[H] Brewmaster
Joined
May 17, 2005
Messages
8,446
There are those who have done it.

One slight catch is that the Starlink Antenna can use more power than most common PoE switches can provide. The antenna even has built-in heating elements to melt snow or ice that forms on the surface, etc, which uses quite a bit of power. Those who have done it successfully used custom PoE power supplies that can supply more power.

https://www.reddit.com/r/Starlink/comments/sb4dei/homebrew_poeethernet_adapter_for_rectangle/
Thanks for the heads up!
 

GotNoRice

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jul 11, 2001
Messages
10,946
I always had my downloads and uploads throttled in the torrent app for that reason. In my case, I think it was cox I had, and everything suffered if I didn't throttle the torrents.

I used to do something similar with the Traffic Shaper in pfSense. But that only really worked because my speeds with cable were consistent, so it was easy to set a cap / throttle 5% or so below my max download and upload speed. With Starlink download speeds can vary from over 300Mbps to under 100Mbps. With these constant peaks and valleys in speed, I'd have to cap my speeds very low to avoid the "valleys", and I'd miss out on all the extra bandwidth during the peaks. I assume the variability will decrease as more and more satellites join the constellation, or at least that's what I'm hoping.
 

Liver

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Oct 24, 2005
Messages
5,399
The ethernet adapter. Where can I order that? I can not find where to do so.
 

Dameon

n00b
Joined
Jul 21, 2011
Messages
20
Thanks for the link.

Do I have to own a dish before I can order stuff?

Specifically I need the ethernet adapter and I’ll need a longer cable.
I don't think you need a dish to order other things, might you might need a current account and I don't think you can get that until you pay for the dish. You don't pay for the dish until it's "ready to ship".

Post back here with your results. I'd be curious.
 

GotNoRice

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jul 11, 2001
Messages
10,946
I believe that the shop is setup to only offer you accessories that work with the dish that you have. If you have the round dish (which is what new customers outside of the US still get), then you will not have the option to buy the ethernet adapter because it's not needed. If you are inside the US and have the rectangular dish then it will list the ethernet adapter in the shop. I'm not sure that you have any option to buy accessories before you buy your dish.
 

Liver

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Oct 24, 2005
Messages
5,399
A64DAAEF-CC11-47E5-A904-394A29FC8AC4.jpeg


Found it. Crap. Have to have the dish on my account prior to having access to the goodies.
 

TheToE!

[H] Brewmaster
Joined
May 17, 2005
Messages
8,446
My client's having issues with hers. I suspect it's the shitty router thats supplied. She's waiting on the ethernet adapter. Internet will just die out of no where even though the light on bottome is solid.
 

GotNoRice

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jul 11, 2001
Messages
10,946
My client's having issues with hers. I suspect it's the shitty router thats supplied. She's waiting on the ethernet adapter. Internet will just die out of no where even though the light on bottome is solid.

The router that is supplied is not particularly advanced, and does not have many user-adjustable options, but it's not bad to the point where it would cause internet dropouts. I'd say it's much more likely that something is blocking the Starlink antenna's field of view. Most underestimate the sort of things that can block the field of view. Even something like a thin telephone pole can cause dropouts. The Starlink antenna points to the north and even things relatively low on the horizon in that direction can block the signal.

If you use the Starlink app while connected to the Starlink wifi router, it will show you if you have a clear field of view, and if not, it will show you where in the field of view the blockage is located. It will also show you any outages that have occurred during the past 12 hours.
 

Liver

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Oct 24, 2005
Messages
5,399
I need Starlink, like 5 years ago. Apparently I’m on the list for this year.

Last night I was frustrated enough with internet access that I seriously considered paying for the business plan.
 

BravO)))

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Jun 16, 2008
Messages
6,474
Just ordered myself. Two weeks to ship. Moving to a new place, and att is the only thing available... With the cable isp being less than 3 miles away. I have att dsl at the place I am moving from, and I would rather cut down a bunch of trees, rather than use att for internet again. 50 dollars for 10mb in 2022 lol. With all those billions of dollars they could have used on infrastructure, instead the tax payer will be footing the bill for the upgrades... Fuck att. I will gladly pay 110 to not use them.
 

BravO)))

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Jun 16, 2008
Messages
6,474
Since ATT is the only thing available, I got an itch to see what they would offer at the place I am moving. Less than 5 miles away, if I went ATT instead of starlink, I would go from 10mb for 45$ to 5mb at 55$. LULZ.
 
Top