SpaceX’s Starlink internet public beta is giving some users blistering download speeds of more than 160 Mbps, including in rural Montana

SpaceX Starlink

  • SpaceX’s public beta test of its Starlink satellite-internet service is giving some users download speeds of more than 160 megabits per second — faster than 95% of US connections, according to the speed-test provider Ookla.
  • One Starlink customer in rural Montana said on Reddit that their download speed was 174 Mbps. “Starlink will forever change the game,” they said.
  • SpaceX said in an email to beta-test subscribers last week that they should expect speeds between 50 and 150 Mbps, with intermittent outages. Most speeds in a list compiled by the Starlink Reddit community fell in that range.

SpaceX tried to lower expectations when it launched its Starlink satellite internet beta on October 26 — but some users say they’re already hitting download speeds of more than 160 megabits per second, faster than 95% of US connections, according to the speed-test provider Ookla.

One person on the West Coast posted a screenshot on the Starlink Reddit community of a speed test showing a download speed of 161 Mbps. They were one of many to share their speed in recent days.

Another person who said they were in rural Montana said that their download speed was 174 Mbps and that their upload speed was 33 Mbps. “Starlink will forever change the game,” they said.

In an October 26 email, SpaceX, founded by Elon Musk, said users in the “Better Than Nothing Beta” — in which a network of nearly 900 satellites is beaming internet service down to Earth — could expect speeds of between 50 Mbps and 150 Mbps.

Most user tests compiled in a list on Reddit fell within that range, though most were from before the public beta test began.

In the email to users, SpaceX said it was trying to “lower your initial expectations” about the beta test. The company aims to eventually beam internet service around the world with Starlink.

It said users could expect “brief periods of no connectivity at all” — and some have seen that during the trial. The West Coast user said that “interruptions are about ten to fifteen seconds, and seem to happen every few minutes.”

The user added that there were “a couple of trees in the way, but getting steady high speeds.”

A subscription to the beta test costs $600 up front: $99 a month, plus $499 for a kit with a tripod, a WiFi router, and a terminal to connect to the Starlink satellites. Some users are willing to spend even more for a better setup — one person said on Reddit that they spent an extra $100 on a sturdier mount.

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