How Elon Musk & SpaceX Could Save You Money on Broadband Internet

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space x ship taking off

SpaceX is using Starlink satellites to bring broadband internet to every corner of the world!

Once considered a luxury, high-speed internet service has become an essential utility for so many American homes. The coronavirus pandemic really underscored the need for high-speed internet when so many people began working and learning from home. Without reliable internet service, many rural communities and other underserved areas struggled to stay connected.

Now, Elon Musk and his aerospace company SpaceX are on a mission to cover the entire planet with high-speed, low-latency, broadband internet. This satellite-based internet service is called Starlink, and it will reach areas of the world where connectivity has typically been a challenge in the past.

satellite dish on remote lake

Starlink has been tested in remote areas of the Pacific Northwest, where it showed favorable results and impressive download speeds. It’s getting rave reviews from groups like these first responders and members of the Hoh Tribe, who report feeling as if their reservation has been “catapulted into the 21st century.”

Starlink’s beta-testing phase is currently expanding, and it’s now open to members of the public in select areas.

satellite launch in the dark

How is Starlink different from other internet service providers?

SpaceX is in the process of sending thousands of small Starlink satellites into orbit, which form constellations of flying routers that beam internet connectivity back to Earth. These low Earth orbit (LEO) satellites are over 60 times closer to Earth than traditional satellites, allowing for a stronger and faster internet connection than other space-based internet service providers.

Although Starlink warns that speeds in its current beta period will vary from 50Mb/s to 150Mb/s and latency from 20ms to 40ms (along with brief periods of no connectivity at all), it’s currently providing steady 100/20Mbps internet speeds to the 10,000+ beta testers who are already using it.

The company promises that data speed, latency, and uptime will improve dramatically in the coming months as the company launches more satellites, installs more ground stations, and improves its networking software.

Starlink satellite internet kit

How do I sign up for Starlink Satellite Internet?

Although Starlink internet isn’t yet widely available, you can now preorder a Starlink Kit for a $99 deposit. Starlink Kits contain a router, antenna, power supply, and mount (as shown above). Note that at this time, there are limited spots available, and preorders will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis.

To preorder, head on over to Starlink’s website and follow the steps below:

    • Enter your email and physical address to receive an estimate for when Starlink coverage will be available in your area.
    • If coverage isn’t currently available where you live, you’ll pay a $99 (fully refundable) deposit for a “priority position” on Starlink’s waiting list. Your deposit will be deducted from the cost of services once coverage begins.
    • If coverage is now available in your area, you’ll be charged for the hardware and your first month of service when you check out today.

satellite dish at dusk

So what are the cost of services for Starlink Satellite Internet?

Once Starlink Internet is available in your area, you will need to purchase the required hardware for $499, which includes a Starlink satellite dish for your home, a Wi-Fi router, a power supply, cables, and a mounting tripod. There will also be a $50 fee for shipping any applicable taxes, plus the $99 per month cost of internet services.

So how is Starlink going to save anybody money, when Americans typically pay around $60/month (on average) for broadband internet service?

Keep in mind that the cost of your Starlink hardware is the purchase price, meaning that you’ll own it outright and you won’t incur any of the additional rental fees charged by traditional internet service providers. The $499 cost of Starlink equipment seems to be in line with what other providers would charge you to purchase their hardware, as some people choose to do in an effort to avoid rental fees.

satellite dish against a starry sky

Beyond the cost of equipment, saving money with Starlink all depends on how you use the internet.

Early results from beta testing have shown a lightning-fast internet performance previously unseen from other satellite systems. Users are reporting speedy download and upload rates, along with a low round-trip travel time for data. This means Starlink will provide fluid video conferencing, voice calls, gaming, and other real-time applications that may typically lag with your current provider.

Also, data caps are normally a huge drawback of satellite internet and tend to be much lower than what you’d get from earthbound ISPs. Starlink recently confirmed that there are NO data caps with its internet service, which could be a massive bonus for you if you’re working or learning from home, or if you do a lot of streaming.

woman typing on laptop computer

Even if you decide Starlink is not for you, there is still a way you can save on your internet bill.

My Hip teammate Bryn has Starlink Internet available in her area so before signing up, she gave her current internet provider a call to see if she could negotiate her rate since there is a new and very buzz-worthy competitor in town. Not only did they double the speed of her internet access, but they also dropped $50 off her monthly rate! 😱

Still interested in giving Starlink Satellite Internet a try? Head on over here to see if this service is available near you, or to preorder your kit. You can cancel your order at any time in the Customer Account Portal if you change your mind. There are no contracts and you can return your Starlink Kit within 30 days of shipment for a full refund.

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About the writer:

Jenna has a Bachelor's Degree from Lycoming College and her Master's from Penn State, holding 4 years of writing experience between a variety of publications and Hip2Save.

Join The Discussion

Comments 10

  1. LolaLolita

    My internet costs about half of the monthly fees for Starlink. I’d love to sign up because I love trying out new things, but I can’t quite sign up for this with the high up front cost plus the higher monthly fee. Does anyone know if they are planning on lowering the fee later? If it is just temporarily a high monthly fee I would consider it!

    • LolaLolita

      I do think this is awesome for rural areas, though. I know it can be tough for some people in rural areas to get any internet!

  2. notnuts50

    I currently pay $90/mo for HughesNet internet and it sucks. I get 20GB a month which is usually gone in 6-7 days. When my granddaughter is here with her iPad and Nintendo Switch, the data is gone in 2 days. Yes, 2 days. Then they throttle us back to dial up speed. I can’t stream movies or music. I will be delighted to pay $9/mo more and actually be able to use the internet! It’s not in my area yet, but will be by mid 2021. I’ve pre-ordered today. I can hardly wait!! Thanks Hip2Save for posting this wonderful opportunity:-)

    • Liza (Hip Sidekick)

      You are so welcome, notnuts50! I hope this works out better for you both you and your granddaughter can enjoy the data! 🙂

    • RoseC

      Same problem we have been thinking about switching to bluestream

  3. evelynlo96

    Go Dogecoin! Lol

  4. siena95

    $100 a month is not a savings. No thanks.

    • K

      Depends on where you live. That’s excellent if you have cheaper internet already but here in California internet is $130 a month and my in laws can’t even get internet where they live so I’ve already recommended that they consider starlink because currently they’re hotspotting internet from their phones to be able to stream Netflix. This is honestly a huge quality of life improvement for a lot of people.

  5. Barb

    Do we need to install the equipment ourselves? If so, how do we know where to set it all up? What about returning the equipment? Is there a fee to return it within the 30 days? Thanks for all the info! You rock!

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Hi Barb! You would purchase and install the Starlink Kit that contains a router, antenna, power supply, and mount. Then be sure to download the Starlink app for tips on the best spot for installation. The purchase price is $499.

      Here are the details I found on returns – “There are no contracts and you can return your Starlink Kit within 30 days of shipment for a full refund of your hardware payment if you decide this service is not a good fit for you.”

      Hope this helps!

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