Starlink continues to let its customers down! Starlink’s latest update and price hike has taken RVers by surprise… and not in a good way! Many RVers (including us) have given up on them and are turning to Starlink alternatives…
- 1 Starlink continues to let its customers down! Starlink’s latest update and price hike has taken RVers by surprise… and not in a good way! Many RVers (including us) have given up on them and are turning to Starlink alternatives…
- 2 Two BIG Starlink Changes
- 3 What Does This Mean for Current Portability Users?
- 4 Can Residential + Portability Users Switch to Starlink for RV?
- 5 Why We Gave Up On Starlink
- 6 The part of the country where Starlink DOES excel for RVers
- 7 Starlink Alternative: Nomad Internet
- 8 Nomad Internet
- 9 RV Lifestyle recommends the RV Tech Course
We’ve been holding out hope that Starlink’s internet service options would improve at the same lightning-fast rate that SpaceX is known for. We were very aware of the shortcomings of Starlink but believed they would fix them quickly enough to make their service worth it for RVers.
However, we’ve lost that faith in them. They’ve let their customers down in rather an abrupt manner with two BIG changes that affect RVers.
We will break down those two big changes for you.
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Two BIG Starlink Changes
Starlink recently hit RVers with a double-whammy. The first is a price hike. Another price hike.
The second is the complete discontinuation of a service that Starlink promoted to RVers.
Let’s dive right into these changes and what it means for new or current Starlink customers.
1. Price Hike for Starlink for RV Plan
Starlink for RVs monthly charge is going up another $15 – from $135 to $150/month. This price increase takes effect on April 24th, 2023.
The one-time cost for portable hardware stays the same at $599. Starlink for RV service still supports in-motion use with the optional flat HP dish, which costs $2,500.
Now in itself, $15 is not a catastrophic price increase, but it is the latest of a growing number of price hikes that really adds up. When I signed up a year ago, it was just $99 a month. And this latest price doesn’t seem to come with any improved service. The 5 big disappointments with Starlink that I previously wrote about still stand.
The latest price increase comes with another big slap in the face for RVers…
2. Starlink Discontinues Portability
The other BIG change was dropped on current Residential plus Portability users without warning. Starlink has discontinued Portability and didn’t even warn users about the change.
They simply removed the feature from people’s accounts overnight.
In a previous article, we highlighted how Residential + Portability held one big advantage over Starlink for RV: prioritized service at your home address. Now, your only option is to travel with Starlink for RV, which has throttled internet speeds during peak times and in many locations.
Furthermore, if you want to have Starlink at home and on the road, you must have two separate services. Residential service at home, and Starlink for RV for when you travel. That means you’ll pay $300 monthly whenever your Starlink for RV is active.
What Does This Mean for Current Portability Users?
Since Starlink has been so quiet about this change, we really don’t know what that means for current users. From what RVers are saying, it seems like Portability still works IF you had it activated when this change took place.
It is unknown how long it will stay active (probably not very long). Starlink clearly doesn’t mind shutting things down with no warning. Furthermore, if you turn it off, you won’t be able to turn it back on.
For Residential + Portability users that did not have Portability activated at the time of the change, it’s gone forever. The “turn portability on” option is no longer available in these accounts.
Can Residential + Portability Users Switch to Starlink for RV?
Residential users can switch to Starlink for RV service through their account page. However, keep in mind that once you agree to the policy changes, you cannot go back to Residential service.
To return to Residential service, you’ll have to pay for new equipment and start a new plan. AND that’s assuming there is available capacity for your location.
Why We Gave Up On Starlink
If you’ve been following us for this past year, you know we had high hopes for Starlink. Despite the big disappointments with Starlink we experienced, we were patiently waiting for them to evolve and improve. After all, they were innovating, and innovating requires kinks to be worked out.
Well, our hopes have been dashed. Instead of making improvements, they silently discontinued one of the main services plans RVers use and threw in a price increase to boot.
Worst of all, Starlink dropped these changes on its users without warning or empathy.
This was likely a strategy to spread out the backlash they’re going to face from angry users. Just think how many users won’t even realize the changes until they go to turn on Portability for their next road trip.
So, we’re not relying on Starlink. We’re keeping our Starlink subscription but have put it on pause. Maybe someday Starlink will deliver on the original promises of reliable and high-speed service. But for now, we are relying on cellular Internet service for our day-to-day use on the road.
The part of the country where Starlink DOES excel for RVers
I don’t want you to think that Starlink is not useful to RVers. It is for one subset: Those who are boondocking or camping in wilderness areas where cell service is not available.
Mostly, we’re talking west of the Mississippi.
For those RVers, it is the best choice for the Internet.
East of the Mississippi, Starlink is mostly oversubscribed, throttled, and not that much faster than cellular. In fact, new cellular advances like C Band almost always outperform Starlink.
Starlink Alternative: Nomad Internet
So what are we using now?
In our recent travels across the country, we’ve been testing a cellular service called Nomad Internet in our RVs and have been very pleased with its high-speed, unlimited, and unthrottled Internet access.
In 11 years of RVing, it’s one of the better solutions we’ve found to stay reliably connected on the road as we travel in motion and when camping for the night.
Nomad uses the newly activated C band part of the cellular band which offers less interference, longer range and super-fast connectivity. If C band is not available in the area we are in, it defaults to 5G or 4G service.
We’ve gotten speeds over 2000 Mbps with Nomad, which is the best we’ve ever clocked with cellular.
We will keep Starlink for those times when we are in a remote area without cell service but day in and day out, Nomad is what we are using these days.
For today’s RV enthusiasts, the ability to stay connected to the Internet is a top need.
Over the years, we’ve tried dozens of systems, from satellite to cellular, with boosters and routers, and outside antenna. But now we use Nomad Internet for our on-the-road connectivity.
In our RVs, we use the Nomad Air modem and their $129 a month Nomad Travel plan. They have other modems (starting at just $99) and service plans you can choose from.
(Click HERE to see our full review.)
But for us, the Nomad Air and the Travel Plan service seems to be the best.
We get incredibly high speed (up to 225 Mbps), unlimited data, unthrottled. That makes it perfect for fulltimers and remote workers.
Nomad Internet utilizes the cell towers around you using a new kind of wireless internet called “C Band.” “C Band” is a new wireless frequency previously unavailable for public use. It is now being turned on all over the country and is specifically designed to bring connectivity to rural America.
It works anywhere in the USA and if C Band is not available, it defaults to 5G and 4G LTE.
We’ve had great success with the system. Details at https://rvlifestyle.com/nomad
RV Lifestyle recommends the RV Tech Course
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March 05, 2023at4:45 pm, Sheila Montoe said:
Starlink has raised the price twice in the past year. Very disappointed.
February 28, 2023at4:16 pm, Jack Wheeler said:
I just purchased another starlink for our cottage this summer but we are still on best effort and I didn’t want to miss out on this deal. I am in Canada and understood the portability option is still available here. Jack
February 25, 2023at8:48 pm, Roy Cogswell said:
We have starlinks best option service, its crazy fast compared to hotspot…we have zero internet service in our area so its been a godsend here.
When we travel in the rv we grab the router, the metal base the dish came with and a spare cable we purchased, pop the dish off the pole in our yard .
When we get to our campspot we just put the dish on the stand, point it to an open area, set the router up in the coach and run the cable from the router to the dish..it has worked flawlessly all over the country.
We only have residential service ,no rv service.
February 25, 2023at10:14 am, Donald Haskin said:
I amazed that anyone is surprised when Elon Musk overpromises and under delivers. He has done so many times with Tesla, his space program, and with Starlink. He is an “idea guy” and is no doubt brilliant, but has little grasp of what it takes to actually bring a product to market. He needs to learn that just wanting something to happen does not make it happen.