Starlink was officially founded in 2015 and launched their first prototype low earth orbit (LEO) satellites in 2018. As of 2022 Starlink has launched thousands of low earth satellites into orbit. Starlink internet service has exited its beta program and is now officially available to the general public.
Since day 1, Starlink has had some issues with buggy firmware. This is completely to be expected, especially when they were in the “better than nothing” beta period. Now that Starlink is out of beta we would like to see some improvements made. Further complicating things is the fact that there are two different styles of Starlink dishes. There is the original round Starlink terminal and there the newer square shaped Starlink terminal.
Starlink does not publish an official firmware changelog. Most information available regarding Starlink firmware releases comes from the Reddit community.
Why Do Firmware Updates Matter
Firmware is the mini operating system that runs on a piece of hardware. It is responsible for controlling the hardware and providing functionality to the end user. Firmware updates are essential for several reasons.
- Performance Enhancements
- Stability Enhancements
- Compatibility with newer devices
- Fixing known bugs
Starlink is provided frequent firmware updates throughout the short history of its internet service. Many of the updates have improved system stability and performance. Many bug fixes have been patched through the release of new firmware. Of course it is not all sunshine and roses. Starlink has also released its share of buggy firmware that has lead to other issues. Fortunately Starlink has been quick to patch these issues with the next firmware update.
How to Check Your Starlink Firmware Version
The easiest way to check which version of firmware your Starlink terminal is running is through the official Starlink mobile app. Remember that the Starlink router has its own firmware that is completely separate from the firmware used by your Starlink dish.
Download the official Starlink mobile app.
First open the Starlink App on your smartphone. Next open Settings, and then tap Advanced. The Starlink terminal firmware version is listed under Starlink.
Starlink does not officially tell you the last time your Starlink terminal was updated. You can make an educated guess as to when the firmware was last updated by checking Uptime for your Starlink terminal. Whenever the firmware updates on your terminal, the system reboots. This reboot will reset the uptime counter. Of course there are a multitude of other reasons that your Starlink terminal could have restarted including power loss, manual reset, or other service updates not related to firmware.
Checking your uptime is not going to definitively tell you when your last update was. It will however tell you that it has not updated its firmware for at least the amount of time since the last reboot.
How to Update Your Starlink Firmware
Starlink does not provide the capability at this time for users to manually update their Starlink terminal firmware. All updates are pushed from Starlink, this is completely automated and requires no user intervention.
Updates are usually rolled out in a series of batches. It can take a number of days for updates to make their way out to all users. In some cases updates may skip certain users. This is all controlled by Starlink remotely. There is presently no way for users to opt in or opt out of these firmware updates.
In some cases users have reported that restarting their Starlink terminal manually may trigger a firmware update if one is available for download.
Some users report that their Starlink app is asking them for permission in order to update their firmware. So far we have not observed this to be the case but the rollout of changes is often staggered and we may have just not gotten the change yet. There are numerous posts on Reddit related to tracking firmware versions and releases.
Starlink vs the Competition in 2022
Starlink is exciting to say the least and the service is improving each and every month. Learn more about Starlink and how it compares to other internet service options in 2022.