Starlink IPv6 Support – What You Need to Know

According to Starlink they currently provide a DHCP issued Carrier Grade NAT (CGNAT) non-routable IPv4 address in the 100.64.0.0/10 range for residential Starlink service. Starlink Business currently provides a publicly routable DHCP IPv4 address. Only a single IPv4 address is provided with either service.

Currently Starlink does not officially support IPv6. They do state that customers in some Starlink regions have limited access to experimental IPv6 support. These customers get their own /56 prefix which only works with a third party router. The current Starlink router does not appear to have support for IPv6. Because IPv6 is still experimental for Starlink they will no provide support to customers for IPv6 related issues.

Starlink IPv6 Support

About Starlink Internet

SpaceX Starlink officially exited its public beta testing program in October of 2021. Elon Musk’s much anticipated tech startup took the world by storm with it “Better Than Nothing” Beta launch. The launch was highly successful and Starlink is now available to the general public.

Starlink aims to provide high speed internet service that is available across the entire earth, including extreme rural areas that lack access to broadband presently. Currently SpaceX has about 2,300 low earth orbit (LEO) satellites in active service with plans to increase that number to up to 42,000 in the coming years.

Download and Upload Speeds

Starlink is currently is providing between 80 Mbps and 150 Mbps of download speed. This is significantly higher than many DSL plans, and other satellite internet providers which typically top out at about 20 Mbps. Real world speed tests have shown download speeds of about 100 Mbps being typical. Starlink says they these speeds to increase as more LEO satellites are launched into orbit. They also talk about the idea of offering gigabit speeds in coming years. 

Upload speeds are usually in the 20 Mbps – 30 Mbps range. This is comparable to many cable based internet connections, but much lower than typical for a fiber based connection. It is also 10 – 40 times as fast as DSL for uploads. 

Latency (Ping)

 Latency (ping) with Starlink is in the 30 – 50 ms which is similar to DSL and some underperforming cable internet connections. This is low enough for most online games to play smoothly and for real time VoIP applications. Starlink has a slightly higher ping than most fiber based internet connection and many cable based internet connections. That said even a 50 ms ping is more than acceptable to most users.  

Compared to legacy satellite internet service providers such as HughesNet or Viasat, this is truly revolutionary. Traditionally satellite internet had a minimum latency of at leas 500 ms.

Starlink Unique Challenges

As with any new internet service provider, one of the challenges that Starlink faces is acquiring IP addresses to use for providing service to customers. The internet is currently in a gradual transition from using 32 bit IPv4 address to 128 bit IPv6 addresses.

Starlink CGNAT IP

Why IPv6 Matters

IPv6 is the long term solution to a global shortage of available IPv4 addresses. Currently other techniques including carrier grade NAT CGNAT is being used. CGNAT is less than idea for a number of reasons. It also makes it impossible to access your network from the outside or to use router functions such as port forwarding.

Starlink does not offer the option of a public IP address on their residential service plan. This is especially troubling for gamers who want to use port forwarding to change their NAT Type to open.

With IPv6 there are many more addresses available and every device could theoretically have their own publicly routable IP address if desired. Not that that would be a good thing. NAT does have several key security advantages. However, CGNAT is something that nobody is going to miss.

WiFi Router Starlink IPv6

How to Use IPv6 With Starlink

Currently Starlink does not officially support IPv6. However, some Starlink service areas do offer access to IPv6 on a beta (experimental) only basis. If you live in one of these areas you can attempt to set up IPv6 on your router. You will need to use a 3rd party router that has IPv6 support. Most current Netgear routers have support for IPv6.

If you want something with more configuration options, Ubiquiti and MikroTik have some very affordable options that are perfect for use with Starlink. Just note that you will need the Starlink ethernet adapter and you will need to enable bypass (bridge) mode on your Starlink provided router.

Conclusion

IPv6 is still experimental at best with Starlink. Currently they are offering a CGNAT IPv4 address. If you wish to experiment with IPv6 using Starlink, you will need to use a 3rd party router and bridge it to the Starlink provided router using the Starlink ethernet adaptor.