Starlink Router Device Limit

What is the maximum number of devices that Starlink can support? As a user of SpaceX’s satellite internet service, you might be wondering how many devices you can connect simultaneously.

Well, it all comes down to whether the router you are using is from Starlink or your own. Because there is no cap to the number of devices you can use with Starlink, the only constraint is how many your router can handle.

According to info available on the Starlink app, their router can simultaneously serve as many as 128 devices. But you probably won’t want to add 128 devices. You still have a limited amount of bandwidth for all of your connections. That implies that speed suffers as you add more devices.

SpaceX developed the Starlink internet service. It delivers the most advanced low-latency broadband connection available, particularly in rural areas. The satellite internet program is no longer in beta testing, and anyone may now deposit a $99 fee to be among the first to receive it when it arrives in various regions.

Starlink Satellite

How Does Starlink Satellite Internet Work

Starlink uses space for its internet rather than phone lines, physical wires, or fiber optic cables. Starlink has many satellites in orbit and plans to add more in the future, eventually covering the entire planet with internet service.

Users are given a Starlink package with an auto-configuring antenna, a WiFi router, and an external power supply. The internet is easy to set up. There’s a Starlink app that you check to ensure your antenna is in line with the overhead satellite constellation, and then it will automatically adjust to maintain that focus. WiFi devices then share the connection via a wired router. The kit costs $599, and the monthly fee for the basic plan is $110.

The Starlink internet is faster and has lower latency than standard satellites. It also offers limitless data.

How Many Devices Can I Wire to a Starlink Router

The Starlink router can serve up to 128 devices at the same time. But the satellite does not limit the number of devices, so it’s possible to wire as many devices as you want. However, you might need extra hardware depending on which version of the Starlink kit you have.

Recently, the company has introduced a new satellite antenna and router, but you can quickly identify which one you own.

The old antenna is large and circular, while the new one is smaller and rectangular. It’s easy to wire an extra device onto the old setup without additional equipment. However, you will have to buy a network switch if you want to wire more than one device.

On the other hand, the new router doesn’t feature an integrated ethernet port, so you will have to get an adapter from your local Starlink shop to wire a third-party router.

Learn About the Wi-Fi Range of the Starlink Router

Why Use Your Own Router

There are numerous reasons why consumers would want to utilize their own router. Perhaps you already have a powerful router or want to deploy a mesh WiFi network.

Starlink just recently launched its own mesh network option, however some other excellent solutions also exist. Mesh routers are useful providing users in large homes with multiple access terminals.

The other reason to use a third-party router is because the Starlink router is limited. The setup employs CGNAT, which doesn’t assign static IPs or allow for port-forwarding. That means users who want these advanced capabilities will not want to use Starlink internet service.

Using your own router will also allow you to bypass the Starlink router’s 128 device limit. Though most people will not connect that many devices anyways.

WiFi Router Starlink

How to Configure a Third Party Router on Starlink

Setting up a third-party router on the Starlink network is not hard. Although, as previously stated, the particular procedures you must follow will vary depending on your Starlink kit.

It’s also worth mentioning that, while you’re “welcome” to use your own router, Starlink

will not guarantee smooth performance. Indeed, the Starlink satellite FAQ states that while customers are free to add their own gear to Starlink, the operator cannot promise smooth interoperability with third-party routers or mesh solutions. Furthermore, while utilizing third-party routers, you may not be able to use the Starlink app and its features.

Using Your Own Router With the Old Starlink Setup

The early Starlink setup included the terminal itself, as well as a router and a dedicated PoE injector. The antenna in this setup was spherical, with permanent cables. Since the power source wasn’t built into the router, it’s easy to wire a third-party router by simply unplugging the original one from the power source and plugging in yours. No bypass is needed.

Using Your Own Router With the New Starlink Setup

The new Starlink kit has a rectangular terminal and a router with an in-built power supply. The terminal cables are completely removable. However, since the power supply is built into the router, you can’t simply remove the router and plug in yours.

The new router is an important part of the setup, and you can only connect a third-party router by bypassing it. Also, the new router doesn’t have an Ethernet jack, so you need to get a dedicated adapter from your local Starlink store.

The ethernet adapter will link the Starlink router to the user terminal, so you can use an ethernet cable to link your router to the Starlink router. The Ethernet cable will run from your router’s WAN port to the ethernet adapter port, resulting in a dual-LAN setup.

Next, disable the Starlink router via the Starlink app. Simply launch the app, go to settings, and turn on Bypass mode. Later, if you need to return to the original settings, you will have to factory reset your device.

The Benefits and Drawbacks of Starlink Satellite Internet

Starlink satellite internet service is now available in select locations in the United States, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and a few European nations. It’s mostly for people living in rural areas where affordable, faster internet options are limited or nonexistent. While 50-150 Mb/s download speeds may be inadequate compared to fiber, it’s far superior to the narrow bandwidth satellite networks present in many rural areas.

Furthermore, some rural areas lack internet access, so Starlink is greatly appreciated, even if the setup capabilities are limited to only browsing the internet and checking emails.

Satellite-Internet

Advantages of the Starlink Satellite Internet Include:

Starlink users can expect download speeds of 50-150 Mbps and 30–50 ms latency. That is significantly faster than ordinary satellites. Viasat, for example, offers speeds ranging from 12–100 Mbps, while HughesNet offers only 25 Mbps. Furthermore, Starlink lacks data caps, which is quite uncommon for satellite internet.

Another advantage of Starlink is that it is available to millions of people who lack access to other high speed internet services such as cable or fiber.

Starlink internet packages are also cheaper. The basic plan costs $110 monthly for speeds in the 50-250 Mbps range and unlimited data. On the other hand, Viasat’s cheapest plan costs up to $169/month for 12–100 Mbps and a 12–150 GB cap. Meanwhile, HughesNet charges a max price of $149.99/month for 25 Mbps and a 15–75 GB data cap. Starlink is the best internet service out of the three.

Starlink’s Disadvantages

The Starlink $599 equipment cost is not cheap. Most people in rural areas will feel the pinch. That said, it’s still cheaper than Viasat and HughesNet equipment fees because it’s a one-time payment with no hidden cost.

HughesNet also asks for a $449 one-time payment, but there’s a hidden $99 equipment setup fee. Meanwhile, Viasat only leases theirs at $299 plus a hidden $99 equipment setup fee. So even if Viasat and HughesNet equipment are cheaper at a glance, they still find a way to throw in extra hidden costs, and you end up paying more.

The wait times for Starlink equipment have recently been pushed back to late 2022 through early 2023. The company is citing “chip shortages” for this. Now, folks will have to deposit a $99 fee to get in line, but that doesn’t guarantee you’ll get internet.

It’s a first-come, first-serve basis, so you may have to wait longer even as other people from your area get theirs. Fortunately, the fee is refundable. However, if your order is approved, it will go towards the equipment price, and instead of paying $599, you will only be required to pay $549.

Recently, the internet service provider has also bumped the price of its basic internet plan from $99/month to $110/month, citing inflation and the high cost of producing the Starlink equipment. However, it’s still cheaper than Viasat and HughesNet.

Alternatives to Starlink

Depending on where you live you may have several Starlink alternatives. Other choice can include 5G home internet service, fiber internet service, cable internet service, DSL internet service, or legacy satellite internet service.

You may have some or none of these options available at your service address. Check out our comparison below.

Starlink vs Cable

Starlink vs 5G

Starlink vs HughesNet

Wrap-up

The Starlink satellite internet is an affordable, low-latency broadband internet system based on a constellation of satellites orbiting the sky to send internet to devices for people in rural areas. The setup uses CGNAT, which converts private IP addresses into shared public addresses.

That means there’s no port forwarding or public service hosting. However, the setup is compatible with third-party routers, so those who want to use their own routers can simply wire them up and gain more control over their home networks.

In the default configuration the included Starlink router has a device limit of 128 devices.