What Is Starlink Roam? Should You Subscribe?
Starlink Roam is a game-changer for the RV community and digital nomads on the go.
- Starlink Roam is an extension of Starlink’s Personal division of plans that allows you to take consistent satellite internet on the road with you.
- While you can use the same equipment from a Residential plan for Starlink Roam, you will need to purchase more equipment that costs thousands of dollars to use the internet while driving.
- Starlink Roam is best for people who are living and working from the road.
It’s no secret that few internet service providers (ISPs) have generated as much excitement as Starlink in recent years. The buzz stems from Starlink’s Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite technology that provides higher quality internet to rural areas where DSL and incumbent satellite providers typically reign. The next generation of connectivity is now available with Starlink Roam so that you can take LEO internet connectivity into trucks, RVs, and beyond for access that spans entire continents.
Though your preferred service may come with higher start-up fees, Starlink Roam is arguably the most flexible broadband option on the market that can deliver high-speed internet that powers van life, even in the middle of nowhere. Here is everything you need to know about Starlink Roam — and if you should give it a try yourself.
What Is Starlink Roam?
Starlink Roam is a fresh generation of the company’s LEO satellite technology that opens up the options for internet access from place to place. Starlink Roam is under the larger umbrella of Starlink’s Personal division, whose other subcategories are Residential and Boat internet access.
Roaming Speeds: Starlink Roam speeds are slower than other Starlink plans, running between 5 and 50 Mbps (unless you choose Mobile Priority). You’re more likely to experience the lower end of that spectrum in connectivity dead zones and extremely rural areas. Even so, that range is plenty to perform most everyday online activities that you already do at home.
If you’re already a Starlink customer, Starlink Roam offers immense flexibility. You can upgrade your service immediately, pack up your standard equipment from home, and watch Netflix in a tent under the stars the same night. You also have the flexibility to cancel your Starlink Roam subscription at any time. For example, if you’re traveling around in an RV over the summertime, you can pay between $150 and $250 per month for Starlink Roam, and take internet access wherever you go.
There is a catch, though. Starlink Roam subscriptions primarily function with the same standard equipment from Starlink Residential plans, costing $599. This equipment guarantees stationary internet access at a campsite with equipment like an antenna, base, router, Starlink cable, and AC cable.
However, if you want internet access while driving, Starlink recommends upgrading to the Flat High Performance dish, which comes with additional cables, an independent power supply, a power supply mount, and a router mount for $2,500. Featuring a wider design than the regular Starlink equipment, the Flat High Performance Dish comes equipped with advanced GPS capabilities that allow it to stay consistently connected while you’re on the move.
Why Would Starlink Roam Be Right for Me?
Starlink Roam is an excellent option for individuals who live, work, or spend significant time off-the-beaten in places with little internet access. It’s especially applicable if you fit into one of the following categories:
- You live in an RV. If you primarily live in an RV throughout the year and move with the seasons, Starlink Roam guarantees that you will always have quality internet access independent of what the newest RV park offers.
- You plan out seasonal trips on the road. Starlink Roam is ideal if you have a flexible schedule where you want to turn on and off your internet service. For example, if you live an RV lifestyle only a couple of months out of the year but return to a home base, your Starlink service can be paused accordingly when your trip ends. The start-up costs can be pricey, but that flexibility may be worth it.
- You drive internationally and work. Starlink Roam offers both Mobile Regional and Global plans, which cover either an entire continent or any country, respectively. Let’s say that you want to drive to Baja, California, for a few months out of the year. The $150 per month Starlink Roam Mobile Regional plan can give you peace of mind that you already have an internet plan and don’t need to set up a temporary solution for a continental trip. If you want to drive further south to Panama and beyond, the $200 per month Mobile Global plan has you covered.
- You work in an extremely rural area that requires internet access. Many parts of the country are simply internet and cell service deserts, but people like emergency responders and police officers still need to communicate. Starlink Roam may be a steep investment for a larger team, but it can solve this internet connectivity problem on the go.
How Much Does Starlink Roam Cost?
There are three tiers to Starlink Roam service: Mobile Regional, Mobile Global, and Mobile Priority (which starts at 50 GB and goes up to 5 TB). Two key distinctions exist between these types of plans: Availability for either continental or international service and prioritized speed.
|Details||Mobile Regional||Mobile Global||Mobile Priority|
|Cost per month||$150||$200||$250|
|Ideal customer||In-continent travelers and campers||International travelers spanning continents||High-usage customers anywhere|
|Stipulations||Deprioritized during peak congestion hours; may experience throttling||Must change origin country if spending 2+ months in a foreign country||Required service tier for internet while driving|
Beyond the monthly service fees, you have two options for equipment: Standard or Flat High Performance Equipment. Standard Equipment is suitable for both Mobile Regional and Mobile Global plans and costs $599. If you want internet access while driving, that requires both the Mobile Priority tier of service and the investment into Flat High Performance Equipment that costs $2,500.
Not So Fast: While Starlink Roam doesn’t exactly throttle service, your service during the peak usage hours of 6 p.m. to 9 a.m. may be slowed to accommodate other customers who pay the premium for a Mobile Priority plan.
How Does Starlink Roam Differ From Other Starlink Plans?
Starlink offers both Personal and Business internet solutions. Personal Starlink services include subscriptions for Residential, Roam, and Boat customers. The Business side includes Fixed Site, Land Mobility, Maritime, Aviation, and Direct to Cell service for enterprise customers. Each Business category comes with its own plans, specifications, and stipulations. The Personal wing of Starlink includes the following distinctions between service types (for non-priority plans):
|Minimum monthly service fee||$120||$150||$250|
|Speed||25-100 Mbps||5-50 Mbps||40-220 Mbps|
|Recommended equipment||Standard equipment||Standard equipment or Flat High Performance||Flat High Performance|
|Ideal customers||Rural households without a quality internet connection||Digital nomads, travelers, and the RV community||Regular recreational or professional sailors|
Should You Switch to Starlink Roam?
Switching to Starlink Roam largely depends on your lifestyle and what type of internet you’re already working with that may or may not be successful. A Starlink Roam subscription may make sense if you live in an area with no internet providers beyond satellite or DSL, and you want to take your equipment on the road with you regularly.
The service is ideal for travelers who need a consistent home base or are driving from place to place enough to need an independent internet source. If you live full-time in an RV or take months-long trips throughout portions of the year, Starlink Roam is an excellent solution.
However, unless you have extenuating circumstances where you need global access or an uncongested network in the evenings, Mobile Global and Mobile Priority plans may not be necessary. There are ways to work around not being online during peak service hours, and most travelers are not driving across continents.
At the end of the day, Starlink Roam’s flexibility means that current Starlink customers can now hop online, upgrade their service, and cancel it when necessary to take those extended once-in-a-lifetime trips. It just may not be applicable as an everyday ISP unless you’re a full-time traveler who thrives off the beaten path.
Frequently Asked Questions About Starlink Roam
Is Starlink Roam slower than other Starlink plans?
Starlink Roam offers speeds between 5 and 50 Mbps, less than the Starlink Residential plan, with speeds between 25 and 100 Mbps. Depending on where you travel within your continent, there may be a greater likelihood of reaching a dead zone where that minimum speed is a reality.
Can you pause your Starlink Roam subscription?
Starlink Roam allows customers to pause their subscription as necessary and activate it when needed for a trip. This flexibility is ideal for people who take annual RV trips nationwide during specific seasons but eventually return to a home base.
Does Starlink Roam require special equipment?
Starlink Roam requires the standard equipment to function from fixed locations. You don’t need to purchase anything else if you already own that equipment from your Starlink Residential plan. However, if you want internet access while driving in your car or RV, you must invest $2,500 into the Flat High Performance equipment.
Can you upgrade to Starlink Roam at any time?
Yes, you can upgrade to Starlink Roam at any time. If you experience throttling in peak hours with the Mobile Regional or Mobile Global plan, you can upgrade to a Mobile Priority tier for expedited service that starts at a cost of $250 per month.
Can you use Starlink Roam while moving in an RV or truck?
You can use Starlink Roam while driving, but it requires an investment of $2,500 to purchase the Flat High Performance dish that will enable this capability. If you do not need to use the internet while driving, the $599 standard equipment will work just fine in a stationary location.