Starlink 6 Month Update: Mounts, Ethernet Adapter, Port Forwarding

It’s been more than 6 months since I got my Starlink Kit. When it first arrived, I made a video which covered the unboxing, setup, and my initial impressions. At this early stage I was already able to determine that in terms of download and upload speeds, Starlink is far superior to the 3rd world internet that I am used to here in Australia. What’s more incredible is that it also had pretty good latency, so you don’t even realize you’re relying on a satellite connection – it’s indistinguishable in that regard. Following on from that video a lot of things relating to my setup changed and so I’m going to cover all of it today. But first, please hit the like button and subscribe. I created this new channel less than a year ago and while growth has been good, I’m really looking forward to passing 1000 subscribers. Additionally, if you want to support my work I’ve got a link in the description where you can make a donation or purchase products from my store.

Now getting back to the video, the first thing I did was move the Starlink dish to a new permanent location on the roof. Here at my office, there is an adjoining warehouse and that is the highest point where it could easily get clearance above both surrounding trees and powerlines. To attach Starlink to the roof, I built a custom mount by welding together pieces of angled steel. It was designed to screw into existing holes on the purlins of the roof while allowing me to continue utilizing the included 4-legged mount. From there the power and data cable was fed into the warehouse and down to a server rack where I had the Starlink WiFi router.

After using it in this standard configuration for 2 weeks, I liked it so much that I pulled the trigger on a second Starlink Kit for at home. Here the roof has a tiled surface, and so I picked up the Long Wall Mount as well. Something of note here is that, if you’ve already got 1 Starlink kit then you don’t need to go back onto the waiting list for additional kits, and so they sent this one straight away. When it all turned up, I unboxed it and found that with the Long Wall Mount they included a few additional items such as a carrying bag for the satellite dish, silicone, cable clips and screws. Although the included screws were suitable for wood only, not masonry, and so you may need pick up something more heavy duty as I did. Once everything was mounted in place I ran the cable through some conduit, to prevent UV damage, and into the roof where I could then feed it down wall and into the office where the router is located.

With the Starlink router, I already mentioned in my first video that I felt it had very weak wireless coverage and I stand by this. In addition, it has no ethernet ports and very limited customization in terms of router settings. Therefore, I highly recommend purchasing the Starlink Ethernet adapter which allows you to utilize 3rd party routers and have greater control over your local network. It’s a small box with an attached cable, which goes into the Starlink router. Then on the adapter you plug in the cable that goes to the satellite dish and on the opposite side it has a standard RJ45 ethernet port through which you can connect a better router or a switch. If you are connecting a better router, then remember to go into the Starlink app and enable bridge mode on the Starlink router. I bought this adapter for both of my Starlink units, which on paper will facilitate 1 gigabit speeds between the Starlink dish and your connected device. So far, the best speeds I’ve gotten with Starlink have been just over 350 megabits/s download and 60 megabit/s upload, and so that does leave room for future growth when more satellites are deployed and hopefully we can achieve full gigabit speeds. There are however more things that the ethernet adapter will enable you to do.

In browsing Starlink forums like the reddit sub, I have seen some people complain about frequent internet outages with Starlink. This is not something I’ve personally encountered and the only time I’ve had connectivity issues is when there’s a big storm with heavy rain, but that usually doesn’t last long and apart from that I’ve found Starlink to be quite reliable. In any case if you’ve got the ethernet adapter plugged into your own router like I do, then you can set up Dual WAN if your router supports this functionality. What I’ve configured mine to do is use the Starlink as my primary WAN connection, and then I’ve got a secondary WAN coming in from my old copper internet connection. This lets you enable the network failover mode, where if the router is unable to query or ping websites like Google then it can determine there is an outage with Starlink and it will automatically failover to the secondary internet connection. Cool right? Well, it gets better because the router will continue checking the primary WAN and it will failback when it’s connected again. This ensures that you only have 30-60 seconds of downtime, depending on your settings, when something impacts your Starlink connection. Setting up Dual Wan can also help when it comes to port forwarding.

Starlink has 1 major flaw and it’s that you can’t do port forwarding. This is because they use a Carrier Grade NAT to conserve IP addresses and that means multiple customers are assigned a single IP address. This is not something that will affect casual users, but if you are trying to run services on your LAN that need to be accessed from outside then you need to port forward. Recently Starlink did introduce business plans which come with a bigger satellite dish, a higher price, a dedicated IP address and therefore the ability to port forward. But what if you can’t afford the $2500 dollar kit and a $500 per month subscription? Well, there are some workarounds. In my case with the Dual WAN setup, I configured routing rules for a VPN server on my LAN so that it only uses the secondary WAN which has port forwarding. With ports opened on that internet connection, I’m able to VPN into my local network and access all the devices on it from anywhere in the world. If you don’t have a secondary WAN connection, there is an alternative. By using a service called NGROK, you can create a secure tunnel into a specific device on your Starlink network. Previously I had Raspberry Pi that was connected to a 4G hotspot with no port forwarding, but NGROK was installed on the Pi and this allowed me to access it over the internet. I have not personally used NGROK with any devices on my Starlink connection, but it will work.

Overall, I think Starlink is really good and that is further evidenced by the fact that I’m paying for it at 2 different locations. There is a niche of people who it is suited for, those who do not have access to high-speed fiber internet whether they’re in a city or some remote forest. I think it’s also competitively priced against other internet plans that I can get in my area, Starlink is just a tad more expensive each month plus there’s the initial cost of buying the kit. For me, I’ve found that it’s been completely worthwhile just so I can get some faster download and upload speeds. That’s all for this video guys, thanks for tuning in and I’ll catch you in the next video.

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