Upgrading to Starlink
It may not have been a pleasant experience to climb up on the snow and ice covered roof of cold winter day, but it is amazing having high speed internet again!
- Router was dead on arrival
- Latency of 110 reduced to 35 milliseconds
- Bandwidth went from 8/2 to 100+/20 Mbps
- Cost of $400/month dropping to $150/month(keeping backup cellular)
- Trees cause dropouts but not much worse than my previous cellular LTE setup
- Obstructions make persistent connections(like SSH) unusable.
My wife can attest to my excitement upon waking on a Sunday morning and learning that my Starlink package was scheduled to be delivered a day early. Lucky for me, I had a pallet from a bathroom vanity delivered a week earlier; not sure when I’ll find the time to remodel the bathroom now. :)
I immediately plugged the poe injector in and dishy came to life, but there was just one problem — the router was unresponsive. I did the obvious, power cycled everything, checked the white cable, etc. At this point I wasn’t sure if I required the router for setup…
Moments later, I was running 100 ft ethernet cable from my router to the poe injector. It worked!
Note: The router is not required for setup or anything that important from what I can tell.
At this point, I wanted to run some tests before climbing up on the roof.
That was exactly the result I was hoping for!
As you can tell from the opening photo, my house is surrounded by tall Ponderosa pine trees. They are beautiful and my chainsaw is staying in the garage! So that means I need to wait for more satellites to be launched…
The preceding stats are with the dish on the roof.
Not pictured is a large tree to the east.
My current failover strategy is quite simplistic after I initially attempted to bond with my AT&T and T-Mobile cellular connections using my Pepwave Transit Duo router and Speedfusion. Without going into the details, I just resorted to plugging Starlink into my UDM Pro Wan and the Pepwave cellular router into the other Wan port. Seems to be working sufficiently well for now!
To get access to Starlink stats I set a static route on my UDM…
Further testing incoming
Later today, I should have more information on the following:
- Video call performance with Zoom and Google Meet
- SSH connection dropouts — I cannot use Mosh :(
- Browsing experience
- 2020–03–01: SSH is too unstable to be usable. Reverted to double nat from UDM Pro to Pepwave router so that I can bond the Starlink and LTE connections to a VM I have in Google Cloud.
As can be seen above:
- Latency is horrible with LTE
- Starlink is very consistent except for the obstruction drops
- I have zero SSH drops(Again wish I could use Mosh).
- 2020–03–09 Now 10 ft higher.
- 2020–04–01 Installed guy wires as a precaution. Service has improved and I am relying less and less on the cellular connections. Total usage went from about 150 Gb in prior months to nearly 800 Gb in March!