2022-06-06

Starlink

Finally got one for testing, so first experiences.

1. Ordering was simple, but the site is one of these "slick modern sites" that are a pain to find any proper information - very easy to order - not so easy to realise an Ethernet adapter is separate. I have finally ordered one now.

2. Arrived very quickly (ordered 1st June, arrived 6th June, Jubilee in the middle).

3. Very very confusing re "account". The pages all have "sign in". I cannot find any "create account". What I did not know is that when I ordered by simply clicking "apple pay" and double clicking my phone (yes, very slick), is that this "created" an account using the apple pay email address. Once I worked that out I could use the "locked out" link to get a password. They could make that a lot clearer.

4. The instructions are simple, you plug it in and point at the sky and connect to wifi - it makes you then create an SSID/password, but then it works - Internet, several MB/s of it. NAT / IPv4, but yes, works. I now need to find somewhere vaguely sensible to put it - away from trees - may need a pole on the wall.

Of course the next steps are to get the Ethernet adaptor, and start working with FireBrick, see if I can get an IPv6 address; see if L2TP/IPsec/etc tunnels work over it; etc, etc... So R&D to do.

P.S. LOL, you can get to RT.com via Starlink :-)

21 comments:

  1. Looked at this as a backup for fttp openreach services (living on a building site - new build) but the monthly cost is prohibitive (even in rural Leics) compared to Smarty/whatever and a reasonable 4G router. Obviously nowhere near the speeds on Starlink but as a backup its hard to justify monthly nine times higher.

    If they had a tiered (usage) service which could be increased for a month at a time in cases of fttp failure that'd be ideal but it appears not.

    It'll be interesting to hear how you get on.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Definitely interesting, looking forward to your findings. It looks possible that your location (Wales, generally) could be served from any of the gateway sites at Chalfont Grove, Goonhilly, Elfordstown (IE), and/or Carnane, IoM. Is a subscriber linked with a specific gateway?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Next door in rural Northants, we don't have 4G so this could be attractive as our FTTP backup. Currently we have four bonded A&A ADSL lines (no VDSL available here) and this wouldn't be significantly different in costs (Sorry Rev! maybe I shouldn't say that here :) )

    Shame there's no fixed IP or even, AFAIK, direct incoming connections. One would need to jump through more hoops :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can see it beating some more complex fixed connections. I hope to blog further in due course once I have the ethernet adaptor. I understand IPv6 may be possible, but I also need to check other things, and if, for example, our (A&A) L2TP service could work over it (which gives that fixed IP and incoming connections).

      Delete
    2. I can confirm the A&A L2TP service works over Starlink (everything which is not affected by CGNAT does). I have no option for FTTC/FTTP/4G/5G so Starlink has been amazing. It's not perfect, but much better than 4Mb/s ADSL.

      Delete
    3. Starlink uses CGNAT? Oh yuck, I thought the world was working towards being rid of that crap not creating more of it.

      Why wasn't Starlink IPV6 only from the start? It's new enough that there should be no need for IPV4 on it, and for the odd person with an IPV4 requirement there are solutions.

      Delete
    4. Yuck indeed, but it's that or nearly nothing. :) They are experimenting with IPv6 and sometimes you get leases (dynamic /56; more yuck, static /48 please!), but they don't seem to last and eventually drop off and stop routing. Why it wasn't all sorted day one, I don't know, but equally I can't imagine how complicated the system is so perhaps IPv6 had to take a backseat to get it going. I can't imagine how stressful a satellite firmware update must be!

      Delete
    5. Apparently they also forgot to enable fq_codel, so bufferbloat...

      Delete
    6. I've never had an issue with bufferbloat, so don't know if they've implemented it differently. Either way, it's a rather minor thing if you have no other high speed options.

      Delete
  4. I ran Starlink with a Firebrick and AA L2TP service for the best part of a year - worked great. I could never get IPv6 working. I've only decommissioned it in the past week as I've now got FTTP (from you of course!)

    Even if you do get IPv6 working (it's possible with Mikrotik routers and some others, so not sure why it didn't work with the FB) it's unreliable and you get random different leases which stop working for no apparent reason. They sit there looking healthy but no traffic passes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. FireBrick did not handle DHCPv6 on WAN/Ethernet before, it should now, but it will be an interesting thing to debug if it plays up as you say. I don't supports there are tech contacts in Starlink that want someone working with them on this?

      Delete
    2. Ah yes, of course. Be interesting to see how you get on. It was bad timing for me - my FTTP install was the same week you announced DHCPv6 support otherwise I would have tried it!

      Delete
  5. I have StarLink sitting, still boxed, in my office for the last 6 months. It's on R&D/test to see how it could benefit our clients. They've just announced that it can be location-agnostic so perhaps we could rent it out to clients who have suffered catastrophic fixed line failure. Need to see.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Be aware if it sits in the box too long and does not get firmware updates, after a point it will no longer be able to connect to the Starlink network. There are people on the Starlink subreddit that had this issue and support told them they would need to pay for a new dish.

      Delete
    2. Thanks, found the articles on Reddit. If that's their position then it sounds like a Sale of Goods Act breach. Product not fit for purpose and doesn't last the warranty period. No prior notice that product must be powered 24x7 as from day of purchase. Can't think they'd successfully defend any claim against them.

      Delete
    3. Their PowerWall battery packs have similar unfair (at least what I believe would be under UK law) terms. If the batteries don't phone home for 3 months your powerwall warranty is supposedly invalid.

      Delete
  6. I'd be interested to hear what the latency is like.
    I can't imagine it'd be any good but people don't seem to be talking about it so perhaps there's some magic?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's fine - sub 30ms

      Delete
    2. Thanks for your reply.
      Where's that to?
      My current connection only has a couple of ms per hop so depending on whether that's end-to-end or just over the satellite link depends on whether that's an order of magnitude worse or even worse than that.

      Delete
    3. That’s to AA’s L2TP. It’s obviously nothing like as low as a fixed wire service, but really good (amazing in fact) for satellite.

      Delete
    4. It varies a fair bit, but generally lower than my ADSL and usually half of 4G in this area. Just got 28ms lowest to Quad9, 35ms average and 47 highest over 60 seconds of pings over wi-fi. Incredible for satellite! Shows the advantage of the much, much lower altitude of the sats!

      Delete

Comments are moderated purely to filter out obvious spam, but it means they may not show immediately.