Our Experience with Starlink So Far
As I mentioned above, we’ve used our Starlink all over Western Canada and Western United States – from as far north as Dawson City, Yukon to southern Arizona. In a few weeks we will be in Southern California.
We started our voyage in southern British Columbia, where we originally purchased the Starlink. I can’t tell you the feeling of satisfaction using it for the first time in a place where we didn’t even have cell service. Yet within 15 minutes I had some of the fastest Internet I’d ever used.
It’s so reliable that I have our phones set up to use Wi-fi calling when we don’t have a usable cell service. This has been a lifesaver as we’ve been to a few places where cell phones do not work, but Starlink does. That means we always have phone service along with internet. It was a treat for me to watch my wife call her best friend on her cell phone, from the town they both lived in, that has never had cell service.
Now it hasn’t always been smooth sailing with Starlink, but it’s not the service’s fault.
Because its satellite based, you MUST have a clear line of sight – usually to the Northeast, but that can vary. For us, the Starlink dish always pointed northeast until we hit the Yukon, then it shifted 180 degrees to the South. We’ve even had it pointed straight up occasionally – around the border between northern BC and Yukon.
But if you end up in a location with lots of trees, you may find performance issues – especially if it’s windy. We were forced to stay in an RV park in Whitehorse for a few weeks recovering from sickness and while we had a great signal for the most part – we found it would become degraded if the wind came up, as the moving trees would interfere with the signal. But that was rare and usually short lived.
As we moved further north to Dawson City I started to worry a little bit as I had heard that Starlink was so bad there that it was practically unusable for some. But that wasn’t our experience. Speeds were as fast or faster than other places we’d used it. It was more than adequate to help me do my work daily, and we were even able to stream from our favorite providers during peak usage times.
We have since heard from several other Starlink users who also had taken their dishy’s (as Starlink likes to call them) to Yukon and didn’t have any problems either. It sounds like these issues with poor performance were because of fewer satellites in the sky above northern Yukon, so users were being throttled by the company. This past spring Starlink launched more satellites to improve coverage there and elsewhere and as far as I know the complaints have dropped.
When we left Dawson (where we boondocked for most of the time there) we slowly started to head south. We made a few stops along the way between Dawson and Whitehorse, and Starlink worked flawlessly at each of these stops. Even throughout our travels in northern BC, as we headed south through forest fire ravaged territory, it worked exceptionally well.