- Starlink is offering the larger High Performance dish as an option for new residential orders.
- There currently is no upgrade discount for existing customers, other than purchasing for the full $2500 price.
- While the larger dish has higher performance specs, you are not guaranteed higher speeds.
- A user can add portability and use the High Performance dish while roaming away from their service address.
- The High Performance option is not offered when purchasing the RV plan or an upgrade from the RV plan.
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High Performance Dish Upgrade Option
On the Starlink Residential order page for a new order, you are now presented with the option of purchasing the standard Starlink hardware for $599 or the High Performance Starlink for $2500.
For new residential customers that choose the Starlink High Performance, the monthly cost remains the same at $110/month, but you are paying a lot more for the higher-end hardware that Starlink states is over double the antenna capacity of the standard dish.
The Starlink High Performance Dishy was first offered in February 2022 as a premium service targeted at business users (See our news story). That former Premium service tier (now called Business Service) offers the High Performance dish at the same $2500 price, but the service itself is $500/month.
So while residential users who choose to purchase this High Performance dish get a huge price cut on the monthly fee compared to the same dish on the Business Service, they are not guaranteed the higher performance that comes with the more expensive business plan.
What Makes it High Performance?
Per Starlink, the High Performance is aimed at users who need a dish that can perform in more extreme conditions, including extremely wet conditions, extreme heat, and heavy snowfall areas. It also works better in areas where the Starlink Constellation isn't fully built-out, such as the polar and equatorial regions where there are fewer visible satellites.
They even state that if you have unavoidable obstructions, the High Performance dish can see 35% more of the sky, allowing it to connect to more satellites to better keep you connected.
Is it Nomadic Friendly?
Starlink offering the High Performance for the consumer plan seems intended primarily to support residential customers located in challenging locations, but we did confirm with Starlink support that you can add portability to the High Performance dish so it can be used away from the service address, just like with the standard residential dish.
This means you could purchase the dish with the Residential plan, add portability to your plan, and take the dish with you as you travel in your RV or on your boat.
The High Performance Dish is not currently being offered if you purchase the RV plan nor is it offered as an upgrade to the RV plan, it is only offered for new orders on the residential plan. However with portability turned on, the residential plan operates the same way as the RV plan.
The High Performance uses quite a bit more power
A potentially big downside for off-grid users is the power requirements. The High Performance Dishy requires a lot more power and the specifications state that the dish uses between 110w-150w, which translates to 2.6-3.6 kWh/day. This is a significant draw for those who are off-grid and operating on batteries and solar.
In comparison, the standard dish generally uses between 0.8-1 kWh/day, about 1/3 the power of the High Performance dish.
The High Performance dish is also physically larger and heavier, so this means storing it and deploying it will take more effort. Deploying the High Performance dish on a flag pole mounted to a ladder may present extra challenges due to its larger size and mass.
The Starlink High Performance dish certainly has some impressive higher-end specs that should perform better than the standard Starlink dish when not in a congested area. However, purchasing the High Performance dish is just a hardware upgrade, and therefore you don't get the benefits of the Business plan's premium service. So even with the improved dish, speeds and performance will still be limited by deprioritization in congested areas.
Most of our nomadic community will probably not find the higher cost, higher electrical demands, and larger physical mass worth it over the standard dish. However, if you are someone that uses Starlink in extreme conditions or feel the extra antenna capacity would benefit you, you can now have the higher-end equipment for a one time charge of $2500 without paying the business rate of $500/month.
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