The fastest satellite provider in North America: How Starlink Internet Speeds Canada

5th Jan 2024
The fastest satellite provider in North America: How Starlink Internet Speeds Canada

The Internet has become an integral attribute of the 21st century, and space satellites have made it accessible practically anywhere on Earth. Speed testing data from Ookla for the first quarter of 2023 showed that Starlink Internet Canada was the fastest satellite provider in Mainland North America.

In this article, we will talk about how the popular provider is developing in the Land of the Maple Leaf, what tariffs it offers, and how it stimulates the telecommunications market.

Does Starlink work in Canada?

The provider began operating in 2020 in the United States and simultaneously in the northern part of Canada. Since the countries are next to each other, there were no obstacles to the spread of the service, and today, we can see the tremendous success of Starlink Internet in Canada. There are still small villages in the country, remote from megacities, whose residents do not have access to fibre Internet, and the services offered by Elon Musk’s company solve this problem almost completely.

How is Starlink better than other satellite operators?

The provider’s main strength is its impressive speed capabilities. Canadian Starlink users typically experience download speeds between 25 and 220 Mbps, but for most users, the speed exceeds 100 Mbps. Upload is usually from 5 to 20 Mbit/s. Latency varies from 25 to 40 ms on land and over 100 ms in some remote locations (such as the north). These speeds make SpaceX’s satellite Internet suitable for streaming, video calling, online gaming, and more.

Other satellite Internet providers in Canada can offer speeds of up to 25 Mbps and latency averaging 600 ms. You could say Starlink speeds Canada up.

ProviderDL/UL speedLatencyCoverage
Starlink100-150mbps/10-30 Mbps20-40msMost of Canada
HughesNet25Mbps/3Mbps(Capped at 50GB)600-800 msNationwide
Xplornet25Mbps/1Mbps(Capped at 200GB)600-800 msMostly Quebec
Galaxy Broadband25Mbps/3Mbps600-800 msNationwide
Comparison of satellite Internet providers in Canada

Why is Starlink so fast?

Traditional satellite providers use geostationary satellites, located 36,000 kilometres from Earth, to transmit data. SpaceX satellites orbit in low Earth orbit at an altitude of 400-550 km from our planet. This means that the data transmission delay is reduced several times, and the user can receive information much faster.

The number of satellites used also plays a significant role. While other Internet providers use single satellites, Starlink wants to place a constellation of 42,000 devices in orbit. And SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rockets do an excellent job with this task, launching several hundred new devices into the large global telecommunications network every month.

What are the other benefits of Starlink?

In addition to the main advantages — availability in remote regions and high-speed connection, the operator provides its users with unprecedentedly favourable conditions:

  1. There are no contractual obligations; you can stop using the service at any time.
  2. The test period is 30 days; if you don’t like it, you can return the equipment and get your money back. 
  3. Easy to connect. There is no need to invite an IT specialist or installer to start using the network. The operator provides each new subscriber with a set of equipment for independent connection and configuration, which is not difficult. The manufacturer has thought of different types of brackets for installation on cars, house roofs, balconies, and boats. The installation location can be almost anywhere with a good view of the sky. Detailed instructions with step-by-step descriptions allow you to set up a network in literally 10–15 minutes.
  4. All Starlink equipment is designed to withstand Canada’s harsh weather conditions, including high humidity, low and high temperatures, winds, and various types of precipitation, so you don’t have to worry about its safety.
  5. There are no bandwidth restrictions for Internet services, which means that users with high demands do not need to worry about signal transmission quality.

What are the downsides?

With a lot of positive aspects, this satellite Internet operator also has noticeable disadvantages:

  • Data speeds are slower than with some mobile and fibre providers.
  • The antenna can withstand all weather disasters, but the traffic speed can drop while they last.
  • There are some interruptions in network service, which may interfere with scheduled video conferences and online classes.
  • There may be problems with the Internet connection due to interruptions in communication between satellites.
  • Starlink prices in Canada are higher than competitors.

The last circumstance is perhaps the most significant, but Elon Musk’s company is constantly searching for ways to alleviate the financial burden on the end user.

How much does Starlink cost in Canada?

The provider offers six tariff plans for private and commercial use, allowing the client to choose the optimal monthly cost.

Residential

Starlink satellite antenna for home use
Satellite antenna included in the residential Starlink plan in Canada. Credit: Getty

Residential or basic is the most common tariff. The service package is an example of a bid for loyalty. Lowest price, no contract obligations, speed and latency on par with more expensive packages. And most importantly — a 30-day trial period. If the service is not suitable, the equipment can be returned for a full refund. 

Business

Corporate clients are offered traffic at speeds of up to 220 Mbit/s (in the future, the speed should increase to 500 Mbit) with a minimum latency of 25 ms. You can choose from three pricing plans depending on the amount of cloud storage your business needs.

Roam

Starlink Canada - Roam package for RVs
Plan for RVs has been rebranded as Roam, and now officially offers a Global Coverage option/ Credit: rvmobileinternet.com

The Roam tariff is chosen by travellers. The antenna mounts are designed so that the equipment can be easily mounted on a vehicle, and the user can easily move throughout the country and even to the USA or Mexico. By the way, such a tariff also exists for users from other countries. By connecting it, you automatically receive an answer to the question Can I take my Starlink to Canada? Yes, you can.

Mobility

The mobility package is designed for government mobile enterprises requiring advanced GPS capabilities. Users with the Mobility plan can connect to multiple satellites simultaneously so that data transmission quality does not diminish even in the harshest conditions.

Maritime

Canadian Starlink Maritime package
Maritime has been available since July 2022. Credit: starlinkhardware.com

The Marine tariff plan provides connection at speeds of up to 220 Mbit/s and is intended for everyone who goes to sea, regardless of the vessel size. The compact size of the equipment allows you to use the Internet while fishing, boating, or travelling, as well as for production purposes by marine industry enterprises.

Aviation

Offers for air travel are still at the implementation stage. Since airplanes reach high speeds while moving, the requirements for Starlink internet speeds in the air are also high. The low-profile air terminal features an electronically controlled phased array antenna that allows passengers to enjoy new levels of reliability, redundancy, and overall performance.

Comparison of the Starlink plans in Canada

      PlanOne-time hardware cost, $ One-time shipping and handling cost, $monthly service cost, $
Residential599 2500 for high performance50120
Business 250050250, 500, 1500depending upon how many TB are required by the business
Roam599 2500  for high performance50150 — region200 — global250–50 GB Mobile Priority
Mobility2500100250–50 GB1000–1 TB 5000–5 TB 
Maritime2500100200 for Mobile Global, 250 for 50 GB Mobile Priority, 1,000 for 1 TB Mobile Priority, 5,000 for 5 TB Mobile Priority 
Aviation150000deposit 5000 for booking 12500-25000 depending on the airline or aircraft
comparison of the Starlink prices in Canada

Why is Starlink so expensive in Canada?

Launching multiple satellites into low-Earth orbit costs a lot of money. Elon Musk’s company is still in the development stages, including in Canada. The fewer clients, the higher the service price. An increase in the number of users will increase the return on investment in organizing and maintaining the global satellite system, and then we can expect a reduction in the cost of services.

What does the Starlink Canada coverage map look like?

Starlink coverage in Canada
SpaceX internet is now available in every Canadian province. Credit: whistleout.ca

In 2022, the company significantly expanded the Canadian coverage map, making Internet service available in every city and province. By early 2024, coverage will include the remaining small villages outside of Calgary, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Dryden, British Columbia, as well as the outskirts of Edmonton. These are mainly areas with no fibre Internet providers, and satellite communications are the only way to access the World Wide Web.

How long is the Starlink waiting list?

In most of Canada, there are no obstacles to obtaining Internet access; it is provided immediately after purchasing the starter package. How to contact Starlink Canada for an order?

  1. Visit the company’s official website.
  2. Check the map to see if there is coverage in your area, or enter your address in the search bar.
  3. Proceed to place an order for the service.
  4. Select a tariff plan, and hardware, and pay for the order.

After completing the application, the user receives access to the mobile application necessary to create an account, set up the Internet, and manage services.

Settlement residents waiting for coverage should study the Rural offer, sign up for the service, and wait a little.

Is Starlink worth it in Canada?

For Canadians living in remote communities without any access to the Internet, Starlink Internet is a real lifesaver, and they do not need to think long before purchasing a package. For users looking to change their provider to Starlink, it makes sense to compare the advantages and disadvantages of the old and new service providers concerning their conditions and needs.

Final thoughts

Starlink confidently continues its expansion in space and on Earth. In 2023, the operator increased the number of satellites operating in orbit to 4,500 and almost doubled the number of users worldwide — to 2.2 million people. The Starlink Internet in Canada is gradually expanding the availability of services in remote regions, improving connection stability and speed. This means that prices for space megabytes will fall, and competitors will fall further and further behind.

References and additional information:

  • Starlink High-Speed Internet https://www.starlink.com/
  • Starlink Expands Hardware Rentals To US, Canada, Australia
    https://www.starlinkhardware.com/starlink-expands-hardware-rentals-to-us-canada-australia/
  • Ernst&Young/ Satellite internet: The next big Wave
    https://assets.ey.com/content/dam/ey-sites/ey-com/en_in/topics/technology/2023/06/ey-satellite-internet-the-next-big-wave-market-study-report.pdf?download
  • Elon Musk’s Starlink Expands to Provide Coverage to Much of the Arctic
    https://www.highnorthnews.com/en/elon-musks-starlink-expands-provide-coverage-much-arctic
  • Satellite internet providers in Canada
    https://www.canadasatellite.ca/Satellite-Internet-Canada-Internet-Satellite-Providers-s/411.htm

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