Starlink’s new Portability feature brings internet to vanlifers

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Boondocking in the space age

With the addition of a new Portability feature, Starlink’s internet-from-SpaceX service has gone mobile. Starlink users can now transport their “dishy” anyplace in their own continent that has active internet connectivity for an extra monthly charge. This opens up connectivity to regions where 5G is unlikely to reach, potentially benefiting the growing number of work-from-anywhere types created by the COVID 19 pandemic.

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk responded to one happy Starlink camper saying, “Starlink is awesome for RV’s, camping or any activity away from cities.”

While Starlink does not now support use while driving, the business claims to be working on a solution for moving cars.
Musk has previously stated that he is working on a low-power solution that can be plugged into a car’s 12V cigarette lighter while maintaining connectivity.
That hasn’t stopped some owners from testing Starlink on speeding automobiles with varying degrees of success.

When boondocking and living off the batteries of your vehicle, power usage is critical.
According to Jeff Geerling’s blog, Starlink pulls 60-70W, which is an improvement above the 80-100W draw of a year ago.

According to Starlink, Portability is provided on a “best effort” basis, with users at their registered service addresses given first access for network resources. The Starlink support page warns that “when you bring your Starlink to a new location, this prioritising may result in decreased service, particularly during high usage or network congestion.”

Existing Starlink subscribers can add Portability to their account page, and it will become active instantly.
It costs an extra $25 per month on top of monthly subscriptions that start at $110 after a one-time purchase of the Starlink kit for $599.

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