Starlink has proven to be a game changer in many ways, faster speeds, self aligning, remote service area coverage just to mention a few. A feature less mentioned amongst all the hype is the fact that it comes as a complete self install system, a DIY kit for all the independent and budget minded people. This somewhat makes up for the large upfront cost of the equipment, but the system only comes with basic installation components meaning you might need to either build or find the accessories you need for your installation.
So just because Dishy comes as self installation doesn't mean you're going to be able to do it yourself. You may need someone else to do the install for you. If you have the option to have a pro come to do the install, the question is will it be worth it? Will it make your internet better? These answers will vary with everybody's unique situation, from your budget to your local installers location, the size of your home. There is no absolute answer that fits everybody's situation, but with a little education, and some proper planning this article should help you make the best decision possible between doing the install yourself or hiring a professional.
Lets Look At Some Pros Of Starlink Self-Installation (click on arrows below)
Starlink is easy to set-up
The instruction sheet from the Starlink system shows just how far they have gone to make the system as friendly as possible for getting activated so that those who are less technologically inclined should be able to do it by themselves...well hopefully (our first set-up took 9 mins). This only seems like a natural progression for Starlink as the destination for the majority of their system is to rural remote internet users, who can find themselves hundreds of miles from civilization in some cases. This makes it difficult and expensive to find a contractor for the installation, let alone for a new technology. We spent hours of training for some LTE, Satellite, and Broadband Internet providers just to learn the specifics of their equipment. In all my years I have never seen a set-up that was as easy as Starlink.
Just look at the instructions, the simplicity is almost childish but at the same time absolutely brilliant. With a growing aftermarket of installation parts as well as Starlinks own offerings, all the helpful online content, I have to say that in the world of ISP equipment installation, Starlink is leading the way with a very progressive self install kit that even a toddler could do, after coloring the instructions first of course.
Self Aligning Dish
One of the coolest features of the Starlink system is that it is self aligning. No more satellite meters and yelling to check if you have a signal. You simply check around with the Starlink obstruction viewer, find your location that has no interference and then install the Dishy, it will track and lock into exactly where it needs to be.
"Good things come to those who wait"
Take your time and do it right, You may not be a professional but you don't have to rush.
Depending on your situation, you can go through articles and collect information to help you with your install. There is a vast library of videos (That you can now watch, ironically it's because you have Starlink!) Through the many thousands of installs I've seen while out working, some of the best ones were done by clients themselves, they had a thirst to learn and took the time to figure out how to best network their home.
Installing it yourself can save you money!
The bottom line these days for many is saving money, where they can, when they can.
Starlink is no small bill, this perhaps is the strongest argument for many to DIY. The cost can be hundreds to even thousands of dollars in savings, and with all the online help and tutorials it is definitely in the realm of even a casual learner to set-up a decent network. All this being said, there is still value in having a pro come to your house to set things up, especially in a high demand network or if you're working from home and need to have all the bases cover for the best connection possible.
The Starlink system comes with everything your need, kind of.
Starlink comes with a router, it is decent enough that I think most will be happy with it,
Starlink Gen 2 system comes with a 75Ft cable, adding to your Starlink might be needed and is completely possible. Actually a lot of the equipment that we've been using over the years is compatible, meaning that they're a lot of options, maybe even using your existing equipment. The existing router is good for around 3000 sqft give or take a little, this will cover a small to medium size house. Definitely consider ordering the Ethernet adapter and 150 cable extension, it will help make sure you covered all the bases for installation that might be needed.
Hiring a professional will hopefully guarantee that all bases are covered when it comes to the installation. There are many things to consider, safety being paramount for all, no internet, no matter how good is worth getting a major injury over. Scaling roofs and climbing through attics takes professional gear to help ensure it is done safely. Some older homes will have asbestos in them, making the risk element even further complicated if not handled correctly. A trained eye will figure out quickly what will be most effective to hit the goal with the least amount of impact, which might include customizing some of the system, like adding extenders or boosters to help give complete coverage of your home. Some houses are made of dense RF limiting materials that will require a much more tactical approach. Knowing and identifying these trouble spots are what any professional worth their weight will be able to do. Something as silly as drilling through a floor could lead to a major water leak or worse yet an electrical fire...knowing what your options are and identifying problem situations are what a trained eye should bring to the table.
Lets Look At Some Pros Of Hiring A Contractor/Professional
Installing it Yourself Can Cost You Money!
I have lost count of how many service calls that we have done throughout the years where the problem was the installation itself and not the equipment, often leading to a poor internet experience for the client. If you lack knowledge in this area you'll run the risk of doing something wrong causing your system to perform poorly. Then in order to get it fixed you're paying someone to come out to help, now you're paying anyway, might as well have done it from the start and saved time. If you have any doubt in your skills, or you're just not capable of completing the job with the amount of effort and research it would take for a 'newbie tech' for whatever reason, it is best to look into hiring a professional . We all know our limits and what we're comfortable doing, if installing a Starlink system in a home is just not something you can do then always look into professional installation.
Professionals will do your installation up to local regulation standards ands codes.
Having to redo a poor or failed installation often will take more time then if it had been installed right the first time around. Doing the installation correctly doesn't just include making it look pretty either, it is about performance, function and finesse. Having the right tools, know how and patience to get the job done is just not a skill set that everyone will have, mounting structures to your home and on roof, digging in the ground and climbing towers is very dangerous and should always be done as safe as possible and according to local laws and regulations, your local contactor will save you the homework if you to choose to use them.
A pro will help you to make the best decisions when it comes to equipment needs,
Networking can be difficult and tedious at times, a pro will be able to help get you through some issues with ease and at the very least give you answers and reasons as to why things might be the way they are. In some cases where you might spend days trying to figure out what is going on with your system, an experienced tech might get it done in hours, maybe even minutes saving you time and possibly even money.
Extra Equipment On Hand
When it comes time to mount Dishy your options will be limited by the equipment you have on hand, The Starlink comes with everything your need to get up and running not everything you need for installation, there is a list of items that you can purchase from Starlink to help as well if you think ahead, as well as a plethora of aftermarket items some of which a contractor may have on their truck. Mounting Dishy might end up on your roof, creating a possible leakage spot if not done properly, sealing and placement are critical. I've seen Dishes installed right in water raceways, causing a much higher chance of leakage and rot. With Gen 2 systems it's further complicated by Starlinks proprietary 75Ft cable, this limited reach might mean having to take the quickest route possible to get the router in the best possible place for distributing signals equally throughout most of your home. If you have a smaller home then the router placement will be easy, larger 3000 sq ft homes plus might find the Starlink router just can't reach certain sections creating dead zones. This might be tolerable for some, but others will want to find a solution. Next to the Dishy placement the router is the most important installation step, bad router location will lead to a myriad of frustrating issues. Every time I see a speed-test with someone disappointed, my first instinct is to go to the router, router failure and poor placement can mimic each other's problems, making it hard to figure out. Having the best signal possible and knowing what bandwidth you're on, testing with multiple devices.(Devices fail too) to help diagnose your problem can more times than not help figure out why someone might be experiencing poor signals. Just understanding how a speed test works might even help. Professionals will have the tools necessary to figure out just what is going on and offer solutions for your problems, if not at least answers as to why. Using professional RF analyzers to help pinpoint problem areas and suspect bandwidth crossover, but now we're getting techy, but hey this is the internet we're talking about.
Peace Of Mind Knowing It Is Done Correctly
Running cable is usually the most laborious part of the installation. scaling ladders, tucking cable around seems behind facia and siding, drilling holes, installing wall plates and sealing it all off takes time, a skilled tech will make it look easy but it is something that took time to learn all the ins and outs of, trust me I've been there, I've definitely made my fair share of mistakes along my career, somethings that can be avoided and will be very costly to learn on your first install. There is a possibility that the cable can be damaged in this process, even slight cuts/tears in the jacket can lead to water building up inside the line, slowly making its way down to the router causing premature failure. The more difficult part here is that typically problems like these don't show up right away, your internet will be fine for awhile, maybe even years under some circumstances, but eventually it hits and starts with little nuisances that might last months before complete system failure. Respect the cable, don't pull on it dramatically, always be slow and gentle watching for kinking and using a second set of eyes if you're pulling through a wall, and of course covering all connections to prevent debris from getting in them.
Not All Professionals Are The Same
I definitely recommend an experienced tech that has a proven record. The wireless installation industry has predominantly been run by piece work, causing many installers to learn how to move swiftly to save time and make money. So be picky and ask for a quote and references before going ahead with the work so there are no surprises at the end, a professional should have no problem doing this for you. Once you have a quote you can make a judgment on the true worth of the cost, don't forget that Starlink's lack of live(talking on the phone) technicians might have you scrambling to find help, building a bridge with a local tech might be another reason to use a professional, after all there isn't going to be a Starlink tech answering a phone for you let alone coming to your door.
Making the decision to use a pro or not will vary with everybody's circumstances. We hope this article has help direct you in making your decision. Thank you for reading our blog and for your support! If your new to our website then become a member for free today to stay up to date with all our latest news about everything Starlink!