Have you ever heard of Elon Musk’s ambitious space exploration program; projected as SpaceX? For the unversed, this venture aims at setting a base up on Mars. The company has been launching satellites into the sky, an approach that has also culminated in a different form of satellite-powered internet service, Starlink.
Starlink isn’t your regular internet service provider but something exclusive, innovative, and limiting. Sounds counterintuitive, doesn’t it? Not really, as the concept of satellite internet is less about the speed and more about the availability. In fact, companies like Exede have been providing satellite internet for quite a while.
Since you’re looking for a router that’s compatible with Starlink, we can assume that you’re located in a region where regular cable internet providers like Comcast Xfinity, Cox, Spectrum aren’t available or you’re an Elon Musk fan and have subscribed to Starlink just for fun/testing.
As of now, Starlink isn’t about high-internet speeds, but they might increase soon, so you should look for highly specific routers, capable of covering a wider area, static routing, if and when necessary, QoS, Beamforming, Dual-Band connectivity, and other speed-enhancing attributes.
As Starlink is a satellite internet service with minimal coverage, for now, finding the best router for Starlink can be an overwhelming task. The major pain points experienced by users include limited connectivity, restricted services in certain regions, slower speeds, and insufficient coverage.
Considering the issues at hand, experts at BCCA have taken it upon themselves to use Starlink internet via a wide range of routers, only to bring forth a list with the best selections. However, the Starlink receiver erected at our station remains the same.
- 8 Best Routers for Starlink in 2021
- 1. Best Overall: TP-Link AX6000
- 2. Best Home Mesh: Netgear Nighthawk MK63
- 3. Best for Large House: Asus Zen WiFi AX Mini Mesh
- 4. Best Coverage: TP-Link Deco X20 WiFi 6 Mesh
- 5. Best Tri-Band Option: Asus AX6100 RT-AX92U
- 6. Best 4 Stream Router: Netgear R6700AX
- 7. Best for Extending WiFi Coverage: Google WiFi AC1200
- 8. Best for IoT Devices: Amazon EERO 6
- Frequently Asked Questions
- The Verdict
The concept of satellite internet isn’t new as services like Exede, ViaSat and HughesNet have already made their presence felt. Starlink, however, plans on achieving a far greater feat by launching more than 10,000 payloads in the space, thereby offering better connectivity and even rural access.
But then, to make the best use of Starlink internet, it is necessary to get a good router or even a mesh system that is adaptive, powerful, and intelligent enough to procure the bandwidth passed from the satellite dish or rather the home-bound receiver.
In the subsequent sections, we have enlisted 8 such routers after testing them across diverse parameters like Static routes, customizability, Band coverage, rated speeds, app support, remote controlling, and more.
1. Best Overall: TP-Link AX6000
- Top Speeds: 1148mbps + 4804mBps
- Ports: 8 Gig LAN + 1 Gbps WAN + 2 USB port
- Bands: Dual-Band
- Range: 3500 sq ft
- RAM: 1GB
- Additional Features: Beamforming, Fault Tolerance, MU-MIMO, OFDMA, DFS, and Link Aggregation
If you are looking to churn out the best speeds despite Starlink being limited to 150Mbps, the TP-Link AX6000 is the most reliable option to consider. This dual-band router is one of the few WiFi 6 variants in the market, best known for the excellent top speeds, reliable performances, and the widest possible coverage.
Coming to the technical exposure, the 802.11ax band exhibits OFDMA technology, which eventually makes way for better efficiency. Plus, TP-Link AX6000 also features Dynamic Frequency Selection as one of the many attributes to minimize network congestion.
The speeds, however, are the ISP’s prerogative, which is Starlink for the existing discussion. Still, you can always use this router with other satellite and fiber-specific internet services.
As tested by our experts, this router allows you to reach the maximum download speeds of 134mbps and upload speeds of almost 70mbps, with Starlink.
However, as it is a dual-band router, the mentioned speeds were strictly for the 5GHz band. For the far band or the 2.4GHz, you can still reach upload and download speeds of 35mbps and 90mbps respectively.
Still, if you someday plan on switching to a fiber ISP, a Gig plan can translate into download speeds of up to 500mbps. This device also houses a 64-bit quad-core processor, which plays a pivotal role in keeping the latency to a minimum.
Even though Starlink connections suffer from increased latency that might even go up to 40ms, owing to the nature of connections, this DOCSIS 3.1 compatible router can still be used for basic RPG games.
The coverage is way better as you can expect the TP-Link AX6000 to be good enough for an area of 3500 sq ft or even more. Also, if you are somehow looking to make the Starlink connections more productive, this router is exactly what you need, owing to its ability to move data packets faster.
Plus, there is 1GB RAM to work with, specifically for storing network details, firmware configuration, and assisting the processor. TP-Link, however, doesn’t declare storage support but it seems adequate to store OS details and other computing insights.
Coming to the layout, this rugged device weighs close to 3.5 pounds. However, we were most impressed with 8 high-gain, non-removable antennas, precisely erected for covering wider areas.
Combined with Beamforming support, these antennas are capable of concentrating signal strength and increasing the wireless range, significantly. As far as the port arrangement is concerned, this device allows you to set up wired connections via the 8 gig LAN ports.
Plus, you can also enjoy the perks of link aggregation for speeding up wired connections. Apart from that, you also get access to Type-C and Type-A ports for connecting peripherals and NAT storage modules.
Despite being one of the more sought-after routers for Starlink, this model doesn’t throw any tantrums when gadget installation is concerned. Also, the TP-Link app is a pretty resourceful option to rely on and allows you to monitor internet usage and traffic patterns, even remotely.
If you are worried about the kids’ using unrestricted internet, the TP-Link AX6000 comes with a pretty exhaustive parental control profile for limiting access. Content filtering is also supported and helps you access age-appropriate content.
Not just that, TP-Link stacks in a powerful anti-virus, which is more than capable of protecting the connected devices, in real-time, against the raging threats. Plus, the 4×4 MU-MIMO support followed by BSS technology allows you to use this router to connect multiple devices at once whilst minimizing packet delivery time.
Overall, if you are looking for a future-proof router for Starlink, which will allow you to make usage of high-speed internet in the future, TP-Link AX6000 is the perfect gadget to invest in.
In simpler words, this router is the best you can get for Starlink, as it mitigates the speed and delivery issues that are currently plaguing this innovative internet service.
- Excellent range
- Ultrafast processor
- Sizable RAM for faster packer deliveries
- Beamforming support for extended coverage
- 8 high-gain router antennas
- Supports remote control
- Middling 2.4GHz speeds
2. Best Home Mesh: Netgear Nighthawk MK63
- Top Speeds: 1200mbps + 600mbps
- Ports: 2 LAN + 2 WAN
- Bands: Dual-Band
- Range: 4500 sq ft
- RAM: 256MB
- Additional Features: Netgear Armor, OFDMA, MU-MIMO, Remote App Control
Mesh WiFi systems are extremely useful for Satellite internet services like Starlink. This is the reason why our list features the 3-pack Netgear Nighthawk MK63 system— a conglomerate boasting two routers and a standalone satellite device.
Coming to the performances, this Mesh router is more than capable of hitting top speeds of up to 1200mbps and 600mbps, for the 5GHz and 2.4GHz bands, respectively. Although we tested several tri-band routers for the job, the Netgear Mesh Router came out as the best gadget for distances up to 5 feet and even more.
For Starlink internet, we could churn out download and upload speeds close to 90mbps and 50mbps, respectively for the 2.4GHz band. Plus, there is also a potent and impactful quad-core processor in play that works closely with the 256GB RAM for minimizing latency and improving deliverable speeds of the data packets.
The best thing about the Netgear Mesh system is that both router and satellite units are powered by comparable processors and offer similar storage and RAM support. Therefore, each of the three units is capable of maintaining the desired efficiency levels.
Not just that, each router of the mesh system offers 128MB of flash memory, which is good enough for storing the configuration details. As far as wireless coverage is concerned, it is capable of spreading out to 4500 sq ft.
As far as the design and overall layout are concerned, each router and even the satellite module looks like a rectangular slab of brilliance. Also, each unit weighs 0.63 pounds to be exact. Coming to the port arrangement, each routing unit comes equipped with one WAN and one gig LAN port.
Plus, the Netgear satellite module also throws in one Ethernet port, provided you want to connect the router via the wired setup for minimizing latency and attenuation. The Beamforming technology helps the mesh system concentrate the wireless strength for achieving better speeds.
Setting up the device is easier than ever with the Nighthawk application in play. Plus, the app works best when you use the static route to set up the perfect LOS connection with the Starlink satellite via the receiver.
This means you need to align the satellite stub as offered under the Starlink subscription plan with the Netgear mesh satellite for the Nighthawk app to work.
Coming to the threat inception and other security-specific features, this WiFi 6 mesh system follows the traditional AES encryption protocol with PSK support. This feature ensures advanced threat mitigations and works perfectly with the Secure Boot setup.
The superfast Mesh WiFi system also showcases the OFDMA technology for better efficiency and speeds followed by the MU-MIMO setup for connecting close to 25 devices at once.
Therefore, if you are seeking a mesh system where the router and satellite units work in tandem with the Starlink receiver sans lags, the Netgear WiFi 6 3-pack system is the one to invest in.
- Exceptional top speeds
- AES encryption ensures better security posture
- Appealing layout
- Offers excellent value for money
- Massive coverage
- Misses out on multi-gig WAN support
- Real-world speeds aren’t as good
3. Best for Large House: Asus Zen WiFi AX Mini Mesh
- Top Speeds: 1200mbps + 600mbps
- Ports: 1 Gig WAN, 1 Gig LAN (Each Pack)
- Bands: Tri-Band
- Range: 4800 sq ft
- RAM: 256MB
- Additional Features: Parental control, AiMesh, Alexa-compatible, QoS, and MU-MIMO
The Asus Zen WiFi 3-pack mesh is the perfect Starlink-compatible router if you have a bigger house at your disposal. Plus, as reviewed by an expert at BCCA, this is one of the few advanced router meshes on the list, with range-based performances, second to none.
Coming to the performance, the dual-band WiFi AX mesh exhibits topmost speeds of 1200mbps and 600mbps, at 5GHz and 2.4GHz bands, respectively. Starlink internet doesn’t allow you to reach such high speeds, for now, thereby making this a future-proof mesh.
The powerful quad-core processor and 256MB RAM speed up the packet deliveries, thereby increasing networking speeds and minimizing latency. Also, there is 256MB of storage support to count on, which makes sense owing to the mesh-based layout.
The Zen WiFi AX mesh assumes a pretty standard layout with each module weighing close to 0.65 pounds. Plus, there is one high-speed Gig Ethernet port associated with each block followed by the multi-gig WAN port that connects directly to the modem or the Starlink receiver in this case.
Not just that, you can use each of the mentioned blocks as a routing device or an extender, depending on the size of the house. Besides, if you have opted for a 3 pack system, it is easier to extend the coverage up to 4800sqft, sans massive speed-specific trade-offs.
The Asus ZenWiFi 3-pack mesh doesn’t feature visible antennas but the 4×4 MU-MIMO functionality ensures their presence.
Installing and controlling this router mesh is probably the easiest provided you know how to use the Router application. However, you would still need to establish a static route and keep the device within 3 meters of the Starlink satellite to activate the Asus application.
In addition to these specifications, this model also offers extensive device and network security, owing to the Trend-Micro cloud protection. Plus, you can always set up parental controls to restrict internet usage.
Overall, for the given price, the Asus ZenWiFi 3-pack mesh might still feel like a splurge but you can consider investing if WiFi 6 coverage for getting better Starlink speeds is one of your priorities. Plus, the level of customization associated with this mesh system is second to none.
- Excellent WiFi 6 support
- Wireless backhaul supported
- Tri-Band router
- Stable connections
- Multi-gig WAN
- Limited 2.4GHz speeds
- QoS isn’t as seamless
4. Best Coverage: TP-Link Deco X20 WiFi 6 Mesh
- Top Speeds: 1200mbps + 600mbps
- Ports: 2 Gig LAN, 1 WAN (Each Unit)
- Bands: Dual Band
- Range: 5800 sq ft
- RAM: 4GB
- Additional Features: Wireless Backhaul, 1024 QAM, Parental Controls, Integrated Antivirus, and QoS
The TP-Link Deco X20 is one of the more sought-after wireless mesh systems for your Starlink internet. The best thing about this device or rather a pack-of-3 mesh is its ability to relay almost every networking plan, via wired and wireless backhauls.
As the Starlink internet isn’t exactly known for the blazing speeds, the performance of the TP-Link Deco X20 readily comes under the scanner. However, the mesh setup was still able to churn out the highest possible speeds of up to 100mbps, regardless of the band. Also, the upload speeds, as tested by experts at BCCA, reached above the 60mbps threshold, frequently.
The X20 is one of the few mesh systems on the list to offer decent speeds even at a distance of 40-feet from any given router. Therefore, the one satellite and two router setup seem to be more than adequate for covering almost 5800 sq ft of home or office area.
Plus, as it is a dual-band mesh system, you can theoretically reach speeds of up to 1200mbps for the 5GHz band and 600mbps for the 2.4GHz, provided the SpaceX initiative gives you access to higher speeds.
As it is a WiFi 6 mesh system, you can expect higher throughout, something that can trounce that of the WiFi 5 systems by almost 250 percent. Also, the 1GHz quad-core chipset and 4GB RAM are exceptional resources that allow the intelligent mesh to send forth data packets faster than usual.
The processing conglomerate also allows device and network prioritization via QoS, whilst accommodating 1024 QAM for furthering the WiFi AX throughput.
As far as the design is concerned, the white-colored TP-Link Deco X20 units look like domes and flaunt reliable and aesthetic LED lights. Plus, the entire setup weighs close to 5 pounds, making it slightly heavier than usual.
Coming to the ports, you get support for two gig LAN and one gig WAN slots. However, there is no USB storage unit but the 1GB solid-state integrated storage is good enough for holding onto the firmware details. Despite being an enclosed router system, there are four antennas for each router to rely on.
The good things do not end here as it is very easy to set up this mesh system, provided you already have a Starlink receiver on you. Once the Deco satellite device connects to the Starlink receiver via the Static Route, the Deco app takes care of the rest and allows you to set up the routers, as per preferences.
Plus, the application also allows you to configure the entire mesh, if and when necessary. Not to mention the parental controls, integrated antivirus, and Alexa-compatible voice support.
Therefore, if you are looking to convert your home or office into a Smart Internet hub and that too without having to worry about the range-based restrictions, the TP-Link Deco X20 is the perfect investment to make.
- Qualcomm WiFi chips
- Excellent security safeguards
- The range cannot be better than this
- Lacks several customization options
- Lacks 5GHz backhaul to the host
5. Best Tri-Band Option: Asus AX6100 RT-AX92U
- Top Speeds: 400mbps + 867mbps + 4804mbps
- Ports: 5 Gig Ethernet, 2 USB
- Bands: Tri-Band
- Range: 3000 sq ft
- RAM: 512MB
- Additional Features: OFDMA, MU-MIMO, Beamforming, AiMesh compatibility
Despite Starlink not promising gig level speeds, for now, investing in a router as powerful as the Asus AX6100 RT-AX92U seems like an obvious choice.
This WiFi 6 router boasts a dual-core processor and a 512MB RAM module, which in turn dictates exceptional performances and paves the way for adaptive Quality of Service. As Starlink, for now, offers restricted speeds, QoS prioritization is probably something that would make a lot of sense to most users.
Plus, this router is capable of working on three bands, i.e. the 2.4GHz band, and two 5GHz band channels, segregated further as 5GHz 1 and 5GHz 2. This attribute clubbed with adaptive QoS, allows you to reach exceptional download speeds of up to 140mbps for certain tasks.
The 4×4 5GHz band is good enough for helping you reach upload speeds of almost 100mbps, provided you have manually prioritized certain tasks.
Coming to the design, the Asus AX6100 RT-AX92U flaunts a pretty rugged layout with exceptional cooling vents. Plus, there are four external and even 2 internal antennas to rely on.
The Beamforming technology furthers the credibility of the 6 antennas, specifically by allowing this router to cover close to 3000 sq ft area with ease, making it suitable for crowded apartments.
As far as the gadget weight is concerned, the Asus AX6100 RT-AX92U is tagged at 1.44 pounds. However, we were more than happy to bear with the heft, owing to the future-proof technologies and the availability of 256GB flash memory.
The Asus AX6100 also comes equipped with USB ports for connecting peripherals and storage devices, provided you want to upgrade the existing chunk of flash memory that holds the firmware details.
Also, there are 5 Gig Ethernet ports in play for establishing wired LAN and WAN connections with the devices and the Starlink receiver. Setting up the router is as easy as it can get, courtesy of the router app and the seamless set of options.
Plus, you can also set close to 16 parentally controlled profiles, provided you want to keep the internet usage regulated. It also makes way to infected gadget blocking, malicious website blocking, and other specs for keeping the Starlink network safer than ever.
Overall, if you are looking for a standard tri-band router for Starlink internet that can offer better speeds in the future, there aren’t many better options than the Asus AX6100 RT-AX92U.
- Compact layout
- Excellent security measures
- Offers link aggregation support
- Lacks multi-gig port
- WiFi 6 isn’t functional when the router is used as a mesh
6. Best 4 Stream Router: Netgear R6700AX
The Netgear R6700AX is yet another WiFi AX router on the list, best suited for smaller homes and gig-level connections. However, the increased throughput as compared to WiFi 5 standard, makes it a good enough routing resource for the Starlink internet.
While the cumulative top speeds reach up to 1800mbps for 2.4GHz and 5GHz combined, we could easily get download and upload speeds of up to 111mbps and 55mbps, respectively for Starlink and that too on the 5GHz band.
As far as the performances are concerned, the quad-core processor paves the way for OFDMA and 1024 QAM technologies, thereby making it easier for the router to move data packets faster making it perfect for gamers on Xbox One and twitch streamers.
Starlink isn’t exactly known for the blazing speeds and therefore, advanced networking protocols and technologies make sense, as you would want to make the most of the restricted speeds.
This 4-stream wireless device features three external and one internal antenna, which are further empowered by the Beamforming technologies. Plus, these capabilities make it one of the better bets for an establishment spanning close to 1500 sq ft.
Coming to the port arrangement, you get access to 5 Ethernet slots, with one being a high-speed WAN port. Plus, the 512MB RAM and 256MB of flash memory further allow you to process and install automatic firmware upgrades, for making the wired connections faster than ever.
Setting up this sub-$100 router is pretty easy provided you know your way around the Starlink receiver and the Nighthawk app. Also, the application helps you make use of the Netgear armor, parental controls, WPA2 security protocols, Alexa-support, Guest accounts, and more.
Therefore, if you are planning to get hold of a reliable router that is more than perfect for a smaller establishment, the R6700AX from Netgear is the one to purchase.
- Several security safeguards
- OFDMA support for better throughput
- Excellent 5GHz speeds
- 4 LAN ports
- Middling 2.4GHz speeds
- Restricted range
7. Best for Extending WiFi Coverage: Google WiFi AC1200
If a WiFi 6 mesh system seems overkill for Starlink internet, you can always consider investing in the Google Mesh with WiFi AC standard to show for.
Other devices showcase dual-band WiFi 5 support with top speeds reaching up to 118mbps on the 5GHz band. However, on the 2.4GHz band, the maximum download speed drops up to 83mbps whereas the upload speed can reach up to 51mbps.
The 3-pack Google WiFi Mesh weighs close to 2.5 pounds and comes equipped with 2 Gig Ethernet ports. This feature allows you to establish high-speed wired connections, provided you are trying to keep signal attenuation to a minimum.
Plus, there is a quad-core chipset to rely on, which allows you to make the most of the Wave 2 wireless standard. Also, the 512MB RAM adds to the efficiency of this router, allowing it to achieve better performance.
The built-in antenna is powerful enough and supports Beamforming, precisely to cover an area of 4500 sq ft, provided you opt for the 3-pack product. Also, it is quite easy to set up this router via the Google Home application.
The Google WiFi mesh is pretty regular when security upgrades and firmware updates are concerned. Not just that, there is a 4GB eMMC storage module integrated within, allowing you to store network data and firmware details without breaking a sweat.
Therefore, if you are looking for a pretty aesthetic WiFi AC router-mesh setup for Starlink internet, the cost-effective Google WiFi mesh is a pretty reliable option.
- Easy setup
- Strong Beamforming support
- Great value for money
- Top-shelf aesthetics
- Middling 2.4GHz speeds
- Limited customizations
8. Best for IoT Devices: Amazon EERO 6
The EERO 6 from Amazon is one of the more affordable mesh routers on the list, best known for the WiFi AX standard and the concurrent dual-band technology.
Plus, the EERO 6 comes in a pack of two, with the conglomerate featuring a powerful router and a pretty reliable extender. Not to mention the fact that the EERO is also backward compatible provided you want to connect the same to a more dated ISP like Spectrum.
For Starlink though, this mesh system is more than adequate as it allows you to reach top download and upload speeds of 100mbps and 40mbps, respectively.
Driving better speeds and efficiency is the integrated quad-core processor that works closely with 512MB RAM. Not just that, you also get 4GB of flash storage support, which is good enough for storing network and firmware details.
Coming to the design, this router-extended setup looks exquisite and assumes a dome-like form. Plus, the integrated antennas, coupled with Beamforming support, ensure that the router and extender are capable of covering close to 3000 sq ft without breaking a sweat.
The port arrangement justifies the budget price point with Amazon making room for two gig Ethernet slots with auto sensing capabilities. Not just that, setting up the same is a charm as you only need to use the EERO app, plug in the satellite internet receiver to the router, and take control.
The EERO 6 also brings in several security enhancements including MalwareBytes and 1 Password setup.
However, it is the Zigbee support that adds to the credibility of this Smart ready mesh system. This feature allows you to connect several IoT devices whilst making way for Alexa compatibility.
Overall, this AX1800 mesh system might not be the most powerful one on the list but it certainly helps you get decent speeds for Starlink internet.
- Easy to use
- Zigbee support takes care of IoT devices
- Steady performances
- Band-steering isn’t the best
- Only one extra Ethernet jack
Frequently Asked Questions
Considering that you have enrolled in the beta program to be an early Starlink adopter, it is necessary to first zero in on an open area, where the kit needs to be placed.
The receiver or the terminal device must have a clear line of interaction with the satellites and a 100-degree open space seems to a good enough ballpark. Once space is decided on, you need to unbox the kit, set up the tripod terminal, and allow the receiver to tilt upwards to scan the sky.
Plus, the black cable can be used to connect to the modem, which can then feed into the router of choice for setting up a wireless hub.
At present, Starlink is restricted to IPv4 protocol, which restricts the routing efficiency and packet processing capabilities. Besides, as only 10 percent of the presumed satellites are currently in the sky, data flow isn’t directed enough.
Starlink actually cuts the cord and allows you to get internet access directly from the sky, provided the receiver is in sync with the satellites. This attribute makes Starlink internet the go-to resource for individuals in the rural arena, who do not have access to fiber and cable internet.
There have been reports that Starlink internet speeds reached up to 175Mbps when the air was colder than usual. This means Starlink is probably the only internet service that remains unaffected by the harsher weather conditions.
Routers mentioned in the list are extremely capable resources when it comes to getting the best speeds for Starlink internet. However, if you are still confused about the selections, here are the recommendations to follow:
- Netgear Nighthawk WiFi 6 System is the best option if you are looking to convert your home and office into a wireless hub and trying to eliminate every dead zone
- Asus AX6100 RT-AX92U is the perfect option if you want to get a router with excellent Quality of Service enhancement and the ability to prioritize certain tasks over others
- Amazon EERO 6 is worth considering if you are on a budget and even looking for an open-source wireless standard for connecting IoT devices
In addition to the mentioned names, you can always zero in on other resources, already mentioned in the aforementioned sections.