SpaceX’s Starlink satellite internet has continued to grow since the service launched in May 2019. Since my review of Starlink in May 2021, the service has grown more and more stable in my daily use. This is in part to the 1,500+ satellites that are currently in operation. In an email to current subscribers, there are a host of recent updates to Starlink.
Potentially one of the most significant updates coming in the future for the satellite internet service will be the introduction of space lasers. Starlink is preparing to launch upgraded satellites equipped with space lasers which will improve data transfer between satellites. Currently, that data transfers must communicate with the ground stations first, then send that information back to a satellite in space. These upgrades will help make Starlink one of the fastest data transfer options available.
We are at 500km, whereas the geosynchronous satellites are at 36,000 kilometers. So latency for the Starlink system is similar to latency for ground-based fiber and 5G. So, we’re expecting to get latency down under 20 milliseconds.
Elon Musk – via MWC 2021
Another exciting update for users is the roll-out that will enable Starlink to change to different satellites seamlessly. This update will allow the system to switch satellites at a microsecond level so that the connection is uninterrupted. While the user’s system can only be connected to a single satellite at a time, this new feature should drastically cut down on service interruptions.
As the warmer weather hit, some user reports of system shutdowns were due to high temperatures. Starlink is introducing some software changes that will improve how the system handles the increased temperatures. These changes will be rolling out over the next few weeks to address the invalid “Thermal Shutdown” that some users were experiencing.
Lastly, some new features are being added to the Starlink app. To give more options for network security, the option to enable WPA3 is being included for users and the ability to change the network name and update the password. The update is also giving users the option to separate the 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz networks. Whereas previously, users only given a single network that dynamically switched between the two channels, and if they wanted separate networks, were required to pick up one of the best Wi-Fi routers of their own to have two networks.
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