How To Use Your Own Wi-Fi Router With Starlink

So you’ve got your Starlink satellite internet service up and running. But what if you want to add another router to your home setup? What if the included Wi-Fi router doesn’t offer the kind of coverage you need?

If you’ve checked out your Starlink router, you’ve no doubt noticed that there aren’t any extra ports – there’s one place to plug in the power cord and another for the key connection, and that’s it. It’s a far cry from Wi-Fi routers, which might give you up to eight Ethernet ports to connect devices like printers and network-attached storage (NAS) drives. If you need a wired connection, the Starlink router will leave you stranded. You may also be wondering what to do if you want to connect your Starlink system to a router that supports advanced features, or to a mesh system for whole-home WiFi coverage.

For these problems, you need to contact the accessories sold in the Starlink store(Opens in a new window), which is only available to Starlink customers. In addition to dish mounts and replacement cables, the company store offers accessories to keep your entire home connected, whether that’s adding wired devices or expanding your Wi-Fi coverage with a compatible third-party router.

The first accessory to consider is the Starlink Ethernet adapter(Opens in a new window). This $25 accessory connects the Starlink dish cable and Wi-Fi router, adding a single wired Internet connection that allows you to connect your Starlink service to other devices.

Starlink Ethernet Adapter

(Image credit: Starlink)

This makes it the ideal accessory for connecting networked devices such as printers. It’s also a great option for using a separate router or mesh system with your Starlink internet connection.

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With the Ethernet adapter and your own router or mesh Wi-Fi system, you get whole-home coverage and advanced router features for the price of a few cups of coffee. It’s also easy to set up thanks to the plug-and-play design. Instead of plugging your parabolic cable directly into the Starlink router, plug it into the Ethernet adapter, which plugs into the router instead.

Setting up the Starlink Ethernet Adapter

Starlink’s $25 Ethernet adapter fits between the key cable and the company’s Wi-Fi router. (Image credit: Starlink)

That’s all – no power cords to connect or system settings to change. In seconds, you’ll have an Ethernet port right next to your Starlink router.

However, there are a few caveats when it comes to using your own networking gear. The Starlink router uses an older wireless standard (802.11ac, known as Wi-Fi 5), making it tempting to upgrade by adding a faster Wi-Fi 6 or Wi-Fi 6E router (we’ve got our top selection listed below). With expected download speeds in excess of 200Mbps, the extra performance of a fast router isn’t currently available, but you may still want to future-proof your network.

You may also need to change network settings in the Starlink app and enable bypass mode to use the Starlink connection with a separate router. This step is for basic connected devices such as B. Ethernet-connected printers or storage devices are not required.

Adding a third-party router isn’t the only way to expand your WiFi coverage. True, the standard Starlink router may have few features, without the buttons, indicator lights, or settings menus that characterize most modern networking devices.

However, it has a trick up its sleeve that doesn’t seem to be widely advertised: it’s mesh-enabled with the Starlink Mesh Wi-Fi Router(Opens in a new window) ($130 per node), and you can add up to three nodes per user account. Each node uses the same Wi-Fi 5 dual-band wireless network as the default router and has an identical looking design.

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Starlink Mesh WiFi Router

(Image credit: Starlink)

By adding an extra node, you can expand your Wi-Fi coverage without running cables or messing around with powerline Ethernet extenders. The mesh node takes the Wi-Fi signal from your existing Starlink router and extends it, providing seamless coverage over a larger area.

For the record, in my own testing, I had no complaints about the range of my single Starlink router. Even in a large house on an acre of land, I haven’t encountered dead spots anywhere on my property. Upstairs or downstairs, near the router or at the other end of the house—or even outside in the yard—I enjoy a stable, strong Wi-Fi signal on all my devices.

However, there are all sorts of reasons why you might need to add another mesh node or two. While my wood frame and drywall house is dead spot free, you may not be able to say the same for a brick house with battens and plaster walls. Tall apartments like a three-story house or a deep basement surrounded by signal-dead dirt and concrete can also make you feel a little disconnected, as Wi-Fi cuts out in various places.

The Starlink Mesh Wi-Fi Router also has the necessary connection to connect the Ethernet adapter to your mesh node, giving you a wired connection anywhere in the house.

As with adding your own router, you also have the option of connecting your Starlink system to a third-party Wi-Fi mesh system such as B. with one of our top rated listed below. Depending on your needs, each of these products can be a great alternative to Starlink’s own mesh hardware.

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If you need an additional Wi-Fi node, setup is easy, with the technical details managed through the Starlink app. The hardest part is just finding a good place to plug it in.

Setting up the Starlink Mesh Wi-Fi Router

(Image credit: Starlink)

First, place the router in an area with a strong WiFi signal from the base station, but closer to the problem area where you want stronger WiFi. A good rule of thumb is to walk toward a weak spot, whether it’s up a flight of stairs or across a sprawling lot, and then connect the node to the furthest point where a stable signal is available.

While Starlink doesn’t specify the exact range of its mesh nodes, the installation materials indicate that the nodes “work best when they’re no more than a room or two apart.”

After positioning the mesh node, plug it into a power outlet. From there, all you have to do is open the Starlink app, wait for the app to detect the new node, and then follow the on-screen instructions to pair the node to your existing Wi-Fi network. If you need to further expand your WiFi coverage, repeat the process with a second or third mesh node.

Still wondering about Starlink? Check out our full Starlink review and detailed guide to setting it up in your home.

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