SpaceX’s satellite internet service Starlink is great for remote areas (where there is coverage), but now it’s become great for people who often go from one remote area to another.
A new feature called Portability (via The Verge) lets you take your Starlink internet with you. Per Starlink’s FAQ, it “enables users to temporarily move their Starlink to new locations in order to receive service anywhere within the same continent Starlink provides active coverage.”
Portability is not free, however. It comes at an additional $25 monthly fee (on top of the regular Starlink fee).
It also comes with several caveats. The most obvious one is that it’ll only work where there is coverage, which you can check on the Starlink availability map. It can also only be used on the same continent as the registered Service Address, though we suspect this won’t be a problem as there won’t be that many users hauling it across continents. Perhaps a bit more notably, Starlink cannot be used in motion at this time, and trying to do so will void your warranty. There’s good news here, though, as Starlink says it’s “actively working to make it possible to use Starlink on moving vehicles.”
Finally, SpaceX says it’s offering Starlink on a “best effort basis,” meaning that stated speed and uninterrupted use of services aren’t guaranteed. “Starlink prioritizes network resources for users at their registered service address. When you bring your Starlink to a new location, this prioritization may result in degraded service, particularly at times of peak usage or network congestion,” the company says.
Caveats aside, Portability covers an obvious and much needed use case for Starlink, which works best in sparsely populated areas. A user recently highlighted how great it is that you can set Starlink up in a remote location with no cell reception. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk replied by saying Starlink is “awesome for RV’s, camping or any activity away from cities.”