Starlink Vs. Fixed Wireless Access – Which Is Better For Your Internet Needs?

Starlink vs. Fixed Wireless Access are some of the best internet networks around.

But you should compare them based on different metrics to determine the most effective internet system for your home/office.

We will compare Starlink vs. Fixed Wireless Access internet connections and their advantages/disadvantages to help you choose the best option for your browsing needs.

Read on to learn more.

Table of Contents

What Is Fixed Wireless Access?

It’s an internet connection that uses radio signals to provide internet access.

Usually, the transmitter sits in a central spot – tower, rooftop, etc. On the same note, the receiver is a typical wireless router.

Ideally, fixed wireless access caters to people in rural or remote areas, especially where it would be costlier to install wired stuff.

Still, fixed wireless may be an alternative to cable connections in some urban areas.

Fixed wireless internet comes in these forms:

  • 5G, which features low-latency waves.
  • 3G, which comprises high-latency 3G signals.
  • Microwave, which consists of low-latency radio links.
  • 4G LTE, which boasts mid-band spectrum frequencies.

Pros & Cons Of Fixed Wireless Access Internet

The benefits and drawbacks.

The benefits and drawbacks.

Fixed wireless access internet excels in these areas:

  • Download speeds
  • Free equipment by providers
  • No data caps
  • Low costs

Fixed wireless access internet isn’t the best in the following areas:

  • Obstructions between your home and the wireless antenna – these can interfere with the connection
  • Upload speeds
  • Availability

Speed

Internet speed.

Internet speed.

Starlink boasts faster speeds.

Of course, download speeds can reach as high as 100 Mbps and upload speeds 20 Mbps.

That suits heavy internet users who stream videos and download large files.

On the other hand, fixed wireless internet can only provide upload speeds of up to 25Mbps and up to 3Mbps.

Consequently, it is ideal for basic web browsing and streaming light video files.

Latency & Gaming

Starlink has lower latency than fixed wireless – we’re talking about latency times of up to 50 milliseconds, which may be ideal for gaming but compromised a little due to data caps.

Conversely, fixed wireless has pretty high latency times of around 100 milliseconds.

Of course, this depends on different factors, including the connection speed.

Still, this explains why fixed wireless is a good fit for a reliable connection over large distances. 

Availability

Starlink is more widely available.

For your information, it’s available almost worldwide.

Conversely, fixed wireless is limited to certain areas with the infrastructure to support it.

Here’s a comparison list based on availability.

Satellite (Starlink) Internet

  • 25 (Mbps) – 99.96%
  • 100 to 250 (Mbps) – 29.54%

Fixed Wireless Internet

  • 10/1.0 (Mbps) – 69.54%
  • 25/3.0 (Mbps) – 67.18%
  • 100/20 (Mbps) – 30%
  • 250/25 (Mbps) – 11.92%
  • 1,000/100 (Mbps) – 9.76%

Reliability

Fixed wireless internet is more reliable if your receiver has a line of sight with your provider’s wireless tower.

Otherwise, Starlink may be more reliable.

Still, both types of connections may suffer from slow (or sporadic) connections due to dust storms, lousy weather, radio frequency interference., etc.

Equipment & Installation

Satellite dishes.

Satellite dishes.

Starlink requires specialized equipment for installation – modem, dish antenna, and power supply.

Nevertheless, the installation process is more or less a breeze – anyone with basic technical knowledge can do it.

On the same note, fixed wireless requires specialized equipment for installation: an antenna, router, and power supply. It’s just that the installation process is somewhat more complicated.

The antenna should be positioned carefully for optimal signal strength, ideally in an area with a strong signal reception, free from obstructions like trees.

Costs

Fixed wireless is typically cheaper – plans range from $50 to $100. Of course, fixed wireless has a lower price tag for different reasons, including more affordable installation equipment.

Starlink, on the contrary, is more expensive – plans start at $100 and could go as high as $500.

For Business

Fixed wireless is a better fit for business use, ideally due to its higher latency times.

You’ll likely experience seamless video calls with higher latency, which is a plus for conference calls.

Also, while fixed wireless has lower download speeds than Starlink, they are fast enough to boost productivity at work.

Plus, you will unlikely experience data limits. 

Here are a few business tasks with their respective download/upload speeds:

  • Cloud security camera – 5.0 Mbps
  • VoIP calls – 3.0 Mbps
  • POS system – 6.0/2.0Mbps
  • Ordering stuff online – 3.0 Mbps
  • Guest Wi-Fi – Not less than 100 Mbps of bandwidth

Only opt for Starlink if your business sits in a remote area with no fixed wireless access.

Even so, you may be unable to download large files due to data limitations common with satellite internet.

Also, you could end up paying lots of money for data top-ups.

For Video Streaming

Fixed wireless is a better option for streaming videos.

Of course, most providers of fixed wireless access don’t reinforce data caps.

You could watch more stuff without worrying about connection interruptions – or paying more cash for data top-ups.

Here’s a chart showing the bandwidth required per device (platform and download speeds):

  • YouTube

2.5 Mbps – 720p

5.0 Mbps – 1080p

20 Mbps – 4K

  • Netflix

3.0 Mbps – 720p

5.0 Mbps – 1080p

25 Mbps – 4K

  • Hulu

3.0 Mbps – Hulu’s Streaming Library

8.0 Mbps – Livestraeming television

16 Mbps – 4K

  • Disney+

5.0 Mbps – 1080p

25 Mbps – 4K

  • Peacock TV

3.0 Mbps – 1080p

Should You Get Satellite Or Fixed Wireless Access Internet?

A satellite dish.

A satellite dish.

It depends – you should choose fixed wireless for these reasons:

  • It has lower latency times
  • It has no equipment fees
  • It has no data caps
  • It has a lower price tag

Then, it would be best if you chose Starlink for the following reasons:

  • It’s widely available
  • It boasts high download speeds
  • It bypasses obstacles between your home and ISP’s antenna

Conclusion

Choosing between Starlink and fixed wireless access will depend on your internet connectivity needs – in terms of reliability, cost, speed, and other factors. For more information, contact us today.