Starlink Internet vs 5G – Which One Should You Choose?

About Starlink Internet vs 5G: For decades, Satellite internet has been the most reliable, if not only, internet for rural and remote area dwellers. 

However, recently, the discovery of 5G Internet seeks to challenge the dominance of satellite ISPs in rural areas. 

Now, if presented with the choice between Starlink Internet vs. 5G, which should you choose?

 I have researched thoroughly and compiled the comparison review below to aid your selection dilemma.

Starlink Internet vs. 5G: Definition

As mentioned, Starlink is a satellite internet service provider launched by SpaceX

The service uses a satellite constellation in low earth orbit to provide internet to remote areas where ISPs are limited. 

When writing this, the company had deployed about  5,000 satellites, with the ultimate aim of 42,000, to provide internet globally. 

What stands out about Starlink, compared to other satellite ISPs, is its enormous speed, low latency, and unlimited data.

On the other hand, 5G is a cellular standard broadband network. It began its deployment worldwide in 2019 as the successor of the 4G LTE cellular broadband.

 What’s interesting about 5G is its ability to rival satellites and other internet while providing even better performance.

Starlink dish

Starlink dish

Starlink Internet vs. 5G: Comparison

Having known what Starlink and 5G are, let’s now compare their various aspects to determine the winner:


Unlike other satellite ISPs like HughesNet, which uses GEO satellites, Starlink utilizes LEO satellites, only 550km from the Earth’s surface. 

These satellites facilitate the communication between your dish and various ground stations. 

It then combines this with phased array antennae technology to ensure better performance than contemporary satellite ISPs. 

To use Starlink, you must order the kit, which comprises a router, dish, stand, and ethernet and power cables.

In contrast, 5G is a wireless broadband network similar to the one on your smartphone. It began as a 4G LTE network, graduating to 5G, which is more reliable and faster. 

The 5G technology uses a network of cell towers installed in various places. 

To use 5G, you need a gateway that picks signals from the nearest tower, making your home a WiFi hotspot.

Satellite in space

Satellite in space


The biggest advantage of Starlink is that it is available not only in the 50 US states but also in other parts of the globe.

 For example, it is available in Mexico, Canada, Europe, and some parts of Africa and Asia. 

It also continues to deploy satellites in space to ensure global availability eventually. 

However, it may be at full capacity in some US areas, which puts you on a waitlist when you order. 

Check if Starlink is available in your area using the Starlink map or website.

Conversely, 5G home Internet availability depends on the vendor. 

For instance, T-Mobile is the biggest ISP for 5G, covering almost every state in the US.

 It is followed closely by Verizon, while other networks, such as AT$T, provide coverage in selected cities.

Network Capacity

As the Starlink internet user base grows, the network experiences congestion and saturation. 

Because each satellite has a predetermined and limited number of users it can support, consequently, you find the network is at full capacity in some locations, and you must wait for more satellite deployment.

In contrast, the 5G network is remarkably expandable, with 1000 times the 4G brandwidth. 

Moreover, ISPs can advance their 5G traffic capacity using various technologies like 5G network slicing.

Network Performance

Since performance is the main determinant in choosing one network over the other, let’s see how both compare:


Starlink advertises speeds of between 25 Mbps to 220 Mbps for uploads. However, most users experience an average of 50Mbps to 100 Mbps depending on their location and chosen plan. 

Its upload speed is between 5 to 25 Mbps. This performance is more than enough for most household requirements, especially where alternatives don’t exist. 

Note the Starlink speed also depends on congestion, weather, and other interferences.

In comparison, the 5G home network can clock even more than 1Gbps speeds for downloads and uploads. 

This performance is theoretical, and the speed may depend on various factors. 

These factors include your ISP, chosen plan, proximately to the nearest tower, and network congestion.

 For example, T-Mobile’s 5G speeds range from 33 Mbps to 182 Mbps for downloads and 8-25Mbps for uploads.

Internet speed

Internet speed


Latency is the response time between sending and receiving a request, and it’s better when low. 

With that said, satellite internet is famous for high latencies, but Starlink uses various technologies to curb this. 

Its average latency is between 20 to 40 ms, which is good for gaming but not enough for professional ones.

On the other hand, just like speed, 5G internet latency depends on the ISP. 

However, it is sometimes lower than Starlink’s but fluctuates greatly depending on interferences and congestion.

 Typically, people in big cities or near the cell tower can experience even less than 20ms latency.

Pros and Cons

Pros Cons 
StarlinkIts monthly and initial cost is huge. Except for the roaming service, it is generally not portable. Weather and interference determine how it works. It is mostly useful in rural areas.You can only get a strong signal if close to the tower. Its availability is in selected regions. It drains your device’s charge and destroys the battery.
5G internet Fast internet with considerably low latency. It requires no professional to install. You can use it during disaster recovery. It is available in every global corner. Fast internet with considerably low latency. It requires no professional to install. You can use it during disaster recovery. It is available in every global corner 


Of the two networks, Starlink is the most expensive. For instance, its residential plan retails at $599 for the kit and $110 for the monthly subscription.

 If you order the RV Starlink, the kit costs the same as residential, with an extra 25 for a monthly subscription.

 For those who need the business plan, the kit sells at $2500, and the monthly fee starts at $140.

 There are other expensive plan options, such as maritime and aviation.

In comparison, 5G network pricing depends on the individual ISP. Generally, this price ranges from $35 to $80, based on your chosen plan. 

What I like about 5G is that there are no initial equipment costs like there are in Starlink.

Starlink vs 5G: Which One Is Better? Or Use a Combination?

If you live in the remotest regions where other network services are few, try Starlink. 

For starters, it’s available everywhere, and its uncapped data and speed are more than enough for various online tasks. 

However, if you are looking for affordable internet and you live in urban areas, then 5G would be ideal. 

Also, ritualistic internet enthusiasts like me prefer a combination of both if one has problems. 

Alternatively, you can bypass your Starlink router and use a 5G router to experience what the network offers.

WiFi router

WiFi router


Now you know how 5G and Starlink compare affordability, performance, and availability. 

In case you want to go for 5G, I recommend comparing various ISPs to know which one suits your needs. However, if you live remotely, Starlink may be the only available option.