Starlink vs. Fiber – Which One Should You Choose?

About Starlink vs. Fiber, Starlink should be on the top of the list when considering internet performance and availability, especially in the remotest areas. 

On the other hand, when you want low latency and fast internet for video gaming, fiber is a reasonable consideration. 

While both internet services have varying modes of operation and performance, they are worthy choices in different areas. 

This review will compare Starlink vs. fiber to help you choose the best internet service. 

Starlink vs. Fiber: Definition and Working Principles

Starlink is a satellite internet developed by SpaceX in 2019. What’s special about Starlink is that it uses Low Earth Orbit satellites, which are just 550 Km from the Earth’s surface. 

With these LEO satellites and phased array antenna technology, Starlink can deliver fast internet in underserved regions.

 To use Starlink, you just need a dish installed in an open place and a router that makes your home a WiFi hotspot.

Conversely, Fiber-Optic Internet uses cables constructed of ultra-thin glass strands. These cables travel underground to protect them from elements and human activities. 

Unlike in cable internet, data signals travel through electric impulses. In fiber, they travel through light pulses. 

Light travels at 300,000Km/s, so this technology gives fiber internet superfast speeds. 

To connect to fiber internet, you must be in an area with a fiber node terminal and buy a router.

 Therefore, fiber is mostly found in urban and suburban areas where the fiber infrastructure exists.

Satellite Internet 

Satellite Internet 

Starlink vs. Fiber: Performance

Download Speed

Starlink promises download speeds of 1Mbps once they complete the satellite constellation launch. 

However, for now, the service provides between 50 and 220 Mbps. Note that the download speed in Starlink is not usually constant and can be affected by factors such as weather.

On the other hand, fiber internet offers the fastest download speeds ever, with some services clocking up to 5Gbps. 

However, most fiber internet providers offer a constant speed of about 1Gbps. Therefore, Fiber wins.

Upload Speeds

In most cases, upload and download speeds in fiber are symmetrical. Most fiber companies have upload speeds of even more than 500Mbps.

 In contrast, Starlink upload speeds are way below downloads, with many users experiencing 10 to 20 Mbps. While Fiber wins here, the Starlink upload speed is enough for most household and small business requirements.

Internet speeds

Internet speeds


Starlink has managed to lower the latency by using satellites closer to Earth than traditional ISPs using GEO satellites

The company promises latencies between 20 to 40 ms, more than 10 times better than conventional satellite ISPs. 

However, Stalink latency can be affected by weather and other factors, but it is still enough for light gaming.

Comparingly, fiber has the lowest latency of between 1 and 20 ms. The lower latency is because data travels through fiber optic cable at the speed of light with no interference. 

Therefore, fiber wins the latency race, making it suitable for professional video gaming and other real-time online activities.

Data Caps

Starlink had no data cap; you could use it however you wanted. However, recently, the company introduced a 1TB monthly data cap to all its plans to emphasize fair usage.

 Even then, you will still use the internet except for the fact that the speed will be lower, especially during peak hours.

For the Fiber internet, the data cap depends on your chosen internet provider. Some vendors, such as AT$T and Google Fiber, do not have any data cap. 

Others, such as Viasat, have data caps once you cross the 40 to 300GB threshold, depending on your chosen plan.

Starlink vs. Fiber: Availability and Reliability

Starlink aims to provide fast internet in the remotest and underserved global regions.

 For this reason, the service is available in many regions and puts a waitlist for customers in the regions it’s yet to venture. 

Additionally, the company has enrolled Starlink RV, Starlink Maritime, and Starlink Aviation to ensure availability in different environments. 

However, when it comes to reliability, it depends on your location and the weather. 

For example, obstacles and extremely bad weather, such as heavy rainfall and storms, may affect your signal reception.

In contrast, as we said earlier, fiber internet only uses wired connections available in towns. But the good news is once fiber infrastructure is established, it is always reliable.

 Fiber wins the reliability race since it relies on a solid fiber connection, hence no speed fluctuations.

 Regarding availability, Starlink comes on top, thanks to its global coverage.

Internet availability 

Internet availability 

Starlink vs. Fiber: Pricing and Cost

Starlink has several plans categorized and priced in terms of usage instead. 

For example, its RV or roam plan for nomads will cost you $599 for the equipment plus $150 per month. 

Its residential plan equipment costs the same as the RV, but the monthly fee is $120. The company also has a business plan for commercial users, which costs $2500 for the equipment and a $250 monthly subscription. 

Starlink Maritime is another plan that costs the same as business but with tighter data caps. 

The last plan is aviation, which costs about $150,000 for equipment plus a $12,000 to $25,000 monthly fee.

In comparison, Fiber pricing plans depend on which ISP you choose. However, they are generally cheaper than Starlink due to their affordable technology. 

For example, ISPs like Viast, AT$T, and Google Fiber have fiber internet plans from $50 to $300. 

Some ISPs may charge around $300 for the equipment, while others may have free hardware. However, unlike Starlink, most Fiber ISPs have hidden charges and contracts.

Fiber optic installation 

Fiber optic installation 

Starlink vs. Fiber: Customer Support

If you encounter problems, both services can contact their customer service staff. 

However, in Starlink, the customer care contact method is slightly complicated.

 They do not have a dedicated phone number or email address to contact them directly. 

As a customer, you will have to launch a support ticket on their app, which might take days to get a response. 

In comparison, every fiber Internet provider has an email address and a phone. 

Some fiber ISPs may also provide 24/7 customer care service and a technician who can visit your home.

Starlink vs. Fiber: Pros and Cons

Pros Cons 
StarlinkExpensive plans and equipment Not reliable during bad weather Customer care takes days to respond.Available in remote areas and globally, data caps or contracts are easy installation With considerable speeds, Portable internet.
FiberComplicated installation process Available in town only May have data caps and contracts Not portable.Complicated installation process Available in town only May have data caps and contracts Not portable

Is Starlink Better than Fiber?

No, at this moment, Starlink is not better than fiber. Fiber may go more than 5 times better than Starlink in speed. 

Fiber boasts super-low latency for real-time activities like professional gaming and video conferencing. 

All these come with cheaper monthly subscriptions and equipment fees compared to Starlink.

Will Starlink Replace Fiber

No, it’s unlikely that Starlink will replace fiber internet even if it achieves its end goal of thousands of satellites in space. 

Also, the two internets share very different technology, with fiber ground internet being more reliable than satellite Starlink. 

However, Starlink will have a good market share due to its insane coverage. 

What’s likely is that Starlink may replace the old satellite internet thanks to its enormous speed potential and availability.


My research and testing show that fiber internet is way better than Starlink. It is even better than cable, DSL, and 5G mobile due to its superfast speed, low latencies, and affordable pricing.

However, it is not portable and unavailable in rural and remote areas. Therefore, Starlink would be a decent choice if you dwell in areas without fiber.