Starlink Mini is a Satellite Internet Receiver That Fits in a Backpack

Lightweight and compact, the new Starlink terminal is a game changer for mobile internet service.

Image Caption: Photo Credit: Starlink

After making its initial debut in 2020, Starlink satellite internet service quickly became a popular option for RVers, overlanders, boondockers, and remote workers. With connection speeds of up to 220 Mbs and the ability to operate from just about anywhere, it proved to be an outstanding replacement for slow campground internet or for use in remote places where regular service doesn’t exist. Starlink adoption became so prevalent that some manufacturers even started offering receivers as an option straight from the factory. Now, the Elon Musk-owned company is taking things to the next level by introducing an ultra-portable terminal small enough to fit in a backpack.

Starlink Mini

Photo Credit: Starlink

The new Starlink Mini weighs 3.37 lbs.—including the power supply and kickstand—and is about the size of a chunky laptop. It comes with a built-in Wi-Fi router, which means once it’s set up and functioning, it can provide an internet connection to multiple devices around it. And because everything is integrated into one device, it draws much less power, too. The Mini uses just 20-40 watts of electricity compared to the full-size model, which requires anywhere from 33-62 watts to operate. As The Verge points out, the new terminal is soe energy efficient it can be powered by a portable battery bank for up to three hours or for days when plugged into a portable power station.

While having a satellite internet receiver you can take with you anywhere sounds great, there are a few caveats to keep in mind. First, the Mini is limited to download speeds of just 100 Mbs, which is plenty fast, but still slower than the regular Starlink service. The device also carries a high price tag of $599, which is expensive but understandable considering the technology involved. Adding the Mini to your existing account with residential service will also set you back an additional $30/month. If you don’t have residential service, you can use the new receiver with a roaming plan that starts at $50/month.

Starlink RV

Photo Credit: SpaceX

Starlink service has evolved and adapted quite well over the past few years, so it is possible it will eventually allow customers to use the Mini as a standalone device. That would make it an excellent option for full-timers and van lifers who want an easy-to-use service that is fast and reliable. The fact that it is also small, lightweight, and doesn’t require a lot of power makes it very attractive, too. Add in a reasonable price tag for monthly service, and the Mini could be a game-changer, not just for RVers but also for content creators, explorers, scientists, and event planners.

For more information on Starlink, its coverage area, service plans, and its hardware, visit the company’s website.

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