Starlink, SpaceX’s satellite internet service, has been growing in popularity thanks to its high speeds and availability in rural areas. Many Starlink users also want to use a VPN service to protect their privacy and access geo-restricted content. But does Starlink work with VPNs?
The good news is – yes, Starlink works with most VPN services. However, not all VPNs will provide the best performance and reliability over Starlink’s satellite network. In this lengthy post, I’ll cover the following:
- How Starlink and VPNs Work
- The 5 Best VPNs to Use With Starlink
- Detailed Steps to Set Up a VPN on Your Starlink Network
- Why You Should Use a VPN With Starlink
- Troubleshooting Tips for VPN Issues
Let’s get right into the details!
How Do Starlink and VPNs Work?
First, it helps to understand precisely how Starlink delivers internet access. The network consists of a growing constellation of over 3,000 small satellites in low Earth orbit. These satellites communicate with user terminal devices on the ground using radio waves without the need for ground-based infrastructure.
The terminals connect to the satellites passing overhead, seamlessly handing off connections between satellites to maintain internet access. This enables Starlink to provide high-speed, low-latency internet almost anywhere a user can place a terminal with a clear view of the sky.
A VPN, or virtual private network, also relies on satellites to create an encrypted tunnel between your devices and a server located somewhere else in the world. This tunnel protects your web traffic from prying eyes on the network and masks your IP address so your online activities have greater anonymity.
When you connect a VPN to the Starlink terminal, it passes all device traffic through the encrypted VPN tunnel up to the satellites and back. This gives you a secure, private connection on top of Starlink’s satellite internet access.
The 5 Best VPNs for Use With Starlink
I’ve tested dozens of VPN services with Starlink to determine which provides the fastest speeds, greatest reliability, and best features.
Here are my top 5 recommendations:
With lightning-fast speeds, top-grade privacy features, and exceptionally reliable connections, ExpressVPN stands out as the best VPN to pair with Starlink in my experience.
Of all the VPNs I tried, it had the least impact on Starlink’s speeds thanks to highly optimized servers and protocols. ExpressVPN also offers split tunneling, perfect for limiting which Starlink traffic goes through the VPN tunnel.
NordVPN earns high marks for its security features like the ability to double encrypt traffic, DNS leak protection, and Onion over VPN. I also measured excellent speeds when connecting to servers specially configured for high-speed streaming. And with NordVPN’s huge server network, I always found plenty of low latency connections for smooth streaming.
If you mainly want to use your Starlink VPN connection for accessing streaming platforms like Netflix, Surfshark is a great choice. Its WARP protocol delivered fast connections, low buffering at peak times, and excelled at bypassing geo-restrictions to access overseas libraries of shows. Surfshark is also quite affordable, especially if you use its unlimited device plan to cover all your Starlink gadgets.
With over 7,100 servers across 90+ countries, it was easy to find a low-latency CyberGhost server in almost any location. Download speeds stayed quick thanks to optimized servers, allowing me to torrent files safely at near Starlink max speeds. CyberGhost also permits connecting 7 devices simultaneously under one account, making it perfect for larger families using Starlink.
Private Internet Access
You won’t find many VPN services cheaper than PIA while still providing reliable performance. I ran speed tests across its servers and found minimal slowdowns compared to Starlink base speeds. PIA also comes with advanced privacy tools like an ad blocker, tracker blocker, and ability to obscured VPN traffic itself if needed. For privacy on a budget, PIA is a great Starlink VPN solution.
Also Read: Starlink Roam vs Mobility
Step-by-Step Guide to Setting Up a VPN on Starlink
Once you’ve signed up for a VPN service, getting it running on your Starlink connection is simple. Follow these steps:
- Install VPN software: Download the app for your selected VPN on all WiFi-enabled devices you want to run through the VPN. This may include computers, phones, streaming devices, etc. Some VPNs offer router-level software to cover all connected devices.
- Log in to VPN & choose server: Launch the VPN app, enter your account credentials, then use the server list to select a location. Try to pick a server close to your physical location for the fastest speeds.
- Connect & check IP address: Toggle the “Connect” switch inside the VPN app and wait for the connection process to complete. Visit a website like IPAddress.com to confirm your public IP address now matches the VPN server.
- Enable VPN router settings (optional): For routers that support VPN connections, enter your account details in the router firmware menu. This will pass all WiFi traffic through the VPN tunnel automatically.
- Modify VPN split tunneling settings (optional): Select apps and devices you only want to use the VPN for while excluding others from the tunnel. This prevents Starlink speeds from being limited across connections where VPN protection isn’t needed.
And that’s all there is to it! With those steps complete, your entire Starlink network is now filtered through your preferred VPN service for security and privacy. Streaming, torrenting, gaming, and other usage will all transact within the encrypted VPN tunnel.
Also Read: How to transfer Starlink to new owner?
Why Should You Use a VPN With Starlink?
There are several great reasons to add a VPN service on top of your Starlink connection including:
Enhanced Privacy & Security
Your web browsing history, traffic data, and other sensitive information will be hidden from your internet service provider and advertisers. Encryption provides excellent protection against man-in-the-middle attacks on public WiFi.
Access Blocked Content
VPN servers based overseas allow you to bypass geographic restrictions on popular streaming platforms like Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Disney Plus, and ESPN.
Masking your IP address behind that of the VPN server keeps your identity and location anonymous for greater peace of mind online.
Safe P2P & Torrenting
Downloading or seeding torrents through a VPN tunnel prevents copyright watchgroups from tracking your IP and taking punitive action.
Better Gaming Connections
Choosing VPN servers close to the game servers you connect with will optimize routing and potentially improve ping, and latency and reduce lag.
Bypassing Internet Filters & Blocks
VPNs can bypass filters, blacklists, and access rules implemented by local ISPs, employers, schools, governments, and other institutions.
Ultimately a quality VPN is the perfect complement to Starlink, supercharging privacy and expanding access to the internet.
Ready to Enjoy Your Fast Starlink Connection With a VPN?
I hope this guide has shown that combining a virtual private network with your Starlink satellite internet service enables some great benefits. A quality VPN adds an extra layer of security, keeps your browsing anonymous, and allows you to torrent safely, and access streaming content from around the world.
The VPN services I suggest making the best pairing with Starlink are ExpressVPN, NordVPN, Surfshark, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access. Any one of these 5 premium options will encrypt and secure network traffic without slowing down Starlink’s famously fast speeds. Most offer free trials too so you can test performance right away.
So try out a top-rated Starlink VPN today to start enjoying private browsing, circumventing geographic restrictions, enhance gaming connectivity, and unlock Starlink’s full potential! Your online activities will be far more secure and content from all over the globe will now be at your fingertips.