StarBand is what we consider an intermediate satellite internet provider. The service is part of an older generation of satellite internet, and subsequently, it falls far behind its competitors in terms of speed and data allowance. However, it is still an option to consider if your only alternative for internet access is a sluggish dial-up modem.
StarBand's download and upload speeds are drastically slower than the other satellite internet services on our lineup. The maximum download speed you'll experience with this service is 1.5Mbps with its premium package, and only 512Kbps with the basic package (1024Kbps is the equivalent of 1Mbps). Still, this is quite a bit faster than a dial-up connection. If that's what you've been using, you'll experience a noticeable speed boost with StarBand.
All satellite internet providers track the amount of data you transfer, or in other words your bandwidth usage. Of all the services on our lineup, StarBand offers the smallest data allowance, ranging from 1GB to 5GB of anytime bandwidth depending on the package you select. Thus, we'd recommend this satellite internet provider if your internet usage is limited to light browsing a handful of hours per day.
One major benefit of StarBand is that you can choose between a one- or two-year service contract, although you receive a greater discount on your monthly fee if you sign up for two years. All other internet satellite providers require a minimum two-year service agreement, so we like the flexibility of the one-year option.
The rest of StarBand's offerings are likewise mediocre. The service doesn't offer bundled discounts, nor does it have a 30-day return policy where you can cancel service within the first 30 days without incurring any penalty fees. It does, however, include up to five email addresses with 7GB of storage per account.
Aside from the data-transfer speeds and bandwidth threshold, one of the biggest disappointments with this internet satellite provider is that it does not provide 24/7 technical support. To speak with an actual representative, you have to call during regular business hours (9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. during the week and 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on weekends). We feel that 24/7 technical support is a crucial component of any satellite internet service since you could experience connectivity issues during off-peak hours.
The Nova 500 satellite internet plan comes with a download speed up to 512 kilobits per second (Kbps) and speeds up to 100Kbps for upload. StarBand’s basic plan comes with five email addresses that each have 7 gigabytes (GB) of storage. StarBand gives you 4,389 megabytes (MB) of download allowance for a 30-day period.
StarBand’s Nova 1000 gives you 1Mbps speed for downloading and a speed of 128Kbps for uploading. You have 8,777MB of downloading and uploading every 30 days. The plan also comes with 10 email addresses that have 7GB of storage each.
Nova 1500 is the satellite internet plan that gives you the fastest speed and largest download allowance among StarBand products. With the Nova 1500, you can experience downloading speeds up to 1.5Mbps and uploading speeds as fast as 256Kbps. Your downloading and uploading limit is 21,946MB per 30 days. The plan also comes with 15 email addresses that have 7GB of storage each.
StarBand doesn’t have 24/7 telephone technical or customer service, but they do have continuous online support. They aren’t, however, very prompt at returning emails. When we called during their customer service telephone hours, StarBand’s customer service wasn’t able to answer all of our questions. Instead, they referred us to their website, saying everything we needed to know was on there. StarBand has a support wiki through StarBand.net, but it appears to be empty.
Their customer service representative said they didn’t offer anti-virus or spam protection software, but their website says they have spam and virus filtering. StarBand doesn’t offer blogging tools. They focus on what they do best – providing you with high-speed satellite internet access.
With its limited bandwidth, speeds and technical support hours, StarBand clearly isn't the best satellite internet provider out there. However, its notable one-year contract option makes the service worth looking into if you are upgrading from a dial-up connection.
StarBand offers both one- and two-year service contracts.
The service has drastically slower speeds than its competitors.
With StarBand's limited speeds and bandwidth, we'd recommend looking into any other satellite broadband services available in your area.