I ordered a Starlink Internet kit for my parents who live in Belgium (Europe).
I have had many problems installing it (no active account, wrong IP address, wrong kit, etc) and ran into pretty much every issue imaginable.
In this article, I’ll tell you what happened, how I have solved these issues, and how you can too.
Skip straight to the FAQ if you’re just interested in solving your issue (yet the story explains lots of things, so I recommend you check it out).
I ordered my Starlink kit on the 5th of December 2022.
It was shipped from Germany and arrived on the 3rd of January 2023.
I installed it right away upon receiving it and quickly ran into the first problem: no active account.
Two things can cause this issue:
- Starlink’s system did not register that your kit was shipped.
- You received the wrong kit.
Let me explain.
The Starlink kit is made out of a dish and a router. Each of these is unique, with unique serial numbers. When a customer orders a Starlink, he is assigned one specific kit.
If the system does not register that your kit was shipped from the warehouse, the kit will remain blocked and you won’t be able to use it.
Actually, it will move and search for a GPS signal, it will connect to the satellites, it will do everything it is supposed to, but it won’t give you Internet.
If the system registers that your kit was shipped, then Starlink should work as planned.
You can check the status of your Starlink kit on the website. If it says “shipped” like in the image below, then your problem comes from somewhere else.
In my case, I had received the wrong kit.
But I did not know that…yet.
Receiving the Wrong Kit
I was too excited to inspect the box upon receiving it.
Unfortunately, it had some clues that the kit Starlink had sent me was the wrong one.
- The country tag was Bulgaria (BG) instead of Belgium (BE).
- The order number did not match.
While it took me a few hours to realize that they had shipped the wrong kit thanks to the order number, it took me weeks to figure out it was a Bulgarian kit and not a Belgian one.
What Happens When Starlink Sends You the Wrong Kit?
- The app says “no active account” as above.
- You can’t configure anything in the settings (can’t change the name of the Wifi, or password, or the snow melt options).
- You don’t have Internet despite that the dish moves and the app says that everything works.
Solving the “Wrong Kit” Problem
I contacted customer support on the app when I understood the problem.
I told them they had sent me the wrong kit.
They answered one day later with the following: Hello. We are aware of an issue but it has now been resolved. If you continue to have issues, do not hesitate to reach back out for further assistance. Thank you
What they did was associate my account with the Bulgarian kit.
I had Internet.
But I was still missing two things.
- I did not have access to the settings (changing the network name, changing the WiFi password, changing the snow melt options, etc). The app said “log in with the account associated with this kit”. So even though I had Internet, I could not fully enjoy it my Starlink kit.
- My IP address was in Sofia, Bulgaria. But I did not know this yet.
The IP Address Is in the Wrong Country
I had bought my parents a Chromecast so my dad could watch football.
Upon installing it, I quickly figured the Chromecast thought we were in Bulgaria.
YouTube’s videos were in Bulgarian, and the Chromecast itself kept on offering me “Bulgaria” as the first option when I needed to write an address or a phone number.
“What the hell, I thought. Why does it think we are in Bulgaria?”
I then checked the IP address and it said…Sofia, Bulgaria.
That’s how I figured out that not only this kit was the wrong one, but it had been sent to the wrong country.
Solving Starlink’s IP Address Issues
I went back to customer support and opened a new ticket.
I explained that they had sent me a Bulgarian kit and that my IP address was stuck in Sofia, which was a problem since I could not access content only available in Belgium.
They did not believe me.
Here’s what Starlink answered: Our network is dynamic and is designed to route your traffic through the most optimal path at any given time. Though we are currently unable to change your network traffic routing, we can confirm that the infrastructure that you are currently being connected to is the most ideal infrastructure for your Starlink connection at this time.
So I insisted.
I said: Hello, Thank you for your answer. However, you specify in your literature that you will provide an IP address from the same country of location (see attached).
Then they apologized: Our apologies we had misread the information we had previously noted, we will be escalating this ticket to the proper department to have an investigation.
So another guy took my case off and asked me to give him the serial number of the router, the KIT number, and the serial number of the dish located at the bottom of the mast.
And that’s how they (finally) realized they had sent the wrong kit to the wrong country!
Starlink said: We have identified an issue with your hardware and we have sent you a new kit and a return label for your current kit to the E-mail we have on file.
“An issue with your hardware”. Very funny!
I admit though it was nice of them to issue a refund.
I just wish they had believed me from the start…
The New Kit
I received the new (Belgian) kit four days later, on the 16th of January 2023, in the morning.
I installed it with the app, all went quickly and swiftly…but then I ran into the same “no active account” problem.
Although this time, I knew why.
The system had not registered that my kit had been shipped, so it was still blocked.
I received an email at midnight the same day saying my kit had been shipped and the Starlink unblocked automatically.
I went to sleep and planned on setting up my dad’s Chromecast first thing the next morning.
IP Address Problem Again
Long story short, the Chromecast still did not believe we were in Belgium.
Upon checking the IP address, I realized that we were this time…in Seattle, USA.
I went back to Starlink’s customer support. They told me to disconnect the router for 15 minutes, then to reconnect it again.
I did and it worked…partially.
See, you have two types of IP addresses: IPv4, and IPv6.
While my IPv4 had switched from Seattle to Brussels, my IPv6 had not.
When I checked my IP address on my computer, it said Brussels.
But when I checked it on my phone and Chromecast, it said Seattle, still.
This is the last message I have received from them: Hi Aure, Thanks for sharing that with us. We will investigate further with our network engineering team why IPv4 is resolved, but IPv6 is not.
Eventually, the IPv6 automatically shifted to Brussels after 24 hours.
I have closed the ticket…and finally set my dad’s Chromecast up.
1. How to fix “No active account” on the Starlink app
If you have just received your Starlink, the first thing you should check is that you received the right kit.
Check your order number. You can find it in your account. Then compare the order number to the one written on the box.
If they don’t match, then you have received the wrong Starlink and will likely have to send it back.
If they do match, proceed.
The next thing you want to check is the status of your Starlink, which you can do on the website.
If it says “preparing your order” or something like that, then the system did not yet register that your Starlink was shipped.
I suggest you open a customer support ticket.
If it says your Starlink was shipped like on the image below, then there’s one other thing you can do.
Uninstall and reinstall the app, then factory reset your Starlink.
You do so by unplugging the power cable from the router, six times, as fast as you can.
If you still have problems…contact customer support.
- Check that you have received the right Starlink.
- Check that Starlink’s status is on “shipped”.
- Uninstall and reinstall the app.
- Factory reset your Starlink.
2. How to fix your lack of access to the settings in the Starlink app (can’t change the wifi name or password, cannot choose the snow melt option, etc)
If you cannot change any settings in the Starlink app such as the name of the WiFi network, the password of the WiFi, or the snow melt option, then you have received a kit that wasn’t attributed to you.
Contact customer support.
You will have to send them the serial number of your dish written on the bottom of the mast.
3. How to fix your IP address with Starlink?
Starlink guarantees you an IP address in the country where you are.
If your IP address is way off (mine was in Bulgaria, located 1600 km away from Belgium), then Starlink will have to fix this problem.
However, you can try to do it yourself before contacting them.
- Stow your dish.
- Unplug your router for 15 minutes.
- Replug your router.
- Wait for Starlink to find the signal again.
- Check both of your IP addresses: check the IPv6 (with your phone) and IPv4 (with your phone or laptop). You can do so on What’s my IP address.
4. Can you unplug Starlink’s cable from the dish?
Yes. Google will give you an answer based on an old Twitter thread from a guy that had an old, round Dishy where the cable couldn’t be unplugged.
However, this answer is false. The new square Starlink dishes can be unplugged.
Starlink would not sell replacement cables otherwise.
By the time Starlink sent me the second kit, I had already buried the cable of the first kit. I didn’t want to unbury it, so I just unplugged the dish and the router at both ends and replaced them with the new material.
That being said, you need to unplug your antenna in a very specific way not to fry it!
Here’s how to unplug Starlink’s cable from the dish:
- Stow your dish. Wait for 20 seconds.
- Unplug the router’s electricity plug. Wait for 20 seconds.
- Unplug the POE cable from the router. Wait for 20 seconds.
- Unplug the cable out of the dish.
Do not, under any circumstances, unplug your dish before stowing it and unplugging the router!
You may fry your dish doing so.
5. What is Starlink’s speed?
That depends on your location. I am located in Europe, in Belgium, to be more specific.
Not many people have Starlink here because 99% of the country has Internet access (guess who has his house in the 1%…). So it helps with the speed.
Before I tell you about the speed I have, you should know that my dish is obstructed by roughly 11%.
I have some rare outages that last less than a second.
The download speed goes from 60 mb/s, to 200 mb/s depending on where the satellites are. I never managed to go over 200 mb/s in my tests.
The upload speed goes from 10 mb/s to 25 mb/s on average.
Mind that I am often far away from the router.
This is the advanced speed test.
I can hardly complain.
6. Does the weather impact Starlink’s speed?
Not in my experience. As I am writing this in January 2023, we have had some mean snow storms yet managed to watch YouTube in 4k without a single issue.
7. Can I track Starlink’s satellites?
Yes, you can use this Starlink tracker to see where the satellites are.
8. Does the Starlink router have an Ethernet plug?
No. You need to buy an Ethernet adapter. And even then, you’ll have only one plug. Shame!
9. How much does Starlink cost?
That depends on where you are.
In Belgium, I paid €460 for the kit, and €80/month for the service.
In Estonia, it was €360 for the kit, and €60/month for the service.
Use geo-arbitrage to get it for cheaper 😉
10. Should you buy the Starlink Mesh router?
It’s monstrously expensive.
Just get a cheap repeater from TP-link. That’s what I use and it’s amazing!
11. How many devices can connect to the router at the same time?
Some say it can have up to 200 devices, others say “no more than 30”.
I didn’t find any answer to this question from Starlink themselves.
12. What’s Starlink’s router range for the WiFi?
They pretend it’s 25 meters.
But my repeater is more than 30 meters away, and it works well enough (25 mb/s to 50 mb/s).
While the router’s signal goes far in absence of obstacles, it gets immediately stopped by walls and trees.
30 meters without obstacles > 10 meters and two thick walls.
13. How long does Starlink take to be shipped?
In Belgium (Europe), the first kit took a month to arrive.
But the replacement kit took only four days!
14. Does Starlink withstand snow?
Meh! There’s a built-in heater (you can control this heater from the app) that melts the snow off the dish, but only on the lower end of it. It doesn’t really work at the top, as you can see in this pic.
As a result, the dish believes it is obstructed while it is not.
We’ve had heavy snow (30 cm of snow in 24h!!) lately and I went to check how Dishy was doing.
Click to expand and see the picture.
As you can see, there are some droplets falling off the dish.
I did a speed test right after taking the picture above.
So the good news is that a snowstorm won’t impact the speed much. Make sure to take off the snow around the antenna so that it’s not drowned into it.
15. Does Starkink work in the forest?
That depends on the forest.
There are a few trees in my dish’s field of view, but that doesn’t prevent it from working flawlessly.
The app always told me the dish wouldn’t work because the sky wasn’t “clear enough”.
That’s just not true.
I find it amazing that SpaceX underestimates the capacities of its own product.
But they really do. I advise you to order it and try and send it back if it doesn’t work.
Fast Internet can change your life!
16. Can or should you clean your Starkink dish?
You should absolutely not touch the dish!
It can sustain heavy rain and snow. But not human fingers.
Let the dish be.
For more cool info like this, head to auresnotes.com.
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