starlink satellite internet switzerland guide

Starlink in Switzerland Questions and Answers

July 12, 2024 - Ralf Beyeler

Tech pioneer Elon Musk’s Starlink service can be used in Switzerland to connect to the Internet via satellites. Find answers to the most important questions about using Starlink in Switzerland in this guide.

How does Starlink work?

Starlink is an Internet service provider that lets you get online through a satellite connection. Up until now, a Starlink satellite dish was a requirement for using the service. Starlink sells its satellite dish and the corresponding network router in a bundled starter kit. Unlike most satellites, the ones maintained by Starlink orbit much closer to earth, at an altitude of only 550 kilometers.


How much does a Starlink plan cost?

The regular Starlink connection costs 50 francs per month for private customers. In exchange for that fee, you get an Internet connection with unlimited local data within Switzerland.

Starlink charges Swiss customers a one-time fee of at least 250 francs for the necessary hardware. On top of that, you pay an additional 21 francs for shipping. So the total initial costs are 271 francs.

Alternatively, you can also rent the Starlink hardware for 10 francs per month. The 21-franc shipping fee also applies when you rent the equipment.

Starlink also offers a plan for travelers who want to use Starlink for their camper or caravan, for example. This plan costs 59 francs per month and includes unlimited local data within Switzerland. A different plan that also includes 50 gigabytes of data for roaming in foreign countries is available for 259 francs per month.

Where can I use Starlink?

Starlink can be used anywhere in Switzerland and – with the right plan – in many other countries as well. But for Starlink to work, you need to place the dish in locations which have a direct view to the sky. Roofs, trees, and branches hamper the Internet connection.

How fast is a Starlink Internet connection?

Unlike Internet plans from Swiss telecom service providers, fast connection speeds are not Starlink’s main attraction. Starlink’s fine print states that customers can expect download speeds of between 50 and 250 Mbps. Independent test show that speeds are often only around 100 Mbps. Speeds can be lower than that in regions with large volumes of users, and during times of heavy usage.

One advantage which Starlink has over other satellite Internet providers is its low latency. Shorter latency periods are beneficial for time-critical applications like video conferencing and some online games.

Starlink’s latency periods are notably longer than those of telecom service providers with phone line, optical fiber, coaxial cable and mobile networks. But they are much shorter than those of other satellite Internet service providers.

What are the minimum contract term and notice period for Starlink?

Starlink does not have a minimum contract term. You can terminate your subscription at any time. After you suspend your plan, the Internet connection remains active until the end of the period which has already been paid for. The one-time hardware costs cannot be reimbursed, but you can use the same hardware if you ever reactivate your subscription.

When does using Starlink make sense?

Because Starlink is available throughout Switzerland, it provides an interesting alternative for getting online in locations which have poor access to the Internet.

There are still many Swiss households which only have slow Internet connections through phone lines (with just 3 to 30 Mbps, for example). These are often remote farmsteads, rural homes, alpine villages, and mountain cottages. But even homes in larger towns often do not have access to fast Internet.

Starlink can also be interesting if you do a lot of traveling in a caravan or motorhome.

But for homes connected to optical fiber networks, using an optical connection is much faster than using Starlink.

What is the process for setting up Starlink?

The most important thing is that the Starlink dish is set up in a place with a clear view to the sky. There should not be any constructions, roofs, branches, or trees in the way. You can use the Starlink app to check how good the connection will be in a given location before you order it.

If you live in a house with a garden, then finding a good place to set up your Starlink satellite dish should not be difficult. But things are more difficult if you live in an apartment. In many cases, it makes sense to fasten the dish to the building. Starlink offers joiners to fasten its dish to a wall. However, the ideal setup it to fasten the Starlink dish to the building’s roof.

The satellite dish has to be set up and connected to a power source. Depending on the building type, you may also have to run a network cable from the dish into the inside of your home. Once you have done those things, the device will automatically point itself in the right direction. You can use the Starlink app with your phone to set up the Internet access.

Do rain and snow affect the Internet connection?

The Internet connection should still work when the sky is cloudy, and during hard rain or snow. The Satellite dish has its own built-in heating system to melt snow and ice.

Do I need to get permission from my landlord or municipality before setting up a satellite dish?

In Switzerland, you have to get your landlord’s permission before installing a satellite dish. You can set up a satellite dish on your balcony without getting special approval, but only if the dish is not visible from outside and is not strongly fastened to the building. That would not usually be the case with Starlink satellite dishes.

Depending on where you live, you may also need a permit from your municipality. Districts which are protected because of their historical or aesthetic value are particularly likely to have bans or restrictions on putting up satellite dishes. Inquire about this at your town hall before ordering Starlink.

Does Starlink offer an advantage over conventional Internet plans from Swiss telecom companies?

That depends on the situation.

If the only option for home Internet at your address is a slow connection through a copper phone line, then a Starlink plan could be an interesting alternative. The 50-franc monthly fee is similar to what you pay for plans from conventional telecom providers, and Starlink gives you faster Internet. Many Swiss Internet service providers charge initial, one-time fees of around 100 francs, which is at least 171 francs less than the initial cost of setting up Starlink.

But if your address is connected to an optical fiber network, then getting home Internet from a Swiss provider is generally cheaper, and the Internet speeds are higher than those you get with Starlink.

How does Starlink compare to other satellite Internet services?

Satellite Internet connections have been offered in Switzerland by various service providers for many years now. Swisscom provides telecommunications to rural homes a spart of its state mandate. But existing satellite connections are often slow, or have caps on data use.

What is the advantage of Starlink?

The biggest advantage is that Starlink can be used anywhere in Switzerland. You can connect to the Internet at speeds up to 250 Mbps from all parts of the country. That makes Starlink an interesting alternative to the slow basic coverage offered by Swisscom for getting online in remote locations.

What are the disadvantages of Starlink?

Starlink has been the subject of many environmental concerns related to space junk. There are already 2000 Starlink satellites in space. The lifespan of each satellite is only around five years. Light pollution caused by Starlink satellites is another topic of discussion. The satellites reflect the sun’s light towards earth, which brightens the night sky. Among other possible issues, the brightening of the night sky makes astronomical observation difficult – even with telescopes.  

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Expert Ralf Beyeler
Ralf Beyeler is the telecom expert at and also covers other areas of personal finance.
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