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Starlink and i-ctrl; Redefining Global Connectivity with Advanced Networking Solutions

Starlink’s ambitious satellite deployment initiative has extended its reach across the globe, marking a significant shift in the technology landscape. While the term “gamechanger” is frequently overused in the tech industry, Starlink truly lives up to the label by revolutionizing global internet connectivity.

Their exceptional capability to offer cost-effective, high-speed broadband services has bridged the digital divide for customers residing in remote areas, previously deprived of reliable and high-quality internet access.

Although Starlink keeps its precise customer statistics under wraps, it is evident that they have been steadily expanding their global footprint and customer base. One approach to gauge their impact is by examining the volume of Starlink data flowing through the Cloudflare network, as observed over the past three months. Notably, the United States has emerged as the top consumer of Starlink data, reflecting the service’s popularity.

Starlink stats around the world
Global Starlnk data flowing through Cloudflare

Netcelero boasts a substantial customer base using the i-ctrl solution, relying on Starlink as their primary or secondary internet connection, often complemented with 4G. The combination of a Starlink connection and a 4G SIM card presents a robust and resilient communications solution, regardless of the site’s location.

As Starlink adoption continues to soar, we have observed certain behaviours that can pose challenges for businesses. One noteworthy observation is a 10-minute timeout on the DHCP lease, causing the WAN interface to toggle approximately every 5 minutes. This frequent toggling disrupts state tables and VPN connections on firewalls, potentially impacting critical services like VoIP.

Widespread online discussions reflect the prevalence of this issue, but there is a practical solution at hand. By connecting the Starlink Ethernet adapter to a small gigabit switch and subsequently linking another cable from the switch to the WAN port of the i-ctrl (this method is applicable to other firewall setups facing similar issues), you can effectively address this behaviour. The diagram below illustrates this configuration, highlighting how it ensures a reliable, resilient, and secure communications path.

i-ctrl network diagram with Starlink
Network diagram i-ctrl Starlink

It’s important to note that Starlink operates with a Carrier NAT (Network Address Translation) system, which means obtaining a static public IP or directly bridging the public IP to your office firewall isn’t a straightforward option. This can be a limitation for various office setups, necessitating the use of a solution like Netcelero’s i-ctrl device.

For further insights into optimising your Starlink connectivity and ensuring a seamless communications path, please don’t hesitate to contact us today.

Netcelero are here to assist you in harnessing the full potential of this groundbreaking technology.

Cloudflare statistics https://radar.cloudflare.com/traffic/as14593?dateRange=12w