Starry Station Review
Starry Station is a smart router that promises that displays helpful information about your home’s wireless network at a price of $350. Here’s our Starry Station review.
What Is Starry Station?
Starry Station is a smart router that promises to give you better Wi-Fi. It works by displaying helpful information about your home’s internet connection: the display tells you how many devices are currently connected, for example, as well as a breakdown of your internet speed and your “Internet Health Score”.
Basically, it’s a router that claims to provide greater “transparency”. Instead of hiding valuable information behind admin interfaces and menus, the Starry Station puts it right in front of your face.
The hardware is designed to be sleek and modern-looking, so you’ll want to place it somewhere visible in your home instead of hiding it under your desk.
How Does The Starry Station Work?
You might expect the Starry Station display to show a bunch of numbers, graphs, and other traditional data.
But that’s not the case. Instead, the Starry Station displays everything in the form of a number of colorful dots. Those dots appear as a pattern of blue or red and will calmly float around the center of the display.
One of the most unique metrics on the Starry Station is called the Internet Health Score, which is a measurement of your service, speed, Wi-Fi conditions, and device performance. This number is displayed at the center of your Starry Station’s display.
That display is a touchscreen, by the way. You can tap on any of the metrics on the display to get more information, or to scroll through and learn more about your Wi-Fi. You’ll also use the touchscreen to setup your device for the first time.
Like other smart routers we’ve seen, Starry Station makes mobile compatibility a priority. You can connect your router to your smartphone and view information about your network via the app. You don’t have to be connected to the Wi-Fi to check your Wi-Fi’s status. You can be on the other side of the world.
It’s easy to forget that Starry Station is an actual router, as well. The 802.11ac router promises to boost the power of your home network to give it a wider range. There are multiple built-in antennas to maximize your coverage. One reviewer at The Verge claims Wi-Fi speeds were about 20mbps faster using the Starry Station compared to the router provided by Comcast.
If you need extra extending capabilities, then Starry also sells something called the Wing Wi-Fi Extender, which will be released in fall 2016 at a price of $119.
Oh, and in case you didn’t believe how powerful Starry Station was, it comes with a built-in fan for cooling. Yes, even your router needs a fan these days. The fan isn’t totally silent. So if you need to have your router in a bedroom or other quiet area, then you may want to move it.
The entire Starry Station is built on Android. In the future, the company will add an update that lets it connect to Amazon’s Alexa Voice Services as well (Starry Station has a built-in microphone and speaker)
At launch, many of Starry Station’s hardware components have not yet been activated. That’s going to change over the next few months, but right now, it’s lacking some of the features you’d expect to see on a router at this price range.
Starry Station Pricing
Starry Station is priced at $349.
You can purchase it from Starry.com, Amazon, or Best Buy (only Starry.com and Amazon were available on launch day).
That price tag makes Starry Station one of the priciest routers on the market. For comparison, other smart routers like the Google OnHub and Eero are both priced at $199.
Of course, neither of those competitors have a flashy display. Nevertheless, paying $349 for a router – especially one that doesn’t have all its hardware features activated at launch – is turning many people away.
Should You Use Starry Station as your Home’s Next Best Wireless Router?
Starry Station is a high-priced router that comes packed with features we’ve never seen before in a router – like a built-in touchscreen display that tells you valuable information about your internet connection with a single glance.
It’s certainly not for everybody: some people won’t like the noise that comes from the router’s fan. Others will be turned off by the $350 price tag. And some people just like to tuck their router in a corner of their home and forget about it.
It’s important to remember that Starry Station works best in a central location of your home. So if your internet hookup is in a forgotten corner of your house, then you may need to run ugly Ethernet cables to put your Starry Station in a more useful location.
Even if you don’t put it in a central location, the router has some impressive performance, delivering faster speeds and wider ranges than conventional routers.
If the price and location requirements don’t turn you away, then Starry Station is one of the best-performing – and best-looking – smart routers on the market. But you should wait until all its features are activated before you buy it.