Sunday, 23 Jun 2024
Technology

How to Bypass the Starlink Router and Use Your Own

The Starlink router that comes with every Starlink kit works well for most people. However, if you want to use your own router with Starlink or upgrade to an aftermarket router for more features and performance, you will need to know about bypass mode.

Bypass mode turns off the Wi-Fi and routing functions of the Starlink router, allowing third-party networking equipment to take over. But why is bypass mode necessary? The Starlink router powers the dish, so it needs to remain connected. By enabling bypass mode, the Starlink router can continue to function as the power supply, while a third-party router handles Wi-Fi and network management.

In this guide, we will walk you through the process of turning on bypass mode. This tutorial is specifically for Gen 2 “Standard Actuated” and Gen 3 “Standard” Starlink models. Additionally, we will provide information on what accessories are required to use your own router and answer some common questions about bypass mode and third-party routers.

Video Tutorial

Before we proceed with the steps, check out this video tutorial to help you navigate through the process:

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Video Tutorial

Accessories Required

When using bypass mode, you will need to supply your own router since the Starlink router’s Wi-Fi and routing functions will be turned off. Virtually any third-party router will work with Starlink. You can use an existing router or purchase a new Wi-Fi router or mesh system. For this guide, we will use the eero Pro 6E mesh system, but the process is the same for almost any third-party router.

If you have the Gen 2 Standard Actuated dish, you will need to purchase the Starlink Ethernet Adapter accessory to connect a third-party router. The Gen 2 router does not have a built-in Ethernet port for connecting other devices. The Ethernet Adapter, available in the Starlink shop for $25, provides an Ethernet LAN port between the dish and the Gen 2 router.

It’s important to note that the Ethernet Adapter is only required for the Gen 2 Standard Actuated dish. If you have any other Starlink version, it is not necessary.

Connect Your Third-Party Router to Starlink

To connect your third-party router to Starlink, use the short Ethernet cable that came with your aftermarket router. One end of the cable should be plugged into the Internet/WAN port on your third-party router, and the other end should be connected to the Starlink router’s Ethernet LAN port.

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For Gen 3 routers, the two Ethernet LAN ports are hidden behind a cover on the back. Simply pull off the cover to reveal the ports, and you can plug your router into either one of them.

If you have a Gen 2 router, you need to install the Ethernet Adapter accessory first. Unplug the Starlink cable from the Gen 2 router and plug in the Ethernet Adapter. Then, connect the Starlink cable to the Ethernet Adapter. With the Ethernet Adapter in place, you will have access to a single Ethernet LAN port, which you will use to plug in your third-party router.

Configure Your Third-Party Router

Once your third-party router is connected, plug it into a power source to turn it on. Before you can use it as a router, you need to complete the setup process. The setup process may vary depending on the manufacturer and model of your router, so make sure to follow the instructions specific to your router.

For example, if you are using the Amazon eero Pro 6E router, download the eero app to easily set up your network. Provide a name and password for your Wi-Fi network and configure any additional features you need, such as a guest network. Other routers, like TP-Link, may have similar apps for installation and configuration.

Once your third-party router is configured, connect to its Wi-Fi network and ensure you have internet access. At this point, you will notice that you have two Wi-Fi networks: the Starlink network and the network from your third-party router. Having two routers connected to one internet source can result in double NAT configurations, which is not ideal. In the next section, we will enable bypass mode on the Starlink router to address this issue.

To learn more about double NAT, check out this article from Netgear.

Enable Bypass Mode

Now that your third-party router is connected and functioning, you can put the Starlink router in bypass mode by following these steps:

  1. Open the Starlink app.
  2. Tap on “Settings.”
  3. Scroll down and tap on “Bypass Mode.”
  4. Slide the toggle to the right.
  5. When prompted, confirm your choice by tapping “OK.”

Enabling bypass mode will disconnect the app from your Starlink dish. Initially, you may see a “Disconnected” status on the main screen of the Starlink app. To resolve this, close the app and wait for a few minutes.

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After a brief period, check if you are still connected to your third-party router’s Wi-Fi network. Open the Starlink app and verify if the status shows “Online.” Notice that the graphic no longer displays a router.

If the app still shows “Disconnected/Offline,” check if you have internet access from your third-party Wi-Fi network. If you do, Starlink is functioning correctly, and you simply need to configure a static route to your dish. We will explain how to do this in the next section. If the app still cannot connect to the dish through your new Wi-Fi network, adding a static route will resolve the issue and allow you to manage your dish from the app again.

Managing Your Starlink in Bypass Mode

Even though the Starlink router is in bypass mode, you can still access most of the dish settings through the app or the Starlink web interface. To do this, ensure that your device is connected to your third-party router’s Wi-Fi network. If you are unfamiliar with the web interface, you can access it from a web browser by visiting either:

If the Starlink app fails to connect but you have internet access through your third-party router’s Wi-Fi network, attempt to access Starlink using the web interface on your device first, then try the app. If neither the app nor the web interface can establish a connection, you may need to create a static route in your router’s configuration settings:

  • Network destination: 192.168.100.0
  • Subnet Mask: 255.255.255.0
  • Gateway: 192.168.100.1
  • Interface: WAN

Turning off Bypass Mode

If you ever need to revert to using the Starlink router, turn off bypass mode by performing a factory reset. This restores the Starlink router to its default settings, enabling you to configure a new Starlink Wi-Fi network and password.

To factory reset a Gen 3 router, press the reset button located between the two Ethernet ports on the back of the router.

To factory reset the Gen 2 Starlink router, unplug and plug in the power cable six times in a row, waiting a few seconds between each power cycle.

If successful, a new Wi-Fi network named “STARLINK” should appear after a few minutes. Connect to this network, open the Starlink app, and configure a new network name and password. After setting up the new network, connect to it and open the Starlink app to ensure that everything is functioning correctly.

For more information on the factory reset procedure, refer to our tutorial.

What About Other Starlink Dish Models?

Bypass mode is only necessary for the Gen 2 Standard Actuated and Gen 3 Standard dish models when using a third-party router. In these models, the router and dish power supply are integrated into one unit. For the original Gen 1 round dish, Gen 2 High Performance dish, and Gen 2 Flat High Performance dish, bypass mode is not required.

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With the Gen 1 round dish, you can remove the Starlink router completely and connect your own router to the Starlink power supply Ethernet port. For the Gen 2 High Performance and Flat High Performance models, use the included Starlink Ethernet cable to connect your own router to the power supply.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I use my own router with Starlink?

A: Yes, you can use your own router with Starlink by enabling bypass mode on the Starlink router.

Q: Which Starlink dish models require bypass mode for third-party routers?

A: Bypass mode is necessary for the Gen 2 Standard Actuated and Gen 3 Standard dish models. It is not required for the original Gen 1 round dish, Gen 2 High Performance dish, or Gen 2 Flat High Performance dish.

Q: Do I need any additional accessories to use my own router with Starlink?

A: If you have the Gen 2 Standard Actuated dish, you will need to purchase the Starlink Ethernet Adapter accessory to connect a third-party router. This accessory is not required for any other Starlink version.

Q: Can I still manage my Starlink dish in bypass mode?

A: Yes, you can still access most of the dish settings through the Starlink app or the Starlink web interface while in bypass mode. Ensure that you are connected to your third-party router’s Wi-Fi network.

Q: How do I turn off bypass mode and use the Starlink router again?

A: To turn off bypass mode, perform a factory reset on the Starlink router. This will restore the router to its default settings, allowing you to configure a new Starlink Wi-Fi network and password.

Q: Can I switch back and forth between bypass mode and using the Starlink router?

A: Yes, you can switch between bypass mode and using the Starlink router by enabling or disabling bypass mode as needed.

Conclusion

With bypass mode, you can use your own third-party router with Starlink while still benefiting from the power supply provided by the Starlink router. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can easily set up and configure bypass mode, allowing you to enjoy enhanced features and performance with your Starlink connection.

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