Simplicity, not power, is the name of this router’s game.
£308 (including import fees) FROM Starry, starry.com features Two Ethernet ports, dual-band MIMO 802.11ac Wi-Fi
Configuring your Wi-Fi can seem like sorcery that you dare not
meddle with. The Starry Station promises to simplify Wi-Fi in your house with an interface that actually makes sense and controls that work. Is Starry Station worth rewiring the internet connection in your house for? In the age of Wi-Fi mesh systems, that depends on a lot of factors, namely your level of tech savvy.
Equipped with just two Ethernet ports, one of which is for the WAN connection to your modem or gateway, the device’s focus here is obviously on wireless. Inside are dual-band, 4x4 MIMO 802.11ac (a/b/g/n, too) radios, and the whole thing is powered by two dual-core processors – one for the network and the other for the interface, respectively. It sports an 802.15ac radio for IoT devices.
The striking design is clearly intended to make you comfortable with having the Starry Station out in the open – which is good for an unobstructed signal, of course. Its maker states the Station should be in the centre of your house – which might be a problem if your home isn’t wired to accommodate that.
The Starry Station's core strength isn’t a pure throughput advantage over what the average ISP-provided router is capable of, but rather its ease of use and overall stability.
It provided a much more stable connection during both the speed tests and download tests than you get with many ISP-supplied routers, with far less deviation in reported figures in megabits per second (Mbps).
However, save for within a scant few scenarios, there were largely little gains in outright throughput between the Starry Station and our ISP-provided router. (In fact, in some scenarios the Starry Station actually performed worse.) It’s clear that the Station doesn’t offer any enormous throughput advantage over a common competitor.
Setting up the Station took just five minutes, with easy prompts on the LCD touchscreen once the device was connected to our modem. You’re given a Wi-Fi Health percentage score and can do an internet speed test – useful to check you’re getting the speed you’re paying for. You also get parental controls down to the device level from within the router’s interface, although they are a little sparse.
In an idle state, the Station displays the devices on its networks as if they’re planetary bodies orbiting a star – a cute analogy. Those in red are in bad shape network-wise for whatever reason, while those in blue are doing fine. The size of the orb is dictated by how much bandwidth that device is using.
If you have an issue with your Wi-Fi, you can request a call from customer support right from the device by leaving your number. It’s a nice touch and could prove to be rather useful.
All in all, it’s a rather enjoyably elegant interface that truly does make managing your router very simple. But is it worth it if you need to get your house rewired in order to place it where Starry says you should? Make sure you consider that eventuality properly before shelling out £300 for the Station.
The design is intended to make you comfortable with having the Station out in the open
The Starry Station doesn’t look much like your usual router fare.