Bypass mode! First impressions …

Well, loyal readers, the ethernet adapter finally arrived, more than a month after I ordered it.  Here are the first impressions.

The first thing that one realizes is that the ethernet adapter is basically air.  Most of the housing of the adapter is the large receptacle opening and housing that receives the big plug that previously plugged into the router.

Another thing to realize is that you could sort of “plug the adapter into itself”.  You could take the plug of the adapter and plug it into the receptacle opening of the adapter.  This would not accomplish anything at all, but it serves as a reminder that the plug and receptacle are made so that they could mate with each other.

So what you do next, of course, is go to the router and unplug the antenna cable from the router and plug it into this adapter.  So far so good.  And then you take the plug of the adapter and plug it into the receptacle opening of the router.  So far so good.

Now what?  Well, if you want, you can plug a computer or a router or an ethernet switch into the ethernet port on the ethernet adapter.  You will then be able to pick up dozens of IP addresses in the subnet 192.168.1.x.  This is from the DHCP server and NAT server in the Starlink router.  Oh, and you can get IPv6 addresses from the Starlink router.  As far as I can see, IPv6 is enabled by default.  No way to turn off IPv6 as far as I can tell.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that!

And yes if you open a web browser and point it to 192.168.100.1, you can get to the management web page of the router.

And no, there are no LEDs anywhere on this ethernet adapter.  You are on your own to try to guess whether you do or do not have an ethernet link.  You are on your own to try to guess whether it is 10 megs or 100 megs or 1000 megs.  You are on your own to try to guess whether it is half duplex or full duplex.  I went and looked at the device at my end of the ethernet cable and it reported that the ethernet link is 1000 megs (gigabit) and it is full duplex.  I guess we would sort of hope that the port on the Starlink adapter would support full duplex gigabit, and indeed that is what we are able to get.  I imagine it will also auto-negotiate slower speeds if it is forced to do so.

All right so now we decide to jump off the cliff.  We go into the smart phone app and we open up the user interface and we slide the little slider to turn on bypass mode.  The app sort of says “are you sure?”  The app sort of explains that once you do this, the only way you can get back out of bypass mode is by physically going to where the router is and by doing physical things at the physical router.  In other words, you cannot get back out of bypass mode by any online manipulations.  (What you do is power-cycle it three times quickly.)  So anyway I click “yes I am sure” or words to that effect, and next thing you know, I find that I am in bypass mode.

On a practical level, what is bypass mode?

  • One thing is, the two wifi access points are turned off.  This means the 2.4 gigahertz access point is off, and the 5 gigahertz access point is off.  From my own point of view this is extremely good news since I prefer to use my own wifi access points.
  • The next thing is, the built-in NAT of the Starlink router is no longer part of the network.

Now what you could say is that the DHCP server is no longer part of the network, but in a way that is not quite a correct characterization.  The thing is that you still obtain an IP address by means of DHCP.  It is just that you only obtain one IP address.  I guess that means one IPv4 IP address, and one IPv6 IP address (assuming you have a dual stack turned on in your DHCP client).

Now of course what you wish is that you would get a routable IPv4 IP address.  But that is not what happened for me.  What I received was an IP address in the range of 100.77.n.n.    In other words, it is a NAT address.  Yes, I know, “carrier grade NAT”.  I sort of can’t believe that “carrier grade NAT” actually means anything other than “NAT that is provided by your carrier”.  I don’t think of this NAT as being any more friendly to you than the NAT that happens in the cheapo router that you might buy at Wal-mart.  No matter what NAT you have, it means there are all sorts of things that you wish you could do and you are not able to do.

It is also true that the DHCP server that is somewhere on the Starlink side of that ethernet port serves up an IPv6 prefix.  This IPv6 prefix makes it possible for your own router to hand out fully routable IPv6 IP addresses to hundreds or probably thousands of devices on your LAN.

I did then set up a static route in my router and yes, I was once again able to get into the router user management page at 192.168.100.1 using my ordinary web browser.  So for example I am able to view the obstructions display.

My first few measures of latency and jitter, using pure ethernet connections (no wifi anywhere in the connections), were very consistent with what I had been getting before, in non-bypass mode.  Saying this differently, being in bypass mode did not seem to provide any notable reductions in latency or jitter.  I guess yet another way to say this is that knocking their NAT server out of the network did not seem to make much of a difference.  My own NAT server in my own router seemed to be comparable.

(Oh and back when I had my notebook computer plugged straight into the Starlink ethernet adapter, with no customer-provided router in the setup at all, the latency and jitter seemed about the same as well.)

I will provide more comments in future blog posts.

 

 

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15 Comments

  1. I have also activated bypass mode and was lamenting the fact that I lost access to dishy stats. Thank you for mentioning the static route; it never even crossed my mind for some reason!

      1. Well, the way you would do it would be different depending on the particular router that you have connected to the starlink device. Routers differ from one to the next in terms of where you click and how you format it and so on. Sometimes the route is defined as going to a particular “port” or in some other router the route might be defined as going to a particular IP address that happens to be linked to that particular port.

        With one of my recent setups, it was a static route of for 192.168.100.1 that went to the port that was connected to the starlink device.

  2. Do you see a limit on the ethernet speed?

    I see 20mbit speed tests on my network going thru ethernet, and 200mbit on Starlink wifi. I started with bypass mode, and have now resumed Starlink wifi with the ethernet adapter. I don’t like the speed limitation and am not sure if it’s normal practice or abnormal in my current use case.

    1. That seems really weird that the ethernet link would be so slow.
      I have to wonder if maybe you have a 10base-T hub or switch somewhere in the ethernet link.

  3. Greetings,
    I have just begun to follow your posts. THANKS, they have been very informative.
    My Starlink equipment has not yet shipped. I’ve been waiting for 11 months, and am seeing that it may not happen until nearly the end of the year (2022).
    For many years, my service provider is ViaSat / Exede.
    What caught my eye about your posts, is when I noticed the Router change of Starlink. My plans are to use my own Router and also a VPN. (ProtonVPN) VOIP is also required in my setup.

    Any future posts regarding Bypass Mode, and how that works out for you would be greatly appreciated. Have you tested a VPN service via Starlink with Bypass?

    1. Thank you so much for posting. I found that I am able to use an OpenVPN client at my Starlink LAN to reach an OpenVPN server far away in my office. I have been planning to write a blog article to describe this in more detail but have been busy with other things. Perhaps prompted by your comment I will try to make some time to write more about this.

  4. Starlink estimates they’ll ship my ethernet adapter by end of April (2022).

    I have a Wyze “base station” that requires ethernet in order to support outdoor cameras. I don’t need ethernet for anything else.

    I do have an ethernet port on the back of a PC that’s on the Starlink router’s WiFi network. What advice can you offer for daisy chaining the router to the PC (via WiFi) and the PC to the base station (by ethernet)? I’ve tried and discovered it is definitely NOT “plug and play”

  5. I am excited to see your next post on using bypass mode and how to utilize the routable IP6 to be able to access your local network from the Internet. Right now I simply have my Linksys router double NATed through the Starlink DHCP router. Still seeing slower speeds going through my router and need to figure out why that is. At some point I would like to be able to provide a web service to the outside and I think that will require using the bypass.

  6. I just got my (square) dishy installed today. Ethernet adapter has been on order, but no idea when it’ll get here. I’m curious if there’s any chance I could use bypass mode with wifi.. I know that’s not the intent, but theoretically, I should be able to use something (DD-WRT or Raspberry pi) to connect to a WIFI SSID (which is just layer 1 afterall) and still get a DHCP address from the dish and not use their NAT? One reason I want to do this is that I want to still use my own network infrastructure, and I already have a VLAN with 192.168.1.x addresses, so just connecting to the dish wifi with all devices is a problem. I’d be OK with double NAT for a while if I could at least change the IP address of the DHCP range they give.. Any hints?

    1. As best I can see from my square dishy system, no, it is impossible to get into bypass mode without the ethernet adapter being connected. Related to this is, even if it were somehow possible to get into bypass mode without the ethernet adapter being connected, as best I can see there is no way to obtain the non-local-NAT IP address through the wifi. The only way to get the non-local-NAT IP address is through the ethernet port. And of course the only way to get an ethernet port (with the square dishy system) is by connecting an ethernet adapter.

      And of course the only way to get an ethernet adapter is by waiting and waiting and waiting.

      1. While you can’t use ‘bypass’ mode, you can use a wi-fi range extender (one with a network port) to connect to the wifi and give you access to the internet via the network port. I did this for a few weeks until my network adapter arrived.

  7. Thank your for blog, it is helpful for a novice like me. I have received my square dish and it works pretty much as you described. My ethernet adapter is forecast to be shipped mid April. I am finding that the WiFi coverage of the Starlink is pretty poor and I am definitely going to need to provide my own router. I am currently using my ISPs DSL with their router passing out DHCP addresses, but using an eero mesh for WiFi. I have more than a few devices that require static IP addresses. As others have mentioned, it would be helpful if you talked about how to use your own WiFi router with the Starlink bypass mode. I plan to use Starlink in bypass and use eero for WiFi. Thank you.

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