Patrick Marshall answers your personal technology questions each week.
Q: I am unable to log on to two websites I often use. One is a major retail firm. The other is a major airline. I never had difficulty until recently. Other sites do not give me problems. My system is Windows 10 (with all updates) and Microsoft Edge. I decided to try using a different browser. Bingo! I was able to enter both sites via Google Chrome. So, although I can now manage by switching browsers when required, that is a hassle inasmuch as all of my bookmarks are in Edge and I am used to its look and feel. So I would prefer to stay with Edge. Do you have any suggestions as to how I could fix this?
— C. Johnson
A: Apparently, you’re not alone. Other Edge users have reported the same problem and Microsoft hasn’t yet come up with a conclusive answer. The following string does offer some things you can try: https://st.news/microsoft-edge-answers.
There are, however, two other things I would strongly suggest trying. First, disable all extensions you may have installed and see if it makes a difference. Extensions — also called add-ons — are frequently sources of compatibility issues.
Second, if you haven’t already done so, run an anti-virus and anti-malware scan.
By the way, while I primarily use Mozilla Firefox as my browser, I also have Edge and Chrome available for the simple fact that some websites work better in some browsers than others for reasons I haven’t yet been able to track down. Also, I like to use privacy software that doesn’t work with some sites. When it blocks functionality on those sites, I’ll use Chrome instead.
Related Tech Q&AsRead more from Patrick Marshall here >>
Q: In a recent column you discussed up/download internet speeds, and used (lowercase) “mbps.” The figures you referenced are all in the hundreds. My mobile iPhone 6S results for Google speed test gives only about 15-16 Mbps down, 7 Mbps upload, using uppercase “M.” Is my speed low since the units are differently reported? The Google Speed Test claim is “Your mobile internet speed is fast.”
I’m sitting about 30 feet away from our home Netgear CM1000 modem + Buffalo Wi-Fi router.
— Den Kerlee
A: Whether it’s with a capital or lowercase “m,” it means the same thing — megabits per second.
I’m not clear whether your iPhone is accessing the internet through your Wi-Fi router or your cell service. But in either case, speed is a relative thing, and I should have made that more clear. A download speed of 15 mbps is certainly fast enough for downloading most content that you’d be inclined to use on your phone. So I can see Google reporting your mobile internet speed as “fast.”
Speeds of 200 mbps and above are more suitable for such things as downloading a lot of streaming content. Upload speeds, which are generally much slower than download speeds, may also be a concern. I recently upgraded to gigabit internet (1,000 mbps) not because I watch a lot of movies but because that was the only way to get upload speeds of 30 mbps and higher. (I do a lot of video editing and uploading many gigabytes of videos at 15 mbps takes hours.)
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Q: I just got a new modem/router. Before, I was supposed to be getting download speeds of 150 mbps, but I only actually got 70 mbps. Since then, I’ve doubled my service speed to 300 mbps but I’m still getting only 70 mbps on speed tests. A service tech came over and said 70 mbps is pretty good. But I’m paying for 300 mbps. What can I do?
— Mike Pasichnyk, Langley, British Columbia
A: I’m guessing that you’re connecting to your modem via Wi-Fi, right? That’s always much slower than connecting directly to the modem with an Ethernet cable even if you have a Wi-Fi client adapter that supports the latest and fastest Wi-Fi standard, which is currently 802.11ac. And yes, if you’re using Wi-Fi and have 802.11ac on both ends, I’d say you’re doing OK to get 70 mbps performance. (With my gigabit internet service, which purports to deliver download speeds of 1,000 mbps, my computer only gets 200 mbps when connecting over Wi-Fi.)
If your computer is an older one with a client Wi-Fi adapter using older standards, such as 802.11n, you can expect slower speeds.