Q: I am a current Comcast customer and have heard there might be ways to lower my internet bill. Currently I use their “Blast! Pro” which advertises 300 megabits per second and in fact does give me 300 Mbps on my new laptop but on other devices like my Fire TV Stick and tablet I am only getting 60-70 Mbps.
If I went down to a lower tier I can save $30/month. The question I have is, if I did go to the lower tier would my Fire TV Stick still get 60-70 Mbps or would it go down in speed as well?
I would be happy with my laptop getting the lower speed but I just don’t want my Fire TV Stick to start buffering at the lower speed.
Also I rent their modem for $13/mo. I can buy a Motorola MB7420 for $59 which is compatible with Comcast internet. Should I get one, or keep renting?
— P.J. Maddox, Kent
A: I wish I had a clear answer to give you, but I don’t. Fact is, the internet performance of devices depends on a host of factors, especially when the devices connect over Wi-Fi.
The speed of the internet connection itself is, of course, a limiting factor. But internet performance can also be limited by an older device that has a Wi-Fi client adapter that doesn’t support the latest standards. As for the Fire TV Stick, it will be limited to the performance delivered by the computer to which it is connected.
Wi-Fi speeds can also be impacted by distance from the router and sources of interference.
In short, yes, if you subscribe to a slower service you can expect the internet performance of your devices to go down as well. And you’ll only know if the Fire TV Stick performance is acceptable by trial and error.
As for buying a router instead of renting one, that is exactly what I do myself. But you need to make sure the router you buy is not only compatible with your service provider but that it is capable of delivering the performance you’re expecting.
The other potential drawback to buying your own router is that your service provider won’t support it. If you run into configuration or performance issues, you’re on your own.
Q: I use Windows 10 and MS Office 2019 and have frequently used files shared on OneDrive so they are accessible on my desktop and laptop. I frequently get this message when I try to save a file: “UPLOAD FAILED. Your file wasn’t saved because we couldn’t merge your changes with changes from someone else.”
No one else works on these files and I only use one computer at a time. What’s going on and how do I prevent this irritating problem?
If I’m allowed a second question, where can I find instructions to safely revert to Office Home and Business 10 from Office Standard 2019? I didn’t know when I purchased it that Office 2019 was pretty much a purchased version of Office 365 that can be incredibly slow in loading files and is prone to freezing the page being worked on.
— Dennis Peters
A: There are only two possible explanations I’ve been able to find that would fit your situation. First, when you say you only use one computer at a time, does that mean only one computer is powered on at a time? If you’ve made changes to a document on one computer and then worked on the same document on the other computer, it’s possible that, if uploads to OneDrive are delayed on the first computer for any reason, a sync error could result.
Secondly, have those files been configured in protected mode so that others can’t make changes to them? According to Microsoft, syncing won’t work if files are protected.
By the way, Microsoft has developed a OneDrive synchronization troubleshooter. You can learn more and access the Virtual Agent by going here: st.news/FixOneDrive
With regard to your second question, the simplest way to revert to a different version is to uninstall the current version, then reinstall the other version. Office 2019 could be described as a purchased version of Office 365, which is a subscription. They do, however, have some different features. But if you’re encountering slow load times for files and freezing, something is amiss. I’ve used Office 2019 for a long time and haven’t experienced either issue. I suggest trying the repair feature or reinstalling Office 2019.