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Issue #433: November 8–14, 2015

Q: I upgraded to Windows 10 recently, and have been trying out the new Edge browser.  Is it just me, or is Edge just a highly-stripped-down version of Internet Explorer?  I can’t even find a way of saving a file from a web page, which is a feature I use all the time.

– Richard W.
Crestview, Florida

A: I had the same trouble saving files as you did, Richard.  I looked all over the menus and pop-ups in Edge, and nowhere could I find an option even close to the venerable “Save Target As…” option that IE shows on the context menu when you right-click a hyperlink.  This, of course, sent me to Google to do some research, and what I discovered rather surprised me.  Microsoft intentionally chose to leave that feature out of Edge.  As I said, this is surprising, because being able to save stuff is such a basic, fundamental feature of a modern web browser.  Alas, it is missing in Edge.  You would have thought they would have learned a lesson from the backlash they got when they took away the Start menu, but no such sense is being made here (and before I forget to say it, “Thanks, Bill!”).  That’s not to say it is impossible to save files.  For many file types, if you simply click on the link, you will wind up with a copy of it in your Downloads folder.  Then you can navigate to the Downloads folder and from there, move the downloaded file anywhere you like.  That changes it from “I can’t download files” to “It’s highly inconvenient to download files” which, in this Geek’s opinion, should not be occurring in this ultra-modern, supposedly ultimate version of Windows, especially when older versions had the feature!

So, what to do?  Well, Windows 10 includes Internet Explorer as an alternative to Edge, so there’s always that.  If you’d rather not indulge Microsoft’s seemingly odd upgrade choices, there are plenty of 3rd-party browsers you can install.  Google Chrome, Firefox, Opera, and Mozilla are a few I can think of off the top of my head, while we collectively wait for Microsoft to come to its senses and re-instate features that they should never have omitted in the first place.  By the way, to answer your initial question, I don’t believe Edge is a stripped-down version of IE.  It actually has a whole slew of new features, from its incorporation of Cortana to the ability to mark-up and share pages with friends and colleagues.  But the fact that IE is included alongside Edge would seem to speak volumes about how even Microsoft thought their new browser would be received.

Q: Gee, I hope you don’t find this question too far out of your expertise. I’ve had trouble with Netflix on my smart Samsung 2014 TV. Way too often, when streaming a movie, the sound cuts in and out, stuttering, causing the audio and picture to be out of sync. I’ve tried unplugging the whole unit to reboot it. This TV is in a different room from my WiFi hub. Cox cable has installed a new modem to which my router is hooked up and I’ve tried a WiFi extender to correct the problem. What do I need to do to get a movie to stream seamlessly? Cox has not been a lot of help, that’s why I’m asking a Geek like you.

– Denise C.
Niceville, Florida

A: Gosh, it’s rare that I get an opportunity to answer non-computer questions!  But I’m afraid this one is going to wind up being network-related, so it may just as well be a computer question.  Obviously without looking over your hardware for errant settings, I can’t give you a simple, direct answer, but I’ll try and give you a few ideas.

Have you tried viewing Netflix on any other devices to see if you have the same dropout problem?  Many Blu-Ray players, cable/satellite boxes, and tablets have built-in Netflix abilities.  If the problem is specific to the TV, that could narrow your troubleshooting focus.  Consider trying a wired connection between the TV and the router, even if it means just laying a cable on the floor between rooms for a test.  I’m not sure that the WiFi extender is helping, and it may actually be contributing to your problem.  If your TV can receive a good signal from the router without it, ditch it, or at least relocate it to provide signal to another area of the house where it’s needed. Also check the router to make sure it’s not mis-configured.  Many routers have dual-channels, with a faster channel intended for gaming and video streaming.  Make sure your TV is attaching to the correct SSID.  Finally, did this problem seem to start around the time you got that new modem from Cox?  It so, that would seem highly suspicious.  Re-engage them and ask them to either help you check your modem settings, or ask them to have a technician remote into your modem and make sure all the settings are providing you the optimum speed.

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