Bookmark Syncing

One of the disadvantages of getting a new computer is copying over previous settings. Bookmarks you’ve saved on the previous machines are a good example. Fortunately, a free add-on to the major browsers helps to solve this problem. The name of this free add-on? Xmarks (http://www.xmarks.com/)

Xmarks was originally called Foxmarks, since it was originally designed as an add-on for the Firefox browser. However, Xmarks now supports Firefox, IE, Chrome, and Safari. What this program does is sync your bookmarks within your browser to your account at xmarks.com, making it available for any other browser you link to this account. If you add or delete a bookmark, it’s added and deleted for all the browsers that are linked to the account.

The advantages to Xmarks:

  • As mentioned previously, if you’re moving settings from an old computer to a new computer. This makes the process much easier. Granted, you could copy the Favorites folder for IE or export/import bookmarks from Firefox, etc. but this is a much easier process.
  • If you have multiple computers, such as a desktop and laptop. This helps to ensure what you bookmark on one computer finds its way to the other. For me, this is one of its biggest advantages, since I have that exact scenario. No more e-mailing links or remembering which computer I’ve bookmarked something.
  • If you use multiple browsers, even on the same computer. Most Web designers do this to test their sites. It’s also very useful since some sites won’t work, except in one particular browser. Granted, this is poor design by the site’s authors, but that’s of little consolation when you need a site to work, but it doesn’t with your favorite browser.
  • If you want access to your bookmarks away from your computer. Xmarks will allow you to login at the site and, from there, you can click the My Bookmarks link. This allows you to see all of your synced bookmarks, even in places where you can’t install the software or have a mobile device.

While Xmarks isn’t the only bookmark synchronization and sharing software available, it does support the 4 major browsers. (Most other synchronization software only supports just a single browser.) It’s extremely simple to use and set up. It also offers the ability to sync passwords as well, but I don’t personally use that feature. (I’m not a big fan of stored passwords for security reasons.) It also has a site ranking and review feature, which again, I don’t personally like nor use. However, the syncing of bookmarks makes Xmarks a very useful add-on for all the browsers I use.

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