Like many of you, I use a LOT of different computers. Some at home, some at work, some in between. Many of these computers have more than one operating system installed, and those operating systems may have more than one browser. All this leaves a LOT of places you may have saved your bookmarks. What’s saved on one might not be saved on another, or perhaps you reformatted your OS and forgot to backup your favorite websites. Fortunately, there are a multitude of ways to solve this problem, and today we’ll be covering some of them. Each of the programs/toolbars/extensions we’ll try out today can store your bookmarks outside your browser so that they can be accessed from anywhere.
Type: Browser Extension (Firefox, IE, Safari)
Saves: Bookmarks, Passwords
Xmarks (formerly Foxmarks) is a browser extension that allows you to synchronize bookmarks from several locations so that they can follow you anywhere. It used to be a Firefox-only extension, but now has extend its reach to Internet Explorer and Safari. The website has a type of content search where you can see reviews and ratings for many web sites based on the users of the Xmarks extension. With the Xmarks extension installed, you’ll also notice some new icons next to your Google search results indicating ratings and reviews for some of the sites in your search results.
Xmarks also includes an option to sync your saved passwords, so that you can keep the passwords saved in one browser and share them to all the others where you installed Xmarks.
To install the Xmarks extension, go to http://download.xmarks.com/download and choose the appropriate plugin for your browser.
Type: Browser Extension (Firefox, Internet Explorer 8, Safari, Chrome)
Any topic on web bookmark services will always eventually lead to http://delicious.com/ (previously known as del.icio.us). This site has been around for a while and has always been a great place to store and share your bookmarks. Delicious also allows you to tag your bookmarks with keywords, so that you can search your (or other people’s) bookmarks based on tags. From the website you can search with those tags to see what bookmarks others have submitted on that topic.
The browser extension for Firefox can be found here.
The browser extension for Safari can be found here
For Google Chrome, go to the delicious site and drag the bookmarklet to the bookmark bar.
3. Mozilla Weave
Type: Browser Extension (Firefox)
Saves: Bookmarks, browsing history, saved passwords and tabs
Finally, there’s Mozilla Weave. This is a much more ambitious project than just saving your bookmarks online. Weave is intended to let you keep a complete browser “experience” from one computer to the next. It saves much more info online so that you can access things like your browsing history and tabs along with bookmarks and passwords when roaming to a different Firefox installation. Keeping things like your browser history saved online would make it a lot easier to access that page-you-were-on-yesterday-but-can’t-quite-remember-the-name, or pull up that news article you just saw but isn’t on the site’s front page anymore.
Weave appears to be a very useful tool, but unfortunately it seems to require Firefox 3.5, which is still in development. If you’re really excited to try out Weave but don’t want to wait until 3.5 is officially released as stable, you can get information on download and installation at the Mozilla Labs website.
There are some other options out there that I chose not to include in this article for various reasons such as platform portability or concerns about data privacy. If you’re using a bookmark sync program/extension to manage your bookmarks, I’d like to hear about your experiences in the comments below.