If I were to ask you the question of how many different web browsers you have on your computers, I’m pretty sure most of you would say more than one. It’s not unusual for many of us to use two, three or perhaps even more programs to browse the web. Although that may sound rather odd to some, each of the major browsers has their own positives and negatives that make them so diverse.
One of the issues when multiple browsers are installed is that you’re not going to have the same set of favorites, across all of them unless you regularly import and export between them or edit each browser as you go.
Another problem is having different browsers on different computers. You might use Google Chrome on your desktop machine and prefer to have Internet Explorer, Opera or Firefox on your laptop. While some browsers have a built in sync option things are a bit more involved keeping the same bookmarks updated across different browsers and computers as well.
Here are a couple of ways to not only sync your bookmarks between browsers, but also across different machines meaning you can have the same bookmarks available whichever browser or system you’re on.
Favekeeper uses the cloud to sync your bookmarks across the three most used web browsers around; Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer. The idea is simply if you add or remove a Favorite from one of the supported browsers, that same change will be reflected in the other browsers on your machine. And because of storing in the cloud, these same changes will be repeated and synced on any other computer you set up Favekeeper on.
It’s free to use and upon first run after installation you will be asked to create a new account with a username which needs to be an email address and a password. You also obviously need to remember the email you register with to login again on this or other systems running FaveKeeper.
The system will be scanned for the presence of the supported browsers and any original bookmarks found will be backed up to a folder and then merged together. A shortcut to the originals will be in the Start menu which can be restored in the event of a problem. A tray icon will appear when the program is ready and the white cloud inside it flashes yellow when Favekeeper is syncing data. Left clicking on it will bring up your synced favorites and selecting one will open the link in the default specified browser.
The settings to note are the Recycle bin menu which behaves like the Windows one and won’t fully delete the bookmarks until you empty it, the Set Default Browser option which opens the chosen browser when you open a bookmark from the menu, and also the option to switch to a different account or create another one if you want to setup your own profiles.
Do note FaveKeeper is currently still in beta so it’s recommended to backup all your bookmarks before using the program. Favekeeper works on Windows XP, Vista and 7, there is also an Android version if you want to also sync with your phone.
Formerly known as Foxmarks, Xmarks is a browser syncing program that keeps your bookmarks backed up and synced across 4 major browsers; Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox and Safari on MacOS X. It has a few more added options that could prove to be useful such as the ability to also sync the tabs you have open in the browser, and an online myXmarks page where you can login and add, remove or edit the bookmarks from a webpage.
The profiles option is valuable because you can setup different profiles on different browsers and systems. For example the home profile has all bookmarks and the work profile is without the games websites or torrent downloads bookmarks etc.
Installation depends on which browsers you’re choosing to sync with, Chrome and Firefox download and run Xmarks as a browser plugin extension that integrates into the browser while Internet Explorer requires the install of an application. Installing Xmarks is a bit more of a pain than FaveKeeper because you have to get it onto every browser individually on each machine, and login to every one.
Whichever browser(s) you choose to use Xmarks on, you will need to create an account which requires an email, username and password. The email is used purely to send you the details if you ever forget the password. Then when every subsequent browser is installed with Xmarks you will be asked to sign in to the account and will be given options about what you want to sync.
The syncing options differ with each browser, for example Firefox has some extra options attached to searching that Xmarks will show top sites as rated by other Xmarks users and a site information button which offers extra details about the website your visiting.
There is also a premium version which offers apps for most of the major smartphones, open tab sync on your mobile devices and a longer backup and restore window for a fee of $12 a year. Being owned by the famous password manager Lastpass means Xmarks should be very good on the security aspect of holding your personal bookmarks and data.
Xmarks supports Firefox 3 and above, IE 7, 8 and 9, Safari 4.5+ and Chrome.