Is there any way to keep the favorites that I have at home up to date with the ones that have at my office PC?
This question was answered on May 8, 2009. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.
If you are like most avid Internet surfers, not only are you likely to use multiple computers, you’re probably using one of various browsers such as Internet Explorer, Firefox or Safari depending upon which machine and which sites you are surfing.
I prefer Firefox for most of my Internet browsing, however, I’m forced to use Internet Explorer for various corporate and banking websites that will only work properly with the Microsoft browser.
Internet Explorer refers to them as ‘Favorites’ while Firefox and Safari calls them ‘Bookmarks’ but whatever you call them, they are quick shortcuts to the sites that we find interesting.
Synchronizing these shortcuts between your home and office systems or between your various browsers on the same machine is becoming a much more desirable function and many companies have come to market with various free services to do just that (I have been able to find over 20 of them).
Social bookmarking sites such as http://www.Delicious.com, http://www.Stumbleupon.com and http://www.Digg.com can certainly be used to create a centralized web-based bookmark library, but I’ll focus on the utilities that support the ‘traditional’ browser specific favorites/bookmark system.
One of the most popular resources to consider is http://www.Xmarks.com which started as a Firefox specific add-on called Foxmarks and evolved into a system that allows you to sync between Internet Explorer, Firefox and Safari by installing a small add-on program into each machine/browser you want to keep synced.
If, for instance, you use Firefox and IE at the office and Firefox exclusively at home, you would install an add-on into all three browsers and setup an account which allows the add-on to keep all browsers updated automatically.
Another great use of these free services is the ability to get to your favorites even if you are not using one of your personal computers as well as serve as a backup Since your favorites are stored on a web server that synchronizes all your browsers, you can also access your favorites via Xmarks.com by logging into the site from any Internet connected computer in the world (great for road warriors).
Additionally, if you want to access your favorites/bookmarks from your mobile device, you can do so by going to http://mobile.xmarks.com
If you are into social bookmarking, Xmarks also allows you to share your choices with others and a really interesting option (which is turned off by default) is the ability to synchronize your saved website passwords as well.
To manage the saved password sync setting in Xmarks, you need to go to the ‘Sync Profiles’ button at http://my.xmarks.com and click on the drop down box on the right.
Another site that has many of the same features as Xmarks but supports Opera, Netscape and Mozilla/SeaMonkey is http://www.BookmarkSync.com .
A little digging on the BookmarkSync site also produced a link to an inexpensive utility ( ePreserver $25 - http://www.connectedsw.com ) that helps those looking to get bookmarks exported out of the archaic proprietary format used by AOL (as well as e-mail messages and addresses books) and into any of your favorite browser(s) and e-mail systems
About the author
Ken Colburn of Data Doctors on May 8, 2009
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