Google has just given the world the best reason to use Firefox yet: a 'Browser Sync' extension that synchronises your bookmarks, cookies, passwords, history and even open tabs/windows across multiple PCs.
Google has just given the world the best reason to use Firefox yet: a "Browser Sync" extension that synchronises your bookmarks, cookies, passwords, history and even open tabs/windows across multiple PCs.
As long as you have a Google Account (usually your Gmail sign-in ID), you can now have all the important settings from Firefox saved at Google and synced across multiple PCs, such as your work PC and home PC.
But it's also a godsend if you like testing different operating systems. The plug-in is completely cross platform - it'll work on any OS that Firefox works on - so you won't have that "empty PC" feeling for long after installing a new Linux distro, or trying the new Vista beta.
Of course, uploading your cookies to an external location is a big security risk: if anyone got a copy of your cookies they could act as if they were you online, without having to enter a username and password. (And even if they did, they'd also have your stored passwords anyway since Google synchronises them as well).
Google has dealt with this problem by requiring you to add an encryption password when you first install the extension. The data is then encrypted before being sent to Google's servers.
The concept of browser synchronisation has been around for a while but no-one has really got it right. Apple sells a limited form of it (Safari bookmarks only) as part of its .Mac service.
There have been a few Firefox extensions floating around too: Bookmarks Synchronizer (a valiant effort that never seemed to work right and was abandoned in 2004) and the excellent Foxmarks extension (worked very well for bookmarks only).
Google's extension is the first solution that synchronises virtually all your personal browser settings free-of-charge across PCs.