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Google Browser Sync

Google Browser Sync

I don’t know about you, but I usually work with about three PCs on any average day. I know I’m somewhat of a geek, but I figure it’s a safe bet that a lot of you out there put your time in to at least two different PCs. If you do, I’m sure you know how tedious it can be to keep your favorites or bookmarks the same on multiple computers. I have gone home for the weekend and forgot to forward a URL to my e-mail address so I could access it at home, only to find that I had forgotten it completely. This has left me stuck several times. At least, until I could recall it somehow. The whole process is annoying to me and there is all sorts of room for errors.

Google has thought of this as well and has created a browser synchronization application that will allow you to keep your Firefox bookmarks, history, persistent cookies, tabs, windows and saved passwords synchronized across multiple PCs. Basically, this will keep all the PCs you may use throughout the day on the same page. If you create a bookmark at work, it will immediately be added to your home PC the next time you start up Firefox. By default, the Google Browser Sync will be set to transfer all this information in its synchronization process, but it can be configured to a more specific range of options. Google Browser Sync also uses encryption in order to protect the transfer of passwords and cookies that can only be accessed by providing a reselected PIN number.

The program is actually a Firefox extension created by Google, which means it currently only works with Firefox (version 1.5 and above). After you download the extension, you are prompted to install it to the browser. Upon successful installation, you will need to restart Firefox for the Browser Sync tool to begin working. Keep in mind that you may get a message warning you of using this on machines where other people have access. This is because once the Google Browser Sync is installed and active, anyone who uses Firefox can potentially see your bookmarks, complete with cookies and passwords.

I really love this idea and I whish I would have found it sooner. There are a few side notes you should read before installing, however.

As I said before, this only works on Firefox 1.5 or higher, which all of you should have at least as a backup browser. You can check the version of Firefox you have by opening the browser and going to Help, About. It will be listed in the window like this:

In addition to this, you will need to create a Google account. This is required in order to save and transfer your information over the Web. The account, of course, is free and you even get a great free Gmail account with it. With that being said, if you already have a Google account, you don’t need to create another one. Just simply log in using your existing authentication information. If you would like to create a Google account, you can do that here. There is also a list of FAQs and other resources on their Web site that will help you get acquainted with the Google Browser Sync.

You can download Google Browser Sync here.

~ Chad Stelnicki