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Cross-Platform Bookmark Sync with Xmarks

Posted on October 9, 2009

One of the challenges has always been trying to manage bookmarks (or favorites in Internet Explorer) across multiple computers. You may have bookmarks that you use across a couple different computers at home, some that you might want to share at work, and it's even more challenging if you have both a PC and Macintosh mix.

I have a mix of PCs and Macs. I want to share my "Home" bookmarks across those PCs and Macs, and a separate list of bookmarks for "Work" on my work laptop. Windows Live Favorites worked great for my PCs, but required the Windows Live Toolbar, Internet Explorer, and therefore a PC. It didn't help take care of my cross-platform needs.

Till Xmarks. Xmarks in the new name of the product previously known as Foxmarks. Foxmarks was a Firefox add-in that would handle the synchronization of bookmarks across computers using the Firefox Web Browser. When Xmarks was born, they expanded support to not only include Firefox, but also Internet Explorer, Safari, Mac, and Linux too.

How it works is an agent is installed on each platform and you provide an account username and password. Your bookmarks are stored on Xmarks servers (traffic can be fully encrypted) but the agent communicates with the server to perform synchronization. When a change is detected on one of the clients, it is synched back to the "cloud" and then the other agents pull the change down.

Xmarks also supports sync profiles. This means that I can have my "Home" and "Work" profiles which allow me to keep my bookmarks separated from each other. I don't want my home bookmarks at work or vice versa. In addition, my iPhone can access all of my synchronized bookmarks by going to http://my.xmarks.com so I am always in sync no matter what device I use. A mechanism for backup and recovery of your bookmarks is also included and accessible from the Xmarks website.

The product is completely free and as far as I know doesn't have a limit to the number of computers that are synched as long as it is for personal use.

This is exactly the solution I was looking for. It has worked great and keeps my bookmarks synched and ready to go whenever and wherever I am.

One comment on “Cross-Platform Bookmark Sync with Xmarks”

  1. Thanks for the great review Justin!

    The Xmarks team has just launched a new browser add-on called Xmarks SearchTabs. When you search on Google, SearchTabs automatically adds tabs that show you the top ten sites about your search, based on our analysis of over 800 million bookmarks.

    Give it a try at http://www.searchtabs.com and let us know what you think.

    -James Joaquin
    Xmarks CEO

About JB

I've been a technologist for over 20 years, getting my start in IT with a large Fortune 100 international retailer in the 1990s. I love to talk about new technology, mobile devices, software development, photography, and the weather.  The opinions expressed on this blog are my own.

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