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Xmarks effortlessly syncs bookmarks between competing web browsers

30 May 2011, Nick Peers

These days, an increasing number of browsers – including Chrome and Firefox 4 – make it easy to access the latest version of your bookmarks from any computer you own thanks to built-in sync. The problem is that these proprietary sync technologies will only work with the browser they’re designed for.

If you’re wanting to switch from one browser to another, or you don’t want to tie yourself to a single browser, you’ll need a third-party solution in order to keep your bookmarks in sync across all machines and browsers. That solution comes in the form of a free add-in called Xmarks, which is available for various browsers, including Firefox, Chrome, Safari and Internet Explorer.

It’s all very simple to use: fire up your browser and install the appropriate version of Xmarks for that browser. Sign up for a free account and it’ll immediately sync your current set of bookmarks to your online Xmarks account.

Install Xmarks on another computer or supported browser, sign in with your new account details and the add-in will synchronise your bookmarks with that program. It works best where you’ve only got bookmarks set up on a single computer and browser to start with, but can – and will – attempt to sync existing bookmarks from other browsers and computers too, which may require a little bit of household management before everything’s set up as you like it.

Xmarks also allows you to access your bookmarks via the browser itself – just log in to do so. This allows you to access your bookmarks without syncing them to a computer you don’t own.

You can also sync your bookmarks to various mobile devices, including Android, iPhone and iPad, but you’ll need to sign up for an Xmarks premium account, which currently costs $12 a year (a 7-day free trial is available should you wish to road-test the service first). The end result is access to your bookmarks from any computer or browser you want.

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