Since I live in the web on so many machines, I need my browser environments to be identical across multiple devices. I tried Mozilla’s Weave project in an early beta, but it’s limited to Firefox only. That’s no good, since I flit between Firefox, Safari, Chrome and IE like a moth between four lit candles. Eventually, I moved onto Xmarks, which has offered cross-browser support for some time. Using Xmarks, my bookmarks are stored in the cloud and all of my computers have the same bookmarks. Xmarks for Firefox even supports secure password synchronization for online credentials.
One of the fears that some people have with Xmarks is that a third party has their browser bookmarks and web passwords. Hey, the cloud isn’t for everyone, and if you’re not comfortable with a third party, then not using their service is the right decision for you. We won’t judge you if you suffer from nephophobia, which is a fear of clouds. Maybe you’d be more comfortable with The How-To Geek’s latest find: FavBackup, a free client application that lets you control where your browser data resides. Even better — it supports Google’s Chrome browser and Opera, in addition to Firefox, Safari and Internet Explorer.
Using FavBackup, you can backup, restore and convert a few dozen browser bits, including:
- Download history
- Search Engines
- Form data
The actual data types you can backup and restore depends on which browser you’re using FavBackup with. The free utility allows you to store and restore your browser data locally. I’m happy with my cloud-based solution, but if I were using FavBackup, I’d consider keeping my data on a USB drive so I always have it. An alternative plan might be to store it remotely on my Windows Home Server box, which would provide controlled access from any machine.
FavBackup is supported on Windows 7, Vista, XP and 2000. You simply download the executable and run it directly or create a shortcut to it.