Tuesday, March 5, 2013

EverSync: Sync Bookmarks Between Firefox and Chrome

People usually have one browser they use for regular surfing. This browser has their passwords saved and websites bookmarked, but if you use more than one browser and aren’t particularly loyal towards one particular brand, it is handy to have your bookmarks synchronized between the various browsers you use. While all major browsers (Firefox, Chrome, Opera and Internet Explorer via SkyDrive) have means to synchronize selected user profile data, including bookmarks, saved passwords, speed dials and more, between different devices, cross-browser synchronization is not natively possible at the moment. But for those who use Chrome and Firefox, there is a solution.

EverSync is a new extension for Firefox and Chrome that enables users to sync bookmarks between the two browser. In addition to bookmarks, EverSync can also synchronize FVD Speed Dials – a speed dial extension for Chrome and Firefox by the same developer.

Setting up online sync between the two browsers via EverSync involves the following steps.

Install EverSync on any one of the browsers. I did it on Chrome first. Click on the EverSync button in the toolbar, and then click on “Options” to open a panel. Register a new account, which is quick and easy – you only have to enter an email address and a password.

Once the account is created, it will open your account usage report. As you can see, the service can store up to 1000 bookmarks, and an additional 500 on Archive and another 500 in Trash.

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Click on the Bookmarks tab, and you will be served a warning message. The message says that if you use Chrome’s Sync feature to synchronize your bookmarks across machines, you will need to disable bookmarks sync. This means that you can’t have your bookmarks synced via two different bookmarking services – your Google account and EverSync. If you want to use EverSync, you have to let go bookmarks from Chrome Sync. The same applies to Firefox Sync.

No need to worry. You don’t have to disable Sync altogether – just uncheck bookmarks from the sync option. The rest of your data – history, apps, extensions, themes – will continue to sync as before.

After you have disabled bookmarks sync, you will be offered 3 different sync options. Please read the following carefully.

  • Merge local and server data: Use this option, only if you already have an EverSync account and have saved data on your account. If this is the first time you are syncing browsers, please do not use this option, as I’ve read that EverSync has a list of default bookmarks on the sever that will be merged with your own bookmarks thereby corrupting your collection.
  • Overwrite server data: This is the option that you should choose. What it does is erase whatever that might be present in your EverSync account, and replace it with your own bookmarks.
  • Overwrite local data: Never use this option if this is the first time you are syncing browsers. You may end up losing all your bookmarks.

However, just to be safe, EverSync locally backups all your bookmarks irrespective of whichever option you choose.

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Now install EverSync on your second browser, in my case, Firefox. Click on the EverSync button again and then click on Options. This time, select the login form and login to your EverSync account.

After you’ve logged in, you will receive a usage report of your account. It will show you how many bookmarks slots you have used. These are bookmarks uploaded from Chrome (the first browser).

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Now click on the Bookmarks tab. Make sure you have bookmark sync unchecked or disabled from Firefox sync. Again, you will be offered the same 3 choices we saw while setting up EverSync in Chrome.

  • Merge local and server data: Use this option if you have a different set of bookmarks in Firefox and Chrome and wish to merge both together.
  • Overwrite server data: Do not use this option, as it will replace your Chrome bookmarks, which are currently in EverSync’s server, with Firefox’s bookmarks.
  • Overwrite local data: Use this option only if you want to replace Firefox’s bookmarks with Chrome’s bookmarks.

Once you have decided what you want to do, click on the appropriate button and your bookmarks on Chrome and Firefox will automatically get synchronized.

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In case, you clicked the wrong button, you can start all over again by deleting server data and restoring your bookmarks from the locally saved data.

Do note that the reliability of the service depends on the online availability of a third-party provider. It is possible that the service might be erratic - bookmarks not getting synced etc. In fact, the service did ran into technical trouble and all accounts created between February 9 and 20, were lost.

Always keep a backup of your bookmarks before trusting your data on an unknown company.

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