Google extension synchronizes Firefox settings

— 5:33 PM on June 8, 2006

Google has made yet another new addition to its Labs website: Google Browser Sync, an extension for Firefox that allows users to synchronize browser settings across multiple machines. The extension works by storing bookmarks, history, cookies, passwords, and even browsing sessions on Google's servers and keeping the information synchronized across a user's different computers. Naturally, some will be inclined to cry foul due to privacy concerns, but Google appears to have taken care of everything. All stored settings can be encrypted, and the encryption relies on a client-side PIN or password defined during the installation procedure. Google claims encrypted data is "nearly impossible to interpret without the PIN," and that "not even Google ... will be able to read your data."

Security concerns aside, the extension still isn't entirely polished yet. Synchronization occurs when the browser starts, and Google says Firefox's startup time is increased as a result. Users are told to "please bear with us as we [Google] work to decrease this delay." Nonetheless, Google Browser Sync does promise to give a helping hand to users trying to keep track of their data across multiple PCs.

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