Google Browser Sync extension for Firefox

A long time ago I reported that the Firefox team at Google was working on server side stored state. And now we have the proof:

Google Browser Sync for Firefox is an extension that continuously synchronizes your browser settings – including bookmarks, history, persistent cookies, and saved passwords – across your computers. It also allows you to restore open tabs and windows across different machines and browser sessions. Google Browser Sync is completely automated. The settings you select at startup are automatically synchronized across each of the computers on which you install Browser Sync. You won't even need to log in every time you start the browser. You can change which browser components are being synced – or even stop the syncing process entirely – using the settings panel in the upper-right corner of the page. The settings panel also gives you access to your PIN.
Read more and install


June 08, 2006 09:34 AM | Posted in Mozilla

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11 Comments

Nice idea, reminds me of Bookmark Sync (https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/14)

One question keeps popping up with the myriade of Google tools: what about my privacy ??
Google aka BigBrother now not only stores my email, my chat sessions but also my bookmarks, my history, my passwords... Ideal for targetted advertising and surf behaviour, no ?

I'll stick to Bookmark Sync for now, as I can specify the location where to store my data myself.

Comment by Stef Andries at June 8, 2006 10:39 AM | Permalink

I wanted to try it, but hard luck. They have a bad browser detection in place, and hence I couldn't make it work with Bon Echo.

So, I reported this issue along with a solution to check Firefox 1.5 or higher, and I'm waiting for the fix ;-)

Site icon Comment by Gopalarathnam Venkatesan at June 8, 2006 10:46 AM | Permalink

Gopalarathnam Venkatesan: The direct download URL is:
http://dl.google.com/firefox/google-browsersync.xpi

Site icon Comment by Henrik Gemal [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 8, 2006 11:17 AM | Permalink

I've been wishing for an extension like this for a long time, and I would be very happy now if it wasn't for the fact that I, as Stef Andries, am concerned for my privacy when Google knows more and more about me. I will not use this extension, but if someone could make a similar extension that saves everything on my own server - password protected, of course - I won't hesitate a second to use it. That would make Firefox so much better. This should actually be implemented in Firefox, and Mozilla should offer safe and free hosting of your profile, along with the option of saving it on your own server!

PS: This comment area handels "tabbing" (if that's a word) in a little strange way. You go from Email Address to Comments, and then to URL (and you can't "tab" to Remember Me?). Just thought you might like to fix that.

Comment by bÝrge at June 8, 2006 11:51 AM | Permalink

Henrik Gemal: The extension doesn't work with Firefox 2.0. In fact it doesn't work with anything else other than Firefox 1.5.

Site icon Comment by Gopalarathnam Venkatesan at June 8, 2006 04:54 PM | Permalink

If you guys are that concerned with privacy, use the extension's built-in option to encrypt your data before sending it to Google. You can also opt not to synchronize various data you're concerned about, like saved passwords.

Comment by Peter Kasting at June 8, 2006 06:57 PM | Permalink

Gopalarathnam Venkatesan, I bet it works with Firefox 2 (since it comes without Places now). The Nightly Tester Tools extension may help you.

Site icon Comment by Dao at June 8, 2006 09:55 PM | Permalink

In terms of privacy, it should be possible to design the system so that Google can't read the data.
The data would have to be encrypted in the browser/extension, then stored encrypted on Google's server then sent back down to your other browser where it would be decrypted.
The question is where to store the encryption key. There are many solutions. The only constraint is that it shouldn't be on Google's servers ;-)

Site icon Comment by Julien Couvreur [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 9, 2006 06:28 PM | Permalink

To install the XPI on Firefox 2.0 alpha, you can download the xpi file, open it with a zip utility.
Then you should edit the install.rdf to all maxVersion of 2.0a1, 2.0a2,... depending on your version of Firefox.
Then you should delete the files in META-INFO, which are signatures for the content of the XPI. The XPI is now un-signed.

Then you drag and drop the modified XPI on Firefox and install it.

Site icon Comment by Julien Couvreur at June 9, 2006 11:45 PM | Permalink

Nevermind. The modified XPI didn't work properly for me on Firefox 2.0 alpha 1. The menus appear, but they don't open.

Site icon Comment by Julien Couvreur at June 9, 2006 11:48 PM | Permalink

@ borge :
http://kb.mozillazine.org/SessionSaver
That's a similar ext.

Comment by jahvascriptmaniac at December 26, 2006 09:02 PM | Permalink

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