Keeping Your Firefox in Sync with Mozilla’s Weave

Posted on February 5, 2010 7:57 AM by Rob Williams

Use Firefox? Use Firefox on more than one PC? Tired of manually syncing all of your settings from one PC to the next, such as bookmarks, history, passwords, and preferences? Mozilla’s Weave extension looks to take away that pain, and allow your Firefox setup to remain identical on multiple PCs – even mobile devices. That’s right, all it takes to keep all your browsers in sync is a simple ~300KB download.

Since I’m sure many out there are thinking, “But I already have this functionality…”, that’s fine. There do exist other services that are set out to do the same thing, but the difference with Weave is that its developed by Mozilla itself, so it can be trusted, and it offers just a wee bit more functionality as well. It may not support browsers other than Mozilla, but it looks to make devout Firefox fan’s lives easier.

The service works work Mozilla’s servers, where all of your information will be ultimately stored. After installing the extension on your main Firefox installation, you can create an account and allow it to begin syncing. On alternate PCs, you can install the same extension, enter your account information and then wait for a couple of moments while all of your goods get carried over.

If you opt into the syncing of all of your information, bookmarks, preferences, history information, passwords and your open tabs will all be synced. You can pick and choose exactly what you don’t want synced, though. Some may prefer to not allow passwords to be stored, and that’s understandable. One thing Mozilla takes very seriously is security, though, and all sync transfers are encrypted with 256-bit AES encryption, so your data is very, very secure.

I gave the service a quick go, and I’m confident I’ll go forward with using it, because it’s incredibly handy. I use Firefox on numerous PCs, so to be able to keep them all in sync is fantastic, especially when it’s all made to work so seamlessly. If there is one caveat, or perhaps a bug, is that I wasn’t actually signed into certain Web services like I expected to be, nor was my master password left in tact. To be fair, this may be due to the fact that I was syncing between different OSes, but given how Firefox functions, I can’t see that being the case. Either way, it’d be great to see that issue tackled in a future version.

Mozilla launched the Weave project in 2007 with the goal of cloud-enabling the Firefox Web browser. Weave consists of a Web-based service that is hosted by Mozilla and client-side add-on that integrates with the browser. The user’s browser data, including bookmarks, passwords, preferences, page history, and active tabs, are encrypted by the add-on and transmitted to Mozilla’s servers in the cloud. The data can then be relayed to other instances of Firefox that are authorized by the user.

Source: Ars Technica

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