Box.net Bookmarks Synchronizer

Box.net Bookmarks Synchronizer

Brian, an intern at Box.net, e-mailed me after reading my blog entry about the Scribefire Blogging add-on.

He wanted me to know about Box.net‘s new Bookmarks Synchronizer add-on for Firefox – just in case I might want to write about it on my Blog.

The add-on synchronizes your Firefox bookmarks between the website and your browser, or multiple Firefoxes on various machines. And provides a good online backup for them also. You can also access the bookmark file from anywhere, manually.

Firstly, I checked out Box.net. I vaguely remembering seeing some references to it in a few newsletters I’m a member of.

Basically, Box.net has both free as well as paid storage for your files. You can upload docs, photos, files of all types. Then you can access them from where ever you are, no matter what browser, and even from your mobile phone. And they give you 1 gig of space and no bandwidth limits.

Sure, there’s a number of sites like this. Hundreds, thousands maybe.

But there’s a few things that this seems to have that sets it apart from some of the others – though there are some which have hodge-podges of the same features.

For one thing you can edit Word or Excel docs right online. You can also share your files with others and there’s even a widget for your website or blog to allow others to download your files. You can e-mail files directly to your account, too. There’s also an Open Office plugin, a Microsoft Office plugin, a file uploader, and a bunch of other stuff. I didn’t check this out but they are there if I need them, and I’ll probably check some of the former-mentioned options out at a later time.

Some pretty nice features, well-organized site, and easy to find everything.

Oh, and before I go any further – I’m not getting any benefits from reviewing their website or add-on, just doing it for the fun of it.

Anyway, so I tried the Bookmarks Synchronizer – which you can get from Firefox direct from Box.net here.

It installs like any other add-on (and is small – in case you; like me, have a bunch of add-ons and are always concerned about memory usage and browser speed).

After resetting Firefox and hitting TOOLS and ADD-ONS and clicking the OPTIONS for the synchronizer I get the following:

Not having an account at Box.net I clicked CANCEL, went back to the site, and signed up for a free 1 gig account (easily done). Once I was signed up I went back to the add-on and entered my info in the above boxes. At that point I could either SAVE the bookmarks to the Box.net site or restore them to my Firefox, or Firefox on any computer (that has the add-on installed).

After messing around with it for a few minutes I could see it worked exactly as advertised, fairly quickly (I have a LOT of bookmarks) and slickly (a little box pops up to let you know its doing it’s job, and what it’s doing).

The next tab:


A few options here. Browse lets you browse for your bookmarks folder – just in case it’s not in the standard place. I would guess that you could also use this to back up bookmarks from other Gecko-derived browsers, like K-Meleon – since they also use the same filename for bookmark files.

You can also have it automatically download your stored bookmarks from the Box.net website, and/or automatically upload your bookmarks when you close Firefox. It also will merge the bookmarks – good if you have the ‘auto download’ option on and don’t want to overwrite any new bookmarks you have added.

The next tab (Help) gives you access to a button which you can click for online help. It takes you to their website for a quick little help page.

Here’s a screenshot of their website, after I logged in and went to the folder holding the bookmarks (which is automatically created, of course):


Here you can access the bookmarks manually if you like, even download them directly; though it converts the bookmarks file to an .xml file instead of keeping it in the native .html form.

I guess my only quibble here would be that it would make the add-on more useful if you could more easily access your bookmarks online without using the add-on, if you wanted to. Say you’re on someone else’s computer or a public terminal and you just want look up a bookmark, without installing or using the add-on or downloading the file – so you weren’t putting any files on that particular computer. Maybe by not having the add-on convert the bookmark file to a .xml or better yet – have both .xml and .html files available in the Box.net bookmarks older.

I guess the only other con is that I had a bit of long pause when I clicked the Help button in the last tab of the add-on, but it worked after a few moments.

As mentioned – everything works as advertised. Nice add-on.

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