10 Xmarks Alternatives for Bookmark Syncing

Earlier this week, Craig shared the devastating news that Xmarks would be discontinuing their cross-browser bookmark syncing. There really isn’t another identical service out there, so this is upsetting news for the 2 million users who have relied on Xmarks to have automatic access to their bookmarks, regardless of the browser they are using or computer they are on.

It’s clear that it will be a challenge to find an adequate Xmarks replacement, so many users out there are hoping Xmarks changes pace, gets bought by one of the big names, or possibly even pushes the service open source so it can continue on. But, if none of those possibilities come to fruition, we need an alternative to Xmarks so we can continue syncing bookmarks.

Here are a few possibilities and while they may not unilaterally replace everything Xmarks did in the same way, one of these might be a suitable Xmarks replacement for you.

Note: I’m still exploring the options for my own use, but I’d love to hear what alternatives you’ve found. Is there a better solution out there? Share in the comments below!

BookMacster

A bookmark syncing tool for Mac users that lets users organize bookmarks into collections, then automatically sync across browsers and on multiple Macs. There is a demo, then a one-time licensing fee is required.

Chrome Sync

A free built-in bookmark syncing functionality that allows Chrome users to sync their bookmarks across Chrome browsers on any computer.

Delicious

A social bookmarking service that allows you to save links online and access them from any computer or browser. There are also bookmarklets and plug-ins for browser-specific bookmarking.

Evernote

A note-taking application that provides a non-traditional way to save and sync bookmarks through the cross-platform syncing functionality. By running Evernote across your various devices and saving links into the URL field in new notes (or using the Web Clipper tool),  you can bypass the browser-specific bookmark utility.

Firefox Sync

A free bookmark syncing add-on for Firefox users that allows you to sync and access your bookmarks in Firefox on different computers.

Mobile Me

A paid service that allows you to sync data across your Mac, PC, iPhone and iPad, including your bookmark folders.

Read It Later

A tool that gives you access to a reading list across all of your devices that can also be used to bookmark websites and access them from multiple browsers, multiple computers and mobile devices.

Sync2It

A free bookmark synchronizer that syncs all of your bookmarks automatically across different computers, different platforms, and various browsers. All bookmarks are keep private, and there is also access from mobile devices.

TidyFavorites

A Windows application that synchronizes your bookmarks across IE, Firefox, Opera and Google Chrome. The free version allows you to sync manually and an upgraded Pro version includes automatic synchronization.

Windows Live Sync

A free syncing program that is part of Windows Live Essentials and allows you to sync files across multiple Windows PCs, including your bookmark folders.

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  • http://www.archetype-it.com/ veronicay

    Since you mentioned a Firefox-specific plugin, I think it’s a shame that you didn’t also mention Opera’s built-in bookmark syncing. Every time I bookmark something on one of my copies of Opera, it silently syncs it across to the others (Mac, Linux, Windows, netbook). Apart from that it’s a useful list though!

  • Fraser

    Thank you very much for this post. Sad that xmarks is finishing but hopefully your suggestions will help to fill the void!

  • computer repair toronto

    great work! thanks a lot to share such a great post

  • Adam Bolte

    I use Firefox Sync exclusively. It’s one of the few free software extensions – including the server component. If the Mozilla Foundaton decide they don’t want to support it any more, it won’t matter; I can always host the server software myself or find somebody else who will.

    Not only are most of these services traps (as should now be painfully obvious to Xmarks users by now), but there is also huge potential for abuse of privacy rights. If you’re serious about bookmark sync and similar services, host them yourself with free software. These days it’s cheap and easy enough that it’s a feasible option for most.

    • http://www.optimalworks.net/ Craig Buckler

      If the Mozilla Foundaton decide they don’t want to support it any more, it won’t matter

      That’s partially true if you’re using your own hosting server, but the plug-in itself will eventually become incompatible as the browser is updated.

      • Adam Bolte

        Running my own server off of my home ADSL connection. I use it for blogs, distributing bits of code, etc. Technically my server is divided into two groups of Xen VMs (aside from my firewall VM) – VMs for DMZ such as Apache, MySQL servers, etc. and VMs for my LAN – file shares, FreeNX desktops, VPN clients, DNS/DHCP services, apt-cacher caching of updates, etc. It was all put together using a dirt cheap AMD X2 machine and software RAID5. It just sits in the corner working away silently (aside from the occasional noisy tape backup :). It would be trivial to create another logical volume for a new domU, run the Debian netboot installation and install the bookmark syncing software. It’s so easy, anyone could do it so it’s not an issue.

        As for the plugin, since it’s free software anyone with an interest in it can add compatibility with future versions of the browser as required. It only takes one person to want it working (and given the sheer number of Firefox users, you can be sure there will be many), and they can get the changes done.

        Worst case scenario – you can’t program, you don’t know anybody who can help and you don’t have the time or patience to learn yourself? Just head over to the Dev Shed forums and tell them you’re prepared to drop $50 or $100 bucks for whatever (hopefully small) compatibility update is required. Some cash strapped uni student will stick their hand up.

        Strapped for cash yourself? Does the update require too much work? Head over to kickstarter.com and get others to help pledge towards the goal. If you’re determined, you can make it happen.

        As for using pledgebank.com to keep Xmarks going… I don’t see how that’s a realistic long-term strategy. It’s just prolonging the inevitable.

  • http://www.alboxinfo.com kamm

    Xmarks – Maybe not quite finished yet.

    If you’d pay $10/20 a year to see Xmarks continue, then let them know by making a pledge at PledgeBank here: http://www.pledgebank.com/XmarksPremium

  • Mike

    I use Delicious for all my bookmarks. I completely ignore the social component, except maybe to hide the occasional bookmark that I don’t want to share publically for some reason. This way I have access to my bookmarks as long as I have Internet access, regardless of plugins, and on my own computers the syncing is seemless due to the plugins Delicious has.

  • Bookmark.com

    Hi, sorry to jump in here shilling our own product, but I think it’s a pretty relevant one. We’ve got a full cross-platform (Mac/Win), cross-browser (FF,IE,Safari) bookmark sync product in open beta at Bookmark.com
    We also have mobile apps for iPhone, Android, BlackBerry and Symbian. We’d love for you to check us out!