Firefox sync doesn't stink

Mozilla's just-released add-on, Weave Sync for Firefox, isn't without performance flaws. Despite compatibility errors, Weave's workings in other areas give us hope for the product's eventual success.

We've been hearing about Mozilla's Weave Sync add-on for Firefox (download) for some time. The Weave extension is Mozilla's in-house effort to store your bookmarks, tabs, history, passwords, and preferences on Mozilla's server--the end goal being to snap open Firefox on any computer (or even mobile phone) and get to your content without having to configure your settings or open pages anew.

Now that Mozilla has officially released version 1.0 of Weave Sync, we jumped right up to test it out on the desktop. The verdict? We wouldn't say it stinks, but Weave doesn't wildly impress. The browser-to-browser content-syncing tool just isn't quite as good as we'd like or have come to expect from Mozilla. There are still compatibility flaws with other extensions, and Weave unraveled a bit when it attempted to carry over information from our open tabs. We dinged it for those compatibility errors, though Weave's workings in other areas give us hope for the product's eventual success.

Weave isn't the first app of its kind for Firefox, nor is the idea unique to Mozilla. Users of Opera's desktop browser and mobile browsers have had Opera's bookmark sync since late 2007, thanks to the built-in Opera Link feature. On the Firefox side, Xmarks is one of our favorite bookmark-syncing add-ons, though in some ways, it isn't as ambitious as Weave Sync. For instance, Xmarks stops at syncing passwords and bookmarks, although it does add an extra Web lookup component.

If you're surfing with Google Chrome, no need to feel left out. We recently evaluated the FreshStart tab-syncing add-on as well.

About Jessica Dolcourt

Jessica Dolcourt reviews smartphones and cell phones, covers handset news, and pens the monthly column Smartphones Unlocked. A senior editor, she started at CNET in 2006 and spent four years reviewing mobile and desktop software before taking on devices.