Fri. Apr 19th, 2024


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With so much of our digital lives neatly saved and synced in our web browser of choice, the idea of switching to a different one can feel as daunting as moving to a new home. Chrome Sync, in particular, has kept many people using Chrome. However, as good as Chrome Sync is, Firefox Sync is surprisingly better.



The promise of Chrome Sync has always been great, and I feel like it lived up to it for a while. As time has gone on, though, I’ve had more than a few problems with Chrome Sync. Some of the features simply don’t work like they should. It ends up be more frustrating than convenient, which completely defeats the purpose. That’s why a recent switch to Firefox felt like a breath of fresh air.


The Problem With Chrome Sync

Chrome Sync out of date.

As a refresher, Chrome Sync is capable of syncing bookmarks, passwords, browsing history, tabs, payment info, personal info, and settings across devices signed into with the same Google account. That’s the idea, at least.

The biggest problems I’ve had with Chrome Sync are history and tabs. I was constantly having issues with Chrome being able to find things in my history from the address bar. I’d start typing the page name into the bar, expecting to see it propagate in the results, and it never would. These were not pages I visited as a one-off, mind you—they appeared in my browsing history many times. Chrome simply wouldn’t bring them up.

The Tab Syncing feature worked better, but I found it to be terribly laggy. The idea is to pick up where you left off on a different device. That’s hard to do when you get to the other device and the “Tabs From Other Devices” aren’t current. The situation gets more annoying when you add in the aforementioned history search woes, making it even more frustrating to find pages.

Long story short, Chrome’s continuity features have felt lacking to me for a while. However, they weren’t bad enough to be the reason I tried Firefox. I wasn’t expecting Firefox Sync to be any better. To be honest, I assumed these were just common browser annoyances. I was wrong.

Firefox Sync to the Rescue

Firefox history results in address bar.

On the surface, Firefox Sync seems to be basically the same as Chrome Sync. To set it up, you just need to sign into your devices with the same Mozilla account and choose what you’d like to sync. It’s an easy process made even easier with scannable QR codes from Firefox on your mobile devices.

The magic of Firefox Sync doesn’t have anything to do with the core concept. It’s essentially trying to do the same things as Chrome Sync. In my experience, the big difference is it actually works.

When I type the name of a web page from my history in the Firefox address bar, it shows up. Doesn’t matter if I’ve visited that page a hundred times or only once. If it appears in my history, Firefox will show it to me. That includes history from Firefox on all my devices.

Tab Syncing is even better. As I’m writing this, I opened a webpage on my computer and immediately grabbed my phone, launched Firefox, opened the tabs, and the page had already synced to “Tabs From Other Devices.” I didn’t have to wait for anything to sync or manually tap a button to make it happen. To borrow a saying, “It just works.” As it should.


Truly, if you do a lot of switching between devices, you should give Firefox a try. I haven’t even mentioned the handy “Tabs From Other Devices” toolbar shortcut you can use on the desktop version or the ability to see other devices from the “Firefox View” screen. I didn’t switch to Firefox for syncing features, but it is what’s keeping me there.



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By John P.

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