xBrowserSync

Browser syncing as it should be: secure, anonymous and free!

Syncing your browser data to the cloud is great. You get to access your bookmarks and browser settings from any device which makes web browsing so much quicker and easier. Many companies in the cloud space offer these services, and the big tech corporations such as Google, Apple or Microsoft even include these services with their core products for free... but is it really free?

If you actually manage to read the endless Terms and Conditions that you must agree to before using their services, you would discover that you are consenting for your data to be taken and used by the service provider however they see fit. This includes sharing or even selling your data to third parties without your prior knowledge. Put simply, you are paying them by giving up your privacy and handing over your personal information.

There are many people who value their privacy and don’t want their personal data used by others, but would still like access to useful services such as syncing their browser data to the cloud. Well with xBrowserSync you get browser syncing as it should be: secure, anonymous and free!

Secure

Before it is transmitted your browser data is encrypted using military grade AES encryption that only you can decrypt. The password you use to encrypt and decrypt the data is stored locally and is never transmitted, meaning that the server at the other end has no means of decrypting your data. If someone who has access to the server gets into the database and snoops at your browser data, all they will see is something similar to this:

DWCx6wR9ggPqPRrhU4O4oLN5P09onApoAULX4Xt+ckxswtFNds...

If they happen to have a few spare super computers lying around they can try and crack the encryption, though it would likely still take them longer than the lifetime of the universe to do it!

Anonymous

xBrowserSync does not need to know who you are, what your email address is, where you live, what your mother’s maiden name is, or anything else personal about you so it doesn’t ask. You simply enter a password that is used to encrypt and decrypt your data, click the sync button and boom, it’s synced. You are given an ID number to retrieve your data, but no personal data is collected or transmitted without your knowledge. In fact, to the server you look like this:

{
  "id":"52758cb942814faa9ab255208025ae59",
  "bookmarks":"DWCx6wR9ggPqPRrhU4O4oLN5P09onApoAULX4Xt+ckxswtFNds...",
  "lastAccessed":"2016-07-06T12:43:16.866Z",
  "lastUpdated":"2016-07-06T12:43:16.866Z"
}

Who is this person? Who knows and who cares! To prevent abuse of the service xBrowserSync does collect IP information for some requests, but they are not associated with synced data and are only kept for a day.

Free

The code for xBrowserSync is completely open source and licensed under the MIT License for anyone to contribute to or use for their own projects. It is only for the efforts of many talented developers offering their code libraries for free that it has even been possible, so xBrowserSync seeks to continue that worthy tradition.

The official xBrowserSync service (where your data is synced to by default) is hosted for free by the good people at Red Hat OpenShift, but if you want total privacy it is easy to set up your own xBrowserSync service to sync your data to, or if you are feeling nice you can share your service so that others can sync to it also. Each service has limited space so the more public xBrowserSync services there are, the more people can sync for free.

Download xBrowserSync now!

xBrowserSync is currently available as a web extension for Chrome (desktop) and mobile apps for iOS and Android.

The web extension fully supports your native desktop browser bookmarking features, so if you already have a large hierarchy of bookmarks you’ll be able to access them on your mobile device in just a few clicks.

xBrowserSync enriches your bookmarks with the addition of descriptions and tags, and an intuitive search interface enables you to find, modify and share bookmarks quickly and easily.

And don’t ever worry about losing your data thanks to the included back up and restore functionality.

Adding a new bookmark on your mobile device is as easy as sharing from your favourite apps (browsers, YouTube, Spotify and any other app that shares URLs), xBrowserSync will even populate the bookmark properties for you.

xBrowserSync currently syncs only bookmarks, but syncing of additional browser data will be added in future versions.

Service status

Listed below are all the public xBrowserSync services. You can create a new sync on any available service by setting it as the service URL on the Settings panel within xBrowserSync.

If a service is full then that service is currently fully subscribed for the moment. No new syncs can be created, but any existing syncs will continue to function as normal. Unused accounts are removed automatically after a few weeks so if a service is full now it may be available tomorrow.

If you are hosting an xBrowserSync service and wish to add it to this list, let us know.

  • Available
  • Full
  • Offline

    Want to contribute? Get Involved!

    xBrowserSync is only possible because likeminded individuals contribute their time and skills to support it and make it work. If you use xBrowserSync and want to help make it better, you can:

    Host

    The official xBrowserSync service only has a limited amount of space, and as more users sync to the service that space is used up. In order for xBrowserSync to remain free, we need volunteers who are willing to host an xBrowserSync service and make it available for others to sync to. If you are interested in doing this, go to the API code repo and follow the installation steps to get the service up and running on your server. Once everything is working, let us know the URL of your service so it can be added to the list of public xBrowserSync services.

    Code

    If you know JavaScript, Angular or Node.js, feel free to fork one of the xBrowserSync repos on Git Hub and submit a pull request. Have a look at the current issues for the browser extension or API service and submit a fix or enhancement. If you’re an iOS or Android mobile developer and want to contribute to the xBrowserSync mobile apps then please do get in touch.

    Suggest

    Found a bug? Want to request a new feature? Head on over to Git Hub and submit an issue for either the browser extension or the API service.

    Translate

    The lives of software developers would be far easier if everyone just spoke English, but the world would indeed be the poorer for it. If you are able and willing to help translate xBrowserSync to another language, get in touch.

    Contact Us

    FAQs

    What technologies are used by xBrowserSync?
    The client apps are build on AngularJS 1 and utilising various other frameworks such as Bootstrap, crypto-js, Font Awesome and Underscore. The server API is built on Node.js and restify with MongoDB for data storage.
    I’d like to use the xBrowserSync code for my own purposes, am I able to do that?
    All of the xBrowserSync source code is licensed under the MIT license, which you are free to take, modify and use for your own purposes, commercial or otherwise. xBrowserSync is dependent on many other libraries, most if not all of which are also licensed under MIT (check the package.json files in the repos for a precise list of dependencies).
    How is my data encrypted? I’m concerned about submitting it to unknown and untrusted servers. Can it really not be decrypted by anyone but me?
    xBrowserSync uses the crypto-js library to encrypt data using AES encryption before being sent to the xBrowserSync service. It uses your password to generate a 256-bit encryption key, which is stored locally (to prevent you having to enter your secret every time your data is sent or received) but never transmitted. Anyone that might intercept your data would need your secret to decrypt it. They could try a brute-force attack but even super computers would not be able to break the encryption within a conceivable amount of time.
    Is the service really run for free? I’d like to contribute to the costs if I can?
    The official service is hosted on Red Hat’s OpenShift platform, which incurs an ongoing cost for allocated disk space (currently €5/month), but that cost is not passed on to users. If you enjoy xBrowserSync and would like to contribute towards the running costs, you can donate some BTC to 1QEpmSt2hqnskxGRav9SNaRrJo5E9pGpGy which would be received with gratitude. Alternatively, there are other ways to contribute.
    Do I really need to back up?
    Yes absolutely, your data is your responsibility. The xBrowserSync services are run on a voluntary basis, and though each service should be reliable the service owner takes no responsibility for loss of data. Your sync can also be deleted to make space for others if you do not use xBrowserSync for a few weeks.
    I’m going away for an extended period and don’t expect to use my devices, will my synced data be deleted?
    As xBrowserSync services have limited space, any synced data that has not been accessed for a while is deleted to make room for new syncs. The default inactivity period is 14 days but this may change depending on the service. Realistically, if you open your browser regularly this is not something you ever need to worry about. If you expect not to access your data for a few weeks then simply take a backup before you leave and if your sync has been deleted on your return, create a new sync and restore your data.
    How do I setup a keyboard shortcut so that xBrowserSync opens more quickly?
    In Chrome, browse to chrome://extensions/ and click on the 'Keyboard shortcuts' link at the bottom of the page. Find xBrowserSync in the list of extensions and set the 'Activate the extension' shortcut to your preference. You can then use that key combination to open xBrowserSync from anywhere within the browser.
    I’ve forgotten my password and can’t retrieve my synced data! What should I do?
    Create a new sync and restore your data from a backup. You did take backups didn’t you...?
    I’ve exceeded the sync data limit for the xBrowserSync service I’m using. What should I do?
    As xBrowserSync services have limited space, each sync has to be capped to a maximum size so that everyone gets an equal amount of space allocated to them. Note that this limit can change between services. If you’ve reached this limit then you won’t be able to update your synced data unless you reduce the amount of data you are trying to sync. You can do this by deleting some old bookmarks, or you could try syncing to a different service that has a larger maximum sync size.
    The xBrowserSync service is not accepting new syncs. What should I do?
    Try syncing to a different service.
    I added lots of descriptions and tags to my bookmarks, but I’ve just created a new sync and now they are all gone! What happened?
    Bookmark descriptions and tags are not supported by most browsers, xBrowserSync maintains this additional metadata separately. When you create a new sync, xBrowserSync reads the existing bookmark data directly from the browser which will not include any descriptions or tags you might have added to a previous sync. If you have a back up of your previously synced data, restore the backup after creating a new sync and your descriptions and tags will be restored.
    I previously created a sync but when I try to retrieve my data I get a 'No data found' error message. What is going on?
    IDs are service-specific, make sure you are attempting to retrieve your synced data from the appropriate xBrowserSync service. If you are definitely using the correct service then it looks like your sync has been deleted, this could be because you hadn’t accessed your data for a while and it was deleted to make room for other users. Create a new sync and restore from your most recent backup.