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Preserving Browser Histories

by crisuk09 / September 16, 2013 11:24 PM PDT

Does anyone know if there is a practical limit to the number of days IE, Mozilla, Google Chrome etc will actually save browser histories? For example I know I can set each browser to save histories for 365 days, but will they in fact do so?

Also, can anyone recommend any software which displays browser histories from all browsers by date and subject in a user-friendly way?

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Depends on the browser
by Jimmy Greystone / September 16, 2013 11:37 PM PDT

Depends on the browser really. Last I checked, which admittedly was a very long time ago, Microsoft still was using individual files for each history entry, same as favorites. I know Firefox migrated to putting everything into a database a long time ago, so in theory it's limit is the limit of that embedded database program, which is probably in the millions of records on the average computer. I have absolutely no idea how Chrome stores these things.

The practical limit depends on how each browser stores this info and then the resources of your computer like CPU power and RAM. If you're using a rather inefficient method like Microsoft, after probably a couple thousand entries you'll start noticing significant performance hits on anything related to the history because of all the overhead associated with reading in each individual file. Firefox will likely keep chugging along quite happily, with no noticeable performance degradation for quite some time. Assuming Chrome does something similar to Firefox, which would stand to reason since Google hires engineers and basically lets them design the best software they can, it too would be able to go for some time without any noticeable performance hit. But of course even the most well optimized database has its limits. If you've got, say 4GB of RAM on your computer and your database is 6GB in size, you've got a performance problem. Plus it still takes CPU cycles to sift through all that data.

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For this one you would not rely on the browser.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 17, 2013 1:54 AM PDT

But export them to your security or surveillance software tracking system. I'm not kidding because a browser update could invalidate history so you would never rely on the browser for the storage of such data.

By what do you mean user friendly? It's just a list of addresses and dates. Does not sound like any user friendly interface is required here. Just put it all in some text file to be sorted by date or searched?

Keep in mind some have no sense of humor about such surveillance but for those that do, read


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