A browser's built-in password database makes it easy to log in to personal or secure sites you visit frequently without having to type in your password each time. But if you use more than one computer (say, one at home and another at work), then you have to enter in your password at least once on each machine. No current browser that I know of lets you synchronize your preferences, like passwords and bookmarks, across multiple installations of their product. Correction: Opera and Maxthon have this feature, according to commenters on this blog.
But there are solutions, and they're getting better. Foxmarks, which has been out for a while with a tool to synchronizes bookmarks across browser installations, on Tuesday took its password sync feature out of beta. The product is a Firefox add-in that works seamlessly and behind the scenes. In its default configuration, every time you exit your Firefox browser, it sends updates of your bookmarks and passwords to a server. When you launch a session, it reads them in. Your database of passwords is protected by a PIN (another password) that it appears Foxmarks has no backdoor to, which is good.
In use, Foxmarks is completely invisible to the user, which puts it a little ahead of alternate solutions like the Web-based password keeper Passpack, or the software app like Roboform, which uses a database that can be synchronized across multiple machines. On the other hand, Passpack works on any browser, and Roboform supports both Firefox and Internet Explorer. Foxmarks is just for Mozilla browsers like Firefox.
Eventually, browsers will support centralized databases of user preferences and passwords--Microsoft, Mozilla, and Google execs have all told me they're working on this for the future. In the meantime, if you hate having to manage passwords across multiple computers, Foxmarks has a new solution worth looking at.