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Back up Firefox

A new add-on for Firefox backs up, syncs, and encrypts your bookmarks, passwords, and more.

Moving to a new computer is a pain. You can sync bookmarks and export some data, but it's almost like starting over again. Thankfully, editor Jessica Dolcourt tipped me off to the Weave plug-in. Weave syncs your bookmarks, search queries, passwords, and even open tabs and then encrypts the data on Mozilla's servers. This can save a lot of time when you're setting up a new computer or if you browse the Web on more than one computer.

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If you're not comfortable with beta version software, you may want to wait on this, because you need to run the latest beta version of Firefox. Go to to download the current version.

Install that browser, then go to and download and install the Weave add-on. Once you've restarted the browser, choose Tools then Weave then sign-in.

If this is the second browser you're setting up, then you'll choose to set up another computer. If it's your first browser, you choose Get Started with Weave. Then you'll enter a username and password for your account and a separate passphrase for the encryption on Mozilla's servers. Don't forget that one, or you're kind of screwed.

You'll be challenged to figure out one of those crazy spam-preventing Captchas, then you'll need to tell Mozilla which computer this browser is on and what kind of computer it is. The first sync will happen and then you're done. You can tweak your preferences in the tools menu under Weave. After that, you just go to any other computer you want synced, and set up Weave on them. The process will be similar. You'll need to remember your username and password.

Weave will get even cooler when Firefox's mobile applications come out. You'll be able to sync your phone's Mozilla to your computer as well.