After looking into last week's Top 5 on Portable Applications, reader Bill Roberson wrote to offer a different solution to keeping all your Web browser bookmarks synchronized: Download and install the Google toolbar (toolbar.google.com).
"The Google toolbar has a bookmarks feature that will show up on every Web browser that has the toolbar installed (even the buggy Internet Explorer). I now have all my important bookmarks on my Google toolbar, and have the toolbar installed on all my computers at home and my office computer, as well as my portable Firefox."
Since we're suckers for free geek stuff here at Friday 5 Labs, we installed the toolbar on both our Firefox and our Internet Explorer browsers. The verdict: It sets up easier on Firefox than on I.E., and the tools it delivers are cool. And, yes, you can manage all your bookmarks online (along with all your documents and e-mail) if you wish.
The tradeoff? The niftiest features require giving Google access to your search and browsing histories. The most invasive of the features can be disabled, but privacy skeptics still are nervous about giving the search giant so much data.
Bottom line: If you're willing to give up some control over your data, Google's remote storage solution gives you instant, easy flexibility. If that makes you uncomfortable, creating a portable identity on a flash drive is a good alternative.