Xmarks Vs LastPass

I’ve been using Xmarks (formerly Foxmarks) to sync bookmarks and passwords across the various browsers and computers I use for about a year. During that year the product only got better, and I really had no complaints.

I could have just said it ain’t broke, so don’t fix it. But two things happened – I got a Nexus One, and I saw people raving about LastPass. LastPass doesn’t do the bookmark syncing, but it does offer an Android app with the paid version. And bookmarks are so 90s. They’re rarely useful. And besides, Chrome, my current browser of choice, automatically syncs my bookmarks to my Google Docs account. I was really using Xmarks for the password syncing.

Now I’m not going to do the feature vs feature breakdown with charts and graphs that the title may have implied. I’m just going to describe the two experiences:

Xmarks – Create your account, install the software, surf the web. It imports the saved passwords in your browser and remembers new ones you use. It syncs automatically with their server. Browsers on other computers you use (or other browsers on the same machine) automatically stay in sync. After a couple of weeks of using Xmarks you forget about it, and it just becomes part of how surfing the web works. You can view your bookmarks by signing in to their website from any browser.

LastPass – Create your account, install the software, try to surf the web. It imports (and wipes out) the passwords in your browser. When you go to a site that requires a log in you get two weird options – AutoFill and AutoLogin. Try all the options listed under each and eventually sometimes one of them turns out the be your credentials for that site. You’re in! Unless of course none of those worked. In that case you get temporarily redirected to a form on a separate page that asks about dozen questions about that particular site / login. Most are optional. Instead of staying out of your way and working behind the scenes, LastPass is constantly in your face. About 25% of the time I end up having to log in without it. And lastly, if you lose your LastPass password you are SCREWED. There’s no recovery.

End result – LastPass uninstalled. I’m back to Xmarks. All is good with the world again.

Published by Brian

Grappling sometimes, but mostly just trying to get others to grapple.

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  1. Thanks for the comparison. I didn’t really want to know all the features and stuff anyway; I was much more curious about the end user experience, which you demonstrated. I heard about LastPass and wanted to know how it compared against my current sync tool, Xmarks. I believe I will stick with Xmarks. Thanks.

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