I don’t know about you, but I personally have a PC I use to work at home and a notebook I carry for mobile working. Having two computers used to be a hassle, because sometimes, if I forgot to back up my file on cloud storage on my PC, then I have no way to access that file on my notebook, and vice versa.

I even considered to get rid of my PC, but while it’s not really a practical gadget, I still prefer to work with it at home because it has better spec than my notebook. So I started looking if there is any way I can connect the two computer, and I found Remote Desktop Connection.

Remote Desktop Connection basically is a service that connects two different notebooks (or laptop) that has installed Chrome Browser.Using Chrome Browser however, I can now use remote desktop connection that gives me access to the files in my PC from my notebook, even though I’m not at home.

Is it secure?
The first question that pops up on my mind when I was considering this service is its security. Is it really okay to open the access to my PC and notebook just like that?

Three things convinces me of its security, though.

First, if you open the access for your computer to your other computer (like from my own PC to my own notebook), you will get to set your own six-digit PIN. The idea is simple, to open access, you’ll need to enter PIN, and as long you don’t give away my PIN to other people, then nobody can gain access to your computer.

Second, if you want to share temporary and limited access to other people (for example, if you need your friend to check on the document you’re working on), you’ll be given access code that you need to share to your friend. Your friend can only get the access after he or she entered the correct access code. For more security, this access code is temporary. After you close the connection, your friend can no longer access your computer unless you give him or her new access code.

Third, all of the data exchanged during the sharing session is encrypted using AES. It means, Google itself can’t peek on what’s inside your computer, even if you are using its service to connect multiple computer.

Two Types of Connections

I’ve mentioned briefly above, but Google’s Remote Desktop Connection currently offers two types of connection:

  1. Remote Assistance
    This service allows other people to get limited access to your PC. Limited here means screen-sharing, where you can share what is happening at your screen to other people of your choice. This is perfect for technical assistance.
  2. My Computer
    This service is the one that I need the most. With this service, I can access the hard disk of my PC from my notebook, and vice versa, instead of getting only the screen sharing.

How can I get this service?

It’s really simpler than you think. All you need to do is sign in into your Google Account in both of your devices.

Then, download Remote Desktop Connection app from Chrome Web Store and install it on both of your devices. Don’t forget to click Add when you’re prompted by Chrome.

Now, you can launch the app.

How to use this service?

After you launch the app, you’ll get asked to choose which one of the two types of the connection you want: Remote Assistance or My Computer.

If you choose Remote Assistance:

  •  Click Remote Assistance
  • A dialogue box will open with two choices: Share or Access
  • From the computer you want to share with your friend, click Share
  • Ask your friend to choose Access
  • Your dialogue box will show Access Code. Each new connection will give you new Access Code. Let your friend know this Access Code and enter it in his or her dialogue box
  • When the Access Code match, the connection will open. You will get a notification.
  • Under the notification, there is option to stop sharing when you’re done.

If you choose My Computer

  • Click My Computer
  • A dialogue box will open. Click Enable remote connection
  • Chrome will automatically download Chrome Remote Desktop Host Installer
  • Install the software by following the instruction on screen
  • New dialogue box will open and you’ll get asked to create 6 digit PIN. Once done, click OK
  • Then, in Chrome Remote Desktop Host Preference, you’ll be asked to enter your PIN to enable the service. Enter PIN and click Enable
  • Repeat the process in each of the other computer you want to connect. The setup is finished.
  • Now, if you want to connect, open the Chrome Remote Desktop. Under the My Computer option, you will see a list of computers you’ve set up to be connected to each other. Click which one you want to connect, enter then PIN, and enjoy the shared connection.

You’ll get a notification that the computers are now connected. Under the notification, there is option to stop sharing when you’re done.

A little note to remember, both of the computers must be active for the connection to work. So before leaving one of the computers at home, make sure you’ve turn it on and set the power management to ensure the computer won’t sleep. If you forget this and the computer fall asleep, you’ll lost the connection.

So, what do you think? A simple yet secure feature that allows you to have two computers connected, giving you a power of two even when you only hold one in your hand. As for me, I personally think it’s both cool and useful.

We all have our favorite browser. For example, I love using Firefox for my laptop – because it’s my first browser, and I just love it for some reason. However, I find out that I dislike using Firefox in my phone because somehow it makes my phone slower. So, I have to use Chrome on my Android.

My friend loves Chrome for his desktop, but on his iPhone, he can’t be bothered to install new browser other than Safari, because it works just fine.

It shouldn’t be a big deal, except sometimes you want to find a website that you have visited before and you can’t remember the name. Fortunately, you remember you have bookmarked it. Unfortunately, you’ve bookmarked it on your Firefox in desktop but currently you only have your phone with Chrome in hands.

You wish you can sync bookmarks across browsers then.

people-with-internet-browser-mockup

Thankfully, you really can sync bookmarks across browsers

Most browsers can sync bookmarks across devices, but not across browsers. Of course, they do this to encourage loyalty from their users to consistently use their product in whatever devices they use.

So, if you want to sync bookmarks across browsers, you can’t just head to settings and check or uncheck some options. You have two choices at this point: manually import the bookmarks or use third-party app, extension or add-on.

Manually import bookmarks

Everything with the word manual always seems tedious. However, don’t be intimidated. It’s not that hard. The most popular web browser will have this option in their menu, including Chrome, Firefox, and Safari.

In Chrome

  • Head to menu in the upper right corner and find Bookmark. Hover your cursor over the word to get extended menu, and click Import Bookmarks and Settings.
  • Dialogue box will open and you’ll get option to choose from what browser you want to import the bookmarks. Choose the browser and select which type of bookmark item you want to import. Finally, click Import.
  • You’ll see the imported bookmark under folder Imported from (the chosen browser) at the bookmark bar.

In Firefox

  • Head to upper right corner and find icon for History, Bookmarks, and others. Click the icon.
  • Find Bookmark and click to expand the menu.
  • Find Show All Bookmarks and click. Dialogue box will open.
  • Find Import and Backup menu from toolbar. Click to expand.
  • Find Import from another browser and click.
  • Dialogue box will open, choose the browser you want to import from, click Next
  • Choose the type of item you want to import, then click Next again until Firefox finishes importing.

In Safari

  • Safari requires you to save the bookmark from other browser in HTML format first. Open the other browser and head to menu, then find Bookmark menu.
  • In Chrome, click Manage Bookmark, then a dialogue box will open, showing a list of bookmark you’ve made. In the upper right side of the list, you will find icon for Organize. Click to expand the menu and choose Export to HTML. Save the HTML file.
  • In Firefox, click Show All Bookmarks and dialogue box will open. Find Import and Backup menu from toolbar. Click to expand the menu and choose Export to HTML. Save the HTML file.
  • Now, in Safari, choose File from menu bar. In the drop-down menu, choose Import from > Bookmark HTML File. Locate the saved HTML file from the previous export, and then click Import.
  • Refresh Safari and the newly imported bookmark should appear under your URL address bar.

See? Importing bookmarks manually isn’t as complicated as it sounds (except if you’re using Safari, maybe). However, what makes it complicated is that it isn’t the same as syncing, because you need to frequently import the bookmarks whenever you make a new one.

For easier life, you’ll want to automate the synchronization, and you can do it with the second method: using third party app, extension or add-on.

Sync bookmarks using third-party app

If you want to your browsers to automatically update themselves whenever you put new bookmark on one of them, you can try using third-party app.

One of the most popular app for this is Xmarks, which according a lot of users, has the most complete feature for syncing bookmarks across browser. Unfortunately, the company that manage Xmarks, LastPass, decided to shut down the service last May 1, 2018 to focus on their core product, online password manager.

However, Xmarks is not the only third-party app. There are still plenty of option for us. Some of the recommended app are as follows:

Many Xmarks user chooses EverSync to replace Xmarks due to its simplicity and familiarity. Currently, EverSync support Firefox, Chrome, and Internet Explorer.

You can get EverSync from EverHelper website. You’ll be required to sign up for a free account, then you’ll get to download the app or extension installer.

During installation, you can choose your own preferences for the sync of the bookmarks, such as whether you want to merge current browser bookmarks with the other browser, or such. You will also get to choose whether to let the app sync automatically every 30 minutes or choose to do it whenever manually.

The downside of EverSync currently is that it doesn’t support Microsoft Edge yet. However, they may update it soon enough, so just watch out for this app.

Raindrop.io is another crowd favorite, with ability to sync from Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and Opera, and across OS and devices as well. Raindrop.io also has interesting features such as auto suggested tags, thematic collections, bulk operations and more. The tag made it easier for you to search for certain bookmarks, and you can also share your bookmarked page to public.

To get this interesting app, all you need to do is to head to raindrop.io, sign up for free plan, then download and install the app.

Just like EverSync, the downside of this app is that it doesn’t support Ms. Edge yet.

So, which do you think is easier? Manually sync the bookmarks or use help from third-party app? Using third-party app clearly seem less a hassle, but if you want to be thorough and keep all the bookmarks manually, now you know how to do it.