There are plenty of great alternatives to Dropbox, but none of them hardly match its ease of use, features, flexibility, and multi-platform support. Why would you ever need a new client to store your stuff when you have Google Drive or SkyDrive? We thought the same before getting our hands dirty with Cubby. After using it extensively for quite a while, we can safely bet that Dropbox has got another potential candidate giving it some serious competition.
Cubby is a new cloud syncing solution from the makers of LogMeIn that offers unlimited sync of data between PC to PC and 5 GB of cloud storage. It lets you sync any folder present anywhere in your PC without copying it to a central folder unlike Dropbox or Google Drive, which require you to dump all your stuff to a single centralised folder. These folders are called as “cubbies”. The cubbies will be synced to the cloud while they remain at the exact same location on your hard drive. You can later ofcourse retrieve them from the cloud, via a browser or any Android / iOS device.
This free Dropbox alternative is currently available for all major OS — Windows, Mac, Android and iOS.
- Unlimited Transfers between PC’s: This is something which everyone is going to love. Cubby offers unlimited peer to peer syncing between PC’s so that you will never have to worry about your cloud storage space if you are syncing data between two computers. Just install the cubby app on the PC you want to keep in sync and select the cubby you want to keep in sync in from your id.
- Sync any Folder: In Cubby, you no more have to keep all your stuff in a central location. You can just select any folder in your hard-drive and make it as a cubby. Ofcourse if you prefer the old school method, you can still add all your folders to a single Cubby and sync it.
- Excellent Security: Each cubby is encrypted with a high security key. Coming soon in the beta is the high security mode, which lets you take the ownership of your keys, which means even Cubby employees can not snoop your data. A killer feature for many privacy paranoids.
- More Storage: Unlike Dropbox, Clubby offers, 5 GB of storage right off the bat without having to enable any sort of cranky camera upload (which bugs the hell out of me each time I connect a device to my laptop). To top that for every friend who joins Cubby on your invitation, you will be getting 1 GB of additional storage. You can invite up to 5 friends, meaning a total of 10 GB storage with very little work.
Etcetera: Apart from the above features, Cubby also covers a few other features, such as Growl integration, file revision history, deleted file restore, easy sharing of files/folders between select people or public and live sync.
Dropbox lets you gain up to 16 GB , but you get only 500 MB per referral. And honestly, Dropbox has become a household word these days because of its popularity, so finding a pal clueless about Dropbox is quite a task 😀
Interface and Usage: Desktop, Web and Mobile
The client app for Windows was a download of just 4 MB, which was easily the smallest in size when you compare it with any major cloud storage service. You can use Cubby on any version of Windows with XP and above. The desktop client is pretty straight forward to use. It has quite negligible footprint and a clean interface.
There are two ways to make folders a cubby — you can either just drag a folder to the app interface or though right clicking a folder in explorer is an easier way. In our usage the app was quick to sync files to the cloud but PC to PC sync can be slightly slower initially due to peer to peer transfer.
If you want to use sync between PC’s you have to install Cubby application on the target PC and make sure both the host and the target PC’s are online.
The web interface is accessible at http//cubby.com. It is fairly simple and not so feature packed, at this point of time. Though it is the only way for you to restore deleted files and previous versions of a given file (just like Dropbox). Also you can invite friends to Cubby through the web interface.
The Web interface is very stripped down and lacking many features right now, like not being able to link any folder from your PC to the web interface to create a cubby. Something sorely missing was any sort of file viewer which is present in majority of the cloud storage services. A simple Photo Viewer and Document Viewer atleast would have done the job.
Please note that here is no way to rename a cubby once you’ve created it.
Lastly, we also checked the Android app for Cubby, which lets you view your cubbies, download and upload files. Strangely though, once again, there is no ability to create a cubby from your mobile device. You can select individual files for offline access to minimize your data costs.
The sync process is quick and files appear instantly on mobile. The developers deserve a pat on the back for creating a very clean and solid mobile app, which is in sync with the overall theme of Cubby. Cubby for Android is compatible with any device running Eclair (2.1) and above.
Play Store: Cubby for Android
Concluding — Great, Free Dropbox Alternative
Regardless of the cloud service you are using, you can safely pick Cubby for its innovative decentralized storage, unlimited PC to PC sync and decent mobile apps. If the high security mode is really implemented, it would be a fantastic concept of not letting even the service authorities themselves to sneak at your data, taking Cubby head and shoulders above Dropbox and any other major cloud storage player for that matter.
Cubby is a very good and free Dropbox alternative. It is currently in beta stage right now and you can head on to cubby.com now to request an invite and try it for yourself.