Cubby is the cloud storage and collaboration platform from LogMeIn.
The Boston-based company made a name for itself providing remote access and IT remote management services, so while it’s no stranger to software as a service, this is the company’s first major foray into cloud storage. And LogMeIn is making big promises around its unique features, collaboration potential, and vaunted security.
So how good is it really? Check out our full review below and find out if this is the cloud service for you.
- Sync any folder on your computer
- Clean and easy to use UIs
- Keep and restore unlimited file versions
- 256-bit AES encryption at rest and in transit
- CubbyLocks offer additional privacy
- Great upload and download speeds
- Sync unlimited offline files and folders between devices with DirectSync
- Great mobile apps
- DirectSync and CubbyLocks only available with paid plans
- Limited sharing options and syncing configurations
- Version restore only available on web
- No web-based editing
- Very expensive pricing model
- Phone support only available on Pro subscription
Cubby is a fantastic service to use, offering a great user experience, well-crafted UIs, a compelling security platform, and even some incredible unique features like DirectSync and Cubby Locks. Unfortunately, its individual plans lack sharing customization and only offer its best features behind an incredibly expensive pricing model. If you’re wanting to use Cubby as a team, I recommend the better priced and more feature complete Enterprise tier. For individuals, Cubby offers a capable and compelling package, as long as you’re okay with a heavy premium.
Cubbies are folders locally stored folders that sync up to the cloud and across your devices. Like many cloud storage services, the software will install an initial “My Cubby” folder on your computer. Any files added to it, changes made within it, or files deleted from it will be synced to the cloud automatically.
Unlike other cloud services, Cubby lets you select any folder on your computer to become a cloud syncing Cubby. Once you do, the folder will be uploaded to the cloud and can be synced down to any other computers as well. The only unfortunate exception is that network drives and FTPs are not supported.
Managing your Cubbies is a snap thanks to their excellent software. Folders can be set up as syncing “Cubbies” in the normal ways, but also by dragging the folder into the software. The folder’s location doesn’t change, but instead the software just designates that folder for syncing.
One of the best features of Cubby is DirectSync. When you switch the cloud icon to “Off” on a given Cubby, it will turn off cloud syncing, delete the files from their servers, yet will continue to sync the files directly from device to device.
DirectSync-enabled Cubbies will not be able to be accessed via the web or mobile apps, and cannot be shared with web-accessed links. However, you can DirectSync an unlimited amount of folders and files from device to device, because they will not count against your cloud storage totals.
When the Cubby software is installed on a secondary device, your existing Cubbies will be displayed for potential cross-device syncing. If you select one, you can choose where the synced folder will go.
Unfortunately, while the software is simple to use, it does also lack backend configuration options. You can set a manual proxy, but there’s no way to set up a sync schedule or bandwidth limits.
The Cubby desktop software is available for Windows, and MacOSX computers.
Sharing and Collaboration
Cubby offers two sharing options, public links and collaborative invites. Public links are created for individual files or full Cubbies but are offered only as a read-only web view. However, your receiver does not need a Cubby account to access the shared files.
Those with a Cubby account can be sent full-edit collaborative links. Once accepted through the web portal, the shared Cubbies show up in the invitee’s web and desktop dashboards, ready to be synced.
DirectSync-enabled Cubbies are shareable, but only as Collaborative Invites. The Cubby is still not shared with the cloud, but it is synced within a secured tunnel between your device and the receiver. If either device is offline, sync will not occur.
Unfortunately, sharing is pretty limited with Cubby. Links are only ever read-only and invites are only ever full-edit. There’s also no sign of link passwords or download limits.
The “Enterprise” package offers more administrative controls over the individual team members, like the ability to create Cubbies, share links, re-share links, and share outside of a given domain. These are mostly Enterprise concerns, but it would have been nice to see some of these controls come to the individual Pro subscription.
Cubby’s web interface acts as a top-level view on your account. The web view does offer many of the same options as the desktop software, like viewing, managing, and sharing your Cubbies. You can even upload a brand new Cubby to the cloud from the web client.
Unfortunately, you can’t tell that shiny new Cubby where to sync. Only the desktop software controls whether a Cubby syncs or doesn’t sync to a given device. That said, you can disable cloud syncing from the web view, which will enable DirectSync mode.
Once again, the web view is a simple but good looking top-level view. There’s also no web-based editing or multimedia options, just a very simple photo browser.
Cubby’s web UI has a couple advantages over the desktop interface, and one of them is the ability to manage and restore file versions. Cubby will keep and allow you to restore an unlimited amount of versions of your files, which is really impressive. However, restoration can only be done through the web interface.
The other advantage is Cubby’s other coolest feature, Cubby Locks. This feature further locks the encryption key on the server to your user password. This essentially means that nobody, not even employees and 3rd parties with physical access to the server, will be able to access the files without your user password.
Once enabled, you can check a “lock” box, enter your password, and then Cubby will create RSA keys based on the entered user password and it’ll be locked until you disable it.
Locked Cubbies cannot be shared using public links, but they can still be shared as invites, and they’ll still sync like a normal Cubby. However, every time you access the Cubby, it’ll ask for a password. When a shared user accesses the Cubby, it’ll ask for their password.
Cubby’s mobile apps for iOS and Android are beautifully designed and surprisingly full featured. The standard features are there, like uploading, downloading, and managing your files.
But I liked that files can be saved for offline use, a feature that is thankfully becoming more standardized.
I also liked that you get the same top-level view of link management and device syncing as the web client.
All the standard sharing options are there, as limited as they are elsewhere. Both public links and collaborative invites are available.
The iOS client handles multimedia with native photo, document, and music players. However, it looks like the Android app actually offers its own photo viewer and music player, which is a good idea considering the amount of variation within Android.
Finally, I liked that the apps offer a way to search for files within your Cubbies, something I feel gets unfortunately neglected most of the time.
While Cubby isn’t the fastest service I’ve seen, it’s certainly capable of hitting the performance maximums for my test ISP on both upload and download. Once again, my test ISP is rated at 50 Mbps download and 5 Mbps upload, but it does spike to some higher maximums at times.
|Average Upload Speed||6.17 Mbps|
|Maximum Upload Speed||8.91 Mbps|
|Average Download Speed||53.5 Mbps|
|Maximum Download Speed||93.0 Mbps|
The software was lean enough in my usage. CPU usage was minimal and RAM usage only got up to 15 MB during syncing.
Also of note, when file changes are synced, Cubby appears to re-sync the entire file, rather than individual bits. That can lead to an overall slower sync experience and higher data usage.
Cubby files are encrypted both on the server and in transit with 256-bit level AES and SSL encryption, although all keys are stored on the server. Two Factor Authentication is also available, but not enabled by default.
DirectSync offers an interesting level of privacy for those who want syncing and sharing capabilities, but are distrustful about the cloud. DirectSync Cubbies link from your synced computers and the computers of those you share them with through a secured tunnel, and appear to have no interaction between devices.
Cubby Locks offers an additional layer of privacy. Each individual Cubby has its own encryption key stored on the server that the company calls a CDK. When a Cubby is locked, the CDK is further locked with a 2048-bit asymmetric RSA key pair that can only be unlocked with the user’s password. Theoretically, this means that employees and 3rd parties with physical access to the datacenter cannot access your data. However, it should be noted that this is not a no-knowledge system. All keys are still kept on the server and there is still interaction between the server and the user’s password, which some may argue will leave some holes.
The above admission can be found within their security whitepaper, likely a result of having servers all over the world, including the U.S. While Cubby’s security is likely good enough for the vast majority of users, those who want absolute privacy, even from the prying eyes of the NSA, may not be fully satisfied.
Cubby offers 5 GB of storage for free and offers 1 GB bonuses when you refer a friend to the service. However, their paid pro service offers a few huge features you don’t get with the free service.
- DirectSync – Sync unlimited non-cloud folders and files between devices only
- Cubby Locks – enables user-held encryption keys
- Remote device wipe
Should you choose to pay for the Pro subscription, you’ll be paying in 100 GB buckets for $3.99 / month for the first year and $6.99 for each month afterwards. If you take that to the fairly standard storage bucket of 1 TB, you’d be paying an astonishing $838 per year.
Note that Cubby actually offers storage in every 100 GB chunk from 100 GB to 2.5 TB, but the above graph shows a truncated view. Each tier is priced out at $6.99 per 100 GB.
The Enterprise tier is a bit better priced, offering 1 TB to share between up to 5 users for $39.99 / month. You can add additional groups of 5 users and 1 TB all the way up to 1000 users sharing 200 TB for $7,998 / month.
In addition to the Pro features, the Enterprise tiers also include activity logs, policy management, MSI deployment, and Domain-based administration. Interestingly enough, this higher end tier is actually a cheaper way of getting 1 TB than the single-user Pro version. You can consider that technically each user is liable for 200 GB, but the Enterprise tier’s storage is a bucket, rather than rationed storage.
Cubby offers a Knowledgebase and Forum at its Help Center. On the right side of the Help Center is a link for e-mailing support. But unfortunately, only Pro and Enterprise users get call center support at 1-866-478-1805. Users outside the U.S. can find their call center numbers here.
|Average Upload Speed||6.17 Mbps (5 Mbps connection)|
|Average Download Speed||53.5 Mbps (50 Mbps connection)|
|Free Online Storage||5 GB|
|Mobile Apps||Android, iOS|
|Keep Deleted Files||Forever|
|Back Up to Local Drive|
Sync and Share Features
|Public File Sharing|
|Data Center Location(s)||United States|