Cubby, Excellent Dropbox Alternative With P2P Syncing

Martin Brinkmann
Apr 23, 2012
Updated • Dec 11, 2012

If you are not a fan of hosting your files in the cloud, a service that the majority of file synchronization services offer at this point in time, you may be interested in Cubby, a new contender by the developers of Log Me In. Cubby is currently in beta phase, and it can take some time before you get your invite. I just received my invite yesterday after signing up the day it was announced.

Cubby at its core gives its users 5 Gigabytes of online storage for free. Users can use the online space to synchronize local files with the cloud and among multiple devices. While not coming close to SkyDrive's 25 Gigabytes, it is 3 Gigabytes more than Dropbox offers, and likely the same amount that Google Drive will launch with.


Setup is a breeze and should not take longer than a minute tops. When you start the Cubby client locally for the first time, you are asked to create an account. The account email is filled out automatically, so that you only need to enter an account password to complete the setup. These log in information are then later used to access the contents on local systems, and in the cloud if the files are synchronized with it as well.

cubby file synchronization

Cubby offers two features that Dropbox is currently not offering. First the ability to synchronize directly with other computer systems that run the software. If that option is selected, the cloud is bypassed and files are synchronized directly between devices. For this to happen, the computers need to be online at the same time, as there is otherwise no option to transfer files between them. Users who want to sync files between devices that are sometimes - or even all of the time - not simultaneously online can use the cloud feature to "park" files and folders in the cloud before they are synchronized with other devices.

Probably even bigger than that is the option to select all kinds of folders on a system for synchronization. This is unlike Dropbox where all files and folders need to be placed inside a root sharing folder. Having multiple folders configured in the program enables customized synchronization options, as you can select the devices that you want to sync the folder with for each folder individually.

This way you can select a folder that you want to sync with the cloud and all devices, and folders that you only want synchronized between select devices. It does not get better in terms of flexibility. One example: You can configure your work PC to sync documents with your laptop automatically, but not your home PC. Your home PC could sync a mp3 folder with your Android phone to always have the latest music available on the phone.

Cubby users can invite others to stay in sync with a select folder. This works similar to Dropbox's shared folder feature. There is also the option to make a folder available for the public. This basically has the consequence that anyone with the right link can access that folder, and requires the folder to be synced with the cloud.

Web Interface

You can log into the Cubby website with the same login credentials that you have selected during setup. All files and folders that you are syncing with the cloud are listed here, with options to upload new files or folders directly from within the web interface.  Files can be downloaded, but not deleted or modified. Deleted files can however be displayed in the web interface.


System Requirements

The developers of Cubby at this point in time are making available desktop clients for both Windows and Macintosh, and mobile clients for Android and iOS. There are no clients for Linux, nor Windows Phone, Blackberry or other devices. It is however still possible to access the files on the Cubby website.

Closing Words

Cubby at the time of writing has a number of advantages over Dropbox. First the ability to sync data directly between devices bypassing the cloud, then the ability to select any folder on the system for synchronization, and third 5 Gigabyte of online storage instead of the 2 Gigabyte that Dropbox offers.

Dropbox on the other hand offers a Linux client, and a client for BlackBerry devices that Cubby does not offer. It is also making use of a referral system to increase the initial 2 Gigabytes without having to pay for it.


Tutorials & Tips

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  1. ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    Doesn’t Windows 8 know that www. or http:// are passe ?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on August 4, 2012 at 7:57 pm

      Well it is a bit difficulty to distinguish between domains and files for instance.

    2. Leonidas Burton said on September 4, 2023 at 4:51 am

      I know a service made by google that is similar to Google bookmarks.

  2. VioletMoon said on August 16, 2023 at 5:26 pm

    @Ashwin–Thankful you delighted my comment; who knows how many “gamers” would have disagreed!

  3. Karl said on August 17, 2023 at 10:36 pm


    The comments section under this very article (3 comments) is identical to the comments section found under the following article:

    Not sure what the issue is, but have seen this issue under some other articles recently but did not report it back then.

  4. Anonymous said on August 25, 2023 at 11:44 am

    Omg a badge!!!
    Some tangible reward lmao.

    It sucks that redditors are going to love the fuck out of it too.

  5. Scroogled said on August 25, 2023 at 10:57 pm

    With the cloud, there is no such thing as unlimited storage or privacy. Stop relying on these tech scums. Purchase your own hardware and develop your own solutions.

    1. lollmaoeven said on August 27, 2023 at 6:24 am

      This is a certified reddit cringe moment. Hilarious how the article’s author tries to dress it up like it’s anything more than a png for doing the reddit corporation’s moderation work for free (or for bribes from companies and political groups)

  6. El Duderino said on August 25, 2023 at 11:14 pm

    Almost al unlmited services have a real limit.

    And this comment is written on the dropbox article from August 25, 2023.

  7. John G. said on August 26, 2023 at 1:29 am

    First comment > @ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    For the God’s sake, fix the comments soon please! :[

  8. Kalmly said on August 26, 2023 at 4:42 pm

    Yes. Please. Fix the comments.

  9. Kim Schmidt said on September 3, 2023 at 3:42 pm

    With Google Chrome, it’s only been 1,500 for some time now.

    Anyone who wants to force me in such a way into buying something that I can get elsewhere for free will certainly never see a single dime from my side. I don’t even know how stupid their marketing department is to impose these limits on users instead of offering a valuable product to the paying faction. But they don’t. Even if you pay, you get something that is also available for free elsewhere.

    The algorithm has also become less and less savvy in terms of e.g. English/German translations. It used to be that the bot could sort of sense what you were trying to say and put it into different colloquialisms, which was even fun because it was like, “I know what you’re trying to say here, how about…” Now it’s in parts too stupid to translate the simplest sentences correctly, and the suggestions it makes are at times as moronic as those made by Google Translations.

    If this is a deep-learning AI that learns from users’ translations and the phrases they choose most often – which, by the way, is a valuable, moneys worthwhile contribution of every free user to this project: They invest their time and texts, thereby providing the necessary data for the AI to do the thing as nicely as they brag about it in the first place – alas, the more unprofessional users discovered the translator, the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, the greater the aggregate of linguistically illiterate users has become, and the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, as it now learns the drivel of every Tom, Dick and Harry out there, which is why I now get their Mickey Mouse language as suggestions: the inane language of people who can barely spell the alphabet, it seems.

    And as a thank you for our time and effort in helping them and their AI learn, they’ve lowered the limit from what was once 5,000 to now 1,500…? A big “fuck off” from here for that! Not a brass farthing from me for this attitude and behaviour, not in a hundred years.

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