I have three favorite file hosting and syncing services right now. There is Dropbox, the service that I have been using for the longest, Microsoft's SkyDrive which I have also used for years, and Cubby, a service that was in private and then public beta for some time and is now about to go out of beta. You can read about my initial review of Cubby here and much what I have written back there is still true today. Since I do not want to paraphrase the whole article again, I'd like to mention just the best bits about Cubby that set the service apart from many comparable services.
When you sign up for a free Cubby account you get 5 Gigabyte of storage. That's better than Dropbox's 2 Gigabyte, but not as good as SkyDrive's 7 Gigabyte that new users get. It is somewhere in between and definitely a good start. Cubby just like Dropbox uses a referral system that you can make use of to increase your storage for free to up to 25 Gigabyte in total.
What sets Cubby apart on the client PC side of things is that it can sync any folder you want with the cloud. That's right, you are not limited to syncing files in a root folder which both Dropbox and SkyDrive limit you to. Even better, the service supports client to client syncing that bypasses the cloud entirely. This means that you can easily sync the 500 Gigabyte backup that you have with a backup server in your local network using Cubby. Sure, you can also use other means for that but if you are using Cubby anyway, why not use it for that as well.
LogMeIn, the company behind Cubby, is about to move the service out of beta. This brings along a couple of changes that I'd like to make you aware of. First of all, the free Cubby account remains free and you will keep the 5 Gigabyte of space and the extra space that you got during the beta. Free users get the same client-side encryption with AES 256-bit keys, access to desktop and mobile apps, unlimited versioning and private and public sharing.
There are however a couple of features that LogMeIn makes only available to Cubby Pro accounts. This includes DirectSync, the peer to peer syncing that I mentioned earlier, the newly introduced Cubby Locks which protects files with extra encryption. You basically protect them with a new password so that only users with the password can access them. Last but not least, pro users also get access to Level 2 support and unified account management and billing options.
How much does it cost? Cubby Pro will be available tfor $6.99 which not only gets you all the features mentioned, but also 100 Gigabyte of storage instead of the 5 Gigabyte that free account owners get.
LogMeIn is offering discounts right now. If you pay annually, you only have to pay $3.99 per month instead of the $6.99. How does that compare to Dropbox and SkyDrive? A Dropbox Pro account with 100 Gigabyte of space is available for $99 annually, which is more than double what Cubby's introductory offer costs. Even if you would pay full price, you would save $1.26 if you sign up for Cubby instead of Dropbox. 100 Gigabyte of extra SkyDrive space is available for $50 a year or $4.16 per month. Cubby beats that currently with the introductory offer, but not if prices go back to the $6.99 per month. How about Google drive to complete the list? 100 Gigabyte at Google costs you $4.99 per month. As it stands, Cubby's introductory offer is the cheapest of the bunch.
Exciting Cubby users will probably have the biggest issues with Directsync becoming a Pro service option only. Other than that I can't really see a lot of complaints in regards to the introduction of the Pro service.
Have you tried Cubby yet? If so, what is your opinion of the service?
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.