Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Review: Cubby by LogMeIn, a very flexible cloud storage service

Update 13/11/2016: Cubby, the service described in this post, announced retirement for 16/11/2016. An interesting alternative I'm currently testing is Tresorit, which also includes end-to-end encryption. You can find a comparison with Cubby on their website; also, here is an in-depth review of Tresorit from Cloudwars.

There are lots of cloud storage services on the Internet; when interested to store their files in the cloud, usually people look for a service which offers lots of storage space for free (or cheap prices), is reliable, offers advanced sharing functions, or similar features.  I tried some of the most popular cloud storage services, and read reviews of others; I found them very useful, except for the following thing.
Usually, when you want to sync files between your computer and the cloud, you download and install a client to achieve this. When you install this program, it usually asks you where you want to keep the synchronized files, and you have to select a folder on your drive. This means that when you want to save a file in the cloud (for example to have a backup of it and/or synchronize with other computers or mobile devices) you have to put it in that folder. I find this annoying, because I want to store in the cloud some folders located in different places in my hard disks. Searching the Internet for a solution, I mainly found two alternatives:

  1. Use a "normal" cloud storage service with its client, and a utility (or the command line prompt) to set up symlinks to "cheat" with the client and make it believe that the file/folder you want to sync is in its own folder. There are some utilities and tutorials to do this listed here.
  2. Use Cubby by LogMeIn. This is the only cloud storage service I found that natively allows to choose what folders on your hard drive you want to synchronize. This is actually the service I use to store my files.
The Cubby client is available for Windows and Mac (and as an application for mobile iOS and Android devices), and once you have installed it, you can sync a folder with the cloud using the right-click menu or dragging the folder on the Cubby's window.

You can add any folder to the cloud using the context menu.
This service also has other typical features of other cloud storage services, like sharing and file versioning. Actually, the cloud space available for free amounts to 5 GB.