Cloud

How to maximize Cubby cloud storage without its desktop app

See how well the Cubby cloud storage/sync service functions without the desktop client.

Image: Jack Wallen

Cubby, launched in 2012 by LogMeIn, allows you to easily sync files to and from a cloud account or your device and share those folders/folders (via link) to others.

With a free Cubby account, you get a respectable 5 GB of space. You can upgrade your account to Pro for $3.99/month* for a single user and 100 GB of space or Enterprise for $39.99/month for five users and 1 TB of space. (* The Pro's $3.99/month is an introductory price for the first year; after that, the price increases to $6.99/month.)

The Cubby system includes the following pieces:
  • a cloud account
  • a mobile app
  • a desktop app

The desktop app pretty much does the same thing as the mobile app. The biggest difference between the desktop and mobile apps is that the desktop app enables an exciting feature: peer-to-peer syncing. When you add to that the ability to quickly drag and drop a file from your file manager and, with a right-click turn a folder into a cubby, the Cubby desktop app becomes a must have.

But is it? As a Linux user, I don't have the luxury of working with the desktop client (it fails when you attempt to install it with Wine, so it's a complete no-go).

The Cubby mobile app is available for Android and iOS. I'll demonstrate the installation and use on a Verizon-branded Nexus 6 Android smartphone, and show how to get the most out of it when the Cubby desktop app is neither available nor wanted.

SEE: Cloud Data Storage Policy (Tech Pro Research)

Installing the Cubby mobile app

Warning: Screenshots cannot be taken from the Cubby app.

  1. Open the Google Play Store on your Android device.
  2. Search for cubby.
  3. Locate and tap the entry by LogMeIn.
  4. Tap Install.
  5. Read the permissions listing (if applicable).
  6. Tap Accept.
  7. Allow the installation to complete.

Using the Cubby mobile app

You'll find the app in your App Drawer, or on your home screen, or in both spots; tap the launcher to fire it up. Once it's open, swipe through the welcome screen to reach the account creation/login screen. If you've already created an account on the Cubby website, tap the log in link. If you haven't created a Cubby account, enter the details in the Sign Up page and tap Create Account.

After you log into Cubby, you'll be in the main window, where you can:

  • Create cubbies
  • Upload files
  • Create share links
  • Save files to local storage
  • Delete files
  • Search your cubbies

Oddly enough, one thing you cannot do with Cubby is move files within either the mobile app or the web version. In order to move a file, you have to download the file, delete the file from your Cubby cloud, change into the new location for the file, and upload the file.

With the desktop app, you can drag and drop a file from the file manager into a cubby. Guess what? You can do that with the web version of Cubby as well; however, some file managers don't support this feature. For example, the default file manager in Elementary OS Freya doesn't support drag and drop into the Cubby browser (though it does support this same action in Google Drive). The Ubuntu file manager supports this feature. Naturally, the Windows and Mac file managers support drag and drop into a browser.

The glaring hole

I would love to say that you can be perfectly content with using Cubby sans the desktop client, but by circumventing that software, you'll be missing out on Cubby's best feature: peer-to-peer file syncing. This feature renders storage limits pointless by allowing you to sync files between all desktop clients associated with your account. By syncing peer-to-peer, you are not cutting into your cloud storage space, while gaining the benefits of "cloud" storage.

The peer-to-peer option doesn't work between mobile apps, so without the desktop version, you'll be missing out on this outstanding feature.

Is Cubby better than the competition?

This is a challenging question to answer. Cubby is nice to have, even if only for the extra cloud space, though if I'm deciding between Cubby and Google Drive, I'm going to select Drive every time. Also, because Cubby doesn't offer the ability to easily move files around your file structure, it can be cumbersome.

Cubby is a nice addition to the cloud options. If you're okay with working between Cubby's mobile app and web version, and not getting the peer-to-peer syncing option, you won't miss having the desktop client.

The bottom line

Even without the peer-to-peer syncing, Cubby is a solid method of getting files to yet another cloud.

If you're a Windows or Mac user, you'll appreciate how LogMeIn has taken cloud sync to the next level with peer-to-peer syncing. If you're a Linux user or strictly a mobile user, Cubby is just another cloud sync tool in a wash of many.

Also see

About Jack Wallen

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen.com.

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