LogMeIn takes on Dropbox with ‘Cubby’ cloud storage
Cloud storage leader Dropbox may need serious competition ultimately. LogMeIn has announced the beta of its rival ‘Cubby’ service, featuring higher data limits, a P2P data sync feature and the promise of user-managed encryption keys.
Built on top of the company’s proprietary Gravity Data Service platform, Cubby offers some flexibility missing from Dropbox, starting with its more generous free storage allowance of 5GB; Dropbox gives users 2GB.
Users could also synch data in P2P fashion between computers without impinging on their data limit, although this does mean that at the least two of them need to be turned on whilst.
Usefully, the applying allows users to synchronise any folder to the Cubby cloud instead of having to avoid wasting files to a chosen folder containing pre-defined sub-folders, which permits it to work seamlessly as a cloud backup service.
Files saved into the designated folder or folders are sent to the cloud the moment they’re saved, with the user being given a helpful visual notification that that is happening. Users decide which files are synched to which devices to prevent expense and bloat; Android, iPad, iPhone, and Mac applications can be found.
As with Dropbox, the service allows sharing, including to individuals. The applying itself is modest to establish and use and is fit. During testing, Techworld experienced no crashes or freezes.
The looming issue for all such cloud storage and synch services – and the list of accessible services is growing rapidly – remains security. Where is the info being held, under which country’s data protection laws and who can see it under what circumstances?
Although not available within the Cubby beta, LogMeIn said it might offer users the power to hang their very own encryption keys (data is naturally encrypted when stored on Cubby servers) within the near future.
Elaborating on that, LogMeIn director or corporate communications, Craig VerColen offered this slightly ambiguous comment to Techworld:
“Currently data stored in Cubby is held inside the US. LogMeIn is EU safe harbor compliant, and has a wide base of consumers (both big and small) inside the EU – we do currently store data for a good number of our customers inside the EU,” he said.
“With reference to encryption laws, US users are allowed to carry encryption keys, and information encryption laws typically come into place when technology is exported. We observe related US export laws.”
Assuming the phrase “US export laws” (which restrict the export of encryption technology), users outside the usa would be fine. The keys to data are being generated beyond the united states and so aren’t being ‘exported’ as such.
The market question is how Google (said to be close to launching its own free service) and Microsoft (which has the relatively clunky SkyDrive) will react to a clutch of cloud storage services that seem to be matching and now beating both themselves and Dropbox when it comes to innovation.
Dropbox has had its sercurity issues, notably an account flaw last June that allowed some users to log into accounts using any password. This followed revelations that Dropbox employees could bypass the system’s file encryption if asked to take action by police, something that was stated within the service’s revised terms and stipulations.
Pricing for Cubby cloud storage beyond the 5GB has not been announced. The service is being offered on an invite-only basis in the course of the beta period.