LogMeIn Prepares To Take On Dropbox & Box With Launch Of Cloud Storage Service Cubby

LogMeIn, the company known best for its remote access tools, is today launching its own cloud storage service, as an alternative to those from Dropbox or Box, for example. With “Cubby,” as it’s called, users can share files across Macs, PCs, iPads, iPhones, or Android devices.

The difference between some of the other cloud offerings and the new service is how it works: instead of having to copy files over to a different folder, Cubby lets you keep your existing file structure, allowing you to “cloud-enable” the folders you want synced.

In addition – and this may be one of Cubby’s better selling points – all peer-to-peer syncing is free. That is, it doesn’t count against the service’s storage limits (currently 5 GB during beta, with more options to come in the public release). So if you just want your files to be available across all your devices, without saving an extra copy in the cloud, that costs nothing. It sounds sort of like a cross-platform iCloud.

Actually, scratch that. Since iCloud doesn’t require you install a separate app to access your synced files, Cubby actually sounds more like Microsoft’s Live Mesh, an innovative file-syncing service that sadly (though not surprisingly) never went anywhere.

For those needing more control over the syncing, Cubby also lets you configure which files or folders are synced where. So, for instance, if you don’t want some of your personal files showing up on your work computer, you can stop that from happening, while still having them show up on your mobile phone.

Folders can also be shared with friends, as is typical.

Mobile support is enabled through apps available now in the iTunes and Android app stores.

Meanwhile, for desktop users, there’s a downloadable client app to install. To “cloud-enable” a particular folder, you have to load the app then browse to select the folder, or drag-and-drop the folder over. An option that makes Cubby available from the right-click menu was also recently added, but is only available in Windows for now.

There’s also a default “My Cubby” folder available, for people who prefer a more Dropbox-like experience, and don’t care about file structure.

As for how the technology actually stacks up in terms of ease-of-use, design, stability, etc., it’s too soon to say. The beta only became available this morning for testing, so it needs more hands-on time before we could give it a “yea” or “nay.” But even if LogMeIn had built something great, Box, Dropbox and even Google Docs, are much further ahead in terms of user adoption, brand awareness and making an inroad in the enterprise market.

LogMeIn, however, has a good-sized business user base to market Cubby to, given its other product offerings, which include tools for remote support, remote access, and remote administration. That at least gives it a fighting chance, more so than some early stage startup trying to take on more established leaders.

The company also points out that it built Cubby on top of its own cloud, not AWS, which it claims gives it cost advantages and security benefits.

Sign-ups for Cubby are now being accepted here on the company homepage. The beta is free, and LogMeIn has not yet set pricing for the public release.