- What is a Cubbit Cell?
- What do you get with the Cubbit Cell?
- Cubbit Cell – Unboxing & Overview Video
- Cubbit Cell – Design and Build Quality
- Cubbit Data Storage Technology
- Cubbit – Zero Knowledge Architecture.
- Cubbit Cell Technical Specifications & Key Features.
- Cubbit Cell – Sign Up and App Features
- Cubbit Cell Vs Traditional Cloud Storage Options
- Troubleshoot Basic Issues – Support Experience
- Our Experience with Cubbit Cell
In this digital era, most of us use personal cloud services like Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, Dropbox, etc. to store and access the files on the go, some use paid plans, some use free, but there are certain concerns with such options, According to brand’s website, they are better file encryption, high costs, Environment friendly, and it seems Cubbit has a solution to these concerns.
Cubbit Cell is a storage device that forms a Swarm of connected cells [distributed cloud] to store our data securely while providing a high level of data accessibility.
What do you get with the Cubbit Cell?
As the brand Cubbit, is quite concerned about the environment they have made sure to use minimal and efficient packaging materials to ship cubbit cells, in the box pack you just get the following:
- Cubbit Cell 1TB
- Power Adaptor
- RJ45 LAN cable
You don’t get a user manual, warranty card, and other tons of paperwork, instead, you are asked to visit the Cubbit website to check out the reference product documentation.
Cubbit Cell – Unboxing & Overview Video
Cubbit Cell – Design and Build Quality
In terms of design, the Cubit Cell looks unique and has a Hexagon shape, to the top we have the Cubbit Logo, which glows when it is connected to the power source, to the bottom side, the Cell’s serial number is given and there are many small holes, that allow good ventilation for the mechanical hard disk [HDD] and the circuit board inside.
To the sides, we have the ports, on the right side we have a USB 3.0 Port and a LAN Port, in which we need to connect the RJ45 cable from our Wi-Fi router to the port in Cubbit cell, to the left we have the power port.
Overall the build quality seems to be average, as when we tried to open the Cell, the plastic build seemed to be fragile and not well-built, but again as this cell will be sitting in a corner like Wi-Fi Router, the build does not matter much, but still, we feel the plastic could have been a bit better.
We opened up the Cubbit cell to check out what’s inside, and we saw the Cell Uses a Mechanical hard drive [HDD], Instead of an SSD drive, which is the modern storage standard.
We reached out the Cubbit support to know the reason behind the same, and, got to know that, HDD is better for write operations, plus it keeps the cost down, but as our data is synced on to the swarm [Distributed Cloud] and by if any chance the HDD goes bad or gets corrupted, our data is still safe and secure.
Cubbit Data Storage Technology
This is something, We were quite excited about, the Storage technology used by Cubbit. Here there are three players that get involved in the storage of files.
- User: As the name says, this is the end user, the one who is having a Cubbit cell connected to the internet and can store and access the file from the Local network or via the Web Portal.
- Swarm: This is a collection of the Cubbit Cells of end users, which form a distributed P2P [Peer 2 Peer] network of storage cells, where the data is stored.
- Coordinator: This is a Suite of Machine Learning [ML] Algorithms, that optimizes the payload distribution on the network, while taking care of the Security and metadata.
Cubbit – Zero Knowledge Architecture.
Cubbit Can’t Access our Files, this sounds too good to be true, right?
This is actually true, and this is possible with the Zero-Knowledge Architecture, now you would wonder what does this mean right?
In simple terms, the Zero Knowledge is explained below
- Each file uploaded to Cubbit is encrypted with the most advanced AES-256 algorithms and then split into dozens of chunks.
- These chunks are then distributed across the 3,000+ cells worldwide, using end-to-end, zero knowledge encryption channels.
- The Users’ files are not stored in a single Cell, they are spread in the Cubbit Network and are still private, as the data chunks being spread across so many cells, the data stored data is not any more vulnerable.
The Client [Cubbit Cell] generates a new AES 256 key and uses it to encrypt the file, this allows the users to sign in and retrieve their keys from any device, this “file key” is stored on the Coordinator in an encrypted form, using a master key that is derived by the user’s password. This “zero-knowledge” scheme ensures that no third party, not even the Coordinator, can access the user’s data and keys.
The encrypted file is split into N chunks and then processed into K additional redundancy shards through Reed Solomon error-correcting codes. This procedure allows the retrieval of the payload even if individual cells go offline, as long as you can reach any set of N cells, Also the coordinator spreads the chunks as far as possible, while also minimizing network latency and other factors (bandwidth usage, storage optimization, etc.).
The file chunks are distributed over the swarm of cells, Just in case you are wondering, are files stored on other user cells? No, the files are not stored in the Cells of another user. Rather, they are encrypted and fragmented in several redundant chunks. Each of these chunks is then saved on someone else’s Cubbit Cell. Basically, Many Cells host a small Encrypted piece of your files, but you alone [Your Cell] can only Re-construct the fragmented pieces of your files together.
The data redundancy procedure is based on the Reed Solomon algorithm, where the encrypted files split into 24 parts, of which we create 12 redundancy shards (for a total of 36). This redundancy procedure guarantees the uptime of distributed storage, allowing the owner to retrieve the original file from any set of 24 out of 36 shards
Cubbit Cell Technical Specifications & Key Features.
Talking about Technical Specifications, the Cubbit Cell comes with:
- A Dual Core ARM Cortex A53 Processor
- A USB 3.0 Port
- 1 GB DDR4 Ram
- 1 Gigabit Ethernet Port
Some key Features of the Cubbit Cell are as follows:
- Free For Life – Pay One Use Forever
- Privacy By Design
- Expandable Up to 4 TB – [Feature Coming Soon]
- Multiple Users [1 Cell = 4 Users] – [Feature Coming Soon]
- Disaster Proof
Cubbit Cell – Sign Up and App Features
The Sign-up process is quite easy, Just navigate to the Sign-up page and Click on Sign up, enter your details and make sure to set a Strong Password, as this will be the Master Key [Password] to access the Web Portal, after setting up the password you get to see a randomly generated Passphrase, which will be helpful just in case you forget your password, as this passphrase will be required for setting up the new password, make sure to have this at a safe place where it is reachable.
After the Sign-up, We Log in the Web Portal and here we can download the desktop app for our operating systems, after the app is installed, we need to claim our Cell, as seen in the above screenshots, we can do the same within the app, via two ways, one by connecting the Cell to our Wi-Fi Router and let the App find it, and you can claim the cell, or you can enter the Cell’s IP address that can be found on the bottom of the cell.
Once, the Cell is claimed, you can see the 1 TB storage shown on the App, The app generally runs in the background so that It can sync the files that have uploaded to the Web portal on the Cubbit Folder on our PCs, We have uploaded a lot of files on the cell and the data sync is fast most of the time, but still the same needs some improvement and guess Cubbit is working on the same to make it even better.
You can see the app in the taskbar, and it shows the available Storage, C02 Saved, File Transfer Status and notifications regarding the Uploads, etc.
Like traditional Cloud Storage, we can also share the file links with others to view as a Public or share a private link which can be only accessed via a Password or share the file with specific people via entering their email IDs [Family members, Colleagues, etc.]
Currently, we don’t have a feature to see all our files stored in the Cloud on our Desktop App, like with other Cloud Providers, we need to log in to the Website to see the files uploaded to the Cubbit cell, We would like to see the instances of the Files in the desktop app and when we click on them, it should get downloaded to our local PC.
Cubbit Cell Vs Traditional Cloud Storage Options
The above image shows the Difference between the Cubbit Versus the Traditional personal Storage options available for the general users, and we can clearly see that the Cubbit has an edge over other storage options.
Troubleshoot Basic Issues – Support Experience
While setting up the Cell, We were only able to see 100GB of data on our app, and then we checked the FAQ on the Cubbit Website, and this seemed to be a common issue, We were asked to raise a support ticket and the query was answered and resolved within 4-5 hours. We also had few follow-up questions and the support was quick and shared detailed answers.
First, the Support asked to do basic troubleshooting, by checking the Power cable, LAN Cable, Internet Connectivity, etc., and then as the basic troubleshooting did not work, we were asked to open up the Cell and check the SATA Cable connected to the Mechanical Hard Disk and, as suspected the cable was partially connected, this could have been due to the excess space inside the Cell for ventilation, the cable could have been loosened during the shipping transit.
Our Experience with Cubbit Cell
We always like to try out Unique tech and Cubbit cell is no exception, this definitely is the future of secured personal cloud storage, and we would recommend this to anyone who stores a lot of files in storage devices or cloud services [Almost everyone in this digital era] and expects better privacy and data safety.