skype for backup As we amass more data daily on our computers, a quality backup plan becomes increasingly crucial. Backup programs have been in existence for years – some allow you to backup your computer files locally to an external hard disk or a portable drive, while others like Mozy and Carbonite are designed to help you save a backup of your important files and folders to an online web server.

The drawbacks associated with these methods are obvious. Hard disks and portable drives will not last forever and they also can get misplaced easily. If you are using an online backup service, the files will be inaccessible when your internet connection is down and the data would be lost permanently if the backup company goes out of business.

The other big problem is that not everyone feels very comfortable storing their private data online so they are vary of using any remote backup tool.

Turn Your Family Computers into a Personal Datacenter

Cucku is a new backup program cum web service that attempts to take the best parts of each form of backup. First, Cucku lets you easily backup your important files and folders to your own hard drive and to portable drives you own. Then, in a unique twist on traditional online backup services, Cucku lets you store an encrypted copy of your files on your friends’ and family member’s computers through the internet using Skype.

This gives you the best of both worlds – the accessibility of a backup on a local drive with the additional security of a remote backup, all the while letting you keep your data on computers of people you trust instead of a datacenter.

When you first run Cucku, you need to create a Cucku account and then select the file types (extensions) that you want to backup. You may also select specific folders, and then every file in the specified folders will be added to the backup queue.

cucku backup screen select files to backup

Cucku will then generate an initial backup of your computer, and will let you store this backup on to your hard drive or on a portable storage device such as a USB flash memory stick or you can burn a DVD with those files.

Uses Skype to Backup Files on other Computers

Finally, you can connect Cucku to Skype, and add a partner to store your backup. Every day, Cucku will back up your data to a local folder on then PC and then sends any new or changed files to your backup partner over Skype for offsite storage.

Since it can often take a long time to transfer your entire backup over the internet, Cucku allows you to dump the backup onto your friend’s computer through a portable drive if you wish. Later, only incremental updates will be transferred over the internet. You can also view individual files that have been backed up through Cucku, so if you accidently delete a file on your local PC, you can always restore it alone without having to restore the entire backup.

But Skype is shutting down extras?

Skype recently discontinued their Skype Extras program but Cucku service will continue to work as before since it only uses the Skype API to send files to a backup partner and the API will remain functional even after the Extras go out of service.

In the free version you can store backup files for one user and store you backup on one other computer running Skype. If you would like to store your backup on multiple computers or allow multiple people to store their backups on your computer, you can go for the Pro version.

Is it better than Dropbox or Windows Live Mesh?

Dropbox and Windows Live Mesh too provide online backup but these are primarily synchronization services also let you copy files across multiple computers so they are all in sync with each other (like your home and office computer).

Cucku is different. When you use Cucku to store your files on a friend’s computer over Skype, he or she won’t be able to read the contents of your files as they are in encrypted form. Another advantage with Cucku is that you can transfer unlimited amount to data to another computer while services like Dropbox have a certain limit for free accounts.

With Cucku, your friends and family members can help each other out with offsite backups without having to rely on an external backup service. The only condition for anyone to become part of this inner circle is that that they should be running Windows.