Two years ago, I was briefed on one of the more interesting ideas to come along in a while in consumer backup: Cucku Backup. Instead of sending your backups to a hosted cloud like Mozy or Carbonite, it distributed it to the PCs or one or two “trusted” friends. (Even tough the parties were trusted, the backups were still encrypted.)
Cucku certainly had its issues. For example, like most online backup solutions, it took a while for your first backup if you were doing it completely online. Cucku was also distributed as a Skype Extra, something that the company claimed was an effective means of distribution, but which I always felt was somewhat of a barrier to adoption.
Unfortunately for Cucku, it became a critical barrier to adoption when Skype cancelled its Skype Extras program last month. While there was a fair bit of grousing about the suddenness of this decision, other developers were able to carry on in the face of it.
And perhaps Cucku could have as well, but, as the company frankly explains on its site, it failed to get a critical patent used in a claim against it invalidated. So, unfortunately, Cucku Backup is no more, and the company can’t even recommend a “social backup” alternative. Of course, there are other solid, free backup programs available such as the ones built into Windows 7 and Time Machine, as well as Windows programs that are free for personal use from Paragon Software and Comodo.Security Solutions.