Today, CUCKU updated its software to version 2.0, marking the first release of a paid-for version of its Social Backup product.
As first I wrote about the product when the software was initially released about a year ago, CUCKU is software whose time has come, as more and more people are becoming interconnected over the Internet, specifically family members and friends who have come to rely on each other as support mechanisms for resolving their computing issues.
CUCKU takes this mutual support mechanism a step further, by allowing friends and family computers over the Internet to actually back up files over peer-to-peer connections using Skype's private VOIP network. This greatly reduces the cost and dependency on Internet-based backup hosting services such as Carbonite, particularly if you have more than one system to back up.
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As with the initial release of the product, the free version of CUCKU allows a single computer to be a backup "Partner" with another computer, as long as they have the free Skype client running in the background. The partners only need to be connected to the Internet in order for the software to work.Version 2.0 introduces the ability for the free software to be upgraded to a "Pro" version, for $49.95 which permits a client to have up to 5 backup partners and permits the installation of the Pro license to be enabled on 3 PCs simultaneously. What this allows you to do is set up a PC with a large external hard disk, and have multiple incoming and outgoing Cucku partnerships, effectively creating your own distributed "Web" of backup targets on the Internet.
For example, this is ideal for families with who have several children in college, where the PC at home is the "mothership" which contains the backups for the remote students. If Junior accidentally crashes his hard drive away at school and needs a copy of his graduate thesis that he's been working on for several months, no problem -- he can get it from dad's PC at home, because CUCKU runs transparently in the background. Conversely, grandpa who sometimes gets forgetful and deleted his fantasy football Excel spreadsheet by accident can retrieve his data from their grandson's hard disk at school, his son the accountant 300 miles away, or from their friend's PC who they socialize with at the Senior Center, depending on who's system is online at any time.
With version 2.0, Cucku backup sets stored on partner external hard disks can be copied or directly imported/exported into another system running Cucku using a local USB connection, if a large volume of data needs to be restored or backed up quickly rather than over the Internet or over the LAN. Cucku 2.0 also allows old data to be purged from the backup set if the information is out of date or no longer needed, in order to conserve space.
Version 2.0 Pro also provides a Command Line backup facility which permits Cucku to run in a "Headless" mode.
While Cucku currently requires Skype as the backup transport mechanism., the company is working on libjingle support so that Google's transport network can be embedded into future versions of the product.
At the moment, as the product is Microsoft .NET 2.0 framework based, the software is limited to Windows PCs only, but Mac and Linux support is being investigated for a future release when Mono fully supports all the required APIs to make the software function.
Have you used CUCKU Backup yet? Talk Back and Let Me Know.