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Cucku uses Skype for encrypted backup

The alternative to backing up data to a remote data center is storing it on the PC in the adjacent cubicle at work or on a family member's computer at home, says Rob Ellison, CEO of backup software provider Cucku, a company whose name is pronounced like the bird.

Local backup has two major advantages over remote backup, said Ellison. The first advantage is that it does not use up bandwidth quotas, which are common in Europe and could be soon arriving in the U.S.

The second advantage is time: it can take advantage of the full speed of the local network which likely exceeds any connection to the Internet, especially the meager upstream that most home users and many small businesses deal with.

A third advantage of Cucku is that it encrypts the data on the PC before transmitting it over the Internet, which may make it more secure than other options. Transmitting the data over the proprietary Skype protocol adds an extra layer of encryption.

However, one key drawback seems to be the space that would be taken up on others' hard drives. Ellision told InternetNews.com that he hasn't seen users complaining about this, but admitted that some may be buying extra hard drives to handle the backups.

Pricing and availability -- and the future

The product is available free for backup to one location. Anyone backing up multiple PCs on one computer or backing up to multiple PCs has to pay a license fee.

Today, the company is releasing version 2.0 of the product. A new Cucku pro allows CLI interaction and scheduled backups for small business users.

In the future, the company will move beyond Skype, implementing a proprietary P2P protocol and also allowing direct connect port forwarding for local backups.

However, the company is benefiting from being a part of the Skype ecosystem. It is listed in the Skype Shop. "We are one of twenty applications certified interoperable with Skye," said Ellison.

He added that Skype benefits from Cucku too as 50 percent of its customers who don't already have Skype have installed it to use Cucku.

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