Current Issue
This Month's Print Issue

Follow Fast Company

We’ll come to you.

Four years ago, a nasty virus infected my hard drive. Windows essentially just froze and never thawed. After a few days of trying to fix it with no success, I realized I would have to reformat my computer. I had no backups, and I lost 20 gigs of music and a year’s worth of documents. These were the days before cloud computing, where you can easily store all of your documents on someone else’s server.

Now comes a new concept in cloud computing: A company called Cucku is peddling the idea of "social backup," in which you use their free software to automatically backup your data securely on a friend or family member’s computer. To use it, all you have to do is install the software on your computer and the receiving computer and Cucku will help you send the encrypted data between the two places.

The service of backing up your information on the cloud isn’t new, of course, but Cucku’s offering is just different enough that it makes sense. People who don’t trust their data to be on say, Amazon’s cloud, can feel safe in having a co-worker or family member with a backup. Also, less tech-savvy users who don’t quite understand cloud offerings might be attracted to Cucku’s simple software and easy interface.

And in these jittery economic times, there's nothing wrong with a new Web service that's entirely free.