Founded in 2004, ZookaWare has been delivering award-winning computer optimization and security software ever since, but it only recently rounded off its service package with the launch of its CloudZooka unlimited online backup software. Its mainstay is its threefold geo-redundancy, something most cloud backup service providers can’t even dream of matching. The service is a revamped version of the former CyberBackup, with an improved and user-friendlier interface. From its headquarters in Anchorage, Alaska, ZookaWare provides round-the-clock support and 100% guarantee for its four products: SpeedZooka, ITZooka, CloudZooka and SpyZooka. The in-house support technicians certainly have their work cut out for them, but being the Microsoft, Amazon Web Services, and Intel Software Partner that it is, ZookaWare manages to stay afloat.
CloudZooka is a no-frills backup service. It will not render files of any kind, but it will upload documents, music, picture and video files of any size without a glitch. The menu is plain, simple, and to the point. There are four main sections: Backup, Restore, Settings, and Update. The first lists the files backed up, the second allows you to restore or delete versions of the files, the third allows you to select the number of versions for your files (up to a maximum of 5), the temp directory they’re stored to, the files you want to back up, and the backup schedule.
There are three ways to backup your files, and they are all accessible from the Settings Menu: automatic, manual and scheduled backups. File selection is also done from this menu, which can be confusing at first to those expecting to find their backup options in the Backup section.
The application uses simple tree structure file management to enable you to browse and select your files at leisure. However, there are no thumbnails for the files, and the icons are very small, meaning that you’ll need to double-check your file names, if you only want to back up particular ones. There is no simple “Select” button, and that’s because CloudZooka will save your file selection and pick up where it left off in the backup process, updating what you’ve already backed up even if you didn’t need it. So, once you press the “Save File Selection” button, which automatically starts your backup, you need to pause and deselect any previously backed up files before you log off, if you have a hefty backlog of files to upload.
To access the data you wish to backup or restore, simply open the CloudZooka app and browse through using the simple tree structure. Only one computer can be backed up per account, and any other device will be charged at the same price as the initial one. Once you’ve selected the files you want to backup, the backup window will automatically replace your settings section, and a green bar will reveal your progress. The backup will run in the background, and there’s a pause button in the lower left corner that you can use whenever you change your mind. Don’t worry about bandwidth or backup time; CloudZooka compresses the files to make them up to 80% smaller, meaning that your browsing and computing will not be affected.
Restore and Delete
Any time you need your files, you can access and restore them in three simple steps using the same tree structure. Before it reveals your files, though, you’ll have to wait a bit. CloudZooka allows you to select the destination of the restored files, which is a nice touch. The downside is that once you submit your request, the backup menu appears again.
Help on Hand
If you’re stuck in the mud, there’s always the toll-free customer support phone number shown at the very top of the window, to the left. To the right, you also have a Contact section and a Help Menu.
Devices and Operating Systems
Those looking for a straightforward, no-frills backup service will be pleased to find that CloudZooka only runs on Windows operated desktops and laptops. All current Microsoft Windows platforms will do, including Windows XP 32/64 bit, Vista 32/64 bit, Windows 7 32/64 bit, and Windows 8 32/64 bit. One application alone is available for CloudZooka users, namely the CloudZooka.exe file, which takes up a negligible 8MB of space. There is also the Remote Support client, which must be downloaded independently and operated when a ZookaWare technician is called upon to solve an issue with your CloudZooka application.
Ease of Use
It only takes a few seconds to download the CloudZooka on your computer giving only a name and an e-mail address, and the setup process takes less than a minute. A password is sent to the e-mail address you provide, which can be used immediately to log into the CloudZooka application. The user interface is extremely simple. Unfortunately, there are no mobile apps to go along with the desktop backup service, and there are no mobile browsing options, given that there is no online platform to support the service, but that’s not really a deal-breaker. The range of languages available for CloudZooka users is also limited to English only, but the application itself is so simple and clear-cut, that virtually anyone could operate it.
Remote Support by ZookaWare
Plans and Pricing
CloudZooka’s pricing couldn’t be any simpler. When you select to upgrade from the free trial to the full version, you invariably go for a 1-year subscription. After the year elapses, your subscription is renewed automatically, unless you specifically ask a technician to cancel it for you, or use either the desktop application or the cancellation link provided in your order confirmation email. A reminder is sent 5 days before the subscription is due to expire, and the 60-day money back guarantee is in place to protect you against any mishaps.
With the CloudZooka application, personal files, such as documents, pictures, videos and music, are backed up to the cloud at unrivaled speeds, regardless of their size. The trial edition is simply a time-limited version of the full account holder package, and it’s backed up by a no-quibble refund policy available not only for this service alone, but also for any other add-on, such as the SpeedZooka registry cleaner or the SpyZooka anti-spyware and Malware application. Given ZookaWare’s reputation as a customer-focused business, its users tend to go for these yearly subscriptions with the assurance that they are risk-free.
As for the subscription itself, what you see is what you get. There are no discounts for paying up-front, just as there are no unnecessary price hikes for paying on a monthly basis. A yearly subscription is $59.95 per computer, and it’s charged yearly. There are also no discounts or offers for multiple users/computers. Only one computer and user is allowed per account, meaning that every additional computer will cost another $59.95 per year, exactly. As the software bundle is developed primarily for individuals, as opposed to businesses, the pricing strategy works well, and it’s on a par with Amazon’s current offering.
In a nutshell, the subscription entitles you to automatic, scheduled and manual backups, a 3-step file recovery process, fast transfers that run in the background, infallible encryption of confidential data transferred to secure data centers in three different locations in the US, and the aforementioned money back guarantee. Discounts and coupon codes can occasionally be found browsing either the company’s various social media pages, or through our coupon section.
There are various ways to get in touch with a US CloudZooka technician. For immediate resolutions, the live chat option is probably the best way to go considering it usually brings a technician on the case within seconds. There’s also a round-the-clock phone service with a choice of 8 numbers to call, depending on location, one of which is toll free. It tends to lead to quick, efficient resolutions within minutes as well. For enquiries that are not particularly urgent, there’s the option to contact CloudZooka by e-mail, and the technicians on the other end working 24/7 will try their utmost to reply within the hour. Occasionally, issues may have to be resolved using the remote support client which needs to be downloaded.
As the service is very straightforward, there isn’t much information to be found on the website, aside from an FAQ section in the knowledge base. Questions on this platform are answered via a ticketing system, and the section is strictly in English. The company maintains a very active online presence, with news and funny snippets shared on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and YouTube regularly.
CloudZooka is a no-frills cloud backup service with two trump cards; one is the unlimited storage space, and the other is the infallible geo-redundancy. They are the two most alluring assets, and nearly impossible for competitors to match. Trump cards aside, it also excels in three major departments: prompt, efficient, and customer-focused technicians, foolproof user interface, and lightning-fast backups. That being said, the fact that the company only caters to Windows users, only offers yearly plans and does not provide mobile apps is something that most of those interested in cloud backup will very likely find disappointing. Still, it’s admirable that while its competitors dish out mobile optimized, generalized and universally compatible versions of their software with poor individual performance, ZookaWare stays true to its niche: the Windows user with a desktop computer or laptop, and with plenty of data to back up.