The nice people from Tesco Compare home insurance have given me a Seagate 3TB external hard drive to review.

This could not have come at a better time for me.  I live in Staines-upon-Thames (or Staines-within-Thames), which many of you may recognise from the news as part of the Thames Valley severe flood zone.  It’s been a bit of a media circus here this week, with politicians of all persuasions and the world’s media coming to dance in their wellies in our lovely town.  My Facebook status is full of my friends and the pictures of ducks swimming in their back gardens – some have been evacuated, and we have all been advised to pack a bag and cooperate with the emergency services if they come for us.  It’s all been a little bit scary.

My husband and I have done as they said and packed a bag and put an emergency plan in place. Relatives have been warned to expect a call day or night.  We will of course be taking our laptops with us if we have to get out.  We have had to think a lot about securing our home, valuables and contents over the last week (and saying a lot of prayers as the water rose ever higher)

One of the things which many home and business owners don’t take into account when they are thinking of protecting their home contents is data.  Most families nowadays have huge quantities of photos stored online – many have videos too.  Home business owners are also likely to have lots of essential business paperwork and other documents stored online too – I certainly do.  I do use the Cloud – but the idea of having a secure back up at home is very attractive.

So the Seagate back-up drive arrived and I unpacked it.  It’s smaller than a paperback book and very light – I can’t believe it has 3Tb of storage.  It contains instructions for plugging it into the mains and for connecting it to your computer via USB, but frankly this would have been self explanatory.

Over the course of two days I downloaded the contents of both of our laptops – extra photos and videos from all our phones, ipads etc. all the stuff I currently have stored on Dropbox and Google Drive, plus a back up of my Evernote account, and all the stuff which I had previously backed up to another smaller (250Gb) external hard drive that I have.

Then I unplugged the machine and put it in a very safe place – well above the expected water level…

Considering the amount of data and photos that I have (we are a family of geeks), the data transfer time was very quick.  It was all incredibly straightforward as the Seagate just functions as a drive on your computer – you can segment it any way you choose and just drag things across from your computer and other areas using Windows Explorer.  It does make a small whirring noise when it is plugged in (my smaller one is silent) but quite frankly that is no bother whatsoever.

I am really pleased that I was given the opportunity to back up my data, and I have set myself a reminder to do it every couple of months. It would be horrific to lose all of our baby photos and videos, and really awkward for me to lose business stuff.  Getting it all backed up  really is one less thing to worry about. Now if we do get the call, and have to run away at half an hour’s notice, or if anything should happen to any of our laptops, it shouldn’t be a complete disaster