First Recovery uses more than 500 fully-equipped standby office centers around the UK. Call us on 0207 410 7499 to find the nearest three sites to your business.

We provide no consultancy, nor do we visit your premises. Our philosophy is that virtually all businesses in distress will require the same basic services in the immediate aftermath. So we’ve ‘shrink-wrapped’ a suite of services, then practiced them over and over again, so you don’t have to.

Many of our competitors will insist on providing a bespoke package comprising the same services, but in centres where each ‘seat’ is sold 20 or even 30 times over – so there is no guarantee you will get the space you’ve paid such a lot of money for in any case.

You may feel that as you have (say) 50 staff, you would want to have them all moved in the event of a disaster.

You should be aware of two factors:

  1. Your insurer WILL NOT pay for you to move all your staff until they have had time to assess the extent of the damage, so if you move all your staff you may incur costs which you cannot later reclaim.
  2. First Recovery is designed to be the first step in helping your business to survive: it provides a platform from which you can communicate in the first instance with your staff, suppliers, and most importantly, customers. First Recovery allows you, and your insurer, to move forward to a fully recovered business.

No. Your insurer provides ‘indemnity’ – that is, once the disaster is over and you are (hopefully) back in your offices, all the expenses you have incurred, once they have been scrutinised by the Loss Adjuster working on behalf of the insurer, will be paid in the form of a cheque. Service delivery is not what insurers do – it is your responsibility.

Any major disaster which renders your offices unfit for occupation in the medium term, i.e., longer than one week. This is because we will make our stand-by offices available to you for a minimum period of one month.

Flood, fire, terrorist attack, major accident – all these are circumstances under which we will respond.

Please see our full terms & conditions - you should be aware of the circumstances under which we will respond, and those under which we cannot. In order to respond, there must be direct physical damage to your business premises, rendering them unfit for continuing business for a period of at least one week. This is because we will make our stand-by office premises available to you for a minimum period of one month.

It is for this reason First Recovery will also not respond should the Emergency Services deny you access to your offices for a short period (for example, if gas canisters are in or near a fire close to your premises, the Fire Service will most likely close the entire street for a short time).

Power failure is almost always remedied within a day or two, so would not be an appropriate circumstance to which First Recovery would respond.

If you purchase your contract with First Recovery directly from us, we offer a 48 hour service level to provide the full suite of services. However, we have never taken as long as 48 hours to deliver – in fact we have never taken more than 24 hours.

Our service levels via insurance policies are the same or better, depending upon our contract with the insurer.

IT equipment minimum specification:

  • Intel® Core i3™ processors, 4 GB RAM, 500GB hard disk, 15" monitor, keyboard, mouse
  • One PC may be designated as a server
  • 24-hour soak tested
  • Delivered, pre-loaded, configured with Microsoft® Windows 7™, MS Office 2010™
  • All PCs Networked with one A4 laser printer

We hold bonded stock of this equipment delivered against our Service Level Agreement

When you request First Recovery assistance, we will pay for the cost of the offices and IT rental for one month, plus all costs and expenses of personnel attending such as IT technicians and our Event Manager. We will also pay the deposit on the offices: we will however ask you to reimburse us for this expense, and the deposit will be returned to you at the end of the rental period. This is to protect us from costs maliciously incurred such as high telephone bills, or other costs not in our control such as any damage incurred.

Your insurance company should reimburse you for any other costs you may incur, assuming you have an ‘Increased Cost of Working’ and ‘Business Interruption’ (ICW/BI) provision in your policy. It is worth checking your policy to see if ICW/BI is covered.

80% of all data is held on PCs*, and of those users who regularly back up, 71% do so using tape streamers***, which are electro-mechanical, unreliable, old/low-tech, require daily user intervention and storage off-site AND 42% of tape streamer reinstatements fail**.

sources: *IDC, **DTI, ***PriceWaterhouseCoopers

This is highly secure encryption as used by the Pentagon and other organisations dependent upon sending and receiving confidential or secret information. For comparison, online banking software encrypts to only 128-bit.

All your Office files such as documents, spreadsheets, presentations, databases, notes, photographs, graphics, etc.

You will already have CDs/DVDs with original copies of any software you use, such as operating systems (Windows XP, Vista etc) and application software (MS Office, Sage, PhotoShop, etc). These take up a lot of space and should not be backed up – as long as you have kept the CDs/DVDs.

We would recommend you back up your email files (see Technical Support), but these can be quite large files.

Installing the software is very simple and once you have registered and downloaded the software just follow the installation wizards, which will guide you quickly through the setup process. When the software is set up you just select the files you wish to backup, and schedule the time and how often this will be done (every day, every week etc) and that's it. From now on First Recovery will automatically backup your chosen files at the time you have chosen. Every customer also receives a free copy of our interactive training solution that provides clear information on how to use the software. If you require technical support you may call or email our technical support department:

Call 0845 1200 509


…or view our comprehensive support information.

The security of your information is of vital importance to us (followed equally by providing an excellent customer and technical service) and for this reason we use the highest levels of encryption to protect your files. This ensures that prior to upload all your files are encrypted for secure transit, and once they arrive on our servers they are further encrypted using 448-bit Blowfish technology, which is one of the most sophisticated algorithms available and endorsed by the military.

Only you have the encryption key, hence no one at First Recovery or anywhere else can ever access or view your information - only you can. In addition to the security algorithms we have in place, information is stored in three separate data centres which are all commercially as well as geographically independent of each other. This reduces any chance of data loss to less than 1 in a billion, billion, billion, billion, which is a lot safer than backing up to a disk or tape. Furthermore we are registered with the data protection registrar and do not make available any customer information to any 3rd party organisations (i.e., we NEVER sell any information to marketing companies).

Yes. Once you have registered for a First Recovery account you can install the software on up to 5 machines FREE of charge and back up all the information from them using the single account. For example: if you have a PC and a laptop, once you have set up your account simply install the software onto the second machine, configure the account and you can back this up too. The same applies if you run a small office with 4 or 5 PCs that are not networked, just install First Recovery onto each computer, configure the software and they can all be backed up under the single account. Full instructions on how to do this can be found on our support pages. Please bear in mind that although we will not charge you for 5 separate accounts you will be required to pay for any extra storage that's required (if your account upgrades).

The time taken to backup files is dependent on your Internet connection and the amount of data selected for backup. The first time you backup your data will generally take considerably longer than subsequent backup times, as it is uploading all your selected information to our servers.

Once your files have been uploaded, the system knows only to transfer either new or changed files, reducing subsequent backups to just minutes in most cases. Please bear in mind that you can pause backups at any time and also continue to work or use the Internet whilst backing up.

In order to do check how much data you have to back up, you need to know where it is on your computer. Many people save their work to their 'My Documents' folder.

In this example, you would:

  • Double click on the 'My Computer' icon on your desktop
  • Double click the local disk ('C' Drive)
  • Select 'My Documents' folder (this may be within the 'Documents & Settings folder) by moving the cursor over it
  • Right click on your mouse and go down to 'properties'
  • Left click on 'properties' to see how many megabytes of data are in the folder

All computers are set up differently, so you may need to search a little bit to find the folder/s you require.

Another tip is to open a document you have been working on, right click on 'File' on the top left hand corner, scroll down to 'Properties' and left click on this. In the 'general' tab it will display the folder this document has been saved to: i.e., - C:/MyDocuments/Work/Insurance Letter - This tells you the document called 'Insurance Letter' is in a folder called 'Work' which is contained in the 'My Documents' directory on your 'C' drive.


First Recovery compresses your files to make them smaller, so if you have 800MB of word documents and spreadsheets in your My Documents folder, this may reduce to less than half this amount. Digital images do not compress very well, so if you have 200MB of photographs, they will not reduce to much less than this.

When your storage package reaches its limit, you will be sent an email advice notice notifying you of this. You can then decide if you wish to delete files from your backups (to keep within your storage band), or allow the software to automatically upgrade your account to accommodate your new storage requirements. Please note that all upgrade charges are pro rata, hence if you upgrade halfway through your annual contract at month 6, you will pay just 50% of the upgrade fee (the cost is worked out in relation to whichever point you are within your contract). You will also be kept up to date of your storage balance via the confirmation emails you receive after every backup, so you will always know how much storage you are using of your selected package.

Many computers come equipped with a CD or DVD drive, which can be used to make backup copies of your data. These are manual processes and as such involve time and effort; and as a consequence it may often be neglected. Someone has to remember to carry out the backup, check that it did so successfully and then store the media safely off-site. How often do you do this?

Most CDs store around 650MB of data, so if you have 4GB to save, you will require over 6 CDs every time - imagine how long this might take.

Tape and disk drives can give a false sense of security, as the media they use are prone to wear and tear (tapes warp, CDs get scratched), so even following the necessary procedures does not guarantee that your files will be retrievable when the critical time comes to restore them.

If the hardware device you use becomes faulty, you will incur either repair costs or need to purchase a new device. Online data backup solutions will save you time, effort and money. First Recovery provides the easiest, fastest and most secure method for you to safeguard your critical information on a daily basis. Just set it and forget it - we do the rest...

Yes, First Recovery should work automatically through most firewalls. If port adjustments are required, it must allow outgoing TCP connections to ports in the range 44400-44408 and 44450.

First Recovery offer a no quibble 30-day money back guarantee. If you are not completely satisfied for any reason within this time, you may cancel your subscription and receive a full refund (unless a free offer is selected).

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