If something happened to my laptop while at uni my second major worry after what do I do about the laptop would be what do I do about all my files and so I was wondering, what do you think is the best form of backup of files (coursework, photos, music etc) for a student. Put everything on an external hard drive or use online storage websites (with recommendations of companies for both please).
Online is definitely the better alternative. Many backup with a external harddrive but then keep the drive with the harddrive with the laptop, which makes the practice almost completely stupid!
In an ideal world, backing up onto an external harddrive, then locking it in a theft-proof, fire-proof, water-proof safe and then placing that safe and completely secure environment that is hidden from outsiders and is not near any earthquake, flood or hurricane zones, and is a long way from any volcanoes!
But that is over the top so, online is the best way to go really! Skydrive or (I prefer due to it's speed) Dropbox. If you're really paranoid, consider renting a server and link it in to your own computer, so it's like an extension, but in a different location. Free from theft or 'Oops, I dropped my laptop in the bath!' moments
Really depends on what you need to backup and how big it is. I've started making use of Dropbox quite a bit more as a way of making sure my documents are available on any device I'm using. By default you're limited for space though so it's only good for documents rather than your complete music/movie collection.
If you want to backup bigger amounts of data (music/movies etc) then you might want to use a portable hard drive for that.
Also, use Dropbox and set it up so it's the default location to save files. That way, if your computer does fail and you're writing an essay, it will automatically be stored in the cloud provided you hit save occasionally.
Always good to have multiple backups, and Dropbox is pretty awesome once you get it set up correctly.