NAS configuration and protection options

Hi folks,

New here. Looked like a good forum so I thought I'd ask my question here.

I am about to upgrade my NAS from an entry-level readynas to something more robust. As the family utilizes mobile devices more and PCs less I want an option that offers easy syncing and backup of mobile files. Synology and QNAP look much more sophisticated than my readynas so that's where I'm leaning. I also have a windows pc serving file shares but that has limitations too. Crashplan is used to backup our file shares on the windows-based array.

My question isn't about brand though, it's about configuration. I understand raid options are for availability not protection. That's why I backup nightly to ext drive and crashplan for offsite. For the new NAS, what are best practices? It will serve file shares for the PCs and be our primary storage for files, pictures, etc... an I best served by having a raid config and ordinary backups or maybe two NASes, a primary and secondary actively synced instead of RAID?

The more I read about raid the less confident I feel with it (currently using raid 1) and wondering if using real time synch between two is superior and "safer". At least two daily backups will remain regardless of configuration.

What do you think and thanks!

Im currently using a 4bay QNAP Nas with 2x 4Tb WD Red drives in a raid 1 and 2 more in raid 0 as a data drive. The speeds are find and we can use it fine with phones and pcs at the same time! Raid 1 should be fine on one of these systems but it all just depends on how much data your storing.

Although raid is not a substitute for a backup, it does definitely offer some protection dependent on the raid level used.

Regardless of the above issue, I think a raid with striping and parity would be advisable with the given usecase (Possible multiple reads and writes simultaneously). It will depend on the amount of terabytes what config would be sensible.

To give you an idea. I had a synology ds 1511+ ( ancient 5 bay model) until recenty with 5 disks, first running shr2 and later shr1. Drives failed on multiple occasions, but I never came close to losing my data. Performance was awesome with no problem saturating a 1 gigabit ethernet connection with a read action and downloading with 35 megabyte per second over the 2nd ethernet connection.

2 different systems with raid6 and 2 hot spares syncing with each other would be pretty badass though.

For more specific advice, how large is the data on the readynas and on the pc with shares? How many sata disks do you currently have available and what capacity are they? What capacity is the external drive?