How We Deliver Files

Aberfast employs the FileCatalyst transfer solution which is designed to accelerate and optimize file transfers across networks with on-the-fly compression and byte level incremental transfers to maximize throughput. This solution is not based on the common FTP protocol but rather on the UDP protocol. Utilizing this lower latency transfer protocol, UDP maintains high data speeds over long distances for transfer times which are up to 80% faster than traditional FTP speeds.

How it works:

1. Delivery from Client to Aberdeen:

You will drag and drop your video file to the HotFolder on the desktop of your computer. At scheduled times, our server will check if you dropped a file in your HotFolder for transfer. After you have dropped your file, the next scheduled check will initiate the automatic transfer. Aberdeen is notified when the transfer is complete.

2. Delivery from Aberdeen to Client or TV Station:

We will drag and drop the video file to your designated folder on our server. Your HotFolder on the desktop of your computer will check for a file in the folder on our server at the pre-scheduled times. At the next scheduled check, automatic file transfer will be initiated. You will be notified when the transfer is complete.


Hotfolders are nothing new. It's simply Automated Client Application software installed on your desktop similar to Windows Explorer, Filezilla and SmartFTP. It allows for the creation of scheduled, automatic tasks that use accelerated UDP technology to transfer the files. Additional controls are provided for limiting bandwidth usage at set times to ensure there are no interruptions to your other internet traffic.

Acceleration: UDP vs FTP

The main issue with FTP is that it is TCP based, which is great for loading a web page, but far from ideal when trying to sustain a large data stream over long distances. The biggest hurdle for TCP on file transfers is latency. It takes time for packets to be sent to the receiver and then an acknowledgement sent back to the sender to confirm the receipt; this is called Round-trip Time (RTT). The TCP protocol needs this acknowledgement before the sender will send another packet. The amount of time from delivery to confirmation is called latency; the higher the latency the slower the transfer. Even for links with 1Gbps connections, 80ms of latency will limit a transfer to a speed of 2500Kbps. See for yourself - go to a speed test site like and try a local test and then try one half-way around the world.

To overcome this issue, AberFast takes advantage of the UDP protocol which does not wait for packet confirmation and delivers many packets as quickly as possible. The resulting transfer is multiple times faster than the same TCP/FTP transfer. Due to the lack of packet confirmation in the UDP protocol, AberFast employs a MD5 Checksum which does a bit-for-bit verification on the transferred file and resends any missing packets to complete the file. The resulting transfer on international delivery can easily be up to 50 times faster than FTP! See our File Transfer Time Chart for more details.

When UDP-based acceleration fails due to extreme security measures (firewall or NAT blocking UDP traffic wholesale, for example), it is still critical for files to get through. Clients that are configured for fallback will then attempt multi-stream FTP, then single-stream FTP, and finally fall back to HTTP, which any organization that allows internet access will allow.

If a file has changed since its last transfer, only the "deltas" (incremental differences) of the file is sent, rather than resending it in its entirety.


Clients receive delivery confirmation e-mails so they know exactly when a file has been uploaded to Aberdeen. Clients and TV stations will receive email notification when a file is downloaded by a TV station. This is the perfect solution for clients who need a reliable way to transfer files without shipping hard-drives or expensive tape stock. Save time and money, with AberFast.


Although FTP and HTTP have security options, these are not always enough for security-minded organizations. In terms of encryption levels and authentication methods, AberFast's FileCatalyst solution is a perfect fit for organizations looking for a higher standard. Files can be encrypted using industry standards: SSL for control channel and AES for data.