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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 that are up to 80% faster than traditional FTP speeds.

How It Works

1. Delivery from Client to Aberdeen (3 options):

  • S3 Uploader (simplest choice)
    This is a web browser upload option. Our Operations team will create a unique URL link for your organization where you will be directed to an upload page specific to you and your team.
  • S3 Bucket (automated workflows)
    We will provision an AWS S3 location for your files and give you access. Any file placed in this location will automatically hit your predefined order workflow.
  • FileCatalyst Hotfolder (automated workflows)
    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 and your customized FileCatalyst workflows will be triggered as soon as the file hits our server.

2. Delivery from Aberdeen to Client or TV Station:

  • FileCatalyst Hotfolder (preferred method)
    The final program is delivered to the station’s pre-programmed delivery location – or back to your server if requested – after the file passes automated checks and our manual QC. The Hotfolder on the recipient’s computer will check for a ready file on our server at pre-scheduled times. At the next scheduled check, an automatic file transfer will be initiated and the file will be transferred to the final location and you will be notified via email when the transfer is complete. You’ll also be able to check our online portal for transfer details and re-download any file. We’ve got you covered even at 2 am!
  • Manual Delivery Portals (secondary option)
    If needed, we can always use manual delivery through FTP,, Signiant, Aspera, Station-specific GUI, etc.


Hotfolders are nothing new. It's simply automated client application software installed on your desktop similar to Windows Explorer or Dropbox. 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 acknowledgment sent back to the sender to confirm the receipt; this is called Round-trip Time (RTT). The TCP protocol needs this acknowledgment 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 halfway 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 an 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 are 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 an 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.

Our latest addition of Station & Client Portals has become our hub for the latest information on an account’s uploads, orders, invoicing, and the location of downloads of any exports.


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 the control channel and AES for data.

“Aberdeen has done an amazing job at updating our broadcast to the current generation. They take one video, do their magic, and send to our three stations with no issues or hiccups. They even added one of our stations in Ecuador that they never transmitted to before.”
Nick B.
Media Pastor – Fresh Touch Ministries
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