Accelerated File Transfer

What is FileCatalyst?


FileCatalyst is a robust accelerated file transfer software solution that supports client/server architecture, enabling the fast transfer of large files. FileCatalyst solutions are designed specifically to allow the transfer of large files over remote networks experiencing high latency or packet loss.

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How Does FileCatalyst Work?


FileCatalyst solutions employ multiple techniques to yield speedy file transfer results.

FileCatalyst is a UDP-based protocol, which makes transferring large data sets much faster, even in high latency or packet loss environments. To cut down on time-consuming compression and decompression processes before and after a file has been transmitted, FileCatalyst compresses the files you send on the fly.

TCP streaming acts as FileCatalyst’s functioning safety net, which allows for file transfer acceleration to occur even when UDP is not possible. Additionally, FileCatalyst supports delta transfer algorithms which allows for users to revise files and, instead of sending the entirety of the file, sends just the revision that was made. Once the revision arrives to its destination, the original file is modified.

Why FileCatalyst?


FileCatalyst is an award-winning accelerated file transfer solution, known for achieving file transfer speeds much higher than other file transfer solutions.

  • Maintain scalability
  • Improve efficiency
  • Move large files with no delays

FileCatalyst ensures a constant flow of data, thanks to automatic retransmission in the case of a lost packet of data.

Flexible Fast File Transfer Deployment Options

Diagram of how FileCatalyst works

Accelerate your specific file transfer workflow with FileCatalyst's suite of applications. Each application is purpose-built to improve your file transfers. Start with FileCatalyst Server and choose the client application that best fits your file transfer requirements.

Not sure where to start? Take a look at our guide to discover which fast file transfer application is right for you: Master Fast File Transfer Applications.

You can rely on our years of experience to helping organizations resolve their fast file transfer issues with our convenient and powerful applications.

Benefits of FileCatalyst


FileCatalyst is the premiere software for accelerating file transfers wherever you are in the world, and regardless of network strength. Large file transfers become much more sustainable and feasible with the FileCatalyst suite.

The FileCatalyst suite has the capability to maximize organizational productivity, ease collaboration across border, secure confidential information and simplify the need for heavy-handed IT administration.


FileCatalyst Direct

FIleCatalyst Direct utilizes UDP-based file transfer technology to enable accelerated file transfers from anywhere in the world. Even when experiencing network impairments, FileCatalyst Direct is capable of transferring your files with speeds up to 10 Gbps, saving your organization time and resources.

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FileCatalyst Integration with AWS, Azure and Dropbox


With its patented UDP-based file transfer technology, FileCatalyst easily integrates with popular cloud storage platforms such as Amazon’s AWS, Microsoft’s Azure, and Dropbox to deliver unmatched transfer speeds and robust encryption to these platforms.

With FileCatalyst integration, you can:

  • Securely transfer large files into cloud storage platforms such as AWS, Azure, and Dropbox at multi-gigabit speeds* with 256-bit AES encryption
  • Achieve reliable file delivery with automatic retries and checksum verification
  • Enable browser-based transfers using FileCatalyst TransferAgent
  • Enable automated file transfers using FileCatalyst HotFolder or REST APIs

*Optimal file transfer performance can only be achieved when the following conditions are met:

  1. Network latency between FileCatalyst Server and cloud storage region is minimal (i.e. server installed in same region as cloud storage)
  2. Network bandwidth is high between FileCatalyst Client, Server, and Cloud storage


FileCatalyst is a software solution that supports a client/server architecture to transfer large files. It is a software-only solution which circumvents the need to add special hardware or make bandwidth upgrades. FileCatalyst uses advanced technology to yield exceptionally high throughput, regardless of network conditions. In the end, this results in faster file transfers between remote locations even when there is high network latency or packet loss.

FileCatalyst uses multiple techniques to yield exceptional results; in many cases, resulting transfers have virtual speeds faster than actual line speed. These techniques include:

  • FileCatalyst UDP-based protocol: FileCatalyst uses a patent-pending UDP-based protocol that is faster in transferring large data sets when there is high latency or packet loss over the network
  • On-the-fly Compression: FileCatalyst compresses the data it sends over the network in real time, meaning there is no time-consuming compression or decompression at the beginning or end of each transfer. File sizes may be reduced by 50% or more, creating the illusion of transfers that exceed line speed.
  • Multiple TCP Streaming: In situations where UDP is not possible, FileCatalyst can achieve some measure of acceleration by running transfers through multiple concurrent TCP streams, along with on-the-fly compression.
  • Delta Transfers: If a file has changed since its last transfer, FileCatalyst can send only the “deltas” (incremental differences) of the file, rather than resending it in its entirety.

On-the-fly compression, one method used by FileCatalyst to accelerate file transfers, allows digital files to be reduced in size as they are sent. It uses the same principles as WinZip, Gzip and other compression utilities.

What differentiates FileCatalyst is that compression occurs as the file is being transferred, saving preparation time. As the files reach the recipient, they are decompressed and automatically stored in their original formats.

Less setup and teardown is required with on-the-fly compression, which becomes important when transferring a large number of files. Imagine the overhead involved in trying to send 1,000 files, as each file is individually created and closed by the server. Standard compression techniques interrupt the data flow, adding to the total time and making the file transfer appear slower. When sending one large archive, there is only one setup and teardown involved, which greatly speeds up the overall transfer process.

FileCatalyst uses the UDP protocol for data transport and TCP for control commands and retransmission requests. FileCatalyst also provides a secondary firewall-friendly transfer method that enhances the performance of TCP by opening up multiple concurrent streams of data.

Learn more about how FileCatalyst works > 

The UDP-based protocol used in FileCatalyst is proprietary. It is a highly efficient, patent-pending, retransmission and congestion control mechanism that adds a reliability layer to UDP. The flow of data can achieve full line speed with an amazingly low 0.25% overhead.

Both FTP and HTTP use TCP as the transport protocol. The inherent characteristics of TCP make it highly susceptible to network latency and packet loss. Even on a relatively stable network, TCP goodput is always lower than the actual available line speed. For example, on a T3 network (45 Mbps) with packet loss of 0.1% and a delay of 10 ms, FTP transfers can peak at only 30 Mbps.

In contrast, FileCatalyst yields goodput of 44 Mbps—only slightly less than maximum available line speed. When network conditions deteriorate to 2% packet loss and a delay of 150 ms, FTP transfers can be expected to perform at 450 Kbps, or 1% of the actual available bandwidth. FileCatalyst maintains its 44Mbps goodput.

Rather than reading and sending the file sequentially, multiple threads read from the file and transfer pieces over their own TCP streams. These pieces are received and reassembled on the fly by an equivalent number of receiver threads. There is no latency during reconstruction as the pieces are written using random access. The number of streams can be tuned to achieve the desired throughput. This method of transferring files is effective when network degradation is at a reasonable level. Due to the large number of concurrent threads that must run in order to sustain high speeds, this method is not as scalable as FileCatalyst UDP-based transfers.

FileCatalyst supports an advanced “delta” transfer algorithm. Once a file is transferred in full, any new revisions will only require these incremental changes to be sent rather than the whole new file. Imagine, for example, a large database file. Sometimes only small portions of the database are changed, such as a single name or location field. FileCatalyst calculates these modifications as “deltas” and transfers only the new data. At the destination, FileCatalyst automatically amends the changes, bringing the file up to speed with the source. This ensures that bandwidth usage is kept to a minimum and results in a very high effective goodput.

When all data must be accelerated between all of an organization’s WAN nodes, a WAN accelerator appliance may be a good solution. Such devices do a great job speeding up CIFS, Email, and Web, as well as a reasonable job improving FTP performance—providing network conditions are not too severe.

If the problem is not limited only to file transfer, a WAN accelerator may be an important part of your data infrastructure. In contrast, FileCatalyst only accelerates file transfers, but it does so better than any other product.

As a fast file transfer software solution, FileCatalyst is very easy to deploy and requires no physical changes to your network. FileCatalyst can guarantee full line speed or higher, regardless of link conditions. The FileCatalyst Server-based pricing model makes it much more cost effective when the transfer scenario is many to one, or one to many. You can deploy one server and support thousands of end users with only one license.

In addition, the FileCatalyst software suite offers a host of application-level features that are simply not present when using other third-party file transfer applications along with a WAN appliance. These features include:

  • Task and bandwidth scheduling
  • Automatic reconnection and resume
  • On-the-fly compression
  • Delta transfer
  • And more

No other fast file transfer software does a better job of maximizing actual data throughput than FileCatalyst. Start a free trial today.

Yes. FileCatalyst can add to the value of WAN accelerators. WAN accelerators streamline all network traffic across a large area using techniques appropriate for a broad set of tasks. FileCatalyst, on the other hand, best optimizes file transfer using proprietary technology built for the job. When used in conjunction, the two can actually complement one another.

File transfer solutions that use UDP for transport lack the speed and scalability of FileCatalyst. Due to the nature of UDP itself, packet transmission is not inherently guaranteed. All UDP-based solutions must track individual data packets to ensure delivery, and if a packet is lost, a message must be sent back to the sender to request retransmission. If this process is not handled efficiently, the performance will degrade substantially when packet loss is high.

FileCatalyst’s patented technology ensures a constant flow of data, never waiting for acknowledgement before proceeding, and always retransmitting concurrently with new data. The flow of data is constant—at the speed of your link.

Additionally, FileCatalyst’s extensive list of applications blows away the competition. With FileCatalyst’s fast file transfer solution, you can:

  • Combine UDP transfers with on-the-fly compression and delta transfer.
  • Enable web-based transfers using FileCatalyst’s TransferAgent technology.
  • Deploy to the latest platform environments, NB for specific platform information please see our System Requirements page.
  • Fill your pipe out of the box with no extensive tweaking required.

See how FileCatalyst’s fast file transfer capabilities can help your organization today. Start a free trial.

FileCatalyst and GoAnywhere


GoAnywhere MFT and FileCatalyst are both streamlined file transfer solutions in the data security suite from Fortra. Product integration is planned for the near future. Talk to us today about how to expedite and secure your file transfers.

Introduce Speed to Your Workflow

Looking for a way to accelerate your file transfers from anywhere in the world?

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