Fast and Secure Protocol

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A screencast showing downloading the same file from the European Sequence Read Archive via wget/FTP and ascp/Aspera/FASP

The Fast Adaptive and Secure Protocol (FASP) is a proprietary data transfer protocol. FASP is a network-optimized network protocol developed by Aspera, owned by IBM. The associated client/server software packages are also commonly called Aspera.[1][2] The technology is patented under US Patent #20090063698, Method and system for aggregate bandwidth control.[3]

Similar to the connectionless UDP protocol, FASP does not expect any feedback on every packet sent. Only the packets marked as really lost must be requested again by the recipient. As a result, it does not suffer as much loss of throughput as TCP does on networks with high latency or high packet loss.[4][5]

Large organizations like IBM,[citation needed] the European Nucleotide Archive,[2] the US National Institutes of Health National Center for Biotechnology Information[6] and others[7] use the protocol in different areas. Amazon also wants to use the protocol for uploading to data centers.[8]


FASP has built-in security mechanisms that do not affect the transmission speed. The encryption algorithms used are based exclusively on open standards. Before the transfer, SSH is used for key exchange for authentication. These randomly generated, one-way keys are discarded at the end of the transmission.

The data is encrypted or decrypted immediately before sending and receiving with the AES-128. To counteract attacks by monitoring the encrypted information during long transfers, the AES is operated in cipher feedback mode with a secret initialization vector for each block. In addition, an integrity check of each data block takes place, in which case, for example, a man-in-the-middle attack would be noticed.


FASP's control port is TCP port 22 – the same port that SSH uses. For data transfer, it begins at UDP port 33001, which increments with each additional connection thread.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Aspera high speed file transfer: Let the cloud protocol wars begin".
  2. ^ a b "European Nucleotide Archive: Downloading using Aspera".
  3. ^ "Method and system for aggregate bandwidth control".
  4. ^ "Aspera - High-speed file transfer software -".
  5. ^ "FASP transfer protocol speeds data transmission to the cloud".
  6. ^ "NCBI 1000 Genomes: Aspera Download".
  7. ^ "Aspera Joint Partner Solutions". 20 January 2018.
  8. ^ Schwan, Ben. "Amazon nutzt schnelleres Übertragungsprotokoll für Web Services". heise online.