Aria: Faster voice and video transfers
Aria, a new product from California-based startup FastSoft, speeds up the transfer of any large file over the Internet, without requiring hardware or software on the receiving end. According to Dan Henderson, FastSoft?s vice president of product and market development, a 700-megabyte movie file that takes 50 minutes to download regionally via a cable-modem connection can be downloaded in 34 minutes if the sender uses Aria. Overseas transfers show a bigger difference, with the same 700-megabyte movie taking nearly eight hours to download from Asia via a cable modem, and about 45 minutes with Aria.
Aria, which is based on research from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), tries to make the most of the available bandwidth. Data usually isn?t transferred at a line?s full capacity. This is because the transmission control protocol (TCP) that governs 90 percent of the traffic flow over the Internet hasn?t kept up with the times. Researchers designed FastTCP, the algorithm behind Aria, to improve standard TCP protocol. In academic trials, FastTCP has set data-transfer records, transferring data at a sustained rate of 101 gigabits per second. That?s equivalent to transmitting the contents of the Library of Congress in 15 minutes. FastTCP monitors the real-time transfer speed of each packet of information, watching for delays. This way, adjustments can be made smoothly. I don?t see a big difference between downloading a movie in 45 or 30 minutes, but fast internet is always welcomed.