How to test BGAN transfers (Broadband Global Area Network/satellite)

by Per Hansen

The below assumes that you have an Aspera Client or one of Aspera's transfer server products installed on your machine, and that this machine is connected to a BGAN terminal. These instructions also assume Windows is used, for other platforms please contact us.

Please note that the characteristics of the network used may differ between providers of data over BGAN so the below will merely perform a generic test. Aspera can provide advice and guidance so please contact us so we can help you analyse the results and offer advice on any configuration settings that would apply to further improve performance.


To test BGAN transfers please do the following:

  1. Disable ARQ on your BGAN terminal.
  2. Open up your Aspera Client/Aspera Point-to-Point/Aspera Enterprise Server from the Start menu.
  3. Go to Connections and then click the + icon to make a new connection.
  4.  Make sure you are on the Connection tab, and enter the details of our London demo server:


  • Useraspera
  • Passworddemoaspera


5. Click Show Advanced Settings and make sure you set SSH Port (TCP) to 33001.

Now click the Transfer tab. In this screen you will need to make a few adjustments to the speeds of the
transfer. Set as follows:

Target rate: 492 Kbps for both Download and Upload
Minimum Rate: 200 Kbps for both Download and Upload

Once you have done this click Show Advanced Settings. Check the Specify the fasp datagram size (MTU) box and
set to 500 bytes. Click OK.


6. You are now ready to start your transfer testing. Double-click on the connection you just made to establish a connection with the server. 

7. Go to the aspera-test-dir-small directory and try to download a file. To observe details about your transfer click the Details button.

Once you have downloaded a file, you may wish to download another file - bigger test files are available in the aspera-test-dir-large folder.

8. As part of the testing you should also upload a file from your machine to the server. Navigate to the Upload folder, select a file that is not too
big, and hit the > icon to start the upload. Again, click Details to observe details about the transfer performance.

Check the speeds you are getting. Is it close to the target rate? If the effective (actual) speed you are getting when doing transfers is close to the target rate (492Kbps) then that is probably the fastest you can go, given the capacity constraints of BGAN. If the effective speed is lower than the target rate as you transfer, try gradually increasing the minimum rate. Increase to 300 Kbps, then 400 Kbps, then 450Kbps. Every time you increase the minimum rate observe if the effective rate (displayed as "Speed") is the same or better than the minimum rate (speed). If your transfer only runs at the minimum rate you specified, increase the minimum rate. You can increase the minimum rate all the way up to the same as the target rate of 492Kbps. You should see that when you do this you are able to increase the speed all the way up to 492Kbps, which is normally the maximum effective speed you can achieve over BGAN.


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