Are you new to file transfers, especially those of a larger scale that can be more complex to carry out without the right service provider? There are a lot of terms out there to brush up on but don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! Here’s a glossary full of them, ideal for any media, entertainment or video professional.


Otherwise known as Advanced Encryption Standard, AES incorporates the same key for encryption and decryption of data. Therefore, it’s asymmetric encryption algorithm, available as an open standard offering 128-bit, 192-bit, and 256-bit transfer rates.

Bit Rate

A calculation used to determine the amount of compression in a data stream, such as from a storage device to a decoder. The bit rate can also be used to analyze the speed at which this data is transmitted in a specific span of time, which is referred to as megabits (Mb) per second.

Bit Depth

Useful for calculating bit rate, bit depth refers to how many levels exist within a single pixel. For instance, a 1024-bit level of compression would feature a 10-bit depth.


A codec is primarily used for data compression and has multiple sub-purposes, as follows:

  • The algorithm utilized when capturing video and audio, which is then converted into a digital format for compression.
  • Used to successfully implement the pre-set number of coding and decoding circuits for optimal quality and transfer performance.
  • A digital transmission device that converts video and audio signals to coded digital and restores them. Widely used in digital data transmissions.


This is the process of reducing the size of a file as much as possible, which also sacrifices a certain amount of picture and audio quality (using video filesharing as an example). This occurs because the process involves removing as much data as possible while maintaining the core information being relayed.


FTP is also known as File Transfer Protocol. It’s a standard used in sending files between hosts and recipients over TCP-based networks. Logins utilize usernames and passwords, both of which are streamed in cleartext – the same format as the data in question being transferred. FTP is, therefore, more prone to security vulnerabilities.


FTPS is otherwise referred to as FTP Secure. It’s an extension that adds Transport Layer Security (TLS) and Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protocols to the existing FTP standard.


The calculated rate at which individual frames per second are transmitted to the screen; higher values equate to faster, smoother and more true-to-life movements. This also equates to the output rate of video files on storage media.


The abbreviated term for megabits per second. Used to calculate transfer speeds of video files. To clarify, a single megabit equals one million bits (1,000 kilobits).


Both terms refer to setting up and organizing user accounts in addition to transfer and access rights. These rights must be established from the outset in order to enable successful business-to-business (B2B) file exchanges. Self-provisioning is another variation of this term, referring to setting up one’s own accounts as deemed appropriate, though some rights may be reduced.

Raw Image Format

A raw image file contains the least amount of data processing, ensuring the highest-resolution and best quality possible. However, this comes at the expense of file size. This file format requires appropriate processing and compressing prior to being utilized as a part of a final product, especially if utilized as online content that needs to be optimized for fast loading.


The Service Level Agreement is an established, mutually agreed-upon set of parameters that all respective parties involved in the exchange must adhere to. Examples include ensuring promised data transfer speeds, secure end-to-end encryption, and delivery within a specific timeframe or by a set deadline. In other words, it’s a way to track performance metrics and ensure that you’re getting what you’ve been promised – as well as vice-versa.


Designed for performing file transfers in a remote administrative capacity, Secure Shell (SSH) is a network protocol aimed at making said transfers more secure through dedicated encryption. SCP and SFTP formats are based on SSH.


The process of converting video file formats from one to another (such as when formatting for burning onto a DVD or digital player compatibility). This is an ideal alternative to multiple instances of compression, as it avoids sacrificing the overall quality of the video data in question since full decompression and recompression isn’t required.

Variable Bit Rate (VBR)

Enables for data units to be compressed to different sizes via intelligent bit allocation. This means that simpler video files can be compressed to be smaller, while more complex scenes can compress to larger file sizes. Ideal for when working within bandwidth restrictions of specific digital or hardware video playback systems.