Internet, Networking, & Security Home Networking 38 38 people found this article helpful Trivial File Transfer Protocol Everything you need to know about this relative to FTP by Bradley Mitchell Writer An MIT graduate who brings years of technical experience to articles on SEO, computers, and wireless networking. our editorial process LinkedIn Bradley Mitchell Updated on November 29, 2019 Westend61 / Brand X Pictures / Getty Images Home Networking The Wireless Connection Routers & Firewalls Network Hubs ISP Broadband Ethernet Installing & Upgrading Wi-Fi & Wireless Tweet Share Email Trivial File Transfer Protocol is a technology that transfers files between network devices and is a simplified version of the more robust File Transfer Protocol. TFTP was developed in the 1970s for computers lacking sufficient memory or disk space to provide full FTP support. Today, TFTP is found on consumer broadband routers and commercial network routers. Home network administrators use TFTP to upgrade the router firmware, while professional administrators use TFTP to distribute software across corporate networks. How TFTP Works Like FTP, TFTP uses client and server software to make connections between two devices. From a TFTP client, individual files can be copied (uploaded) to or downloaded from the server. The server hosts the files and the client requests or sends files. TFTP relies on UDP to transport data. TFTP can also be used to remotely start a computer and back up network or router configuration files. TFTP Client and Server Software Command-line TFTP clients are included in current versions of Microsoft Windows, Linux, and macOS. TFTP clients with graphical interfaces are also available as freeware, for example, TFTPD32 which includes a TFTP server. Windows TFTP Utility is another example of a GUI client and server for TFTP, and there are other free FTP clients. Microsoft Windows does not ship with a TFTP server but several free Windows TFTP servers are available for download. Linux and macOS systems use the tftpd TFTP server, although it might be disabled by default. Networking experts recommend configuring TFTP servers carefully to avoid potential security problems. How to Use the TFTP Client in Windows The TFTP client in Windows is not enabled by default. Turn it on through the Programs and Features Control Panel applet. Open Control Panel. Go to Windows Search and search for Control Panel. In Control Panel, select Programs. Select Turn Windows features on or off. Or, execute the optionalfeatures command in Command Prompt or the Run dialog box. In the Windows Features dialog box, select TFTP Client. You may need to reboot for the changes to take effect. Access TFTP through Command Prompt with the tftp command. Use the help command or see the tftp command-line reference page on the Microsoft website. TFTP vs. FTP Trivial File Transfer Protocol differs from FTP in these key respects: Original versions of TFTP transferred files up to 32 MB in size. Some newer TFTP servers remove this restriction or might limit file size to 4 GB.Unlike FTP, TFTP has no login feature, so it doesn't prompt for a username and password. Avoid using TFTP to share sensitive files — you can't protect these files or audit access to the files.Listing, renaming, and deleting files over TFTP is usually not allowed.TFTP uses UDP port 69 to establish network connections while FTP uses TCP ports 20 and 21. Because TFTP is implemented using UDP, it generally works only on local area networks.