Trivial File Transfer Protocol

What Does Trivial File Transfer Protocol Mean?

Trivial File Transfer Protocol (TFTP) is a simple protocol used for transferring files. TFTP uses the User Datagram Protocol (UDP) to transport data from one end to another. TFTP is mostly used to read and write files/mail to or from a remote server.


Techopedia Explains Trivial File Transfer Protocol

File transfer is one of the most essential technologies for client/server and computer network infrastructures.

Trivial File Transfer Protocol is very simple in design and has limited features as compared to File Transfer Protocol (FTP). TFTP provides no authentication and security while transferring files. As a result, it is usually used for transferring boot files or configuration files between machines in a local setup. Because of its simple design, it is rarely used interactively by users in a computer network. Its lack of security also makes it dangerous for use over the Internet.

TFTP is very useful for boot computers and devices that do not have hard disk drives or storage devices because it can easily be implemented using a small amount of memory. This characteristic of TFTP makes it one of the core elements of network boot protocol, or preboot execution environment (PXE).

Data transfer through TFTP is usually initiated through port 69. However, the data transfer ports are selected by the sender and receiver when the connection is initialized.


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.