What is a TFTP server?
TFTP or Trivial File Transfer Protocol server allows for a very simple and non-complex automatic file transfer between different machines in a local networking setup. Since the TFTP protocol does not provide security and does not require authentication, it is not commonly used interactively and only simple files are transferred using this particular protocol. Most people also use TFTP only on local networks and not on the internet as this protocol lack security features.
Sample files that may be transferred between machines using this type of protocol are boot or configuration files. When somebody needs to boot computers, like routers without disks or data storage devices, TFTP may be used. Like for example a particular Windows terminal needs to boot from a remote host or server, TFTP may be used for this purpose as this only requires the transfer of small files.
There are three modes of transfer when using TFTP. One mode is called “Netascii” which is a modified version of ASCII. In this mode, there is an 8-bit extension on the ASCII character space starting from Ox20 up to 0x7F. It also has eight control characters including the null, carriage return, and the linefeed. The second mode is called an “octet” and this is responsible for transferring 8-bit bytes that are arbitrary, with both the recepient and source file having identical properties. The third mode is “mail” that involves file sending to an email address.
Key Features of the TFTP server include compatibility versions for a variety of operating systems and platforms including Windows, Linux, and Apple OS. TFTP could also run as a background operation in 24 hours. Access to the server is also IP-based meaning accessing files depend on client IP addresses. Even with firewalls, TFTP still allows the file transfer to push through using only one UDP port. TFTP also allows for remotely configuring the server so one user or administrator can check ongoing TFTP sessions and view work logs. Another great thing about TFTP is that one does not need to reboot or restart the server even if some settings are changed.