Review and List of the Top TFTP Servers with Features, Comparison, and Pricing. Select the Best TFTP Server From This List Based on Your Requirements:
In the Computer Networking Infrastructure or Client/Server Architecture, transferring files is the fundamental aspect to transfer data from one end to another. Now, when it comes to transferring files, the first thing which comes to our mind is – FTP (File Transfer Protocol).
Undoubtedly, FTP is the most reliable and secure means of exchanging data with a host computer. Besides, it is the most widely used client/server protocol with many advantages and applications, as well.
Yet, there are situations when organizations or users require a simple method to transfer data over a network. That’s the reason the TFTP protocol came into existence.
What You Will Learn:
- What Is The TFTP Server?
- List of Best TFTP Servers
What Is The TFTP Server?
TFTP stands for a Trivial File Transfer Protocol that is uniquely developed to simplify the sophisticated way of the file transfer. Or you can say that the TFTP server is a simply designed protocol that works on User Datagram Protocol. Unlike FTP, it does not use Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) to transfer the data.
Most importantly, the implementation of the TFTP server protocol is applied where there are no security and authentication mandatory. It is the reason why TFTP is rarely exercised in a computer network because the lack of security makes it vulnerable over the internet.
As a result, the application of the TFTP server protocol is usually helpful in transferring boot as well as configuration files among linking computers in a confined network setup.
Generally, the data transfer in the TFTP server initially starts with port 69. Additionally, the sender and receiver can select the data transfer ports after the connection starts.
A TFTP server requires a minimal amount of storage for its implementation. With this feature, it becomes a precise, organized way to boot computers that do not possess any storage drives. Also, making itself a core element of PXE (Preboot Execution Environment) and network boot protocol.
How Does TFTP Work?
TFTP is the lightweight and more straightforward file transfer protocol, it is somewhat similar to FTP. But offers fewer features than FTP and hence comes with a smaller footprint. Let’s see the basic theory of operation and how does the TFTP server work.
- Like FTP, TFTP also uses the same client/server software to establish a connection between two computers. It is an application layer protocol (client-server) that has TFTP client software for TFTP clients; and TFTP server software for TFTP servers.
- Note, TFTP uses the User Data Protocol (UDP) layer to transport data over the network. As UDP is much more straightforward than the complicated TCP layer, it requires less code space. Hence, it makes TFTP fit inside tiny storage.
- Now, a TFTP client has to open the server socket on the server’s IP address on UDP port 69. It is because of the server relies on port 69 for connection with the client. The client has to establish a UDP connection to the server.
- After the connection gets established, the client can send the message request to the server. There are different types of message requests to the server.
- For Example, the client can send a Read Request (RRQ) if it wants to fetch any file from the server. Or Write Request (WRQ) to transfer any file over the network.
- The TFTP divides the message to be sent in the blocks of 512 bytes. The noticeable part – the last block of every file is always lesser than 512 bytes. So, the receiver could interpret that it’s the last block from the sender.
- Each block is then transferred as a TFTP data message, and every block is assigned with a TFTP number. Now, each block is carried separately inside a UDP message.
- Since not every time the size of the last block would be less (in case if its exact multiple of 512), then the sender sends another block of zero bytes to convey that the transfer part is over.
Since the TFTP follows check and pause protocol, it sends each block one by one in succession. At first, when the sender sends the first block, it starts a preset block timer. If for the sent block, an acknowledgment is received within the block timer, then the second block of the file is sent. And if not, again, the first block of the file is sent. Hence, this is the way TFTP achieves flow control.
TFTP Message Requests
The TFTP usually has five different types of messages, as given below.
- RRQ: It is the request made by the TFTP client to read or fetch a file from the server.
- WRQ: It is the request made by the TFTP client to transfer or send a file over the server.
- DATA: These are the TFTP DATA messages that contain blocks of a file to be sent over the server.
- ACK: It is the response from the receiving side against acquiring a block of the file to the sender.
- ERROR: It is a message sent to the peer concerning any invalid operation performed.
TFTP Server Configuration Uses
Majority of IT professionals and Networking System Admins use TFTP server for:
- Transferring files between devices in a local setup.
- For upgrading codes of files.
- Backing up network configurations as well as router configurations files.
- Booting of devices remotely without any storage drives.
- Booting of computer in a restrained setup without any hard disk
Check the statistics graph below:
The current scenario of the overall server market depicts that robust growth may remain. Although, there may be some declining points such as a reduction in market share by the second quarter of 2019, further Average Selling Prices (ASP) could support revenue growth for many vendors.
List of Best TFTP Servers
Listed below are the most popular TFTP Servers being used across the world. You can check all the tools and find the perfect match for your operations.
- SolarWinds TFTP Server
- BlueCat IPAM
- Advanced IP Scanner
- BT Diamond IP
- IP Tracker
- Angry IP Scanner
- LizardSystems Network Scanner
- Bopup Scanner
- Alcatel-Lucent VitalQIP
- Infoblox Trinzic
Comparison of Top TFTP Server Tools
|Basis (Ranking)||Unique For||Free plan/trial||IPv4/IPv6||File Size Limit||Open Source||Pricing||Our Rating|
|SolarWinds TFTP Server||High scalability||Free Plan||IPv4||4 GB||No||Starts at $2,995||5.0/5|
|WhatsUp Gold||GUI based interface||Free||IPv4||4 GB||No||Free & quote-based||4.6/5|
|WinAgents||Designed for administrators||No free plan/trial||IPv4||32 MB||No||Starts at $99||4.3/5|
|Spiceworks TFTP||Designed for IT Pros||Free||IPv4||33 MB||No||Free||4.2/5|
|TFTPD32||Syslog servers||Free||IPv4/IPv6||32 MB||Yes||Free||4/5|
#1) SolarWinds TFTP Server
SolarWinds TFTP Server is a straightforward tool with a clean interface for transferring files between multiple devices. It is one of the best free TFTP servers with minimalistic design and a simple layout. Because it is a TFTP server, it has little impact on the system.
It allows seamless file transfer up to 4 GB without any inconvenience. The only thing you have to consider is configuring and defining the root server directory before running the app.
- It allows concurrent transfers from multiple devices and runs as a Windows service.
- Also, it lets you authorize a specific IP address or a range of IP’s altogether.
- Free and easy to use software with backup network device configurations.
- Push device OS, firmware updates, configuration audit, and full configuration change management.
- Highly scalable with multi-user administration and advanced device config backup.
Best For high scalability, clean interface, and advanced device config for large enterprises
Verdict: It would be worth mentioning that SolarWinds TFTP server runs as a Windows service, ensuring that it still operates even when the user logs off. Also, with SolarWinds, you can work in an environment where multiple users work on the same PC for a specific task.
The SolarWinds TFTP server is free to use. You can download the tool from the official website. Apart from the free version, you can try the Network Config Manager (starts at $2,995), with a free trial of 30 days.
#2) WhatsUp Gold
WhatsUp Gold is one of the best TFTP servers that save time as well as efforts while working with networking. It is a service-based tool that allows you to transfer files across the network simply and securely.
WhatsUp Gold also offers a premium version making it more convenient for the Network Engineers to transfer operating system software and configuration files between multiple devices simultaneously.
- Ideal for Networking Engineers as it provides simple transfer of system config.
- Sturdy, clean, intuitive and attractive GUI based interface.
- It helps in saving time and effort while uploading and downloading the file.
- Works even with the older versions of Windows such as XP, Vista, and others.
Best For: Networking engineers with impressive GUI and compatibility
Verdict: Various reviewing platforms and customers claimed that WhatsUp Gold is an excellent place for networking and transferring data. Moreover, users have also reviewed that it helps them save a lot of time by reducing the workload and increased speed.
Pricing: WhatsUp Gold offers a completely free plan for using a TFTP server. It also proposes WhatsUp Gold Total Plus for extended features and more security. Pricing of WhatsUp Gold Total Plus is not available on the website. You need to request a quote according to your requirements. Also, you can download a free trial version for 30 days.
Website: WhatsUp Gold
WinAgents provides a fully recognized TFTP server that is specially built to work consistently in the background even when the user is not logged in. Further, allowing users to focus on their primary job rather than dealing with server issues.
With the WinAgents TFTP server, you can also create stock copies of different data such as flash images, config files, and device settings in case of emergency. Other than that, it is solely designed for administrators to provide them with a reliable, secure, and high performing environment.
- Supports platforms including Windows XP/2000/Vista and implemented as a Windows service.
- Works 24/7 in the background and fully compatible with RFC (1350, 2347, 2348, and 2349).
- Complete TFTP option support, virtual TFTP folders, graphic utilities, and server status control.
- High scalable server architecture with a built-in cache system and remote server administration.
- IP based access control, file transmission through firewalls, and high precedence for a server process.
Best For remote server administration, high scalability, and server status control.
Verdict: WinAgents TFTP server allows users to keep reserve files for data and settings, aiming to keep the administrator’s focus more on the work. Also, it supports full TFTP option support and provides reliable performance.
Pricing: WinAgents offers two different types of TFTP server plans:
- WinAgents TFTP Server Standard License – for 50 connections ($99)
- WinAgents TFTP Server Upgrade Standard to Enterprise License – for large enterprises ($200)
#4) Spiceworks TFTP Server
Spiceworks TFTP server is one of the best TFTP servers developed for IT professionals to keep track of their network device config. With Spiceworks, you can backup and view all your config in one place. Apart from that, Spiceworks is a complete suite for IT management tools providing its users with free TFTP servers for making their work easy.
- Backup network config files, restore previous configs and get instant change alerts.
- It allows you to compare current network configs with backups to make changes if needed.
- Push out firmware updates in the background without interrupting the work.
- Free and in-built feature of Spiceworks.
Best For IT pros to keep a track record of their work.
Verdict: As per the different customer reviews, the Spiceworks TFTP server delivers more valuable features. Users have also claimed that it keeps getting better and better with its implementation.
Pricing: Spiceworks TFTP server is entirely free to download and can be used without any hidden cost.
Website: Spiceworks TFTP server
TFTPD32 is another free TFTP server with the same TFTPD64 config but compiled as a 32 bits application. The most noticeable thing is – it an open-source IPv6 active application with Syslog servers and TFTP clients as well.
It also includes DHCP, DNS, SNTP, and TFTP client and server. Not limited, TFTP is fully compatible with different option support such as block size, timeout, tsize, and others. With these great functionalities, it delivers maximum performance while transferring files.
- It is capable of collecting records on the configured devices and showcasing to users.
- Syslog message forwarding for external review and processing through a specified passage.
- Backup and parsing of Syslog messages can be done by saving them all together in a single file.
- Other features including directory facility, progress bars, interface filtering, security tuning, and early acknowledgments.
Best For open-source IPv6 with Syslog servers and high compatibility
Verdict: As per different reviews of TFTPD32, it saves your money by providing all the essential services related to the DHCP system, Syslog manager, and Network config. With other extended features, transferring messages and backing up Syslog is much more comfortable.
Pricing: TFTPD32 is a free and open-source tool for use. There are no charges or hidden costs for using it. Besides, it is the industry standard TFTP server.
haneWIN TFTP is a multithreaded server based on RFC 1350 and fully realizable for all versions of Windows. The multithreaded architecture of this server achieves maximum reliability and high performance while transferring the data.
Furthermore, it supports TFTP multicast operation and Intel/PXE multicast operation, as specified in RFC 2090. The server even runs in the background and provides access control for all types of operations.
- Implemented as a Windows service and supports all kinds of Windows versions.
- Includes an intuitive control panel for access to all services.
- Multithreaded architecture for high performance, security, and reliability as well.
- Received data can be directly fed into another application using a pipe option.
Best For multithreaded architecture with maximum reliability and high performance.
Verdict: haneWIN’s multithreaded architecture helps users to achieve robust performance even when the server is running in the background. Overall, the software is outstanding, with broader support and high functionalities.
Pricing: The pricing for the haneWIN TFTP server license for commercial use is around $32. Besides, the application is free to download under the shareware license.
Website: haneWIN TFTP
Atftpd stands for the Advanced TFTP server that runs on multithreaded architecture to ensure robust performance with high reliability. Moreover, it also supports full options that are mentioned in RFC2347, 2348, and 2349.
The best part is – it works on both GNU command line syntax, extended options including two dashes (‘-‘), and short options. Additionally, it provides users with a friendly and intuitive interface, as well.
- Advanced TFTP server with a multithreaded architecture.
- Full TFTP options support with high compatibility.
- It also supports MTFTP of PXE specification.
- Dynamically replace the requested file name with the new one.
- Allows restriction on accessing the trusted hosts.
Best For advanced multithreaded architecture that works on both GNU command line syntax.
Verdict: Advanced TFTP is another multithreaded based server which ensures a minimum of security and restrictions with excellent performance while transferring data between multiple devices.
Pricing: The Atftpd server is free and open-source for every user. You need to follow some simple steps for installing it on your device.
#8) Windows TFTP Utility
The Windows TFTP Server is the networking utility software for transferring files over the server. Additionally, it also allows booting devices remotely. The prominent part is – WindowsTFTP utility client and server has its source written in .NET framework coordinating with C#.
- Incorporates support for TFTP options.
- Logging of TFTP requests to different sources (including SQL server).
- Helps in including TFTP into your program using a class feature.
Best For transferring files and network utility
Verdict: The Windows TFTP utility is free and simple to use. But keeping in mind different customer views, it requires some interface improvements. Also, it utilizes the first ethernet IP address and not the IP address of directly connected NIC to the LAN.
Pricing: The Windows TFTP utility is free to download and use.
Website: Windows TFTP utility
The Tftpd-hpa can be considered as one of the best free TFTP servers that are extensively used to support remote booting of diskless devices. Moreover, the server implementation is started by inetd and not as a daemon. But it can also run as a standalone for functioning various tasks.
- Supports full IP options of both IPv4 and IPv6 as well.
- Includes RFC 2347 option negotiation.
- Filename remapping defining all remapping rules.
- Confirms to the requirements of internet hosts and TFTP protocol.
- Boot images over the network to different PXE machines.
- Possess several bug fixes and enhancements over the original.
Best For remote booting and filename remapping.
Verdict: There are not many reviews or publications about the Tftp-hpa. But according to different sources, this tool is great for remote booting, several bug fixing, and booting of images as well.
Pricing: The Tftp-hpa is free to download. Note that, the file you download is a .zip extension file.
#10) TFTP Desktop Server
The TFTP Desktop server is the perfect match for Windows and drifting technicians stock of utilities. The vital part – TFTP Desktop is developed by the same company that has developed the first-ever TFTP server for Windows NT.
Furthermore, the TFTP desktop is the best solution for updating routers, IP phones, OS, image transfer, and remote booting. Moreover, it allows for configuring multiple devices in a single network, making it one of the best TFTP servers for desktops.
- Real-time TFTP graph transfer across the network.
- Security based on the directory as well as the IP address.
- File transfer at breakneck speed and locked root folder feature to securely storing of files.
Best For updating routers, configuring multiple devices in a single network, and networking utilities.
Verdict: The TFTP Desktop server provides real-time transferring of files, unlimited file size with an option of file limitation, and fast speed over the network. Besides, it is an excellent choice for those who love using desktop applications.
Pricing: There is no fee charged for using the TFTP Desktop server.
Website: TFTP Desktop server
The TFTP server offers the precise way to boot computers that do not possess any disk drive storage. These tools are implemented as a virgin Windows service. Networking Engineers and IT pros use TFTP servers for transferring config files and data across the network.
For those who are administrators and IT pros, tools like WinAgents, Spiceworks, SolarWinds, and WhatsUp Gold are the best tools. Networking operators looking for free or open-source tools, TFTPD32, Windows TFTP utility, hanWIN, and Atftps are the best options available.
Additionally, if any user wants a desktop version, then they should go for the TFTP Desktop Server.
- Time taken to research this article: 30 Hours
- Total tools researched: 24
- Top tools shortlisted: 10