The TOTEM experiment, small in size compared to the others at the LHC, is dedicated to the measurement of the total proton-proton cross-section with the luminosity-independent method and to the study of elastic and diffractive scattering. To achieve optimum forward coverage for charged particles emitted by the pp collisions in the interaction point IP5, two tracking telescopes, T1 and T2, are installed on each side in the pseudo-rapidity region between 3.1 and 6.5, and Roman Pot (RP) stations are placed at distances of 147m and 220m from IP5. The telescope closest to the interaction point (T1, centered at z = 9 m) consists of Cathode Strip Chambers (CSC), while the second one (T2, centered at 13.5 m), makes use of Gas Electron Multipliers (GEM). The proton detectors in the RPs are silicon devices designed by TOTEM with the specific objective of reducing down to a few tens of microns the insensitive area at the edge. High efficiency as close as possible to the physical detector boundary is an essential feature. It maximizes the experimental acceptance for protons scattered elastically or diffractively at polar angles down to a few micro-radians. To measure protons at the lowest possible emission angles, special beam optics have been developed, optimizing acceptance and resolution. The read-out of all TOTEM subsystems is based on the custom-designed digital VFAT chip with trigger capability.