What is Telnet and how to use it in Windows 10?

by Milan Stanojevic
Milan Stanojevic
Milan Stanojevic
Windows & Software Expert
Milan has been enthusiastic about PCs ever since his childhood days, and this led him to take interest in all PC-related technologies. Before joining WindowsReport, he worked as... read more
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If you’re not familiar with it, today we’re going to explain you how Telnet works and can you use it on Windows 10.

The development of Internet saw the invention of many protocols that allowed us to use it better. One of these protocols was Telnet.

What is Telnet and how does it work?

Telnet is an Internet protocol that allows you to connect to a different computer on your local network or on the Internet.

Telnet was invented in 1969, and it’s often considered an ancestor of modern Internet.

Today most users use a graphical user interface, but when Telnet was invented there were no browsers or graphical operating systems. Therefore, users had to rely solely on command line interface.

It’s worth mentioning that Telnet still works like it did decades ago, and Telnet clients are available for almost any platform.

Telnet changed the way how people use Internet because in the time before Telnet users had to manually use the server in order to get certain data.

With Telnet, users could access the server remotely from the comfort of their home for the first time.

In addition to remote access, multiple users were able to connect to the server over Telnet. Therefore, it’s not hard to see how Telnet influenced the development of the Internet.

We have to mention that there are two different terms when it comes to Telnet: Telnet server and Telnet client. The former is a computer designed to run as a Telnet server.

You can easily turn your Windows PC into a Telnet server and you should be able to access it over Telnet.

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Bear in mind that having a public IP address leaves your computer open for access by any computer on the Internet, so be sure to use a firewall in order to protect your PC from unauthorized remote access.

The same principles apply to running Telnet on Windows 11, so make sure to check it out if you’re running the latest OS from Microsoft.

Telnet client is a PC that uses a Telnet connection to connect to a Telnet server. In fact, you can use Telnet from Windows 10 by following these steps:

  1. Press Windows Key + S on your keyboard and enter features. Select Turn Windows Features on or off.
  2. When Windows Features opens, scroll down and check Telnet Client. Click OK to install Telnet.
  3. Wait until Windows installs the necessary components.
  4. Once the installation is completed click the Close button.

After you install Telnet, you can start it by doing the following:

  1. Press Windows Key + S and enter telnet. Select Telnet from the list of results.
  2. Command line will now open, and you should be able to use Telnet without any problems.

Why is Telnet obsolete?

Although running Telnet on Windows 10 is fairly simple, the question remains why would you use Telnet for? Telnet is an outdated protocol, and most people don’t use it anymore.

This protocol is great if you are a computer geek, and you want to access Internet by using command line. Unfortunately, there aren’t many Telnet servers available nowadays, so you might have to do some research before you find one.

One of the biggest flaws of Telnet is its lack of security. Telnet transmits all the data between the client and the server without any encryption which means that almost anyone can intercept your data.

This is especially important if you’re sending sensitive information over Telnet, such as your username or password. Due to lack of encryption, malicious users can easily steal your password and see all the data between the Telnet client and server.

Also, Telnet doesn’t have authentication, which means that malicious users can easily intercept your traffic. Lastly, Telnet has several additional security vulnerabilities which make it quite unsafe to use.

Even though Telnet in Windows 10 might not be the safest Internet protocol, newer protocols, such as SSH for example, were inspired by Telnet. They are designed to fix many flaws that original Telnet had.

Telnet might not be as popular as it was a few decades ago. Stll, it’s certain that Telnet changed the way how Internet works forever.


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