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

Milan Stanojevic avatar. By: Milan Stanojevic
3 minute read

Home » We answer: What is Telnet in Windows 10 and how to use it?

With the development of Internet many protocols were invented that allowed us to use it better. One of these protocols was Telnet, and 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.

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 as 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. 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.

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.
    telnet-windows-features
  2. When Windows Features opens, scroll down and check Telnet Client. Click OK to install Telnet.
    telnet-client-enable
  3. Wait until Windows installs the necessary components.
    telnet-searching-required-files
  4. Once the installation is completed click the Close button.
    telnet-completed

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

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

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, but 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, and due to lack of encryption malicious users can easily steal your password and see all the data between the Telnet client and server. Telnet also 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 might not be the safest Internet protocol, newer protocols, such as SSH for example, were inspired by Telnet, and they are designed to fix many flaws that original Telnet had.

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

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