what is telnet ? what is telnet used for(Telnet vs SSH)
What is telnet? So that is a topic of today’s discussion Now telnet is a terminal emulation program that is used to access remote servers.
It’s a simple command-line tool that runs on your computer and it’ll allow you to send commands remotely to a server and administer
that server just as if you were sitting in front of it. So when you connect remotely to a server using telnet
you would just use commands with a keyboard to tell that server what to do. So you can use those commands to run programs, create folders, delete files, create files, transfer files, browse directories, start or stop services, and so on. So pretty much you can do everything even if you’re a thousand miles away from that server. And in addition to communicating with servers,
telnet is also used to manage and configure other network devices such as routers and switches.
And you can also use it to check if ports are open or closed on a server.
Now telnet can be used with operating systems such as Windows and MacOS, but it’s largely used on Linux and UNIX systems. So as I stated before, telnet is a command-line tool. There is no
graphical user interface.
it’s just a very simple,text oriented utility that will run on a computer.
In fact you don’t even have to have a computer to run telnet. You can just use a simple dumb terminal and all the commands are sent by using a keyboard. And because it only sends commands and not graphics, telnet is very fast.
Now telnet stands for teletype network and it was developed back in 1969.And because it was developed prior to the internet, security was not really an issue.So with telnet, all the commands are sent in clear text, so there is no encryption.
So if you were to use telnet today to communicate with a server over the internet, someone could easily eavesdrop and grab any sensitive data that you’re sending to that server, such as usernames and passwords. So because of the lack of encryption,
telnet is outdated and it should not be used over the public internet. But some people still use
it today but largely in a local area network and not over the internet.
But also they may have to use it if they are working with older equipment that can’t support modern protocols such as SSH.
what is SSH? what is SSH used for(Telnet vs SSH)
Now SSH or secure shell, is a better alternative to telnet.
Secure shell protects the data from being attacked or stolen as it’s being transferred over a network.
So as I stated before,if you are sending sensitive data like a login or password, a hacker could be listening and steal the data. And that is the reason for secure shell.
Secure shell encrypts the data during the transfer and protects it from potential threats. And in addition to encryption it also provides password and public key authentication.
So secure shell does everything that telnet does but it’s a secure protocol and that’s what people use today instead of telnet.
Telnet examples & Commands
Now if you want to see some interesting examples of telnet, you can do this on your computer. And in my example we’re going to do this on a Windows machine. Now first you have to enable the telnet client in the Windows operating systems.
So you first go into ‘programs and features’ and then you would click on ‘turn Windows Features on or off’ and from here you have to enable the telnet client feature.
And then you would just open up a command prompt as an administrator, and then you can start some telnet commands. So for example if you want to see a Star Wars movie in a full ASCII version, at a command prompt you just type telnettowel.blinkinglights.NL and then you press ENTER. And it’ll show you an ASCII version of a Star Wars movie which is really interesting.
Or you can also play a game of chess using town telnet. So you would just type telnet freechess.org
and then the port number which is 5,000 and then you can play a telnet version of chess.
Or if you want to know the weather forecast for a specific city, you can do that also. So you can just type telnet rainmaker.wunderground.com and then press ENTER and then just enter a city code and it’ll give you the weather for that city.