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Definition: Telnet

(1) For the communications network, see Telenet.

(2) A terminal emulation protocol used on the Internet and TCP/IP-based networks. A Telnet program allows a user at a terminal or PC to log in to a remote computer and run a program and execute other Unix commands. Originally developed for ARPAnet, Telnet is a common utility in the TCP/IP protocol suite, but it is not secure and transfers commands in the clear. Secure shell (SSH) provides an encrypted alternative that is widely used (see SSH).

Telnetting from Windows
The Telnet utility in Windows is used to log in to and run programs on servers in local networks as well as the Internet. In this example, Telnet is used for local device management. It is logged into a router to run the device's built-in configuration software.