Telnet is a terminal emulation protocol used on the Internet and TCP/IP networks.
It lets users work on one workstation and log on to a remote host from that workstation to run a program over the network.
For example: Telnet lets you connect to a remote computer, which could be in the same room (for example, to reserve a book in a library) or on the other side of the world (for example, to access email while traveling).
To use Telnet, you need an Internet connection, Telnet software, the resource computer's address (either an IP numerical address or name), and a username and password.
Telnet vs. FTP
The table below summarizes the major differences between Telnet and FTP.
Finding Telnet software
Windows has built-in Telnet software, which can be found in the Windows folder. Double-click the application to activate it. Examples of Telnet
software for the Macintosh computer include ProTerm and Nifty Telnet. The most commonly used Telnet software is NCSA Telnet.
A resource for Telnet addresses is Hytelnet, at the University of Saskatchewan, with the Telnet address, access.usask.ca. Sites that need a password (not all do) usually supply the password on the opening screen.
Telnet applications have a command line interface and are not directly supported by browsers.
When following Telnet links, Telnet must be configured as a helper application.
In the next lesson, you will learn about email and popular email directories.