Telnet is the oldest computer protocol that allows two computers to talk to each other over the Internet or local area network. However, Microsoft decided to remove the Telnet server from Windows 10 and Windows Server 2012 onwards. It’s a good step considering that Telnet doesn’t support encryption and the data go through the network in plain text. But, what if I need Telnet for educational purpose? Or what if I don’t want to configure SSL since I am dealing with a public server.
So, here are few ways to enable Telnet client as well as Telnet server on Windows version 8, 8.1, 10 or Windows Server 2012 and higher. Let’s start with the client first.
How to enable Telnet Client in Windows 10
If you type in telnet in the command prompt you will get an error stating “Telnet is not recognized as an internal or external command.”. This is because telnet client is disabled in Windows 10 by default. To enable Telnet, go to the start menu and type “Turn Windows features on and off“.
On the next pop-up, browse to Telnet Client. Click the checkbox beside it and hit Ok.
Windows will take some time to install Telnet and once done, you can use the telnet command in CMD or you can fire the telnet utility from the search menu. To do that, press Win+S and type Telnet.
This will open the telnet client directly within CMD and the window should look like the one below.
How to enable Telnet Server for Windows 10
Telnet clients let you connect to other Telnet Servers. You cannot connect to your own system and fire remote commands. For that, you need a Telnet Server and unfortunately, there is no native way to enable it in Windows 10. You have to install third-party apps to start serving Telnet on port 23.
If all you want is to enable the telnet server to fire remote commands to your machine, I would suggest HK Telnet server. It is pretty easy to set up. Simply, download the app and launch the application. It is more of like a portable app rather than an exe. As soon, as you launch the application, you get a floating window.
Here, you can enter the port number where you want Telnet to accept the connections from. The UI is pretty simple with minimum options. You can set a user ID and password for the telnet login.
The app doesn’t provide an option to force SSL or encryption. If you want a bigger solution with SSH like custom login message and IP blocking then you need to get on KpyM Telnet Server. During the installation of the app, you will be prompted to start the server either at port 22 (SSH) or port 23 (telnet). In case, you are going to run telnet choose port 23 now because this is the only time you will be seeing GUI in this app.
Once you have finished installing it, you can configure further through the KTS daemon. Go to the Start menu and type “Setup kpyM Telnet SSH Server“. This will open a black dialogue box where you can configure settings like use SSL, port number, login_message, password etc. The same daemon also provides the options to start or stop the telnet server.
Security was one of the major concerns due to which Telnet Server was removed from Windows. It is advisable not to use telnet when you are dealing with sensitive data. However, in the case of public servers, it is okay if you don’t want to set up encryption key certificates and SSL.
Voice out your queries in the comments and I will be happy to help you out.
Also Read: 6 Best Android SSH Client You Should Try