Telnet is a client/server protocol used for accessing remote servers. As the name might suggest, Telnet was originally used on terminals that only required a keyboard because everything on the screen was displayed in text, usually from a mainframe computer. The terminal used Telnet to remotely log in to a mainframe server or other computer. But in recent years, Telnet has fallen out of favor because it doesn’t provide a secure way to communicate with remote servers.
Nevertheless, Telnet still has its uses today. For example, it can be useful for checking connectivity to a remote server. You can use a Telnet client to try and access a port on a remote server. For example, if you are troubleshooting connectivity issues. Or you can use Telnet to enter some commands and run them on a remote server and the output will be returned in the Telnet client.
You can use Telnet for accessing remote servers if using strong authentication and encryption over the network isn’t critical. One example is connecting to an SMTP server. You might issue some commands to a remote SMTP server to test sending email. The commands below start the Telnet client and then create a connection on SMTP port 25 to a mail server. Then a message is sent before closing the connection.
open mail.contoso.com 25
mail from: <[email protected]>
rcpt to: <[email protected]> notify=success,failure
subject: test email
This is a test for Argo
And while Telnet has never been a critical Windows tool, there is a Telnet client built into Windows 11 and Windows Server 2022, although it isn’t enabled by default. In this article, I will show you how to enable the Telnet client using the GUI and command line.
Install the Telnet client using the GUI
Using the GUI to install the Telnet client in Windows 11 and Windows Server 2022 differs a little. Let’s start with Windows Server 2022.
Install the Telnet client in Windows Server 2022
Follow the instructions below to install the Telnet client using Server Manager.
Log in to Windows Server 2022 with an administrator account.
Open Server Manager from the Start menu.
Click the Manage menu in the top right corner and then select Add Roles and Features.
In the Add Roles and Features Wizard, click Next on the Before you begin
Click Next on the Select installation type
On the Select destination server screen, make sure that your local server is selected in the list of servers and then click Next.
Click Next on the Select server roles
On the Select features screen, scroll down the list of available features, check Telnet Client, and click Next.
Click Install on the Confirmationinstallation selections
Close the Add Roles and Features Wizard.
Install the Telnet client in Windows 11
The Telnet client is installed using the legacy Control Panel in Windows 11.
Click the Search icon on the taskbar.
Type control panel and then select Control Panel from the list of results under Best match.
In the Control Panel, click Programs.
Click Turn Windows features on or off under Programs and Features.
In the Windows Features window, scroll down the list of available features, check Telnet Client, and then click OK.