How to Enable Telnet Server in Windows 10.
Telnet is the oldest computer protocol that allows two computers to communicate with each other over the Internet or a local area network. However, Microsoft decided to remove Telnet Server from Windows 10 and Windows Server 2012 onwards. This is a good move given that Telnet does not support encryption and data travels over the network in plain text. But what if I need Telnet for educational purposes? Or what if I don’t want to configure SSL since I am dealing with a public server.
So, here are some ways to enable Telnet client as well as Telnet server on Windows 8, 8.1, 10 or Windows Server 2012 and above. Let’s start with the client first.
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How to enable Telnet Client in Windows 10
If you enter telnet at the command line, you will receive the error “Telnet is not recognized as an internal or external command.” This is because the Telnet client is disabled by default in Windows 10. To enable Telnet, go to the Start menu and type Turn Windows features on or off.
In the next popup, navigate to Telnet client. Check the box next to it and click OK.
Windows will take some time to install Telnet and after that you can use the telnet command in CMD or run the telnet utility from the search menu. To do this, press Win + S and enter Telnet.
This will open the telnet client directly in CMD and the window should look like below.
How to enable Telnet Server for Windows 10
Telnet clients allow you to connect to other Telnet servers. You cannot connect to your own system and run remote commands. You will need a Telnet server to do this, and unfortunately Windows 10 doesn’t have its own way to enable it. To start Telnet service on port 23, you need to install third-party applications.
Two of my favorite utilities for this are HK Telnet Server and KpyM Telnet Server. They both serve a different audience.
If all you need is to allow the telnet server to run remote commands on your machine, then I would suggest the HK Telnet server. The setup is pretty straightforward. Just download the app and launch it. It looks more like a portable application than an exe. As soon as you launch the application, you will have a floating window.
Here you can enter the port number from which Telnet will accept connections. The user interface is pretty simple with a minimum of customization. You can set user ID and password for telnet login.
There is no way to enforce SSL or encryption in the app. If you want a larger SSH solution like custom login message and IP blocking, you need to upgrade to KpyM Telnet Server. During the installation of the application, you will be prompted to start the server either on port 22 (SSH) or on port 23 (telnet). In case you are going to start telnet, select port 23 now, because this is the only time you will see the GUI in this application.
Once the installation is complete, you can proceed with the configuration using the KTS daemon. Go to the start menu and type “Configure kpyM Telnet SSH Server”. A black dialog box will open where you can configure settings such as SSL usage, port number, login message, password, etc. The same daemon also provides options for starting or stopping the telnet server.
Security was one of the major concerns that led to the removal of Telnet Server from Windows. It is advisable not to use telnet when dealing with sensitive data. However, in the case of public servers, it’s okay if you don’t want to configure encryption and SSL key certificates.
Post your questions in the comments and I’ll be happy to help you.
Also Read: 6 Best SSH Clients for Android to Try