Telnet Client allows a computer to connect to a remote Telnet server and run applications on that server. Once logged on, a user is given a command prompt that can be used as if it had been opened locally on the Telnet server’s console. Commands that you type at the Telnet client command prompt are sent to the Telnet Server and executed there, as though you were locally logged on to a command prompt session at the server. Output from the commands that you run are sent back to the Telnet client where they are displayed for you to view.
The Telnet client is a feature included with Microsoft Windows Server 2008 and Windows Vista, however, it is not enabled by default. The nice part about Telnet is that it can be used across computers that use different operating systems, such as Linux, Unix, or Windows. However, unless you need it for specific text-based commands on those remote machines, and if you are only using computers running the Windows operating system, you might find it easier to use the Windows Remote Desktop feature. On Windows Server 2008 machines you can also use the Remote Shell feature (winrs) which is considered to be more secure than Telnet.
As noted above, the Telnet client is considered to be a "Feature" on both operating systems, and can be easily installed:
On Windows Server 2008, you can install Telnet client by using the Add Features Wizard in Server Manager. On Windows Vista, you install the Telnet client through the Turn Windows Features On or Off link in Control Panel.
Unless you first install it, when you first try to run a telnet command, Windows will inform you that telnet is not recognized as a command.
To install the Telnet client on Windows Server 2008 follow this procedure:
- Open Server Manager by clicking Start > Server Manager, or by using the My Computer context menu.
- From the left panel in Server Manager, click on Features.
- Click on Add Features.
- From the available list of features, scroll down and select Telnet Client, then click Next.
- On the Confirmation page, click on Install.
- Installation of the selected feature will be initialized and started. Once installation is completed, click on Close.