Updated: 06/27/2017 by Computer Hope

A terminal emulation that enables a user to connect to a remote host or device using a telnet client, usually over port 23. For example, typing telnet hostname would connect a user to a hostname named hostname. Telnet enables a user to manage an account or device remotely. For example, a user may telnet into a computer that hosts their website to manage his or her files remotely. In the image to the right, is an example of a telnet session. As can be seen from this example, a telnet session is a command line interface.


Telnet is considered insecure because it transfers all data in clear text. Which means if a user was sniffing a network, it's very possible they could grab your username and password as they were being transmitted. Users who are concerned about the data being transmitted should consider SSH as opposed to telnet.

Related pages

Network terms, SSH