Your Internet Consultant - The FAQs of Life Online

3.16. What is Telnet?

Telnet is a program that allows you to connect to another computer to run software there. Typically, you login either to access a shell (like the UNIX operating system on the remote computer) or some utility, like a weather server or game.

Note: Most of the time, this book talks about Internet tools when it's most appropriate--for instance, the information about File Transfer Protocol is in Chapter 6, "How Can I Find and Use Software (and Other Stuff)?" But some tools, such as Telnet and Gopher, are used in so many situations that I'm going to talk briefly about them here. Specific examples of using them for particular purposes are covered in later chapters, as appropriate.

To Telnet to a computer, you need to know its name or IP address:

Some services require you to Telnet to a specific port on the remote computer. In these cases, that port is usually dedicated to a particular service, so once you've connected, you are whisked directly into that program or tool. Type the port number, if there is one, after the Internet address. For example:

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