WHAT IS TELNET?

Telnet is a network text-only protocol that provides bidirectional interactive communications facility using virtual terminal connection. Telnet is the method that allows connecting to a remote computer over Internet and using programs and data as if they were on your local machine. User data is distributed in-band with Telnet control information in an 8-bit byte data connection over the TCP (Transmission Control Protocol).

Telnet was developed in 1969. It started as RFC 15, then extended in RFC 854, and standardized as Internet Engineering Task Force Internet Standard STD 8.

Historical facts:

  • Before March 5, 1973, Telnet was an ad-hoc protocol with no official definition.
  • On March 5, 1973, a Telnet protocol standard was defined at UCLA.
  • In mid-2010, the Telnet protocol itself has been mostly superseded for remote login.

Term Telnet:

The term telnet may also mean the software implementations of the client part of the protocol. Telnet client applications are available for virtually all computer platforms. Sometimes telnet can be used as a verb: to telnet is to establish connection with the Telnet protocol.

Where Telnet can be used:

  • There are a number of text-based games available through Telnet.
  • Enterprise networks to access host applications, e.g., on IBM Mainframes.
  • For many years, multiple library catalogs were only reachable through Telnet, though you will hardly find ones now.
  • There was Delphi's Internet service, the first nationwide Internet service publically available, but it closed Telnet access in 2001.
  • Mobile data collection applications where Telnet runs over secure networks.

Did you know?

Serial to Ethernet Connector lets you work with serial devices that support Telnet protocol. With this software you can share serial port over network and connect to it and to the devices plugged into it from remote machines as if they were connected locally.