In this tutorial I am going to be showing you how you can enable and use the built in telnet client for Windows so a terminal session can be made to other devices.

What is Telnet?

Telnet is a lightweight and simple text based protocol that allows the bi-directional communication of raw ASCII characters over an IP network. Today its implementation is typically used to manage network devices or provide lightweight services without using a web browser or dedicated application. Telnet does have its draw backs. The first is that all communication is not encrypted therefore any text communicated can be captured in transit and seen by a potential malicious actor. This includes any passwords that you enter while in a telnet session! Use with caution. Another note is that by default telnet uses TCP port 23 to send its traffic. You as a user can change this however should you wish to.

In Windows there is a built-in telnet client however it is disabled by default and when trying to initiate a session you will get an error that the command does not exist. Similar to the error seen below.

How to Enable Telnet

Note   Note
This works for Windows Vista, 7 and 8

1. The first step is to go to Start > Control Panel.

2. Once Control Panel is open click on the 'Programs' section and then click on 'Turn Windows features on or off'.

3. If a UAC prompt is shown then simply click 'Yes' to proceed.

4. From the list of services check the box next to 'Telnet Client' and then click OK. It will then proceed to install the telnet client feature.

Once that is done the telnet client is installed and now you can open a command prompt and issue a telnet connection to a device willing to accept connections. An example of a telnet session to a router can be seen below!

Hope this Helps,