By default, Windows 8 does not come with a Telnet client. This is done as a security precaution, though many dedicated Telnet users are left scratching their heads as their beloved built-in command prompt feature appears to be missing at first glance. Don’t worry, though. Telnet is just a few clicks away.
Telnet has been around for a very long time. Its origins date back to the late 1960s and was adopted as one of the first Internet protocols back before anyone knew what a website even was. I used it back in the ’90s to connect to MUDs (multi-user dungeons) and later to connect to some of the few remaining BBS hosts still up and running online. It replaced the need for me to dial directly into the hosts as it enabled them to put their systems online and make them available to anyone with an Internet connection and the proper credentials. It’s still used for the same reasons today.
Telnet has a number of uses beyond logging in to MUDs and ancient Bulletin Board Systems (BBS) that still remain alive today. It’s a useful networking protocol that is still used today by many in the IT industry. A modern equivalent might be SSH, which is much more secure. Unfortunately, many older terminals don’t support the new standard. This leaves Telnet as a primary method of connecting to them and getting things done.
So how do you install Telnet on Windows 8? Here are the steps you’ll need to take.
- Open Control Panel. This can be done through Charms, Windows+X, or by searching on the Start screen.
- Select Programs from the main menu.
- Click Turn Windows features on or off and approve the administrative request.
- Check the box next to Telnet Client and/or Telnet Server (depending on what you need).
- Hit OK.
Telnet should install itself at that point and become available through the Command Prompt as it has been on previous versions of Windows.
That’s it; you should be up and running at this point. If you have any questions about Windows 8 that you would like to have answered, please feel free to leave them in the comments section below and we’ll get them answered for you as soon as we can.