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As cloud computing grows in popularity, the SSH protocol continues to enjoy widespread use. This protocol, otherwise known as SSH, is a convenient, secure way to connect to remote computers.
Many businesses use cloud computing to cut costs and reduce overhead. In turn, outsourced IT departments are becoming more and more common. SSH offers a reliable and easy way for IT professionals to connect remotely to computers, which dramatically reduces the amount of traveling needed. Learn more about SSH, how it’s used, and how it works below.
What is Secure Shell?
SSH was developed to provide a more secure alternative to Telnet. However, Telnet poses some very serious security issues. Most notably, passwords are sent in plaint text over Telnet. In a cloud computing environment, this is extremely risky and exposes computers and networks to a variety of major threats. With SSH, two networked computers are able to connect in a highly secure manner, even if they share an insecure connection.
Although SSH is most commonly associated with UNIX®-like operating systems, it can be used on Windows® PCs as well. In fact, now that cloud computing is becoming so ubiquitous, it is being used to connect remotely to Windows PCs on an even more regular basis.
Currently, SSH is the simplest, most elegant way to connect remotely to PCs in order to execute a variety of commands. When connectivity issues arise, the SSH protocol can be used to diagnose problems and implement solutions.
What is Secure Shell Used For?
The SSH protocol is a handy tool for any IT professional, especially in the age of cloud computing. With SSH, it is easy to connect quickly and securely to a remote computer through a command line interface. Once a connection is established, commands can be executed remotely.
SSH is most often used to resolve connectivity problems. However, it can also be used for tunneling, X11 connections, and forwarding TCP ports. Unlike UNIX-like operating systems, Windows does not include SSH protocol by default. However, it can be added by downloading an SSH client.
IT professionals can diagnose and repair connectivity problems through SSH connections. Files can also be transferred, and SSH is popularly used for this purpose as well. File transfers are usually conducted through SSH file transfer, or SFTP. They can also be conducted through the secure copy protocol, or SCP. As with executing commands, these files transfers are conducted in a highly safe and secure manner.
When an SSH connection is made, public key cryptography ensures the safety and integrity of the data that is subsequently transmitted.
How Secure Shell Works
As mentioned previously, UNIX-like operating systems typically have built-in SSH clients. That’s not the case with Windows, so the first step to using SSH on a Windows machine is downloading an SSH client. After launching the client, an IT professional enters the IP address of the machine to which he or she would like to connect remotely. Typically, it’s also necessary to enter log-in credentials. This is especially true with Windows computers, which usually have log-in screens. A public and private key pair is generated and contained on the system itself, which enhances the security of the connection considerably.
Once a connection is established through SSH, commands can be executed through the command line interface. Due to the nature of the authentication that takes place while logging in, these commands can be executed with confidence. The information that is subsequently exchanged is encrypted through public key cryptography. This level of security within SSH is significant because options like Telnet simply transmit passwords and other information as plain text. When used in conjunction with an Internet connection, it is critical for such information to be encrypted. The secure channel that is created through SSH can exist even over an insecure network, which is the top selling point of the SSH protocol.
DameWare® SSH Client for Windows
The vast majority of SSH clients are fairly basic and not very intuitive. Busy SysAdmins, who often juggle many remote servers at one time, demanded a better alternative.
The DameWare SSH Client for Windows addresses the biggest drawbacks of most other SSH clients. One of the most remarkable features of this free client is its tabbed interface, which mimics the design of today’s most popular Internet browsers and allows SysAdmins to have several sessions open in one window. This dramatically enhances productivity and allows IT professionals to handle a variety of tasks at one time.
Another exciting feature about the DameWare SSH Client for Windows is the fact that popular sessions can be saved for quick and easy access later. In other words, there’s no need for a SysAdmin or other IT professional to reenter the same credentials again and again. IT professionals usually handle the same clients from one day to the next, so they need to connect to the same machines again and again. The credentials management feature of the DameWare SSH Client for Windows saves a substantial amount of time by allowng SysAdmins to connect when needed without having to jump through inconvenient, repetitive hoops.
In addition to the great features highlighted above, the DameWare SSH Client for Windows is absolutely free. It is available for download now, and it only takes a few seconds to get started. There are plenty of SSH clients out there, but this one is designed with today’s busy SysAdmins and IT professionals in mind. It has also been developed in response to the growing popularity of cloud computing, which has triggered a huge increase in the number of users who are connecting to remote servers. If you’d like to see it in action for yourself, download it now.