How is “putty” different from “telnet”?

  • 4
    PuTTY is an application (mainly an SSH and Telnet client), Telnet is a communication protocol. – resc Apr 26 '17 at 19:49
  • 1
    Telnet is also the name of an application that uses the telnet protocol, so they are both programs which is probably what the OP was asking about. – einonm Apr 26 '17 at 21:37

There is a program called telnet as well as the protocol called telnet.

I assume you are talking about the programs putty and telnet.

telnet connects to a host with the telnet protocol over an internet connection and information is exchanged in clear unencrypted text which is why its use is generally frowned these days.

putty is a multi-protocol application that can talk to serial lines, internet telnet protocol and openssh (commonly referred to ssh) protocols. Why you use putty is to use the ssh protocol to communicate with other hosts and the communication is encrypted.

BTW, there is a program called ssh which is communicates over the internet using the ssh protocol as well.


Big time! As other writer as stated, putty.exe (mainly) is used for SSH connections (it's secure; encrypted) and telnet is non-secure (pure text) based program (and protocol).

Don't use telnet on open network, if you don't have VPN to destination. Use SSH!

  • Not only .exe - there is also putty for *nix – Arkadiusz Drabczyk Apr 26 '17 at 19:59
  • 1
    Good point.. But who uses putty at *nix environment? – JJussi Apr 26 '17 at 20:00
  • 2
    PuTTY does telnet and serial as well. It's just a program for getting a command line going. – Bratchley Apr 26 '17 at 20:01
  • I have never seen anyone but maybe someone does. – Arkadiusz Drabczyk Apr 26 '17 at 20:01

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