The TELNET command in Windows CMD is used to connect to remote hosts using the Telnet protocol, a user command and TCP/IP protocol for accessing remote computers. Through Telnet, users can manage servers and devices by executing commands remotely in a text-based interface. This command is most effective in network troubleshooting, managing network devices like routers or switches, and deprecated for tasks where security is a priority since it transmits data, including passwords in plaintext.


The basic syntax for using the TELNET command is:

TELNET [host] [port]
  • host: The IP address or domain name of the remote host to which you want to connect.
  • port: Optional. Specifies the port number to be used when connecting to the remote host. The default port for Telnet is 23.


TELNET generally doesn’t have extended options or flags but relies on commands online after initiating the Telnet session. However, enabling and using the Telnet client on Windows requires:

pkgmgr /iu:"TelnetClient"

This command installs the Telnet Client feature if it isn’t already enabled on your Windows system.


  1. Connecting to a Remote Host:
    Connect to a remote host using the default Telnet port (23):

  2. Connecting to a Specific Port:
    Connect to a remote server where a specific service is running on a different port, for example, a Telnet service running on port 2323:

    TELNET 2323

Common Issues

  1. Connection Refused:

    • Error: Could not open connection to the host, on port 23: Connect failed.
    • Cause: Telnet server isn’t running on the target machine, or network issues are preventing access.
    • Solution: Ensure the Telnet server is active on the target and check the network settings and firewall configurations.
  2. Security Warning:

    • Concern: Telnet transmits data in plaintext.
    • Solution: Consider using more secure protocols like SSH where possible.


TELNET can be combined with batch scripts or other CMD commands for automating tasks. For example, integrating Telnet in a basic script to check service status on multiple servers:

@echo off
for %%i in (server1, server2, server3) do (
  echo Checking services on %%i
  TELNET %%i 25

This script can be used to quickly check the availability of mail services running on port 25 across several servers.

  • SSH: Used for secure remote login from one computer to another.
  • Ping: Helps in determining the latency and whether a host is reachable.
  • Tracert: Used to trace the path that an IP packed has taken to reach a destination.

For further reading and more detailed information, visit the official Microsoft documentation.