Windows 7 does not enable a Telnet client during a default installation, which is more a secure posture than previous versions of Windows.   I found I was unable to telnet when I went to simulate an HTTP request from the command line to a possibly bogus website and realized that telnet didn’t appear to exist on the Windows 7 system.  Previous versions of Windows come with the telnet client installed in the C:\Windows\System32 directory.  This is more secure, but there are times when a telnet client is needed.  Here’s how you can enable the Telnet client in Windows 7.

  1. Click Start
  2. Click Control Panel
  3. Click Programs and Features
  4. On the left hand side, click “Turn Windows features on or off”
  5. A dialog box will open labled “Windows Features”
  6. Scroll down until you see “Telnet Client” (DO NOT enable Telnet Server!)
  7. Click the OK button

I find it interesting that Microsoft still provides the old Telnet client, but still doesn’t include an SSH client.  SSH is similar to Telnet, but provides encrypted communication between endpoints.  Odd that Telnet is disabled as a security risk–yet the best alternative, SSH is not offered or included.