How to Use SSH in Windows and Linux?

How to Use SSH in Windows and Linux?

What are some ways to talk and connect with other individuals other than social media, phone calls, and texting?

Let’s make this fun.

You live in a cube, and your only communication tool is a set of codes. You find out that there is another cube next to yours that contains another human, and like yourself, he has a set of communication codes. The only way you can talk to each other is if you use these sets of codes in the right order.

Now get this, with each wrong code order, one code disappears from your list. The same goes for your friend in the next cube. So, you both must use the correct codes; otherwise, you lose all your communication codes and will never be able to bust out of your cubes, which is the end goal. 

Now, let’s apply this to our topic.

What Is SSH?

SSH stands for Secure Shell and is a communication protocol to access a remote server. Two computers can be linked together through a secure shell, and within an SSH, there are authentication keys and encrypted data communication over a network.

The two computers are the two cubes, and the keys and encryption tools are the communication codes. Fortunately, in the case of SSH, you won’t use any data or codes if you put in the wrong password or authentication keys; you just won’t get access to the remote server. (The disappearing codes I mentioned were saucy details to make the analogy more fun. ;)) 

The main goals of issuing an SSH are to:

  • Initiate remote access to servers or resources
  • Execute commands
  • Perform management and administrative task like updates, configurations, backups

The best thing about SSH is that it opens a secure and private communication tunnel between a user and a host. There are, however, some security concerns because SSH keys get stored on the user’s system and can be hijacked by cybercriminals.

To secure SSH, you can implement these steps:

  1. Restrict unknown IPs
  2. Limit login attempts
  3. Change the default port and options
  4. Use second-factor authentication

How Does SSH Work?

So, if you are the client/user attempting to connect to a host/server, you can use an SSH command like ssh to initiate the connection.

Then you will receive a Yes/No prompt message containing the host’s public key, and by clicking on Yes, the SSH connection starts. After your first connection to this host, you will no longer need any approvals from the host for future connection attempts.

How to Use SSH on Windows?

As the SSH client (user), you can use one of the popular protocols called Windows PowerShell to initiate a secure shell connection on Windows. 

Follow these steps:

  1. Press WIN + I to open Settings.
  2. Apps > Apps & features
  3. Optional features
  4. +Add a feature
  5. Find OpenSSH Client
  6. Click Install
  7. Reboot Windows

OpenSSH is now installed, and you can find it in the Start menu under the name PowerShell. Once you open the PowerShell terminal, you can type in your SSH command and start your remote access session.

The best SSH client for Windows is a complete guide on different SSH protocols you can use on Windows, so be sure to check it out. 

How to Use SSH on Linux?

SSH is built into most Linux distros, and you can start a secure shell connection by following these steps:

  1. Open Terminal: CTRL+ALT+T 
  2. Type ssh username@hostname.local
  3. Select Yes when you see the prompt message
  4. Type your password

Once you’re done, press CTRL+D to close the SSH session.

(Passwords will be given to you by your host/server owner after establishing the encryption connection.)


SSH is short for Secure Shell, which refers to a secure and encrypted connection protocol between a client and a server. Unlike graphical remote access apps like TeamViewer, AnyDesk, etc., SSH runs with plain text commands. 

SSH is mostly used by IT professionals to connect to a remote server over an unsecured network. Most servers have public keys which allow users to access them through an SSH command (which we discussed for both Linux and Windows). But in some cases, the client needs a password from the server/host to gain remote access through a secure shell connection. 

The best thing about SSH connections is that they are secured with advanced encryption methods like Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) and Blowfish. 

You can start an SSH session to:

  • Alter configurations on the remote server/host
  • Execute commands for administrative tasks such as updates, backups, etc
  • Deliver software patches
  • Transfer or upload files manually and automatically
  • Alter or manage network infrastructure
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