Telnet is a network protocol to communicate with remote systems. It is bidirectional, text based and interactive. In the context of Windows Vista telnet refers to a software implementation of the client part of the communication protocol. To be able to accept incoming telnet connections a PC must install the telnet server service which is listening to TCP port 23. By default Windows Vista does not install the Telnet service.

Steps to install telnet client

You need to carry out the following steps to install the telnet client to your Windows Vista machine:

  • Click Start and go to Control Panel
  • Use the Programs and features section to bring up options on what components of Windows Vista you want installed to your PC
  • Select Turn Windows Features On or Off a window called Windows Features should pop up
  • Scroll down until you find Telnet Client check it and click OK.
  • The features you selected will be automatically installed and configured so that when it finishes you will have the telnet client
  • If the above steps have been followed faithfully you should be able to go to Start|Run|telnet to bring up the text client to enable you to communicate with remote devices running the telnet service

How to install telnet server service on Windows Vista

This feature though turned off by default is required if you need to be able to accept incoming telnet connections. The telnet listening service runs on TCP port 23, it is disabled by default to minimize security risks which for long has been a Windows weakness.

  • Click Start then go to Control Panel | Programs.
  • Under the Programs and Features section, click Turn Windows features on or off. If User Account Control permission confirmation request warning pops up, click on Continue. If you are prompted for administrator password, type it.
  • In the Windows Features dialog box, check the Telnet Server check box.
  • Click OK and wait for the installation to finish.
  • Go back to Control Panel | System | Administrator Tools.
  • Click on Services applet (services.msc if you prefer to use Run command or Start Search).
  • Locate the Telnet service, right-click on it and select Properties.
  • In the startup Type drop down menu, select “Automatic” instead of “Disabled”.
  • Click Apply.
  • Right-click on the Telnet service again, but this time select Start option on right click context menu. Telnet Server service should be running after this.
  • Click OK.