As the vendor of a telnet client application, we get many
questions about what telnet is and how it works. We have written this
page to help answer some of those questions.
Definition of Telnet
The word telnet is derived from telecommunications
network. Telnet is a protocol that provides remote terminal
access to a host computer. Instead of a terminal wired directly
to a nearby host computer, telnet allows the terminal to be connected
to a computer anywhere on a network or the Internet. This means that
someone in California could connect to a computer in the New York City
Public Library and search the card catalog the same way as someone located at
a terminal in the library.
The computer that acts as a terminal is called the telnet
client and the computer that acts as the host is called the
telnet server. The telnet client computer must run an telnet
client application (like TN3270 Plus) and the telnet server must run a
telnet server application. The TCP/IP protocol is used to transmit
information between the telnet client and the telnet server.