Hello! We are going to explain what SSH is and how you can configure it on your Windows 11 PC or laptop. It is a tool mainly intended for system administrators. Therefore, it is not recommended for home users. Indeed, they have simpler alternatives. However, it is worth knowing the scope of this tool. We will start the article by explaining in a brief but understandable way what exactly is this protocol to connect two computers. And then, we will go on to tell you how you can configure it for use on your Windows 11 computer.
What is SSH
SSH, or Secure Shell, is a protocol used to connect two computers together wirelessly. With this in mind, set up remote access through a secure channel. In this channel, information travels encrypted between computers. In addition to the protocol, SSH is also the name of the program that implements it.
Therefore, it is a kind of remote access to be able to exchange files between computers. In other words, it is a technology similar to other protocols such as FTP and Telnet. However, as we have already pointed out, it is more focused on system administrators. At user level, you have other simpler alternatives such as remote desktops or clouds for file sharing.
In addition to connecting computers and exchanging files, it also allows you to securely copy data from a computer to an external client that has connected using RSA keys. These are more secure than login passwords. You can also simulate encrypted FTP sessions in order to exchange them.
In its favor is the fact that it is a very versatile protocol. In fact, it allows you to connect to the computer you configure as a server both from an internal network and remotely. Indeed, you are not dependent on them sharing the same network or being close to each other. However, to have this freedom in the connection between computers, you first need to configure one as an SSH server. After that, you will be able to connect to it from other devices.
On the downside is that, being designed for professional environments. It is certainly a bit complex to use. A user without a lot of computer knowledge might be intimidated by it. Because in the end, the quickest and easiest thing to do if you don’t have much of an idea is to simply set up a remote desktop. Another simple option is to share files in the cloud to access them from any computer.
Nowadays, you will be able to use SSH from virtually any computer, regardless of its operating system. This is because it is a function that is implemented mainly through multiple third-party applications. Some of them are complex and require the use of the command line. However, we will try to make it as easy as possible for you.
How to configure SSH in Windows 11
To configure SSH in Windows 11, you have to activate a computer as a server. With this in mind, turn on the PC where you are going to have the data you want to access from other computers. Next, open the Start menu and type services.msc. Finally, click on the Services application will appear to open it. Next we will see how to configure SSH in Windows 11.
This will take you to the Windows services window. In it, you have a list of services, and in it, you have to right-click on the OpenSSH SSH Server service. In the pop-up menu, you can do two things: click on Start to simply launch the SSH server, or click on Properties to be able to configure it.
Now, launch the Windows Terminal application. In this console, as if logging in as administrator, type the command:
New-NetFirewallRule -Name sshd -DisplayName 'OpenSSH Server (sshd)' -Service sshd -Enabled True -Direction Inbound -Protocol TCP -Action Allow -Profile Domain.
When you do this, you will have enabled everything necessary and opened port 22 to be able to access this computer with an SSH client from outside your home network. The last step will be to find out and write down the IP of this computer. This is something simple that you can do from a simple website like ipinfo.io/ip.
Configuring the client machine
Now, go to the computer from which you want to connect to the one you have configured as a server. You will need to download a SHH client to it. We will use a program called PuTTY that you can get from here. Download its installer for your version of Windows and install it.
The installation process is simple and clean, without adware or anything complicated. You only have to choose the destination folder or if you want shortcuts, and it will not try to put any application you don’t want.
And once you have installed it, using PuTTy is easy. Just type the IP address where it says Host Name and click on the Open button, indicating first that it is an SSH. If you want, you can click on the Save button to save this address and session. On the other hand, if you are an advanced user, this tool will offer you dozens of options.
Some useful Putty commands
Below is a list of the main commands:
- Special Command: allows executing directly a series of common commands on the working machine. This option can appear, or not, depending on the machine connected.
- Event Log: It shows a record that details all the processes and data generated in the connection.
- New Session:Allows you to return to the main screen of the program to create a new connection to the same or another server with different parameters.
- Restart Session: Close the open session and restart it to start working with it from the login.
- Duplicate Session: It will create a duplicate of the current session.
- Saved Sessions: This is direct access to the sessions saved in the program, along with its preferences.
- Change Settings: Allows you to change some parameters of the current session settings.
- Copy All to Clipboard: Copies the entire contents of the program’s buffer to the Windows clipboard.
- Clear Scrollback: It is equivalent to use the CLS or clear function. That is, it cleans the screen but does not clear the buffer.
- Reset Terminal: Re-start the session completely, starting from scratch. Clears the screen and the buffer.
- Full Screen: Converts the console to full screen, and pressing Alt+Enter returns it to its normal state.
Very well, this way we have seen how to configure SSH in Windows 11. See you soon!