How to Telnet Into a Router

By Chris Hoffman

Updated February 10, 2017

Access the shell on a router or other network device with Telnet.
i Hemera Technologies/ Images

Routers and other networked devices often run Telnet servers. Telnet is a text-based program that lets you access the console on a router or other device and issue commands. You can Telnet into a router using the Telnet client included with Windows. This program isn’t installed by default; you have to install it using the Windows Features control panel tool before using it. Unlike other protocols, Telnet isn’t secure and shouldn’t be used over the Internet. Telnet passwords are transmitted in plain text instead of encrypted.

Click “Start,” type “Windows Features” into the search box at the bottom of the Start menu and press “Enter.”

Click the check box to the left of “Telnet Client” in the Turn Windows Features On or Off dialog window that appears and click “OK” to install it.

Click “Start,” type “cmd” into the search box at the bottom of the Start menu and press “Enter” to open a Command Prompt window.

Type “telnet [IP Address]”, replacing “[IP Address]” with the IP address of the router to which you want to connect, and press “Enter.”

Type the password the router requires at the password prompt and press “Enter.” This prompt only appears if the router requires a password.


You can find the IP address of the router you’re connected to using the "ipconfig" command. Type “ipconfig” into the Command Prompt window and press “Enter,” then look for the IP address to the right of “Default Gateway” under “Local Area Connection” or “Wireless Network Connection.”