What is SSH? | How to Install and Use SSH Server on Windows 10

The SSH (Secure Shell) protocol, which uses for encrypted data transmission, uses 22 port number and provides machine control management by providing a remote connection.

How to Install and Use SSH Server on Windows 10

What is SSH?

SSH or Secure Shell is a remote management protocol that allows users to control and modify their remote servers over the Internet. This protocol was created as a secure back up for unencrypted Telnet and uses encryption techniques to ensure that all communications to the remote server are encrypted.

It is the name of the program that implements it and is used to access remote machines over the network. It allows us to fully manage the computer through a command interpreter and also can redirect X traffic to execute graphics programs if we have a working X Server (on Unix and Windows systems).

In addition to connecting to other devices, SSH allows us to securely copy data (simulate both single files and encrypted FTP sessions), manage RSA keys and pass through another application data channel to avoid typing keys when connecting to devices.

Security

SSH works the same as Telnet. The main difference is that SSH uses encryption techniques that make the information circulating in the media unreadable and no third party can find the username and password of the link or what was written throughout the session; With REPLAY attacks, it is possible to attack such systems and thus change the information between the targets.

History

At first there were r commands based only on the rlogin program, which worked similarly to telnet.

The first version of the protocol and program was free and was created by Finn named Tatu Ylönen, but its license was changed and the SSH Communications Security company appeared, which offered free for local and academic use, but demanded payment to others.

It was proposed as a draft in IETF in 1997 (two years after the first version was created).

In early 1999, it started to write a version of OpenBSH that would become an excellent application called OpenSSH.

Authentication

Password authentication

SSH allows the user to authenticate using the normal Unix password. The only (and important) difference is that the password never roams clearly over the network. If we use SSH to change telnet, rlogin or FTP, we will prevent our password from being caught by potential “sniffers” on the network.

On the other hand, we will continue to be vulnerable to “dictionary attacks” against the password: if an attacker has access to the /etc/passwd file, it is not difficult to find passwords of words that may appear in the dictionary. This means that it is extremely important for the administrator to properly protect the /etc/passwd file and for users to use “secure” passwords (combining as many random, upper case, lower case, numbers, and punctuation as possible).

Public key authentication

The second authentication alternative uses a public/private key scheme, also known as an asymmetric key. This scheme uses a pair of keys:

1. A public key that is copied to all servers we want to connect to.
2. A private key that we have only; For additional security, this key is encrypted with a password.

These two keys have an important feature: Text encrypted with a public key can only be decrypted using a private key, while text encrypted with a private key can only be decrypted using a public key.

Let’s see how this feature is applied to the authentication process:

  1. The server sends us a message that we need to return encrypted with our private key.
  2. The server decrypts the reply message with our public key.
  3. The server compares the message obtained with the original text; if they match, the server will see us as authentication correctly.

Of course, this whole process is transparent to the user; we only need to worry about typing the password when the program requests it. The weakest point of this scheme is how to get our public key to the server. Currently, there is no automated way to do this, and there is no other way than to do it manually.

The main advantage of this authentication method is that even if an attacker manages to compromise the server, they can only access our public key, but they can never access our private key. However, the private key must be protected with an appropriate password to prevent compromised customer security. In this way, no one can use it even if they somehow managed to take it over.

In the case of connecting from the Unix machine, a secondary advantage is that an authentication agent can be used to prevent the password from being written on each connection.

The major drawback of public-key authentication is the preconfiguration phase, which can be a bit cumbersome. Steps to follow are:

  1. Creation of keys.
  2. Propagation of the public key.
  3. Selection of the key pair

Connecting to a Remote Server

To connect to a remote SSH server from a Unix/Linux client, we can open a console and write:

$ ssh example.com

If we want to connect as root on a remote server, but as a client, we are like other users:

$ ssh -l root example.com

It provides a mechanism for transferring data from the client to the server and forwards it back to the client by authenticating a remote user.
After installing an SSH Server on your computer, you must use the SSH Client program to access your server over LAN or WAN.

When you connect to a server on a network from a remote location, your data transfer with a strong encryption algorithm.

Secure data transfer using the SSH protocol takes place over TCP. You must configure the TCP/22 Port on your ADSL Modem or Router to access the server from a remote location.

Is SSH Connection Secure?

This connection type uses an SSL certificate for data security. For example, when you visit a website, you will see a green icon in the upper left corner. This icon indicates that the website has an SSL certificate and that your data transmits securely. As a result, the reliability of the data stream ensures.

How to Install SSH Server on Windows Computer

After explaining what the SSH protocol is, let’s examine how to use SSH in Windows 10 operating system.

In our previous articles, we reviewed the Telnet protocol. On Windows 7,8,8.1 and Windows 10, we have enabled Telnet Client from Windows Features. We cannot simply activate SSH Client on Windows from Windows Features.

Therefore, you need a 3rd Party program like Putty to connect to the server.

When you compare this protocol with Telnet, you can see that it is much more secure.

To run and connect to an SSH server on your Windows 10 computer, download the OpenSSH and Putty programs to your computer by clicking the buttons below.

Putty Download
OpenSSH Download

After downloading OpenSSH and Putty, first, install Windows 10 virtual machine on the VMware Workstation virtualization program.

To use the VMware virtual machine as a server, we will install and configure OpenSSH on it. For SSH Server installation, follow the steps below.

   Step 1

Check the IP address of the network adapter on your host.

Network Connection Details

   Step 2

Configure the network settings of the Windows 10 virtual machine you have installed on VMware Workstation as VMnet4 / Bridged, and then check the IP address the machine receives from the DHCP server.

Virtual Machine Network Adapter Configuration

   Step 3

Check the network adapter setting of the Windows 10 virtual machine from the Virtual Network Editor.

Virtual Network Editor

   Step 4

In VMware Virtual Network Editor, you can create VMnet4 or a new VMnet. Check that the VMnet4 adapter card is set to Bridged.

VMnet / Bridged

   Step 5

Copy the downloaded OpenSSH program to the virtual machine and run the file as an administrator to start the installation.

Installing the Software

   Step 6

Select the language of the program to be installed and click OK.

Please Select a Language

   Step 7

The OpenSSH program is preparing for installation.

Starting the Setup

   Step 8

In the OpenSSH installation window, click Next.

Setup Wizard

   Step 9

Accept the OpenSSH license agreement and click Next.

Accepting License Agreement

   Step 10

In the Components window, select the Server option and click Next.

Choose Components

   Step 11

In the installation location window, leave the default settings and click Next.

Choose Install Location

   Step 12

In the Select start menu folder, click the Next button.

Choose Start Menu Folder

   Step 13

In the Run as LOCAL_SYSTEM window, select this setting and click Next.

Choose Account Under Which to Execute SSHD

   Step 14

We have specified that the default port number for the SSH connection is 22. Leave the default setting and click Next.

Choose Port for SSHD

   Step 15

It will generate Key for a secure connection. Continue by selecting the default setting here.

Choose Key Size for Key Generation

   Step 16

In the User Setup window, continue by selecting Local Users.

Choose User Type for SSHD

   Step 17

Wait while installing OpenSSH on Windows 10.

Installing OpenSSH Server Software

   Step 18

After the OpenSSH installation is complete, go to the next step.

Completing Installation

   Step 19

After installing it, you must now create a new user for the Customer.

Open Computer Management to create a new user.

Computer Management

   Step 20

In the Computer Management window, click Users, then Right-click on the free space.

Configuring a New User in Windows

   Step 21

When the user creation window opens, click New User here.

New User

   Step 22

After configuring a new user, password, and description, click the Create button.

Password Never Expired

   Step 23

After creating a new user for the client, click Close to close the window.

User Must Change Password at Next Login

   Step 24

Double-click SSHUser to make an administrator.

Editing User

   Step 25

Click the Add button on the Membership tab to continue.

Adding the User to a Group

   Step 26

In the Select group window, click the Advanced button at the bottom.

Select Groups

   Step 27

You will then click Find to search for groups on the operating system.

Find Now

   Step 28

Select the Administrator account and click OK.

Selecting Administrator Group

   Step 29

In the SSHUser Properties window, click OK again.

User Properties

   Step 30

After making the user a member of the Administrator group, click the OK button.

Saving the Settings

   Step 31

Now, we will use the Putty program to connect to the Server from the Host PC. Putty will provide us with an SSH Client service. Double-click Putty to open it.

Putty.exe

   Step 32

After opening Putty, type the IP address of the Windows 10 virtual machine (OpenSSH Server) and click the Open button.

Configuring PuTTY

   Step 33

You can examine the connection to OpenSSH Server from the image below.

Login as:

   Step 34

Type the SSHUser user name that you created on the virtual machine.

Typing Username

   Step 35

Type the password of SSHUser and press Enter.

Server Connection

   Step 36

You have successfully connected to SSH Server using Putty!

Checking the Directory

   Step 37

To obtain the hostname of the server, use the “hostname” command.

Hostname Command

   Step 38

You can also check your Hostname through Windows 10 OpenSSH Server.

Windows Properties

   Step 39

Run the “md FolderName” command to create a new folder on the server.

md FolderName

   Step 40

Go to the virtual machine and check the C: drive to see that the new folder creates.

C: Drive

How to Use the Secure Shell Protocol ⇒ Video

To install and configure OpenSSH Server on your computer or VMware virtual machine, you can watch the video below and also subscribe to our YouTube channel to support us!

   Final Word


In this article, we reviewed how to install a free SSH Server on Microsoft Win 7, 8, 8.1, and 10 operating systems. Using OpenSSH, you can securely connect to your server from a remote location and transfer files. Thanks for following us!

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