How to do a Telnet

Telnet is used to test open ports or administer remote servers via the command prompt.
The telnet command will need to be run from a Command prompt or terminal depending on your operating system (Windows, Mac or Linux)


Telnet is not enabled by default, use the following steps to ensure it's enabled.
Start > search and click on Control Panel > Programs and Features > Turn Windows features on or off > Tick Telnet Client > Click OK
Once the feature has been added continue with the test.

Use your keyboard shortcuts, press and hold Windows button + R simultaneously and type "cmd" (without the quotes), alternatively simply click on the Start button and typing "cmd" would suffice.

Enter the following command at the prompt:

telnet <domain/server> <port> then hit enter, where <domain/server> is the hostname or IP address of the server.

eg: telnet mail.domain.tld 110
type quit to close session


Open Terminal by navigating to /Applications/Utilities.
In the Terminal window type telnet followed by the <domain/server> <port>,

eg: telnet mail.domain.tld 110
type quit to close session



Press CTRL+Alt+T simulaneously
Type in telnet followed by the <domain/server> <port>

eg: telnet mail.domain.tld 110
type quit to close session


If you cannot connect, you may see one of the following messages, some other message, or no response: 

  • Tcp connect failed
  • Connection refused
  • Operation timed out
  • Unable to connect to remote host

The exact verbiage you get back will be determined by your host.

A successful connection will rule out connectivity issues at the server, the next step in your investigation would be your ISP or your Mail Client. 

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