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Move Beyond WinBox: SSH, Telnet, and New Terminal

Expand Your RouterOS Knowledge

Given the wide range of services that MikroTik's powerful RouterOS brings to the networking table, we at MikroTik Canada wish to provide MikroTik users with easy instructions so that you can get the most out of your MikroTik experience

To this end, our Toddler Tutorial series aims to teach users about WinBox and RouterOS, with the fourth and most recent session of these videos dealign with SSH, Telnet, and New Terminal.

Accessing RouterOS: What else besides WinBox?

In the first three sessions of our Toddler Tutorial educational series, we discussed the very basics of using WinBox - the main RouterOS management utility - to connect to your MikroTik device.


However, WinBox is not the only connection possible when you want to work with RouterOS. Other types of accesses are available to users, and based on your needs and circumstances, you can employ these connections as well. 


In the fourth session of Toddler Tutorials, we are going to do just that, and we will provide you with an introduction to SSH (Secure Shell Protocol), Telnet, and New Terminal. Watch the video below to learn about these three utilities and find out when and how you can use them.

4th Toddler Tutorial Session:

SSH, Telnet, and New Terminal

(Read below for a summary of the video.)

Hold on... What are SSH, Telnet, and New Terminal?

SSH, Telnet, and New Terminal are three utilities with a command prompt environment that enable you to connect to a MikroTik device and conduct RouterOS configurations.


To work with them, you need to gradually develop an understanding of the RouterOS built-in scripting language and the console used for accessing MikroTik Routers' configurations and management features. You can refer to MikroTik's Wiki for comprehensive intstructions on the scripting language and the console.

How can I use SSH, Telnet, and New Terminal?

New Terminal is a built-in WinBox feature and is available from the WinBox main menus on the left.

SSH and Telnet depend upon a third-party client, the most suitable of which is PuTTY.

Why or when do we use SSH, Telnet, and New Terminal?

Apart from personal preference that drives users to use the basically graphical WinBox or the raw command prompt environment of SSH or Telnet, these utilities have two main advantages:

  • There are a few instances where certain menus and submenus can be accessed via SSH or Telnet but are not available through WinBox (e.g., Interface > Wireless > spectral-scan); and,


  • Due to their command-based nature, SSH and Telnet, unlike WinBox, do not maintain a continous connection to your device and thus have a low memory and CPU usage.


Wanna hear something cool? Local SSH and Telnet!

SSH and Telnet utilities are based on textual commands, and if used on an unsecure connection, they can be vulnerable to security attacks, men in the middle, sniffers, and so on.

To avoid such an unfortunate situation, you can connect from your PC to a secured MikroTik access router through a connection protected by a firewall.


Next, via that access router, which itself is safe and sound behind robust firewall configs, you will comfortably connect to the rest of the devices and computers on your network through local SSH or Telnet connections. Don't miss the video to see how!

New to RouterOS? Watch the Complete Series

If you are completely new to RouterOS, we suggest that you watch the previous three sessions of our Toddler Tutorials down below.

Session 1:

First Look at WinBox

Session 2:

Very First Connection to WinBox

Session 3:

Entering a Device Session