Home : Internet Terms : SSH Definition


Stands for "Secure Shell." SSH is a method of securely communicating with another computer. The "secure" part of the name means that all data sent via an SSH connection is encrypted. This means if a third party tries to intercept the information being transferred, it would appear scrambled and unreadable. The "shell" part of the name means SSH is based on a Unix shell, which is a program that interprets commands entered by a user.

Because SSH is based on a Unix shell, standard Unix commands can be used to view, modify, and transfer files from a remote machine once an SSH connection has been established. These commands can either be entered manually using a terminal emulator, or may be sent from a program with a graphical user interface (GUI). This type of program translates user actions, such as opening a folder, to Unix commands (cd [folder name]).

To log into a server using SSH from a terminal program, type: ssh [servername] -l [username].

The "-l" indicates you are logging in with a username, which is required by most SSH connections (otherwise, it wouldn't be very secure). If the login name is recognized, you will be prompted to enter a password. If the password is correct, your SSH connection will be established. To end the SSH session, type "exit" followed by the Enter key.

Updated: October 25, 2006

Cite this definition:


TechTerms - The Tech Terms Computer Dictionary

This page contains a technical definiton of SSH. It explains in computing terminology what SSH means and is one of many Internet terms in the TechTerms dictionary.

All definitions on the TechTerms website are written to be technically accurate but also easy to understand. If you find this SSH definition to be helpful, you can reference it using the citation links above. If you think a term should be updated or added to the TechTerms dictionary, please email TechTerms!