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SSH is a protocol that can be used for many applications across many platforms including most Unix variants (Linux, the BSDs including Apple's OS X, & Solaris), as well as Microsoft Windows. Some of the applications below may require features that are only available or compatible with specific SSH clients or servers. For example, using the SSH protocol to implement a VPN is possible, but presently only with the OpenSSH server and client implementation.
For login to a shell on a remote host (replacing Telnet and rlogin)
For executing a single command on a remote host (replacing rsh)
Secure file transfer
In combination with rsync to back up, copy and mirror files efficiently and securely
For forwarding or tunneling a port (not to be confused with a VPN, which routes packets between different networks, or bridges two broadcast domains into one).
For using as a full-fledged encrypted VPN. Note that only OpenSSH server and client supports this feature.
For forwarding X from a remote host (possible through multiple intermediate hosts)
For browsing the web through an encrypted proxy connection with SSH clients that support the SOCKS protocol.
For securely mounting a directory on a remote server as a filesystem on a local computer using SSHFS.
For automated remote monitoring and management of servers through one or more of the mechanisms discussed above.
For development on a mobile or embedded device that supports SSH.
File transfer protocols using SSH
There are multiple mechanisms for transferring files using the Secure Shell protocols.
Secure copy (SCP), which evolved from RCP protocol over SSH
rsync, intended to be more efficient than SCP
SSH File Transfer Protocol (SFTP), a secure alternative to FTP (not to be confused with FTP over SSH)
Files transferred over shell protocol (a.k.a. FISH), released in 1998, which evolved from Unix shell commands over SSH
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