How To Telnet On Mac

Telnet, a network protocol, has been used for decades to provide command-line interface for network devices. However, Telnet has been deprecated on modern systems like MacOS due to its lack of security features. Nonetheless, there are situations where you might need to use Telnet on your Mac. This guide will show you how to enable and use Telnet on MacOS.

Step 1: Install Telnet

Telnet is not installed by default on MacOS. However, you can easily install it using Homebrew, which is a package management software. If you don’t have Homebrew installed, you can install it by entering the following command in your terminal:

/usr/bin/ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL"

Once Homebrew is installed, you can install Telnet using the command:

brew install telnet

Step 2: Using Telnet

To use telnet, open your terminal and type telnet followed by the host name or IP address and the port number. The syntax is as follows:

telnet [hostname/IP] [port]

For instance, if you wanted to connect to a server at “” on port 23, you would enter:

telnet 23

Step 3: Exiting Telnet

To exit a telnet session, use the quit command. Simply type:


Keep in mind that while Telnet can be useful for testing and troubleshooting, it should not be used for transmitting sensitive data, as it’s not a secure protocol. Instead, make use of more secure protocols like SSH for such purposes.


Although Telnet is an older protocol and is not as secure as some of the more modern counterparts, it is still a valuable tool for testing network connectivity and troubleshooting. By following this guide, you’ve learned how to install and use Telnet on your Mac system.