SSH Hosting (Secure Shell Hosting)

SSH hosting , which stands for secure shell hosting, is a secure, Linux-based protocol for remote terminal access to computer systems. In plain English, that means it's a secure way to communicate with a computer that's not right in front of you (i.e. you need to perform administrative duties on a computer in a different building).

This kind of technology (available to anyone through SSH hosting companies) is also useful for programmers who work from home but perform tasks on machines housed at the company's site. With secure shell, you can log in to a machine in a remote location and execute commands on that machine.

If you're at all familiar with Telnet (the predecessor to SSH hosting), it attempted to facilitate these types of communications with a command line interface on your remote system; however, everything it sent was in plain text. With SSH encryption and SSH hosting on hand, you can now perform all sorts of tasks - transfer files, run programs, forward other TCP/IP connections - and you'll find different operating systems (different SSH hosting services) providing an assortment of different tools for utilizing this new, ultra-convenient, secure, encrypted, remote channel of yours.

How secure shell works

For those of you with an eye for the nuts and bolts of it all, secure shell works by using key-based cryptography to authenticate and transmit session data securely from the client to the host. By acting as a secure encrypted middle-ground, secure shell (and secure shell hosting) acts as a bridge across an insecure network between two hosts that don't otherwise "trust" one another.

SSH hosting is considered a flexible and versatile protocol that can run many different types of services on top of it. It uses an open architecture that prevents any operation from impeding any other. Secure shell hosting incorporates a variety of means for authenticating whether a prospective user is authorized to access the server.



Important features to look for when shopping around for SSH hosting protocols include:

  • Remote Console: A window that opens on the user's computer screen providing a secure channel to a remote server, thus allowing the user to execute tasks on a remote server as if he or she was logged directly into the server locally.

  • Exec Request: Particularly useful in automating network operations, this service executes programs on the server like a remote console does, but unlike a remote console, sends the input and output data raw (without terminal encoding).

  • Secure shell logon and encrypted session data: This should be a given; both your log in and your session data should be equally encrypted.

  • Port forwarding (also called TCP/IP Tunneling): Secures your otherwise vulnerable TCP/IP connections established by third party applications from network attacks.

  • Authentication for:
    - Passwords
    - Public-keys
    - Keyboard interactive
    - Kerberos

  • File Transfer Utilities: Using command-line utilities to secure file transfers that use SFTP (not to be confused with FTP). SFTP is the current standard remote file transfer protocol, popular because of its versatility. Consider the ability to communicate from SSH servers to servers using SFTP a must.

  • Customization: How much can you customize your sessions and keyboard commands?

  • Printing: Support for printing and pass-through printing alike

  • Scripting: Support for VBScript

  • SSH2: It's a considerable improvement over SSH that covers even the unlikliest of security risks and if your SSH hosting company doesn't offer SSH2 protocol, you'd be far better off looking elsewhere for an SSH hosting service that does.

Incidentally, you can even find services providing SSH hosting for your wireless mobile phone.

View our list of Top SSH Hosting Companies

Featured Articles

Hosting-Review is an independent provider of web hosting reviews. We base our reviews on knowledge, personal experience with webhosts and user feedback.

Web Hosting Reviews - 12 Definitions

Server Hosting Providers

The Cheap Hosting Plan

All About Dedicated Hosting

All About Linux Hosting

Business Web Hosting - Important Features

Domain Name Hosting

Virtual Web Hosting - Real Benefits for Your Website

Intro to ASP Hosting: ASP Hosting Explained

Cold Fusion Hosting: An Introduction

Colocation Hosting Defined

About PHP Hosting

What Is Reseller Hosting?

Ruby on Rails: An Introduction