Rlogin vs SSH: Difference and Comparison

Rlogin and SSH are two well-known tools for remotely accessing a desktop and running programs, and doing other things as if one is sitting right in front of it.

These technologies allow an individual to search for data or edit documents even if they do not have local access to them.

Key Takeaways

  1. Rlogin is a remote login protocol for Unix-based systems, while SSH (Secure Shell) is a cryptographic network protocol for secure data communication.
  2. Rlogin transmits data in plaintext, making it vulnerable to security breaches, while SSH encrypts data, providing a higher level of security.
  3. SSH has replaced Rlogin and other insecure remote access protocols due to its enhanced security and versatility.

Rlogin vs SSH

Rlogin and SSH are both remote access protocols used to log in to remote computer systems. Rlogin is an older, less secure protocol that sends passwords in clear text. SSH is a more modern, secure protocol that encrypts all communications, including passwords and data.

Rlogin vs SSH

Rlogin, an abbreviated form for remote login, is a command that enables an authorized user to access other hosts on a system and communicate with them as if they were physically present.

It does not use encryption, and it is easier to impersonate a user. Rlogin is suitable for private networks only.

SSH is an abbreviated form for secure shell, and it is a network protocol used to operate securely on devices using the internet. It uses cryptographic encryption, thus making it very secure and difficult to impersonate a user.

It can be used on both public and private networks. SSH was envisioned to be a successor to Telnet.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonRloginSSH
Full-FormRemote loginSecure shell
SecurityNot very secure as it doesn’t use encryptionMore secure as it uses encryption
AuthenticationEasier to impersonate a userDifficult to impersonate users as public-key cryptography is used
Single Command FeatureDoes not possess the single command featurePossesses single command feature
Type of NetworkSuitable for private network onlySuitable for both public and private network

What is Rlogin?

Rlogin (remote login) is a UNIX command that enables an authorized user to gain access to other UNIX machines (hosts) on a system and communicate with them as if they were physically present.

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Once logged in to the host, the user has the ability to do anything that the host has granted permission for, such as publish, modify, or destroy data.

Rlogin is a command that is similar to the more well-known Telnet command.

Rlogin is useful for simplified login details that do not require a lot of control over the client/host interaction, but it is less useful than Telnet for multiple sessions, connections between very distant terminals, or connections to terminals that do not run UNIX, because rlogin can only connect to UNIX hosts.

The capacity to use a file called .rhosts that rests on the host system and retains a summary of stations that are allowed to log in without a passcode is one of the benefits of rlogin.

The rlogin (remote login) program was a network-based instrument for wirelessly accessing a computer. It could be used to connect to a remote computer’s command line. It was later overridden by ssh.

Everyone who still has rlogin enabled is strongly advised to disable it immediately for critical safety purposes.

What is SSH?

Secure Shell (SSH) is a cryptographic network protocol that enables two networks to be operated safely across an unprotected network.

Remote command line, logon, and remote command execution are common uses, although SSH may encrypt any network service.

SSH uses a client-server architectural style to link an SSH client program to an SSH server and offers a secure route over an insecure network. SSH was created to be a substitute for Telnet and other unprotected remote shell protocols.

Many methods communicate classified material, credentials, unencrypted, making it vulnerable to monitoring and exposure via packet filtering.

SSH encryption is meant to offer data secrecy and integrity across an unprotected network, such as the Web.

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There are numerous methods to utilize SSH; one is to simply encrypt a network connection using automatically produced public-private key pairs and then log in with password protection.

Another alternative is using a manually generated public-private key pair for verification, allowing more people or programs to log in without typing a passcode.

In this situation, anybody can produce a complete set of distinct keys (public as well as private).

All workstations that must offer access to the holder of the matching encryption key must have the public key configured. SSH inspects to oversee whether the person presenting the public key also has the accompanying private key.

Main Differences Between Rlogin and SSH

  1. The full form of Rlogin is ‘Remote Login’ while the full form of SSH is ‘Secure Shell.’
  2. Rlogin does not use encryption and is not very secure. Meanwhile, SSH is secure as it uses encryption.
  3. When using Rlogin, it is easier to impersonate a user. However, it is difficult to do so when using SSH.
  4. Rlogin does not have a single command feature, while SSH has a single command feature.
  5. Rlogin is suitable for private networks only meanwhile, SSH is suitable for both public and private networks.
References
  1. https://www.usenix.org/legacy/publications/library/proceedings/sec96/full_papers/ylonen/ylonen.ps
  2. https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-1-4302-0076-5_1

Last Updated : 11 June, 2023

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6 thoughts on “Rlogin vs SSH: Difference and Comparison”

  1. Interesting! I’ve always heard about SSH, but I did not know about Rlogin. It’s good to understand the differences between them.

    Reply
  2. This is a great comparison, although it would be beneficial to have some practical examples when each of these protocols should be used.

    Reply
  3. The risks associated with using Rlogin are concerning, especially considering the lack of encryption. It’s convincing to see how SSH is the more secure and reliable option.

    Reply
  4. This article is well-structured and explains the comparison between Rlogin and SSH very clearly. Thank you for sharing.

    Reply
  5. Just imagine using an insecure protocol like Rlogin in today’s cyber world. Walking the path of vulnerability is never a good idea. SSH is undoubtedly the way to go.

    Reply
  6. Although many may be familiar with SSH, the contextual information about Rlogin provides a deeper understanding of the topic. A very informative read!

    Reply

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