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Difference Between Rlogin and SSH

Rlogin vs SSH

Rlogin and SSH are two known tools that can be used to remotely access a computer and run programs and do other things as if you are actually sitting right in front of it. These tools allow a person to look-up their data or manage their files even if they are not able to access it locally. The main difference between Rlogin and SSH is their security features. Rlogin was created at a time when security wasn’t really a major problem, thus it does not use encryption and all the traffic is sent in plain text. As the security holes in Rlogin became more serious, SSH was made as a more secure alternative.

SSH does not send everything in plain text, like how Rlogin does. Instead, the traffic is encrypted to prevent snoopers from knowing what is being transmitted or received. SSH also uses public-key cryptography to authenticate that the connecting user is who he says he is. Rlogin does not do this, making it possible for someone to impersonate a valid user and access his account in the remote computer.

SSH also has another feature that you would not find in Rlogin, the ability to connect and automatically pass a single command to the remote computer. The main use of this feature is in automating certain activities so that you can create a single script and you no longer have to input commands yourself.
You can then execute this script yourself whenever you want to or you can also have it executed by other means even when you are not in front of the remote computer.

The security flaws in rlogin mean that it is not advisable to use if the server, the client, or the connection is located in any public network. Even if you are in your own private network that cannot be accessed by anyone else, there is nothing to lose by using SSH. Because of this, rlogin has gradually fallen to the wayside. Majority of people who need remote access use SSH or other secure protocol for the purpose.

Summary:

  1. SSH traffic is encrypted while Rlogin traffic is not
  2. SSH authenticates the user while Rlogin does not
  3. SSH can be used for automation while Rlogin cannot
  4. Rlogin is no longer being used in favor of SSH

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