Configure a Switch for SSH Secure Access

SSH Overview

The ability to remotely manage your Cisco switch or router is very important. Network administrators are usually not sitting next to the switch or router with a laptop and a console interface connection. There are various methods of managing a network device like a switch or router, remotely over the network. Remote management can be accomplished through a browser based interface (web browser) or more commonly through a terminal interface (CLI). Cisco switches and routers can be configured to use Telnet or SSH for remote terminal access. Telnet is not desirable because it is an unencrypted protocol that sends messages in clear text over the network. SSH is preferred to Telnet because it uses strong key based, encryption techniques to secure data transmission.

Video Tutorials

In the tutorial below, I use Packet Tracer to demonstrate how to configure a Cisco switch to accept SSH terminal connections.  The tutorial covers creating a management VLAN, assigning switchports to VLANs, configuring an IP address for the switch on a virtual interfaces, generating a public and private key pair, configuring the SSH server, and connecting from two different SSH clients.

Click here to download the starter file: CLI-SSHaccess-begin.zip

Author: Dan

Dan teaches computer networking and security classes at Central Oregon Community College.

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