Linux.com: Secure Remote Connections

“The ability to establish a “secure” remote connection to a
computer system is something very useful and important. Secure
remote connections is one area that the Unix world has excelled at
for years now. This ability to establish an encrypted connection to
a remote computer system is also available for Linux. This allows
for remote troubleshooting and administration of computer systems
without the fear of compromising network security. Security is
just another way that Linux is able to step up and provide
enterprise level services for organizations of all sizes.”

“Secure Shell, commonly referred to as SSH, is the primary means
of providing “secure” connections on Unix. SSH is a freely
available package that can be used as a replacement for traditional
Unix services such as Telnet and FTP. SSH creates an encrypted link
between two computer systems that allows all data such as user IDs,
passwords, files, etc. to pass between systems with minimum risk.
This encryption helps to prevent someone from “snooping” your
network to capture this valuable information.”

“SSH goes beyond simple Telnet and FTP though. Another excellent
feature that is built into SSH is the ability to “tunnel” X
protocol traffic. The X protocol is the communication mechanism
behind your Graphical User Interface client server software.
“Tunneling” in this case refers to sending this GUI communication
across the encrypted SSH connection. This ability to “tunnel X”
allows you to actually run a GUI application from the remote system
and have this application actually be displayed on your local
system. This in turn allows users or administrators a phenomenal
amount of access to a remote system over a secure connection.”