How to SSH Into a Router

Lawrence Bonk Profile image

Written by:

Updated February 11, 2023

If you are getting into the advanced features of your wireless network, you may wonder how to SSH into a router. Some of the best routers allow for this nifty feat, but why would you want to SSH into a router and how would you even do it? Keep reading to find out.


  • SSH stands for “Secure Shell” and it is an enhanced security encryption algorithm for modern routers made by a community of developers.
  • You won’t be able to enable SSH access or SSH connections on the router’s settings page, so it requires downloading a third-party SSH client, such as Putty.
  • Once downloaded and installed, you should be able to make any changes on your computer that will force your router to institute the SSH protocol. If you have any questions, access your current community of developers or another online community.

What is the Purpose of Using SSH to Connect to a Router?

It’s all about protecting your network from would-be hackers and their nefarious mobile devices. SSH stands for “Secure Shell” and, as the name suggests, this connection type offers a significant increase in network security when it comes to remote devices. Using SSH for a router connection can help you learn how to prevent a DDoS attack on a router and help with other issues.

Insider Tip

If this process seems too extreme for you, simply head into your router’s settings and increase your security in other ways.

How to SSH to a Router

The process here is fairly complicated and not for newbies. Additionally, it varies according to your router and several other factors. However, once completed you won’t have to worry about knowing the security type of your router, as it will be a wireless Fort Knox.


While some routers allow you to configure SSH protocols right on the settings page, this is extremely rare. In most cases, you’ll have to download and execute a third-party SSH software suite, such as Putty. So look for your preferred SSH software, download it, and open it up on your computer. Your software options will differ according to your operating system and router.


Once downloaded and installed, you should be able to open up the SSH software and begin to make changes to the overall security settings of your router, including making the router switch over to SSH as its preferred security encryption algorithm for good. Read software tutorials and follow the prompts to make any necessary changes.


Make sure to save your changes afterward and restart your computer, router, and modem. Please note, that you don’t actually need third-party software, as this process can be completed by coding via the command prompt. This is for experts, though, as you can screw up your computer if you fudge up the code.


How to enable SSH on a Cisco router or switch?

Cisco routers and switches are no different from any others. In other words, follow the aforementioned steps.

Are there risks to using SSH?

You could brick your router, but the chances are minimal as long as you reliable use password authentication via the stack exchange. Once enabled, you’ll receive all of the gold badges, silver badges, and bronze badges from your online community.

Do I need SSH for security?

Not really. Many developers consider SSH to be a bit of overkill and it may also slightly reduce the speed of your network, due to authentication retries and the occasional authentication timeout.

STAT: In 1995, Tatu Ylönen, a researcher at Helsinki University of Technology, Finland, designed the first version of the protocol (now called SSH-1) prompted by a password-sniffing attack at his university network. (source)

Lawrence Bonk Profile image