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Open Secure Shell (OpenSSH) is a set of computer programs that facilitate encryption for network sessions using a protocol called Secure Shell (SSH). Secure Shell originated as a network protocol for UNIX-based systems, but can also be used in other various ways, including in Microsoft Windows infrastructure.
The Secure Shell protocol is built on earlier designs for covering communications, command line login functions, and other activities on a network. Like other types of modern security, Secure Shell uses public-key encryption methods to authenticate network traffic. Some of the specific features of Secure Shell have to do with how public keys are stored.
OpenSSH is an open-source software that was developed by a volunteer network. It competes with original proprietary software for Secure Shell, and developers argue about the relative security of each type of software.
Specific features of OpenSSH include various command structures and public-key methods as well as administrative settings and other implementations. The evolution of OpenSSH has been assisted by members of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) that is also behind some of the most common and popular types of network security protocols for modern network use and administration.