How to Test Web Server With Telnet?


Angela Bailey

How to Test Web Server With Telnet?

When it comes to testing a web server, Telnet is a powerful tool that can help you troubleshoot and diagnose issues. With Telnet, you can establish a connection to a web server and send HTTP requests manually. This allows you to directly interact with the server and observe its responses, making it an invaluable tool for web developers and system administrators.

Step 1: Open the Command Prompt

Before we begin, make sure you have access to the Command Prompt or Terminal on your computer. You can typically find it by searching for “Command Prompt” in the Start menu (Windows) or by opening Terminal (Mac/Linux).

Step 2: Connect to the Web Server

To establish a connection with the web server using Telnet, type the following command in your Command Prompt or Terminal:

telnet 80

Replace “” with the domain name or IP address of the web server you want to test. The number “80” represents the default HTTP port.


  • If you’re using a different port for your web server, replace “80” with the appropriate port number.
  • If you’re testing on HTTPS (secure) protocol, use port number “443”.

Step 3: Send an HTTP Request

Once connected to the web server, you can manually send an HTTP request. The most basic request consists of three parts: the request line, headers, and an optional message body.

The request line includes the HTTP method (e.g., GET, POST), followed by the path to the resource you want to retrieve. For example:

GET /index.html HTTP/1.1

After the request line, you can add any headers you need. Headers provide additional information about the request, such as the user agent or cookies. Here’s an example:

User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/87.0.4280.88 Safari/537.36

If your request requires a message body, such as when sending data via a POST request, you can include it after the headers.


Make sure to press “Enter” twice after entering your entire HTTP request to indicate that you’ve finished sending it.

Step 4: Analyze the Server Response

After sending your HTTP request, the web server will respond with an HTTP response code and additional information.

The response typically starts with a status line that includes the HTTP version, followed by a three-digit response code and a brief message explaining the status of your request.

HTTP/1.1 200 OK

Following the status line, you’ll find response headers containing information about the server’s response.


  • A successful response is indicated by an HTTP response code in the 200 range (e., 200 OK).
  • A redirect is indicated by a code in the 300 range (e., 301 Moved Permanently).
  • An error is indicated by a code in the 400 or 500 range (e., 404 Not Found or 500 Internal Server Error).

Finally, if available, the server may include a message body with the actual content of the requested resource.

Step 5: Disconnect from the Web Server

Once you’ve finished testing, you can disconnect from the web server by typing “QUIT” or “EXIT” and pressing “Enter”.


Telnet is a valuable tool for testing web servers as it allows you to establish direct connections and manually send HTTP requests. By following these steps, you can effectively troubleshoot and diagnose any issues with your web server. Remember to replace “” with your actual domain name or IP address, and adapt the commands if you’re using a different port or protocol.

Happy testing!

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