Using Telnet to explore HTTP

In this post we will use Telnet to access website content via HTTP, by creating our own HTTP GET requests.

You will need Telnet installed on your PC, How to install Telnet on Windows 7.

Start by accessing the Command Prompt, and typing


The configure Telnet to echo typed characters

set localecho

This should give you a response of: “Local echo on”

Now we need to set carriage return and line feed to On.

set crlf

This should give you a response of: “New line mode – Causes return key to send CR & LF”

OK, now we are ready to open a connection to a website on port 80

o 80

The command above has opened a connection to the website on port 80, which is the standard port that website content is served on.

Now lets get some HTML content

GET /desiderata.htm HTTP/1.1

Then press enter twice, you should now see the HTML content appear in the command prompt window.

The HTML content was the desiderata web page.


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Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better idiot-proof programs, and the Universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the Universe is winning hands down.