Using SSH for Secure Connections in mac

SSH was developed in the year 1999 in order to steal and leaking of information even from the biggest and the most powerful of supercomputers. In the present time, many people have become curious about how you can use SSH for secure connections on mac. And in this article, we are going to talk about just that.

The Secure Shell otherwise known as SSH allows two or more computers to communicate and share data in real-time. And, it is a protocol that ensures a secure system in comparison to the older protocols used in the early and mid-90s. You can also consider SSH a much more secure alternative to insecure and unsafe file transfers and legacy login protocols.

Why is SSH So Important?

SSH is very important for us because it manages SSH clients remotely by providing information and IT users with a security system and connection. Moreover, SSH is quite similar to Telnet. But, it has a better way of carrying out data and creating much safer access even in unauthorized and less secure websites in comparison to Telnet. Hence, it would be safe to say that SSH is way more preferable and necessary to be connected for all computer users.

Besides this, SSH also uses Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) which uses two keys public and private. The private key remains in the user’s computer and is never given out. Likewise, while the public key differs from the private key as it uses hash, one is still connected to the private key.

Does Mac Support SSH?

Yes, Mac supports SSH. As a part of its operating system, Mac consists of a command-line SSH client.

Using SSH on the Mac

Apple’s Mac is a complete UNIX system that supports a built-in PKI system. It uses OpenSSH (a part of the OpenBSD project). You don’t have to go through any kind of hassle in accessing the PKI key on Mac. Moreover, the OS is going to enable the system to silently work with the applications in the background.

The SSH keys exist in the files and folders of a Mac computer in a hidden folder called .ssh. This type of folder is normally hidden unless you show invisible or hidden files in the folder.

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How to Use Command-Line SSH Client on Mac?

If you want to use a command-line client on Mac you have to follow the steps below:

  • Go to Finder
  • From the top menu, select Go Utilities
  • Look for Terminal
  • Terminal helps in getting a local terminal window. It also helps in supporting SSH connections to remote servers.

Generating a PKI key pair in macOS Terminal

In Terminal type, follow the steps below in order to generate a PKI key pair in macOS:

  • Go to ssh-keygen -b 4096 -t rsa. Click on Return.
  • You will be taken to a location to save the key files.
  • The Terminal will show “Enter file in which to save the key (/Users/username/.ssh/id_rsa)“. Select Return again.
  • You will be reminded of a password for the key files. Hit Return if you don’t want to enter a password. You still can enter the password though it is not very crucial in this process.
  • If you want to view all ssh-keygen options, type “man ssh-keygen” in Terminal. Press Return.
  • The option “-b 4096” will command ssh-keygen to come up with a 4096-bit strong key. When a supercomputer manages to crack the 4096-bit key, super-strong security is doubtlessly guaranteed.

How to Disable SSH on Mac?

Disabling SSH on Mac is not rocket science either. You can follow the steps below in order to successfully disable SSH on Mac just like you have enabled it:

  • Run “sudo systemsetup -setremotelogin off” command in the Terminal.
  • You will be given an option “Do you really want to turn remote login off? If you do, you will lose this connection and can only turn it back on locally at the server (yes/no)?”
  • Type “Yes” to Confirm. This will disable all types of SSH connections on your mac.


SSH provides a secure, safe and convenient way to authenticate remote systems. Moreover, when you are transferring files and data from your file to another, there is a lot of security than it would have in case it was using other security systems or protocols.

Besides this, each SSH key is very accurate and versatile as they are and can be used with several management tools as well. Performing admin work really becomes much easier and more convenient when you are using SSH keys alongside your work.

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