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You'll need an SSH key if you want to access your server and make changes remotely. This post will explain how to create an SSH key in Windows so that you can start using it.
What is an SSH Key?
An SSH key is a unique string of characters that identify users when they connect to a remote server. This key is used to authenticate the user and allows them to access the server without entering a password.
SSH keys are generated using a public-private key encryption algorithm. The private key is kept on the client's computer and should never be shared with anyone. The public key is uploaded to the server and encrypts data sent from the client to the server.
When a user attempts to connect to a server using SSH, the server will use the public key to decrypt the data that was sent from the client. If the data can be successfully decrypted, the user is authenticated and allowed access to the server.
Why do I need an SSH Key?
Your SSH key is a unique identifier that proves your private key ownership. It can authenticate you when connecting to a remote server or service. This connection can be made using a password, but an SSH key is much more secure.
When you generate a new SSH key, you will use it to connect to your server or service. The SSH key will be stored on your computer, and you must keep it safe. If someone gains access to your SSH key, they could access your server or service.
Generating a new SSH key for each server or service you connect to is important. This way, if one of your keys is compromised, the others will still be safe.
How to create an SSH key in Windows
To create an SSH key in Windows, you must first download and install the PuTTYgen software from the official website. Once installed, open the PuTTYgen application and click the "Generate" button. This will generate a public and private key pair for you.
Next, enter a passphrase in the "Key passphrase" field and click on the "Save private key" button to save your private key. Make sure to store this safely, as it will be needed later.
Now that you have generated an SSH key pair, you can use the PuTTY client to connect to your remote server. In the "Host Name" field, enter your server's IP address or hostname. Under the "Connection > SSH > Auth" section, browse for your private key file and click on the "Open" button.
Once connected, you can run commands on your remote server as if you were logged in locally.
How to use SSH keys
After the key pair is generated, you'll see two fields: "Public key for pasting into OpenSSH authorized_keys file" and "Private key for pasting into SSH client". You'll need the public key to add to your remote server's authorized_keys file. The private key should be kept safe and secret; if someone obtains your private key, they can access your servers without needing a password.
To copy the public key, click the "Public key for pasting into OpenSSH authorized_keys file" field and press Ctrl+C (Windows)
or Cmd+C (Mac). Then, log into your remote server and open the ~/.ssh/authorized_keys file in a text editor. Add a new line at the end of the file and paste it into your public key (which should start with ssh-rsa). Save and close
Creating an SSH key in Windows is a pretty easy process, and it's something that everyone should do to improve their security. You can create an SSH key that will keep your data safe and secure with just a few simple steps. So what are you waiting for? Go ahead and give it a try!
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