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SSH or Secure Shell is a network protocol that connects users to a remote computer over a secure connection. This allows administrators and other authorized users to connect to secure computers over a network that is not secure, like the Internet. This is accomplished through the use of encryption.
SSH uses public-key cryptography to authenticate the remote computer and allow it to authenticate the user, if necessary. There are several ways to use SSH; one is to use automatically generated public-private key pairs to simply encrypt a network connection, and then use password authentication to log on.
Another is to use a manually generated public-private key pair to perform the authentication, allowing users or programs to log in without having to specify a password. In this scenario, anyone can produce a matching pair of different keys (public and private).