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What are the valid reasons why you need to use SSH on a shared server?

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migrated from May 5 '10 at 5:06

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The real question is what are valid reasons NOT to use SSH. – John Gardeniers May 5 '10 at 5:22
SSH as in compared to telnet or as in the comparassion by granting users shell access instead of only sftp access? – andol May 5 '10 at 6:03

I've never heard anyone lamenting encrypting their login data. SSH encrypts login-data as well as all traffic, so there's no disadvantage to using it; failing to do so gives anyone with access to the network's traffic access to your login data.

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security is the one thing you a never have to much of. – Steve Robillard May 4 '10 at 17:27
There is such a thing as too much security. There needs to be a balance between security and usability. – ThatGraemeGuy May 5 '10 at 6:09

Personally, I like to have the ability to set up a git repository to use for my web apps instead of that hideous other thing... what do you guys call it? Oh, FTP.

Another use: setting up crontab for daily maintenance tasks.

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  • Setting up Cron Jobs
  • Compiling custom builds of software (such as php to include support for things like GD)
  • Installing things like PEAR
  • Writing bash scripts to do things
  • Ruby on Rails
  • Command Line Mysql Access (a lot of shared hosts only allow local connections, not remote)
  • Zipping/Gzipping files before downloading them
  • Perl Scripts

And the list goes on and on. You need SSH access if you're doing anything beyond the basic FTP php files to a folder.

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The other alternative to ssh is telnet which, by default, does not encrypt the network traffic sent over the connection and is thus vulnerable to packet sniffing. So it is better to use ssh for remote logins.

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Telnet is no more an alternative to SSH than an open rowboat is an alternative to a nuclear submarine. – John Gardeniers May 5 '10 at 5:21

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