SSH is one form of secure, remote access. And most of the time, it's one of the most popular ways to control your server from afar. But in the event that you don't have that option (rare as it may be), you may want to consider PHP Shell. You might wonder about the security of setting up a PHP script that allows shell commands to be executed, but PHP Shell is no more or less secure an application than any other PHP file on the server. Of course, you must be responsible for your own security.

When using PHP Shell you should protect the directory containing the PHP file from unauthorized access. The best way to protect it would be to force the use of the secure protocol HTTPS to access that directory and to use bidirectional certificate authentication. Unfortunately, the use of HTTPS is another feature that many of the cheaper LAMP providers reserve for higher-paying customers. An alternative approach is to use hash-based HTTP authorization and to delete the PHP Shell script from the server when you are done.

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