Secure Shell, better known as SSH, is a cryptographic network protocol employed to execute commands on a remote server or to exchange data between a web server and a client. As the information exchanged by the two sides is protected, a third party cannot intercept it, which makes SSH a preferred means of handling a hosting account. The commands that may be executed are determined by the type of hosting service. On a shared hosting server, for instance, the options are limited since you'll not have root access to the web server, so you could just create/move/delete files, create and unpack archives, import and export databases, etcetera. They're all actions that are performed in the shared hosting account and don't require a higher level of access. Through a virtual or a dedicated server, you'll have the option to set up server-side software or to restart the hosting server or just a certain service (web server, database server, etc.). SSH commands are submitted through a command line, but if you don't employ a UNIX-like Operating System, there are plenty of applications for other OSs, that you can use to connect to the remote hosting server as well.