Top 12 BEST SSH Clients For Windows – Free PuTTY Alternatives

List of the Top SSH Clients For Windows with Features, Comparison, and Pricing. Select the Best SSH Client Based on this Review:

SSH client is an application that is used to connect to a remote computer. It makes the use of a secure shell protocol, to provide this functionality.

SSH Client is used for achieving secure logins, securely transferring files, and for accessing headless systems. Headless systems can be single-board computers, TV boxes of any type, or a system that doesn’t support a local terminal like a medium for entering commands & viewing results.

Best SSH Clients for Windows

Fact Check: SSH stands for the Secure Shell which is a cryptographic network protocol. It is created to replace Telnet. Windows operating system doesn’t provide SSH client. It is available in Windows 10 as an optional feature. PuTTY is the most popular Windows SSH client.

SSH Clients for Windows

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Difference between VPN Connection and SSH Connection.

VPN connections will do the encryption between your computer and the destination network. SSH connection has the capacity to encrypt data transfer between all the devices that are on the same network.

Pro Tip: While choosing the SSH client you should consider the Features of the tools, Ease of use, Ease of installation, Support & Documentation available for the tool, Price, etc.
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List Of The Best SSH Clients For Windows

  1. KiTTY
  2. Solar PuTTY and other PuTTY versions. SuperPuTTY, PuTTY Tray, ExtraPuTTY
  3. MobaXterm
  4. WinSCP
  5. SmarTTY
  6. Bitvise SSH Client
  7. Terminals
  8. Chrome SSH extension
  9. mRemoteNG
  10. ZOC
  11. FileZilla
  12. Xshell

Comparison Of The Top Windows SSH Clients

 About ToolPlatformsFeaturesProtocolsPrice
KiTTY

KiTTY_Logo
SSH client for Windows & fork from version 0.71 of PuTTY.WindowsSessions filter,
Portability,
Automatic password.
SSH1,
SSH2,
Telnet,
rlogin.
Free
Solar-PuTTY

Solar_Logo
For managing remote sessions in a professional way.WindowsAuto-login by saving credentials, Auto reconnecting capability, etc.SCP,
SSH,
Telnet, &
SFTP.
Free
MobaXTerm

MobaXterm_Logo
Toolbox for remote computing.WindowsEmbedded X server,
Easy Display Exportation,
X-11 forwarding Capability, etc.
SSH,
X11,
RDP,
VNC.
Home Edition: Free
Professional Edition: $69/user.
WinSCP

WinSCP_Logo
SFTP and FTP client for copying a file between local computer & remote server.WindowsIntegrated text editor,
GUI,
Scripting & task automation, etc.
FTP,
FTPS,
SCP,
SFTP,
WebDAV or S3.
Free
SmarTTY

SmarTTY_Logo
Multi-tabbed SSH client for copying files and directories.WindowsAuto-completion, File panel,
Package management
GUI, etc.
SCPFree

#1) KiTTY

Price: KiTTY is free to use.

KiTTY

KiTTY is an SSH client that is based on PuTTY’s 0.71 version. It provides an automatic password feature that will help you with the automatic connection to telnet, ssh-1, and ssh-2 servers. In this case, the password value will be encrypted.

KiTTY has the capacity to handle a port knocking sequence. You can integrate KiTTY into Internet Explorer or other browsers like Firefox.

Features:

  • KiTTY provides features of Sessions filter, Portability, and Automatic password.
  • It has features of ‘send to the tray’ and an icon for each session.
  • It will allow you to run a locally saved script on a remote session.
  • A duplicate session can be started quickly.
  • It can be integrated with pscp.exe and WinSCP.

Verdict: KiTTY is developed by copying and altering the source code of PuTTY. It will allow you to log in automatically by creating scripts. You will be able to run commands on the remote computer’s command line.

It provides a chat system, a text editor, and will allow using shortcuts for pre-defined commands.

Website: KiTTY


#2) Solar PuTTY, SuperPuTTY, PuTTY Tray, ExtraPuTTY

Price: Free

SolarPuTTY

Solar-PuTTY will help you in managing the remote sessions from one console with a tabbed interface. It is a completely free tool. You will be able to automate all scripts after establishing the connection. It doesn’t require to be installed.

Features:

  • Solar-PuTTY provides a tabbed interface, thus, it will be easier to manage multiple sessions from one console.
  • With the help of Windows Search Integration, the saved session could be found easily.
  • You can automate all the scripts after establishing the connection.
  • It will allow you to save credentials or private keys to any session.

Verdict: SuperPuTTY, PuTTY Tray, and ExtraPuTTY are also the PuTTY forks. SuperPuTTY is an application that is developed to help with Tab management for PuTTY SSH Client. It provides a GUI.

PuTTY Tray is for minimizing to the System tray, URL hyperlinking, Window transparency, Portable sessions, etc. ExtraPuTTY provides several features like Status Bar, DLL frontend, Timestamp, etc.

Website: Solar-PuTTY


#3) MobaXterm

Price: MobaXterm’s Home Edition is free. For advanced features or to use MobaXterm professionally, you can subscribe to the Professional edition. Professional edition will cost you $69 per user.

MobaXterm

MobaXterm is a portable and light application i.e. you will be able to start from a USB stick. In a single portable .exe file, you will get remote network tools like SSH, X11, RDP, etc. and UNIX commands like bash and ls to the Windows desktop. MobaXterm provides a text editor.

Features:

  • MobaXterm has an embedded X server, X11-forwarding, and a tabbed terminal with SSH.
  • It has brought UNIX commands to Windows.
  • It is an extendable platform through plugins.
  • It provides network security to graphical applications and file transfers through encryption using a secure SSH connection.

Verdict: MobaXterm is extendable through plugins. It has functionalities for Programmers, Webmasters, IT administrators, or anyone who needs to manage the system remotely. It supports various protocols like SSH, X11, RDP, VNC, etc.

Website: MobaXterm


#4) WinSCP

Price: WinSCP is a free and open-source tool.

WinSCP

WinSCP is used for file transfers. It provides basic file manager functionality. It has scripting capabilities. This SFTP client and FTP client provide functionalities for copying a file between a local computer and remote servers. It makes use of FTP, FTPS, SCP, SFTP, WebDAV or S3 file transfer protocols.

Features:

  • WinSCP provides a Graphical User Interface and Integrated Text Editor.
  • It will allow all common operations with files.
  • It provides many more features like Scripting & Task automation, Workspaces, Background transfers, etc.

Verdict: As an added advantage, WinSCP provides scripting and basic file manager functionalities.

Website: WinSCP


#5) SmarTTY

Price: SmarTTY can be used for free.

SmarTTY

SmarTTY is for the Windows platform. It provides a secure SCP file transfer system. It is a multi-tabbed SSH client. It has functionalities to copy files & directories with SCP on-the-fly and to edit files in-place.

Features:

  • The latest version of SmarTTY provides the features of Auto-completion, Package management GUI, etc.
  • It allows multiple tabs with one SSH session.
  • It provides Smart Terminal Mode with features of automatic completion for files, folders, & recent commands and easy file navigation panel.
  • It has a built-in hex terminal for COM ports.
  • It will show the directory of the computer in the current session through the index panel. With the help of this directory explorer, you will be able to use file storage.

Verdict: SmarTTY is different in design when compared to the other PuTTY alternatives. It will allow you to download and upload a single file with SCP protocol. With recursive SCP, you can transfer the entire directories.

Website: SmarTTY


#6) Bitvise SSH Client

Price: Free.

Bitvise

This SSH and SFTP client for Windows is easy to use and install. With Bitvise SSH Client, you will get single-click Remote Desktop tunneling and Graphical SFTP file transfer.

Features:

  • Bitvise SSH Client has Auto-reconnecting capability.
  • By making use of an integrated proxy, Bitvise SSH client allows dynamic port forwarding.
  • It creates an FTP-to-SFTP bridge.
  • It provides security through Key exchange algorithms, Signature algorithms, Encryption algorithms, Data integrity protection, Server authentication, and Client authentication.

Verdict: Bitvise SSH Client is a robust solution that provides all the features of PuTTY plus some additional features. It can be used on any version of Windows OS i.e. from Windows XP SP3 to Windows Server 2003.

Website: Bitvise SSH Client


#7) Terminals

Price: Terminals is a free and open-source tool.

Terminals

Terminals will help developers and system administrators with frequent logging on to Linux servers from a Windows Computer. It supports Telnet, SSH, RDP, VNC, RAS connections. It has a multi-tab interface.

It will allow you to save the login id and password of the remote servers and thus you will be able to connect to the server in a single click.

Features:

  • Terminals will allow you to open a terminal in full screen as well as switch between full-screen mode.
  • It provides the facility to capture the screenshot.
  • It supports various protocols and those are RDP, VNC, VMRC, SSH, Telnet, etc.
  • It can reopen the saved connections on the restart of the terminals.
  • It will allow you to open custom applications from the Terminals window.

Verdict: With Terminals, you will be able to create the group of servers and open connections to all servers in a single click. Multiple user credentials can be saved for the same server.

Website: Terminals


#8) Chrome SSH extension

Price: Free

ChromeSSH

Google Chrome browser provides the SSH extension that will work as an SSH client. The beta version provides the basic SSH protocol capability.

Features:

  • There will not be a need for external proxies.
  • It will make use of native-client to connect directly to SSH servers.
  • It includes an alpha SFTP command-line client.

Verdict: Chrome provides a stand-alone SSH client. For Chrome OS, it will act as an app and for other platforms, it will work as an extension-version.

Website: Chrome SSH Extension


#9) mRemoteNG

Price: mRemoteNG is available for free.

mRemoteNG

mRemoteNG is a version of mRemote with additional features and bugs fixed. It is an application created by combining multiple protocols. This open-source application is a tabbed remote connections manager.

Features:

  • mRemoteNG has a powerful tabbed interface for viewing all the remote connections.
  • This multi-protocol, remote connections manager is an open-source tool.
  • mRemoteNG supports various protocols such as RDP, VNC, ICS, SSH, Telnet, HTTP/HTTPS, login, and Raw Socket Connections.

Verdict: mRemoteNG supports various protocols like RDP, VNC, ICA, SSH, Telnet, HTTP/HTTPS, rlogin, and Raw Socket Connections. If your preference is open source then this solution should be tried.

Website: mRemoteNG


#10) ZOC

Price: ZOC is available in four licensing options for ZOC terminal i.e. License for ZOC7 ($79.99), Upgrade to ZOC7 from previous versions ($29.99), Site License ($11998.50), and 500 or more users (Get a quote). You can check the pricing for its other products like MacroPhone, PyroBatchFTP, and Mailbell.

ZOC

ZOC is an SSH client and Terminal Emulator for Windows and Mac OS. This open SSH-based tool provides the features of Key Exchange, Authentication, Encryption, Static Port, Dynamic Port, SSH Connection via Proxy, SSH Agent Forwarding, and X11 Forwarding.

Features:

  • ZOC provides features of client-side SSH key generator, SCP file transfer, and SSH Keep-Alive.
  • It will allow SSH Agent and PuTTY agent forwarding between the client and the server.
  • The latest encryptions like ED25519 SHA256, SHA2, or AES-256ctr are supported.
  • It provides features like SSH public key, Keyboard-interactive or password authentication, Andy dynamic port forwarding.
  • It supports tabbed sessions with thumbnails.

Verdict: ZOC is a reliable and elegant tool with powerful features and a magnificent list of emulations. It will help you to connect to hosts and mainframes through Secure shell, Telnet, Serial cable, etc.

Website: ZOC


#11) FileZilla

Price: FileZilla is available for free.

FileZilla

FileZilla provides a free FTP solution that is useful for file transfer.

FileZilla Client supports FTP and FTP over TLS & SFTP. FileZilla Pro comes with additional protocol support for WebDAV, Amazon S3, Backblaze B2, Dropbox, Google Cloud Storage, etc. It has a Graphical User Interface. It allows resuming and transferring of large files.

Features:

  • FileZilla provides features like drag and drop support and tabbed user interface.
  • Transfer speed limits are configurable.
  • It allows remote file editing.
  • You will get a network configuration wizard.
  • It provides many more features like Network configuration wizard, Synchronized directory browsing, and Remote file search.

Verdict: This fast and reliable cross-platform is easy to use and is available in many languages.

Website: FileZilla


#12) Xshell

Price: Xshell has three pricing plans i.e. Xshell 6 ($99), Xshell 6 plus ($119), and XManager Power Suite ($349).

XShell

Xshell 6 is a powerful SSH client. It will allow you to open windows CMD directly within XShell like its own tab. XShell provides a tabbed interface. The Tabbed interface will arrange multiple sessions that need to be viewed and monitored simultaneously.

With the help of Xshell’s Session Manager, you can Create, Edit, and Launch multiple sessions simultaneously.

Features:

  • Xshell provides deep customization by allowing you to set key mappings and quick commands for efficiency optimization.
  • It provides Compose Pane for drafting multiple lines of the string before it is sent to the terminal.
  • Its Highlight sets feature will not let you miss anything. You can highlight keywords or regular expressions.
  • It provides extensive security through end-to-end encryption algorithms and several authentication methods.

Website: Xshell


Conclusion

If you are not sure which SSH client is to be chosen then PuTTY is a good solution as it is straightforward and doesn’t require an installation. Even after deleting, PuTTY will not affect your computer. One of the biggest cons of PuTTY is that it doesn’t provide the facility to open sessions in tabs.

Thus we have provided the list of best SSH clients and PuTTY alternatives. Terminals, mRemoteNG, SmarTTY, MobaXterm, KiTTY, and PuTTY can be the best SSH Clients for home server/ media center users.

Most of the solutions like KiTTY, Solar PuTTY, WinSCP, SmarTTY, Bitvise SSH Client, FileZilla, and mRemoteNG are free tools. MobaXterm, ZOC, and Xshell are commercial tools.

We hope this article will help you in selecting the right Windows SSH client.

Review Process

  • Time taken to research this article: 24 Hours
  • Total Tools researched online: 17 Tools
  • Top Tools shortlisted for review: 12 Tools
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