The Best SSH Clients for Windows – May 2019
If you use Secure Shell in Windows and are looking for a client to work in all day long, you’re in the right place. If you’re a server admin, desktop admin or something else, creating and maintaining a secure connection to other machines is an essential part of your day. One of these SSH clients for Windows will do the trick.
If you don’t know already, SSH stands for Secure Shell and is a secure connection protocol that enables you to connect to other computers or servers over an insecure network. It works like a VPN by encrypting a channel and maintaining it between two clients over a session. It’s a very effective way of managing remote servers or machines.
This list of the best SSH clients for Windows should provide all the applications you need to manage your systems.
PuTTY is the most popular SSH client for Windows. It is free, open source and very, very reliable. It is easy to install and set up and works like Telnet or FileZilla. Add an IP or server name, set a port and connect. Enter the credentials and away you go. Most of the enterprises I have worked with have used PuTTY as it is free, reliable and can be made very secure.
There are also premium versions of PuTTY that take this basic core product and add extra features. I find the basic program everything I need for basic server administration though.
Solar PuTTY is also a very credible SSH client for Windows. Made by Solarwinds, this program is free and works just as well as standard PuTTY. It is compatible with most protocols, uses a neat tabbed UI and can save configs including usernames and passwords for faster login to remote machines. The GUI is a little more modern than PuTTY and easier to use.
You have to surrender an email address when downloading but other than that, this SSH client is free to use as you like.
KiTTY is a PuTTY fork that looks and feels a lot like the original. The developers have taken everything missing in that original and added it to KiTTY including automatic username and password entry, transparency options, a send to tray option, hyperlinking compatibility, more script support and a ton of other stuff besides.
If you know PuTTY, getting to grips with KiTTY will be a breeze. It is easy to se up, works on most machine types and can make very short work of even the most mundane remote tasks.
SmarTTY is a great looking SSH client for Windows. The design is simple but effective and offers a more up to date UI that isn’t so utilitarian as PuTTY. It has all the usual features but also a few extras like multiple sessions within the same session, autocomplete, URL support, file management, package management and a ton of other stuff.
This is probably one of the better looking SSH clients but still keeps things simple enough that you don’t get lost in design flourishes.
MobaXterm offers a free and a premium version depending on your needs. The free version has all the basics but the premium version offers more customization and unlimited sessions. At $69.00, it’s cheap enough for business use while the free version should be enough for small businesses or startups.
MobaXterm works with tabs and has a bunch of addons to make certain jobs easier. It has an embedded x server if you need it and works on almost every type of machine you’re likely to need to manage.
MremoteNG is another solid open source SSH client. It supports RDP, VNC, ICA, SSH, telnet, http/https, rlogin, multiple sessions, tabs, scripts, folders, x server and loads more besides. It is also simple and intuitive in its design making it easy to use without being distracted. You can add many addons and extensions if you need to though.
The design of MremoteNG is deliberately simple like these others which works in its favor.
Terminals is my final offering for an SSH client for Windows. It is hosted at GitHub and is a deliberately simple program that offers secure connectivity to remote machines. It is compatible with Windows remote desktop (RDP), VNC, VMRC, SSH, Telnet and others, works with tabs, scripts, network tools like Tracert and WoL and all the things you need your SSH client to do.
The design isn’t the best but all the controls are there, the client is very stable and can maintain secure connections with ease. It is also regularly updated and kept up to date.
Have any suggestions for SSH clients for Windows? Tried any of these and have an opinion? Tell us about it below if you do!