Secure Shell, SSH for short, is a network protocol which is used to connect to Linux, UNIX servers, network equipment and any other SSH protocol supported devices over network. We can use SSH protocol in Linux and Mac but Windows does not have a native SSH client since it is based on DOS. If you want to connect to a remote server through SSH protocol, then PuTTY is the best SSH client for Windows 10, 8.1 and Windows 7. Even then, PuTTY does not have many features its alternatives provide. So this article is to list down the best SSH clients and best free and paid PuTTY alternatives for Windows 8.1 and 10.
We have earlier mentioned few alternatives for Evernote (note taking apps). If you are in networking field and doing SSH and telnet tasks on daily basis with Fortigate firewall devices, then you can check our guides about Fortigate network device here.
Alternatives for PuTTY, 10 Best SSH Clients for Windows 10, 8.1
1) PuTTY Tray
PuTTY Tray is a free, open-source and the best SSH client alternative for PuTTY for Windows 8.1 and 10. PuTTY Tray is based on PuTTY and extends the functionalities of through addons to make the using experience much better than the original PuTTY. PuTTY Tray has the following features:
● Can be minimized to the system tray.
● Customizable icons and windows transparency.
● Session configurations can be stored as files for portability.
● Always On Top setting for easy access.
KiTTY is a very simple alternative for PuTTY SSH client for Windows 8.1 and 10. KiTTY is simple a fork of the original PuTTY and has all the features with and adds some. KiTTY’s user interface is much the same as PuTTY’s, so it is very familiar and easy to learn. Some of the features included in KiTTY are:
● Shortcuts for pre-defined commands.
● Automatic password entry.
● Running a locally saved script on a session.
● Storing a script to local storage for portability.
● A different icon for every session.
SuperPuTTY is a very popular SSH alternative client for Windows Operating System to connect network devices over the network. SuperPuTTY, like other PuTTY clients, tries to improve what PuTTY already does but it needs a PuTTY installation on the system on which SuperPuTTY is intended to be used. SuperPuTTY allows multiple tabbed sessions included file transfers between the remote server and local storage. Following are some of the features included in SuperPuTTY:
● Export or import session configuration for portability.
● Customizable layouts for session views.
● Supports SSH, Telnet and RAW protocols.
● Multiple sessions can be docked on the screen to allow easy workspace management.
● Upload files to remote server securely using SCP or SFTP protocols.
4) Bitvise SSH client
Bitvise SSH client is a good free alternative for PuTTY as SSH client for Windows 8.1 and 10 if you want to automate a connection to SSH servers. Bitvise is free for personal use and paid for commercial use. Bitvise SSH client provides claims to have an advanced graphical interface for SFTP clients and terminal emulators.
MobaXterm is the most positively received and widely regarded alternative for PuTTY for Windows 8.1 and 10, it has both free and paid versions. It is targeted for all types of users like programmers, webmasters, IT administrators or anyone who wants to manage a system remotely. MobaXterm is most popular for having a lot of features and support for plugins to extend those features. MobaXterm has no ads in both free and paid versions. Following are some of the features in MobaXterm:
● You can use UNIX commands in Windows.
● Support for a long list of protocols like SSH, FTP and SFTP.
● Tabbed SSH sessions.
● GUI text editor.
● Portable version also available.
SmarTTY is the most popular, free, widely used and complete alternative for PuTTY for Windows 8.1 and 10. SmarTTY is updated regularly by its developers. SmarTTY is also known for combining several features in other PuTTY alternatives into one application. Some features include:
● Multiple tabs inside one SSH session.
● Transfer files and complete directories to and from remote server.
● Edit files on the remote server.
● Ability to run graphical applications through built-in Xming addon.
7) FireSSH Addon for Firefox and Chrome
Terminals is one of those SSH clients with a polished user interface for making use of tabbed SSH sessions. Terminals is open-sourced and combines many features which are included in both free and paid SSH clients mentioned in this article. Following are the features included in Terminals:
● Session screenshot capture.
● SSH session connection history.
● Support for multiple protocols like Windows RDP, SSH, Telnet, FTP, SFTP.
● Network tools like Ping, DNS tools, Wake On LAN etc.
● Multi-tab interface.
● Use current terminal in fullscreen.
mRemoteNG is the best open-sourced best system administration tool with multiple protocols support. It can work as one of the best alternative to PuTTY for Windows 8.1 and 10. mRemoteNG’s main focus is to provide support for multiple protocols and the best user interface for a SSH client under one software. mRemoteNG has support for tabbed sessions. Some of the different protocols supported by mRemoteNG are:
● Remote Desktop (RDP)
● Virtual Network Computing (VNC)
● RAW socket connections
10) Dameware SSH client
Dameware SSH client is a really nice alternative to PuTTY on Windows environment if you are looking for a SSH client with an easy to use and polished interface. Dameware has an easy to use console and allows multiple Telnet and SSH connections in multiple tabs. Some useful features of Dameware:
● Save favorite session configurations to your Windows PC.
● Access remote servers using multiple saved credentials.
● Manage multiple Telnet or SSH sessions with multiple tabs.
The above list included some of the top 10 best SSH clients for Windows 8.1 and 10 in 2016. You can use them as alternatives for PuTTY as well. This was to help you know which different SSH clients you can choose from if you either want to use something other than PuTTY or you are new to handling remote servers through SSH clients in Windows. In the end, it will be a matter of personal preference to choose which ever SSH client you want to use.