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Best PuTTY Alternatives for SSH Clients

Best PuTTY Alternatives for SSH Clients

PuTTY is an open source network file transfer application that supports various network protocols such as Telnet, SCP, and SSH. The networking client PuTTY enables the user to access another computer within the same network. Although the main program has no inbuilt security features, it can be combined with Secure Shell (SSH) to encrypt connections. Moreover, file transfer can be secured by appending Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) and Secure copy protocol (SCP).

PuTTY Alternatives

PuTTY was originally written for Windows operating system, but now there are versions available for Linux. While PuTTY is one of the finest terminal emulator and serial console, there are some limitations to it. For that matter, we have listed below several alternatives applications to PuTTY.

1. KiTTY

The KiTTY application is a fork of PuTTY, as such, it is coded on the same foundations of PuTTY. In simple words, KiTTY is a better version of PuTTY that not only has all the features that PuTTY has but offers many more.

KiTTY Screenshot
KiTTY Screenshot

While, the interface is developed for the Windows operating system but one can remotely access computers that run Linux, Mac OS, and Unix. As KiTTY was built altering the source code of PuTTY, it offers almost the same user interface and user experience.

PuTTY vs KiTTY

However, KiTTY solves one of the basic limitations of PuTTY’s, which is simultaneously representing multiple sessions. Apart from that KiTTY has many different features such as:-

  • Multiple Session Launcher
  • Portability
  • Inbuilt Chat System
  • Automatic Login Scripts
  • Text Editor
  • Includes SCP implementations – pscp and WinSCP
  • Connect via Telnet and SSH

Therefore, KiTTY is perfect for those who are accustomed to PuTTY interface and are not looking for much change besides the additional features.

Download KiTTY

You can easily download Kitty from the official website 9bit.net. To download KiTTY for windows follow the simple steps.

  • Go to the official website.
  • Click on main download website.
  • A new window will pop up.
  • Click on either download KiTTY Windows Classic or KiTTY windows portable.
  • Your download will start automatically.

KiTTY software is totally free to use.

2. MobaXterm

MobaXterm is set of network tools for remote computing that is integrated with X11 – windowing system for bitmap displays. Apart from that, it integrates a number of network clients such as SSH, Telnet, rlogin.

MobaXterm Screenshot
MobaXterm Screenshot

The enhanced terminal application has a number of advanced features such as support for SFTP, offers Remote Session and Desktop Manager. It is an all-in-one network application has an initiative user interface to seamlessly connect remote servers. One of the main benefits of MobaXterm is that the X server makes it easy to manage all the remote applications on the Windows operating system. Moreover, application capabilities can be extended using plugins. Tunneling protocol can be implemented with HTTPS.

PuTTY vs MobaXterm

However, MobaXterm application has two editions – home and professional. The basic version is free while the professional is paid. Some of the additional features that are only available in the professional version are as below:

  • Unlimited simultaneous sessions, while the free only allows twelve.
  • Graphical SFTP browser
  • Unlimited Tunnels, while the free version offer only two SSH tunnels
  • The home edition allows four macros but the professional permits to set unlimited macros.
  • Altering profile scripts
  • Master Password Support
  • 12-months professional support
  • Lifetime right to use

While the application runs on Windows, the console window will support Unix commands. One of the advanced tools is the ‘’Multi-Execution’. The tool allows the same commands to be executed on different servers simultaneously.

Download MobaXterm

You can download MobaXterm Home Edition v11.1 from here. Basically, there are two versions available to download MobaXterm viz. Portable and Installer.

3. Solar-PuTTY

Solar-PuTTY is a terminal program that enables users to manage remote sessions. The tool is highly professional and available for free. It is developed by leading network software provider – SolarWinds. One of the main features of the application is the tabbed interface that allows multiple session management from one console.

solar-putty Screenshot
Solar-putty Screenshot

The secure terminal tool integrates the security of SSH. The program is highly user-friendly as it allows users to save private keys to sessions. Apart from that, the tool has the ability to automate scripts that can establish a connection when a user logins.

Moreover, the tool does not need to be installed and can function by running the executable file. The tool is integrated with Windows Search, which means that users can effortlessly find saved sessions. It will also enable users to search for IP Address, Username, and Tags. The tool also offers color-coded so that each session is easily distinguishable.

Solar-PuTTY is a great alternative as it provides a tabbed interface that is one of PuTTY’s biggest limitation. To securely transfer files, Solar-PuTTY integrates Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) and Secure copy protocol (SCP).

PuTTY vs Solar-PuTTY

Here are some of the main features of Solar-PuTTY:

  • Tabbed interface
  • Integrated Windows Search
  • Credential Saving
  • Supports multiple protocols – SSH, SFTP, SCP and Telnet

Download Solar-PuTTY

You can free download solar-PuTTY software from the official website of solarwinds.

Download Solar-PuTTY

4. Xshell 6 Client

Xshell 6 is a terminal emulator that backs to SSH client, Telenet, and rlogin. The tool works as a great alternative to PuTTY. The tool markets itself as the “The Industry’s Most Powerful SSH Client”. The program has two editions – basic and professional. The basic version is free and sufficient to use for home. While the paid version provides all the advanced features that are required for business.

Xshell Screenshot
Xshell Screenshot

Some of the advantages that Xshell client offers over PuTTY are dynamic port forwarding and tabbed interface. One of PuTTY’s biggest drawback is unable to provide tabbed windows which most of its alternatives provide. Although the tool only runs on Windows it has the ability to interact with Linux servers.

One of its biggest advantages is that users choose between SSH versions 1 and 2 within the security options. Although the program provides rlogin, it does not integrate it with any encryption. Therefore, it is best to use SSH when using the Xshell 6 tool.

PuTTY vs Xshell

The tabbed interface will allow users to switch between multiple connections simultaneously.

Below are some of the benefits of Xshell offers over PuTTY:

  • Users can write simultaneous commands across multiple sessions.
  • Session Manager can help create, edit, and delete multiple connections from one window.
  • Supports one of the known Public-Key Cryptography Standards – PKCS#11 protocol
  • Offer a Master Password feature.
  • Supports Python, JScript, and VBScript.
  • Users can use the inbuilt terminal lock.

Download Xshell

Xshell software price is $99 with 1-year support and a Free Licence option for the School or Home use only.

Download Xshell

5. SuperPuTTY

SuperPutty is a Windows Manager that is hosted on GitHub and updated by active developers. The tools are almost similar to PuTTY, and one of its prerequisites is to download PuTTY. Akin to all the alternatives of PuTTY, SuperPutty has multiple session functions that run on the tabbed form. It is an open source tool and therefore entirely free to use. Other than the tabbed interface, SuperPutty also offers customizable UI.

superputty
superputty screenshot

PuTTY vs SuperPuTTY

For secure file transfer, the tool supports SCP and SFTP that allows users to transfer files to the remote host. Below are some of the functions that SuperPutty offers:

  • Multi-tab support
  • Allows users to set keyboard shortcuts for the most used commands
  • Offers tab manipulation, so that users can move tabs vertically or horizontally.
  • Customizable user interface

Download SuperPutty

At Puttygen.com, we’ve written a detailed article helping users to use SuperPutty and download it.

Download SuperPutty

6. mRemoteNG

mRemoteNG is an open-source remote connection manager that offers the multi-tab and multi-protocol feature. It is a fork of the mRemote system and is highly reliable as it offers bug fixes and updates regularly. The mRemote signifies that the tool offers ‘multi-remote sessions’. Using the program, users can create a number of terminal sessions and access these via the tabbed interface.

mremoteng Screenshot
mRemoteNG Screenshot

PuTTY vs mRemoteNG

the mRemoteNG primary advantage is that it offers a very basic and clean interface for SSH use. Although it works as a free SSH client, one of the other advantages is that it is integrated with secure file transfer utility and supports SCP and SFTP. Here are some of the basic feature of mRemoteNG:

  • Easily access data of remote and log sessions.
  • It allows undocking panels and therefore uses can move the panel to separate screen.
  • Multiple protocols integrated – HTTP, HTTPS, SSH, RDP, rlogin, Telnet, and VNC

Download mRemoteNG (v1.76.16)

One can easily download mRemoteNG software from the official website or here. There are two versions available to download mRemoteNG (Multi-Remote Next Generation) viz. MSI and ZIP.

Conclusion

The above were only some of the best available PuTTY alternatives. There is a number of others that have similar features such as Bitvise SSH Client, PuttyTray, SmarTTY, mintty, and ExtraPutty.

Most of the above tools offer extended functionality than PuTTY with their advanced features. Hope you give a try to any of the above-listed PuTTY alternatives.