Making and maintaining a secure connection to other machines is an important thing. Especially for a server admin, desktop admin, or programmer. So, choosing one best SSH client for Windows is arguably a crucial one too. That’s because you always prefer an SSH client based on your preference.
However, if you’re new to computer science and want to know more about SSH clients, you’re in the right place. In this article, you’re gonna find out what SSH client is and what it is for. Also, there will be a list of the best SSH clients for Windows.
Basic Explanation of SSH Client, What Is It?
SSH Client is a remote application (or program) that is used to connect one computer to another. In this case, the first computer (main) uses SSH client to remote other machines. So, simply put, people use an SSH client to control machines with only one computer remotely.
Meanwhile, the second device needs to install the SSH server first to connect with the main computer. That said, these two kinds of SSH—client and server—are important to do remote function. Anyhow, since the SSH Client is a main “control”, people often more selective about it.
However, there is a lot of SSH client that you can get for your computer. Starts from the pricey, ones, cheap ones, to the free ones. That said, people most likely prefer free ones, especially beginners. Therefore, this article will inform you about the best SSH clients for Windows that are free.
For More, What Else Can You Get From Using SSH Client?
Aside from controlling another machine, what else do we get if we use the SSH client? So, with SSH client, you can encrypt the channel and maintain it between two clients for one session. So, this is a very effective way to manage servers or machines remotely.
Using SSH client also allow you to access to encrypt data so computer virus can’t access the password and information. Also, SSH client can get into another protocol like FTP. In other words, SSH can secure your data and information in transmitting data or a network.
Furthermore, SSH clients will allow you monitoring the log file and starting or stopping service. Also, you can install software and manage database—like MySQL—to your hosting device (machine). It might function like telnet or rlogin but the most important thing is that it’s way safer than them.
Before You Choose, Know Your SSH Client Preference
Since there are a lot of applications or programs for SSH clients, you have to be selective. In this case, It’s better to choose the SSH client based on your needs and preferences. If you’re a professional in programming and want to improve your work performance, then you might need a premium SSH client.
However, if you’re still amateur about the SSH client, the cheaper the SSH client, the better. Thus, you can also learn about SSH more with a basic SSH client before you improve it. Though, it doesn’t mean the more SSH client is the best, because everything will depend on your preference.
9 Best SSH Clients For Windows
- PuTTY, One of the most popular SSH clients.
- PuTTYTray, PuttyTray has a very similar appearance to Putty. However, PuttyTray has some new features.
- KiTTY, KiTTY is also an improvement of PuTTY, just like PuttyTray.
- Solar-Putty, Another “improvement” of PuTTY is Solar-Putty.
- Bitvise, It has very diverse functions, including running various commands through the terminal console and running SFTP.
- SmarTTY, offers a simple appearance yet very effective and offers a more sophisticated user interface (UI).
- Xshell, it has the basic features that most SSH clients do and it integrates with the Xftp application for file transfer matters
- MobaXterm, it supports various types of connections such as rlogin, RDP, VNC, XDMCP, FTP, and SFTP.
- mRemoteNG, most of the professionals use because of its simplicity.
Here are some references for the most used SSH client for Windows. However, most of them work the same and have the same basic features. The differences only on the extra features that you’ll need for more advanced performance. So, you can choose your own best SSH clients for Windows below:
One of the most popular SSH clients is PuTTY. Most people use Putty as the application to connect a Windows PC with a server that has a Linux operating system. In this case, PuTTY is Windows-friendly and also can be installed on a Linux operating system. Another appeal of PuTTY is that it is light and doesn’t overload resources.
Thus, PuTTY might be the best SSH client for you if you prefer simplicity with a lot of features. One of the best features of PuTTY is the profile storage feature. It makes the re-do of remote connections on the profile that have been used before easier. Also, luckily it’s free.
From its name alone, you can already guess that it has something to do with PuTTY. Yes, sure enough, PuttyTray has a very similar appearance to Putty. However, PuttyTray has some new features. That include the addition of ADB and Cygterm connection types, hyperlinking URLs, icon image customizations.
Furthermore, some new add-ons make it more functional and convenient to use. Also, it’s more Windows-friendly compared to PuTTY. So, if you’re already familiar with PuTTY and want to improve, PuTTYTray might be the best SSH client for Windows for you. Fortunately, it’s also free.
Kitty is an SSH client that is very similar to PuTTY and PuttyTray. That’s because KiTTY is also an improvement of PuTTY, just like PuttyTray. It has several new features that PuTTY doesn’t. One of them is the feature to save the sessions and the settings into a file in the same folder.
However, Kitty can only be installed on a Windows operating system. So, it might be another good call if you’re a Windows user. Especially if you’re new to computer science and want to dive into SSH realms. Also, don’t worry, it’s free.
Another “improvement” of PuTTY is Solar-Putty. Furthermore, it has a multi-tab interface to support multiple sessions from one console. Also, it offers extra features such as stored credentials and support for multiple sessions. Thus, it can give you quick access to the latest sessions and Windows search integration.
In this case, the multi-tab interface makes it easier to create multiple sessions and switch them. It’s still very use-able for beginners. That’s because the design or appearance still simple with more extra features you’ll probably want to use. Moreover, it’s free.
Another popular or best SSH clients for Windows is Bitvise. Furthermore, it has very diverse functions, including running various commands through the terminal console and running SFTP. Moreover, it can even do a remote desktop. So, Bitvise is probably the best SSH client for free-internet lovers.
However, Bitvise is free if you use it for personal use only. Besides, you must purchase a Bitvise license if you exceed the free set limit. Even so, that wouldn’t be a problem since most people use Bitvise just for their personal use.
SmarTTY is an SSH client that designed for Windows. In this case, SmarTTY offers a simple appearance yet very effective and offers a more sophisticated user interface (UI). Also, it has all the extra features such as several sessions in the same session, autocomplete, URL support, even file, and package management.
So, if you’re already good to use PuTTY and Bitvise, SmarTTY is the next step to improve your SSH performance. That’s because it still looks simple but offers a lot of different features. Especially if you’re a Windows user. Also, good news because is free.
The next popular SSH client is Xshells. Anyhow, Xshells has the basic features that most SSH clients do. Thus, there are always new key features for every newer version. The extra features include export feature and powerful password encryption feature. So, if you need a few features to try, Xshell might be a good call.
Furthermore, Xshells can integrate with the Xftp application for file transfer matters. Also, you don’t need to open a new session or log in. Moreover, just click on the icon and your SSH session will automatically using the location you’ve currently used. Luckily, you can get it for free.
The next SSH client is MobaXterm that is more likely an advanced one. Besides SSH, MobaXterm also supports various types of connections such as rlogin, RDP, VNC, XDMCP, FTP, and SFTP. Also, MobaXterm provides many supporting plugins. Unfortunately, MobaXterm file size is extreme, so you need a lot of storage to use it.
MobaXterm is available in 2 versions, which are free and paid. The free version gives you several feature restrictions, such as maximum session limits and maximum SSH tunnel limits. If you want full access, you can pay for the premium version for 69 USD.
Now we’re getting into a more advanced version of the best SSH client for Windows. mRemoteNG that most of the professionals use because of its simplicity. Besides, it can be quite confusing for an amateur. That’s because, at the start screen, you need to enter the IP or host that you want to remote.
But after you give the IP, it’ll give you the option to choose the type of connection you want to use. Moreover, mRemoteNG supports a lot of connections types like SSH, ICA, HTTP, HTTPS, or even RDP. That’s why it’s suitable for professionals. Also, it’s free.
Even if they work the same—more or less—it’s important to know your needs and preferences first. In this case, everyone has their version of the best SSH client for windows. That’s because SSH client that can fulfill your needs and match your preference is the best SSH for yourself. So, whether it’s free or not, you have to choose it wisely.