Putty.exe is one of the Most well-know and widely used SSH Clients on the Market – From managing Cisco Routers to logging into your VPS or Cloud Server, Putty is the defacto standard and choice of many Network Engineers and server admins for configuring their SSH enabled devices.
We've recently gone through some popular SSH/SCP Servers, but in this article, we'll dive into some Alternatives to Putty and Review some of them for those who need more functionality and flexibility.
The Putty alternatives that are listed below are a Mix of FREE to download versions and some even have Paid upgrades that give you additional functionality for managing servers over SSH remotely.
Let's jump directly into these programs and see how they compare to Putty itself along with some of their Features and Differences for connecting to SSH.
Best Alternatives to Putty for SSH Clients
- Xshell 6
- Bitvise SSH Client
1. Solar-PuTTY by Solarwinds
Solar-Putty is a great little FREE utility made by Solarwinds that's as an SSH Client just like Putty.
It doesn't require an installation and can be quickly executed from the install files.
Solar-Putty has the following features for connecting remotely to servers, Switches, etc:
- Supports Multiple Protocols including SSH, SCP (Secure Copy), Telnet & SFTP/FTP
- Multi-Tabbed interface for allowing you to quickly switch between multiple Sessions (Like Chrome/Firefox tabs)
- Auto-Login using Saved Credentials
- Auto Reconnect if a Connection Drops
- Integration into Windows Search Functionality – Search by Name, IP, Credentials, or Tags
- Graphical Progress Bar for SFTP File Transferring
- Quick Access GUI for Connecting to your Most frequent Sessions
- Full Support for Post-Connection Scripts
- Export/Backup and Copy/Migrate Saved Sessions to New Computers/User
- Assign Colors to Putty Session
- Change Fonts and Font-Size
- Assign Saved Credentials to Multiple/Different IP Addresses/Servers
KiTTY is a fork of the original PUTTY client with several add-on's that make it a good alternative to the original.
KiTTY has some great features that make it an all-around good tool to keep in your toolbox.
Here are some of the features that the KiTTY has to offer:
- Session Filtering Options
- Portable (no Installation Needed)
- Shortcuts for Pre-Defined Commands using Right-Click Menu
- The launcher can be started with KiTTY by Issuing a -launcher command when starting KiTTY
- Login Scripts/Auto Scripts after sessions have been established
- Limited Automated Actions/Scripts after login including Line/Character Delays, CR/LF Translations, Timeouts and Waits for certain variables.
- Manage Hyperlinks/URLs in the session such as Underlining Links, Which browser to Open in, and Regex.
- Automatics Passwords/Commands
- Ability to Run Local Scripts on Remote Systems/Devices
- ZModem Integrations
- Auto-Saved Sessions via Windows Registry
- Binary Compression & Clipboard Printing Features
- BONUS Features: Lightweight Chat Server & Text Editor
MobaXterm supports various features like Remote session manager, SFTP, Remote Desktop Manager, telnet, XDMCP, and VNC.
It has been built in X11 server integration, and it is the terminal application for Windows. Both free and paid versions are available in MobaXterm.
The features are as follows:
- It supports the Master password.
- Unlimited Macros and Tunnels.
- Customize Logos.
- Customize Startup message.
- It removes unwanted tools and screensavers games
mRemoteNG is an open-source, multi-tabbed, multi-protocol, remote connection management software that was forked from mRemote.
Some notable features of mRemoteNG include the following:
- RDP Support (Terminal Servers & Remote Desktop) and VNC
- ICA Support (Citrix Independent Computer Architecture)
- SSH, HTTP/HTTPS, Telnet, and Raw Socket Connections
5. Xshell 6
Xshell is another great tool for connecting to SSH1, SSH2, SFTP, Telnet, rLogin, and even to Serial connections.
Some features of Xshell include the following:
- Tabbed Environment to connect to Multiple sessions in the Same Window using different Tabs
- Dynamic Port Forwards
- Custom Keyboard/Key Mappings
- Highlight Sets
- Dual Font Support for ASCII & Non-ASCII Characters
- PKCS #11 Support
- Password Encryption for Saved Sessions
- Search Web text
- Audio Bells and Alarm Options
6. Bitvise SSH Client
Bitvise SSH Client (Tunnelier) supports all versions of Windows Desktops & Servers and includes a long list of features that make it a great all-around tool for ssh connection management.
Some Features of BitVise SSH Client include:
- Remote Desktop Forwarding with a Single-Click
- BVTerm, Xterm, and vt100 Terminal Emulation features.
- SSO (Single Sign-On) Support using SSPI & NTLM authentication
- Supports RSA, DSA, and ECDSA Public Key Auth.
- Obfuscated SSH w/ an Optional Keyword if wanted.
- Dynamic Port Forwarding via Socks or HTTP Proxy.
- FTP to SFTP Bridge for legacy and old applications/Services.
- Command-line scripts with sftpc
- Scriptable Remote Execution Client (sexec) and command-line terminal console client (stermc)
- .NET SSH Libray
- Command-line Scripting support for Tunneling using stnlc
- Remote Admin Features
PuttyTray is a tool that gives you some added functionality to the original Putty client but looks like it's not being maintained as much anymore.
We'll leave it here for reference if anyone feels the need to download it.
Features of PuttyTray include:
- Customizable Icons
- Blinking Tray Icon if a Bell Signal is Received
- URL Hyperlinking
- Minimize to System Tray
- Android adb Support
ExtraPutty is also a fork from the original version with some added benefits and add-ons that make it more pleasant to use.
Some features include:
- StatusBar, Timestamps, DLL Frontend
- Session Scripting using lua 5.3
- Sequence Commands Automatically
- Keyboard Shortcuts for Pre-Defined Commands
- Protocol Support includes: FTP, SFTP, SCP SSH, yModem, XModem
- PuttyCMDSender is a tool that lets your send commands or Keyboard shortcuts to Multiple Putty windowsAdd paragraph text here.
We hope that you enjoyed this list of our Favorite Putty Alternatives – We suggest you download a few of them and try them out to see which one you like the best to ensure that it has all the features that matter to you the most.
Our Recommendation would be the Solar-Putty from Solarwinds, as it has a great GUI, gives you many options for Saving Sessions, Grouping them, and Sorting them quickly with their Intuitive Search Functionality.
You can search by IP Address, Name, ID, Tag, and many other variables – As we all know, sometimes it difficult to keep track of 10's of IP addresses of servers, switches, and more, and having the functionality to Search portions of what you remember will help you become more efficient.