Windows SSH Clients
January 21, 2017 — 17:39

Author: silver  Category: windows  Comments: Off

I’ve been searching for an alternative for plain PuTTY for a while now.

My requirements are:

  • free, preferably open source
  • in active development
  • ssh-agent
  • GUI
  • Tabs
  • Window transparency

I’ve looked at the following:

  • PuTTY based:
    • MTPuTTY, KiTTY, PuTTYTray (https://puttytray.goeswhere.com) etc
    • mRemoteNG, PuTTYCM, PuTTYTabManager, PuTTYMan, SuperPuTTY, …
  • Cygwin + OpenSSH (no GUI)
  • SecureCRT (not free)
  • ConEmu (https://conemu.github.io) + PuTTY
  • XShell (https://www.netsarang.com/products/xsh_overview.html)

However none of them work flawlessly (I probably have used ConEmu and PuTTY the longest).
Currently I’m using XShell instead which is it’s own thing instead of being PuTTY based.
I also still use PuTTYTray which is one of the more useful PuTTY derivatives (eg transparency, tray, cygterm and can save sessions to file).

Update: I’ve forked over the cheese and completely switched to XShell. I also use (the free version of) Xftp more and more.
These are supposed to be good alternatives too and I might look at them in the future:

  • Poderosa

Jan 2017: Just noticed Termius (previously Serverauditor) which I use on iOS – to my full satisfaction – will be getting a Windows version.

Dec 2018: There’s also Hyper, an Electron and node.js based alternative: https://hyper.is. It supports tabs and can be extended with plugins. Imo it’s a bit resource heavy and can get sluggish with many tabs and plugins loaded, but not bad.. not bad.

Jun 2019: Been using the quite nice MobaXterm at work the past few months. It’s basically a tabbed GUI around PuTTY with Cygwin and X11 support etc. I use it with WSL for local terminals and that’s been working well for me.

Aug 2019: Microsoft finally decided to offer the competent Windows Terminal. Tabs, colors, theming, supports both Cmd and PS… and ssh works fine. Very useful. This is what I now use as Windows Console and for WSL. Also still using XShell 6.








We use Matomo free and open source web analytics
We also use Jetpack WordPress.com Stats which honores DNT