Anyone that has to connect to a wide variety of devices will know that finding the right application to connect with can be a bit of a pain.
Putty has been the go to, standard application for years, and it does an excellent job at basic connectivity tasks, whether you're connecting to an SSH Server, Telnet or an SCP Server.
But what if you want more features than what Putty can offer?
Well, we have done all the hard work for you, and rounded up some of the Best Application Alternatives to Putty for you to take a look at.
We will list features and show you all the best points to look out for in an SSH client.
Let's get started!
Here's the Best Alternatives to Putty for Remote SSH Client of 2023:
1. Solar-PuTTY – Top Choice
Solar-Putty is a great application that allows users to manage remote sessions and connect to any device on the network and is our Top Pick for Putty Alternatives due to its wide-array of options and search-ability.
It features the ability to manage multiple sessions from one console with a tabbed interface which is really convenient.
Users can save credentials or private keys to any session which makes for easy use and logins.
It can also automate all the scripts that you need it to run when you log into a system and establish a connection.
You can also find saved sessions easily thanks to Windows Search integration with the application.
You can search this application by IP Address, Name, Tag, Username and many other options with is great for finding a system that your trying to connect to quickly.
It is a portable app as well, which means that you don’t need to install the app, but merely run the executable.
Key Features of Solar-Putty include the following:
- Support SCP, SSH, Telnet and SFTP
- Credential Saving
- Multiple Session Support via Tabs
- Quick Access for most used sessions
- Auto-Connect Capabilities
- Graphical SFTP file transfer
- Support of Post Connection Scripts
- Integrated Windows Search
If you are looking for a great Putty replacement that allows multiple sessions from within one window via a tabbed window interface, then this is going to be a great choice for you.
- Completely free
- Integrates with SCP and SFTP giving it more functionality than PuTTY
- Offers secure credential storage for fast repeat access
- Can color-code multiple sessions to help organize multiple simultaneous connections
- Can automatically reconnect if the connection is interrupted
- Like PuTTY, this tool is designed for technical professionals and requires basic networking knowledge before use
Solar-Putty brings some modern features for users to get busy with, and offers some great visual upgrades as well.
KiTTY is not actually a completely separate application, but is rather built upon the foundations of PuTTy and is a fork in the PuTTY project.
It is designed to run exclusively in a Microsoft Windows environment and offers much of the same feature types that PuTTY offers its users.
KiTTY offers some enhanced features that are missing from PuTTY, but doesn’t look different at all, other than one or two extra features and a different application name.
Some of the additional features that have been added to KiTTY are:
- A Sessions Filter
- Session Launcher
- Automatic Logon Scripts
- Session Icons
- Connect via SSH, rLogin, Telnet and more!
For those that are happy with PuTTY, but are looking to try something new that wont leave them feeling confused or overwhelmed with change, then KiTTY could be just the solution that you are after.
- Is an improved altered variant of PuTTY, making it familiar to navigate
- Supports scripting to automate repetitive tasks
- Offers built-in chat and text editing capabilities for extended functionality
- Only available for Windows
- Interface is just as primitive as PuTTY
Free and Open Source
MobaXterm is an enhanced terminal application for Windows, and has built in X11 server integration built into it.
It acts as a tabbed SSH client, and offers additional network tools and other useful features such as Remote Session Manager, Remote Desktop Manager, SSH, SFTP, telnet, VNC and XDMCP support as well.
This is a fully featured application that has all of the features that a Linux administrator could want in a remote access client from a Windows PC.
There is a Free and Paid for version of this software, the key differences are that the professional version comes with all of the standard features of MobaXterm, as well as these additional features:
- Customizable Startup message and logo
- Modify and Save Profile scripts
- Remove unwanted screensavers games and tools
- Unlimited number of sessions
- Unlimited Tunnels and Macros
- Unlimited Run time for network Daemons
- Master Password Support
- Lifetime right to use
Some key features include:
- Embedded X server
- Easy display exportation
- X11-Forwarding functionality
- Tabbed terminal with SSH
- Cygwin Integration
- Addon and Plug-in Support
- Network Manager
MobaXterm is a multi-tool that is sure to add value to an administrator that needs to manage multiple computers in different locations from a single application.
- Great for accessing Linux/Unix systems from a Windows operating system
- Simple interface that is easy to learn
- Supports multiple remote protocols, including SFTP/FTP
- Supports X-11 forwarding, ideal for heavy remote users
- Must pay for Pro version for additional features and functionality
There is not much that cannot be done from inside this program, so its usefulness is definitely apparent and makes for a Great Alternative to Putty.
$69 per user (Bulk pricing available from here)
mRemoteNG is another project that was formed as a result of a fork in another project, mRemote in this instance.
It is an open source, multi-tabbed, multi-protocol, remote connection manager. mRemoteNG adds bug fixes and additional features to mRemote and updates the overall functionality of the application.
It allows for the viewing of all of your saved Remote connections in a simple and powerful tabbed interface that is easy to use and full of features.
Our main area of concern for our round up is the SSH functionality, which works well, and is simply to run and configure.
Key features from this application include:
- RDP/Terminal Support for Connecting Remotely
- VNC Support and Connectivity
- SSH Client
- Raw Socket Connections
mRemoteNG is quite basic in its approach to remote desktop administration and SSH use, but if you are looking for a solid application that works well then this could be a good choice for you.
- Open source tool with an active community
- A lightweight GUI option for managing remote connections
- Supports a variety of protocols such as RDP, VNC, and Telnet
- Can securely store credentials for future use
- Interface can feel crowded when adding a large number of connection destinations
The user interface is clean and simple, and does not try to cram in too many features in one window, which adds to the overall utilitarian feel that runs throughout this application.
Add the fact that it is open source and free to download and use, then you could be on to a winner that will succeed Putty as a great alternative.
Free and Open Source
5. Xshell 6 Client
Xshell is a back to basics SSH client that calls itself ‘The Industry’s Most Powerful SSH Client’.
It is a powerful terminal emulator that supports SSH1, SSH2, SFTP, TELNET, RLOGIN and SERIAL connections, making it a versatile PuTTY replacement.
Xshell offers a combination of specific features and advantages over some other SSH clients such as tabbed windows, dynamic port forwarding, custom key mapping and much more.
This makes Xshell a formidable opponent for many PuTTY type applications that need to connect via SSH, and means that it could be a good alternative for you as well.
Some key features are:
- Session Manger
- Highlight Sets
- Tabbed Environment
- Compose Pane
- SSH PKCS#11 Support
- Dual font integration
- X11 Forwarding
All of these features come together to create an enhanced SSH session manager with plenty of customizability and enhanced options in store for users.
There are some nice touches, such as the text highlighting that acts like many modern code compilers out there today, and an integrated web search feature also helps users to search the web for pesky error codes without having to write them down or attempt to copy and paste out of an active session.
- Excellent interface, supports multiple sessions through different tabs
- Supports SSH1, SSH2, SFTP, Telent, and rLogin
- Highly customizable, can create macros and setup custom keybinds
- Features built-in alarms for monitoring
- Not as lightweight as PuTTY
This is a good application if you are looking for a direct PuTTY replacement.
Free licenses are available here for home and school users, while a single Xshell license will cost $99, which comes with a 1 year maintenance agreement.
6. Bitvise SSH Client
Bitvise is an SSH client that can do a lot of the functions that you would expect from a potential PuTTY alternative.
It is a Windows application that runs on anything from Windows XP, to Server 2016 and Windows 10.
It incorporates a SSH client and SFTP functionality, which makes it one of the better graphical interfaces around.
It allows for some pretty great features, such as single click remote desktop forwarding and it offers a state of the art terminal emulation integrations via bvterm and xterm, as well as supporting vt100 protocols.
There are also scriptable command line options for remote script execution, and has all of the features that you need to communicate via SSH.
Key features include:
- Graphical SFTP File Transfers
- Terminal Access – Remote Console
- Single Sign-on
- Port Forwarding
- Customization Options
- Portable install
The included command line functionality of this application might come in especially handy for system administrators that like to get their hands dirty with scripting, making this a viable alternative to PuTTY in many ways.
- Supports numerous public key authentication types
- Offers customizable SSH obfuscation
- Powerful scripting options through sexec/stermc
- The interface could be easier to use by consolidating the multiple tabs
- The help section is outdated, could use more visual examples
There are also standard features such as SFTP capabilities as well, which is excellent news for anyone that still needs to do this type of thing via an application like Bivise.
PuttyTray is yet another PuTTY fork that features one of the most sought after functions out of all of the PuTTY alternatives: minimizing it to the system tray.
This doesn’t sound like much of an additional feature, but it adds quite a lot of practicality to the application.
The project also sought to add other features such as hyperlink support and other basic improvements.
The main features are:
- Minimizing to the system tray
- Customizable Icons
- Tray Icon Blinks when Bell signal is received
- Window Transparency is configurable
- URL hyperlinking
- Portable install
- Always on Top setting
- Android ADB support
Although the project is stagnant at the moment due to an inactive developer, the program is still a good alternative to putty, especially if you appreciate the benefits of the hyperlink integration.
- A solid option for anyone looking for a PuTTY alternative with few additional changes/features
- Supports on-screen notifications
- Users can customize the icons
- Not updated often, bugs are often left unpatched for long periods of time
- Lacks many additional features found in tools like SolarWinds Solar PuTTY
The way that it renders fonts is also really good, so terminal purists will relish the correctly displayed characters on their screens when they use PuttyTray.
Free and Open Source
SuperPutty is a GitHub project that is maintained by an active developer. It features all of the basic Putty functionality that you would expect from such an application and works well for this intended purpose.
It features easy navigation and has a customizable UI that allows users to change the layout in some instances to suit their preferences.
Key features include:
- Shortcut driven navigation
- Customizable UI
- Putty configuration integration
This is a great piece of software, but unfortunately has not been updated in some time.
- Layout feels just like PuTTY, no need to learn a new interface
- Features a GUI
- Offers multiple protocol support like SSH, telnet, and rlogin
- Can securely move files over SCP or SFTP
- Runs only on Windows
- Not a good option for those looking for an improved interface
Free and Open Source
We hope you found this article useful in your search for finding the Best Putty Alternatives on the Market for SSH/Telnet/rLogin/SCP and Http/HTTPS connections, as well as many of the top Remote Desktop software packages out there.
Many of these SSH Clients have great features that give you extended Functionality on top of what Putty has to offer – We highly Suggest you download a couple of the programs above to see which one fits your needs best. We'll keep this list updated with new SSH Clients that come to the market as we find them!