Because it is very small and easy to install and use, PuTTY has been the most popular Windows SSH client for many years.

It is extremely lightweight and can handle many other networking remote access protocols, such as SCP, SFTP, Telnet or serial, which makes it ideal for system administrators and network engineers.

However, PuTTY has its limitations and there are a number of other options available, for people who need more features besides basic connectivity. In this article, we will discuss the best alternatives to PuTTY that can be used in a Windows 10 environment.

Super PuTTy

Since PuTTy is so popular, it is no wonder that one of the best alternatives for it is an application that extends its functionality.

Super PuTTy is fully compatible with PuTTy and actually required for it to be installed in order to run. It inherits all of the settings defined in PuTTy, including session information and SSH keys, but it adds some very handy new features.

It supports several additional communication protocols and its interface can be fully customized, which makes it easy to manage multiple sessions.

In Super PuTTy you can open as many tabs as you want and arrange them in any way, in order to take advantage of the large screen size of modern displays. It is also possible to define shortcuts for the commands that you use the most.

KiTTy

Just like Super PuTTy, KiTTy is also built on top of the regular PuTTy application and actually a fork of the same project that aims to add improved features. It is exclusively available for Windows operating systems.

It supports a large number of simultaneous sessions, which can be grouped into folders for easier management.

KiTTy is also highly customizable and the shortcuts for usual commands are already defined, but more can be added at any time. Passwords and keys are saved automatically and there is also a mode that protects open sessions against accidental keyboard strokes.

More advanced features include the management of scripts and URLs, as well as the option to execute a number of shell commands as soon as a session is started.

MobaXTerm

Another solid remote access terminal client that has been around for a very long time is MobaXTerm.

It provides many extended features and also supports a number of networking tools and remote desktop protocols such as RDP, VNC or XDMCP. Integration with X11 servers is available by default.

Just like the other alternatives, MobaXTerm allows several sessions to run in parallel, in separate tabs. In addition, it includes a text editor and a number of common Linux commands can be executed directly from the application in a Windows environment. The already rich feature set can be extended even further using plugins.

Unlike most of the other alternatives, MobaXTerm also has a paid version. Even if the free one provides everything a system administrator needs, the professional edition comes with customer support, an unlimited number of sessions, customization options and various other features.

mRemoteNG

If you are looking for stability and basic functionality, mRemoteNG is an excellent option with a clean and intuitive user interface.

Despite the simple looks, it is surprisingly powerful and supports many useful features such as tabs and a wide range of protocols including RDP and VNC.

Tabs and panels can be resized and grouped in any way and connections can be imported directly from an Active Directory server. In addition, sessions can be assigned icons for easier management and there is also a built-in screenshot manager.

This application is a fork of another project, mRemote, and aims to provide an easy way to manage all connections with a single tool.

Windows Subsystem for Linux 2

While not a real terminal application, the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) can be used for remote connections and it can be a great choice for this purpose.

Since the summer of 2019, the second release of WSL runs a real Linux kernel and can be installed for free in any Windows 10 edition, including the Home one.

It basically runs a Linux machine virtualized under Hyper-V and a number of distributions such as Ubuntu, CentOS or Debian can be installed on top of it.

WSL provides a real Linux terminal, with a full featured Bash shell, but more advanced shells such as zsh can be installed as well.

SSH connectivity is available straight away from the command line and users can install any other application from official or unofficial repositories in order to allow the use of other communication protocols.

An experienced Linux user can also benefit from all of the other tools available in the operating system.

 

While PuTTY remains the most popular Windows SSH client by far, some of the alternatives provide extended features that can greatly simplify system administration tasks.

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