PuTTYfor Windows



PuTTY, an open-source and free terminal application

A free, open-source terminal application, PuTTY is easily customizable and highly configurable. Apart from the basic serial terminal communications, SSH, telnet and rlogin, it can also initiate secure file transfers via SCP and SFTP. Additionally, PuTTY acts as a secure SSH tunnel for X11 traffic.

Over the years, it has been used by network engineers, system administrators, developers and all kinds of IT professionals. If you need to connect to a remote system, you’ll find PuTTY quite useful. But is it the best? Here’s the answer!

A powerful SSH and Telnet client

PuTTY can be run on a Microsoft Windows machine to connect to a (for example) Unix machine or other cross-platform integrations.

Simply put, It gives you a window, where anything you type goes straight to a Unix machine.

Anything that the Unix machine sends back is displayed on the window, thereby allowing you to get access to a console remotely.

Easy set up

Once you set up PuTTY, the clean and simple interface reveals a comprehensive configuration pane. It allows you to manage and customize connections and sessions alongside the window and the terminal.

Users can choose from several connection types, such as telnet, raw, rlogin, serial and SSH, to set logging options for a specific session.

The terminal

The terminal section refers to line discipline, remote-controlled printing and several general settings. The comprehensive features available make PuTTY one of the most popular terminal applications. Users can easily set alarms, keyboard actions, and use advanced features to tweak the behavior, colors and appearance of the window.

The Connection area in PuTTY offers customization options for Internet Protocol version, Terminal and Login details, Proxy type, Low-level TCP connections, Environment variables and several other protocol-specific adjustments.

Once you’ve successfully set up the connection, you can use the resources of a remote computer in a matter of seconds. Several IT professionals need to get remote access to computers on a daily basis.

PuTTY stores the host computer’s settings to facilitate accurate yet fast switches among machines. Additionally, it supports a wide range of encryption algorithms, such as DES, 3DES, Blowfish, AES and Arcfour.

Using PuTTY, you can take control via SSH encryption key along with the protocol version, while providing SFTP and SCP clients access through the command-line. In addition to dynamic, remote or local port forwarding, it also supports X11 forwarding, and IPV6 protocol and authentication via public-keys.

Without a doubt, PuTTY is an excellent application for experienced users and IT professionals. It comes in handy for people who need a reliable yet fully-customizable environment for their computer-to-computer secure connections. The wide range of protocols along with execution speed makes it a pretty good choice.

Where can you run this program?

Originally written and developed for Microsoft Windows, PuTTY can be ported to several other operating systems. Currently, official ports are easily available for Unix-like platforms. There has been a lot of talk about releasing PuTTY for macOS and Classic Mac OS. Some unofficial ports have also been released for other platforms, such as Windows Phone, Windows Mobile and Symbian.

Is there a better alternative?

PuTTY is one of the most popular SSH clients for Microsoft Windows. The easy-to-use interface and small size make it quite popular among IT professionals. Having said that, you can still choose from a wide range of options available. Here’s a brief overview of 3 alternatives for PuTTY.


With Solar-Putty, users can connect to any device on the network. Remote sessions can also be easily managed. Due to its wide range of searchability and features, Solar-Putty is often considered an excellent alternative for Putty. From a single console, users can manage multiple sessions with a tabbed interface.


KiTTY isn’t actually a separate application. In fact, it has been built upon the structure of PuTTY. It won’t be wrong to call it a fork in the popular PuTTY project. Designed to run exclusively in Windows environment, KiTTY offers pretty much the same features as PuTTY. The clean and simple UI has made it quite popular among developers and network engineers.


An advanced terminal designed for Microsoft Windows with X11 server, MobaXterm offers tabbed SSH client and many other networking tools that allow remote computing. With MobaXterm, you get all the important Unix commands to your Windows desktop. It’s also available in a separate portable .exe file.

Our take

A lot of network engineers, developers and system administrators need to connect to remote computer systems on a daily basis. Unfortunately, Microsoft Windows doesn’t come with the right tools to accomplish this task. With PuTTY, it gets easier to fill this gap and increase productivity for certain endeavors.

Should you download it?

Yes, PuTTY is an excellent choice as a terminal application. It’s quite useful for connecting to switches and routers (via SSH, telnet and serial connections), and mainframes and *Nix servers, which can be done via text-only terminal sessions. If you’ve been working with X11 over the public internet, PuTTY can effectively tunnel your sessions using SSH, thereby protecting sensitive data.

IT professionals with more demanding needs, such as support for additional protocols and writing macros, should look for some other tool. But if you’re looking to make common types of connections, PuTTY’s strong feature set won’t cause any trouble. For most IT professionals, PuTTY will be an excellent and sufficient choice.


  • Extremely reliable
  • Supports a wide variety of protocols
  • Offers cross-platform support


  • Scripting unavailable
  • Advanced features unavailable
  • Overwhelming configuration options

Program available in other languages

PuTTYfor Windows


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