I often need to work on linux servers and there are many ways to connect to the server. What is the best SSH client for Windows? At first let learn something about my 3 common used SSH clients:
SSH command for Windows
If you have installed the git console client for windows, you can use not only git in your cmd.exe shell but also ome other linux ported functions. For example: ssh. Price: Free.
this is sufficient for most tasks. And as I said this is a linux port the command has any more possibilities, you could also start a tunnel:
ssh ssh_username@server -L 3306:127.0.0.1:3306 -N
Putty is the one of the common used SSH clients for windows. You can save your sessions (servers) there and start a session by double clicking it. It has a lot of options you can set, basically all of the options you could set in the command line versionion but instead of guessing and googling what you could enter you simply fill out the fields / check the checkboxes. It is also possible to create tunnels there. Price: Free.
MobaXterm is a little bigger than the last 2. This tool is much more than just an SSH client. You can connect to SSH, SFTP, Rsh, Xdmcp, RDP, VNC, FTP, Serial, File, Shell, Browser and Mosh (Mobile Shell). Price: Free. Professional version: 69 $.
In Putty you have a simple list box with saved sessions but in MobaXterm you can have a treeview with custom icons. You can also store your credentials directly in the app so you will never again need any username / password. It might not be that secure as keys but sometimes it is not possible to use keys.
With the built in SFTP client you can upload / download or even “live edit” files while you are connected. Perfect when working on a production server and you need to fix a bug in an emergency.
It has tabbed windows, it feels like in any web browser. Creating tunnels is very easy. To top this, MobaXterm also has a built in linux shell which can be extended with the built in package manager.
So which one is the best? I would say MobaXterm is the best. After using putty for years I discovered MobaXterm few months ago and I just love to use it. It has so much features but it doesn’t feel bloated. It has everything a web developer needs. But Putty and command line ssh are cool too. Sometimes if I am on the command line I just prefer quickly connect by typing ssh user@server rather than creating a new session in MobaXterm. Especially when I think I will use that server only few times. In MobaXterm I love the feature that I can store my credentials in the app.