I need a better SSH client than Putty for Windows.

Major reason being that PUTTY is ugly, the color schemes are really hard to read and annoying. I would prefer something that has a more modern look.

What do you use and would recommend ?

  • What do you mean by “better ssh client than putty”? The only requirement you give is to support less “ugly” color schemes (which is vague: I don't find PuTTY ugly), but since PuTTY itself meets this requirement (you can change the colors), that's not really useful. Mar 10, 2015 at 7:19
  • Please take a moment to read our recommendations on asking questions and on asking for alternatives. Mar 10, 2015 at 7:21
  • Check out cmder which is a better terminal emulator for Windows. It includes msysgit which is an UNIX toolchain that includes the "ssh" command, in addition to standard cp/rm/mv/etc.
    – user111
    Mar 10, 2015 at 15:33
  • @Gilles Do you really think better UI means being able to change colors? I don't think anyone here is having any issues comprehending the question so I think I'll leave it as is.
    – sublime
    Mar 10, 2015 at 18:40
  • How do I know what better “UI means”? Only you can know what you mean by it. (Is that what you want? The question asks for “good-looking”, which overlaps but does not cover the same things.) Mar 10, 2015 at 19:54

5 Answers 5


I use MobaXterm, which is a terminal program like PuTTY but with (in my opinion, at least) a cleaner design and a more modern look.

It was recommended to me quite some time ago as a replacement for PuTTY.

Even though it comes in a free version or a full version (which is a subscription), I've used the free version for a very long time and have never noticed any limitations as a result.

  • Looks like being worth a look: has a portable version available, and seems to support SSH keys for authentication. Little drawbacks to mention: the limits of the free version (though they sound reasonable and should not affect the average user), and the price for the full version (~EUR 60) – where the term "subscription" somehow suggests repeated payment.
    – Izzy
    Mar 6, 2015 at 12:51
  • Okay I've been using this for last 4 days now and it's really awesome. Specially the folder structure that I can navigate alongside my ssh terminal. Multitabs work great and has a very chrome like UI (looks really good). Thanks for the suggestion.
    – sublime
    Mar 10, 2015 at 18:42
  • You've almost convinced me as well: this not only substitutes for "putty + MPutty", but almost for WinSCP as well (if it had folder bookmarks in the SFTP browser that is – or did I just miss those?). Just those annoying penguin screensaver is spoiling it. Any way to turn that off?
    – Izzy
    Mar 17, 2015 at 14:41
  • @Izzy I've never done it, but there must be an option somewhere.
    – APerson
    Mar 17, 2015 at 15:59
  • Yupp. Penguin-off-option available for USD 69 – it is "intended to be fun" (and not "intended to be turned off"). Didn't find out for the folder bookmarks, though.
    – Izzy
    Mar 17, 2015 at 18:04

Color schemes in PuTTY can be changed. 4bit Terminal Color Scheme Designer is a great web application to generate PuTTY color schemes.


Another ssh client is Terminals. I have not used it because PuTTY works fine for me, but after reading its feature page, I think it might fit your requirements:

Here are some of these features:

  • Multi tab interface
  • Resizable terminal window
  • Attached and dettached Window
  • Customizable toolbars
  • Toolbar for computer control panel applets
  • Terminal fonts and colors
  • Custom connection icon
  • Organize connections by Tags (Groups)
  • Organize Groups in Tree like in any other Explorer
  • Looks pretty good from the screenshots. What I couldn't figure: does it support SSH keys for authentication? Is there a portable version?
    – Izzy
    Mar 6, 2015 at 12:46
  • @Izzy Portable version is available under other available downloads on the downloads page. I don't see SSH Keys in the configuration, but I've only fiddled with it for a little bit
    – Tymric
    Mar 6, 2015 at 12:59
  • 1
    Thanks for the details! Portable variant is very good to have (especially when working on computers you have no admin account on). But without support for SSH keys, it unfortunately doesn't make much sense for me. If you figure that definitely, maybe you want to integrate both details with your answer (whether it supports SSH keys, and the pointer to the portable version)? Meanwhile a "heads-up" (+1) for the detailed answer :)
    – Izzy
    Mar 6, 2015 at 13:03

I recommend OpenSSH in Cygwin.

It's for security reasons rather than aesthetics; PuTTY doesn't support elliptic-curve keys, there's no official HTTPS mirror, and it's quite rarely developed.

Cygwin comes with the mintty terminal which shares some lineage with PuTTY's terminal emulator, but i find it's more consistent.


I use PuTTY Connection Manager. While not a replacement for PuTTY, it offers a good interface with tabbed sessions and several themes.

It is an old software, but I still use it regularly since I haven't found a better alternative. Its most prominent features are:

  • Multiple tabbed sessions
  • A connection manager side panel
  • Configurable hotkeys
  • Customizable themes (System, Visual Studio, and Office 2007 themes)

PuTTY Connection Manager Options

The project homepage is no longer online, but here is a download link that I found here


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