I am looking for an alternative (or maybe extension for) to PuTTY. While PuTTY does everything I need, it lacks one feature that I would very much like to have: To give a selection of all present COM Ports to choose from.

Working with USB to Serial adapters, the COM port number they get assigned by Windows is not always consistent. Especially when working with different adapters. The workflow of having to check the Windows device manager for available COM ports is quite annoying and requires Admin privileges, so I am looking for a PuTTY alternative that shows me the available COM Ports.

In other aspects PuTTY is working fine, so a PuTTY version that just replaces the freetext field for the COM port with a drop-down of available ports would already be enough.


  • Runs on Windows
  • free, ideally also for commercial use
  • List available COM ports
  • able to log output to a text file
  • able to set port settings within the program (baud rate, flow control, etc.)

Nice to have:

  • able to do SSH as well
  • should work without admin privileges

2 Answers 2


I use Realterm when I'm playing with serial ports. I believe it does everything on your list except SSH connections.


If you want "help" with COM ports, you should try CoolTerm. It's the most capable serial terminal I've ever used, and you may even be able to get an "SSH add-on" for CoolTerm (althought I wouldn't use it).

And did you try Googling? Here's one of many that were listed under the Google search terminal programs support SSH

And if you're interested in opinions, please read this: I'd suggest you consider forgiving PuTTY its one failing, and use it instead of some of this other stuff. Why? If you're using SSH, it's about security, and PuTTY has that covered. Finally, if you're not cramped for space, why limit yourself to one? Get PuTTY and CoolTerm!

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