Free SSH (Secure Shell) and Telnet Clients

Free SSH programs and telnet clients that allow you to connect via the SSH or Telnet

Free SSH (Secure Shell) and Telnet Clients / Programs

Listed on this page are free Secure Shell clients, that is SSH clients, as well as telnet clients that allow you to connect to a website via the SSH or Telnet protocols. SSH clients and telnet clients are useful when you need to do things like maintenance, backup, compilation, etc, on your site. You typically connect to that system in a command line window where you can directly type commands as though you are seated in front of that computer.

Note that if you are looking for a Secure FTP client (SFTP), you should check out the Free Secure FTP and FTP Clients page instead.

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Free Secure Shell (SSH) and Telnet Clients

ConnectBot (Android) New

This is an open source SSH client for the Android platform (including Android phones). The above link leads to the main website, from which you can download both the program as well as the source code. If you only want to install the program, you can also get the latest stable version from the Google Play Store.

Putty (Windows, Unix-type systems)

Putty is a well-known open source SSH and telnet client for Windows and Unix-type systems, that supports both SSH1 and SSH2. The package also includes command line tools like PSFTP which allows you to use secure FTP (SFTP, using the SSH protocol) as well as PSCP, an SCP client (for secure file copy). It also supports secure X11 forwarding, which allows you to run X Window applications on the server and view the windows it displays on your local machine. Another useful feature of Putty is secure port forwarding, which allows you to forward arbitrary network connections over your encrypted SSH connection. This can be used, for example, for sending and receiving email securely over a normal SMTP / POP3 connection.

Tera Term (Windows)

Tera Term is a terminal emulator that supports Telnet, SSH 1 and 2 and even serial port connections. It also has a macro scripting language. This Windows program is released under the open source BSD licence.

Bitvise Tunnelier (Windows)

This SSH and SFTP client for Windows has terminal emulation support for bvterm, xterm and vt100 protocols, handles SSPI (GSSAPI) Kerebos 5 and NTLM user authentication and Kerebos 5 host authentication, and supports RSA and DSA public key authentication. SSH port forwarding is also supported as well as an FTP to SFTP bridge that lets you connect to an SFTP server using a program that only handles FTP connections (although I can't imagine why you would want to do that instead of using the included SFTP client, or one of the many other free SFTP clients around). As far as I can tell, at the time I write this, the program is free for individual use for up to 4 people/machines in a home (but you should read their licence agreement yourself to be sure).

KiTTY (Windows)

KiTTY is a fork (that is, a derivation) of the Putty (see elsewhere on this page) SSH client and SCP (secure file copy) client. The fork adds session filters, a session launcher, an automatic logon script, automatic saving, integration with Internet Explorer, a light chat server, an integrated text editor, etc. This is a Windows program.

OpenSSH (OpenBSD, Linux, other Unix-type systems)

The OpenSSH comes with the ssh program (secure shell), scp (for secure file copy), sftp (for secure FTP), etc. It has ports for a variety of systems, including OpenBSD (of course), Linux, Solaris, FreeBSD, AIX, HP-UX, etc.

SSHWindows (OpenSSH for Windows) (Windows)

This is an OpenSSH port for Windows. It doesn't look like it's maintained any more.

Cygwin (Windows)

Cygwin contains a port of OpenSSH for Windows. Note: if you only want OpenSSH, don't select the other Unix tools in the package when you install.

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