PuTTY is a free, open source terminal application that is highly configurable. In addition to the basic chores of serial terminal communications, telnet, SSH, login, and so on, it is also able to perform secure file transfers via SFTP and SCP. It is also able to act as an SSH tunnel for X11 traffic.

Appsreview Score:
96/100 Points
PuTTY iOS, Android App
User Rating
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars6 Stars7 Stars8 Stars9 Stars10 Stars
(10.00/10, 8 votes)
Author: SolarWinds
Category: FTP
  • Completely free to use
  •  Provides almost everything a system administrator would need when managing a remote site
  •  Fast, reliable and very configurable
  •  The sheer amount of configuration options can be overwhelming for some
  •  There is no support for scripting a session or for writing a macro
  •  There has been no official release, even after 20 years of existence
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Rerated Score: 96/100
Author: SolarWinds
How to uninstall


Supported Operating Systems: Windows 95, 98, ME, NT, 2000, XP, Vista, 2003, 2008, *Nix, Mac OSX (as an xterm application)
Supported Protocols: Serial communications, Telnet, SSH, rlogin, SCP, SFTP, xterm

Who’s it for?

System administrators, developers, network engineers, and other IT pros that need to connect to remote systems will find PuTTY useful.

What problems does it solve?

PuTTY fills the gap that was left when Microsoft Windows stopped shipping with HyperTerminal. In addition, its extreme configurability, combined with the ability to save connections, makes it a far more useful option than what Windows ships with (currently, a plain command line telnet client which is not installed by default). *Nix users will appreciate that it puts a lot of functionality into a single package.

Standout features

Cost: As a free, open-source application, PuTTY is a no-brainer compared to most commercial terminal applications.
Choices: Between the wide variety of protocols that it supports and the options for connections, PuTTY fills many needs, particularly less common tasks like using SCP and SFTP.
Reliability: PuTTY is an extremely reliable application.
Cross Platform Support: PuTTY is available on Windows and *Nix platforms, and it can run on Mac OSX as an xterm application.

What’s wrong?

Dense configuration: The variety of configuration options feels a bit overwhelming when you first see them.
Not a “version 1”: Despite the maturity of PuTTY, it (like many open source projects) is not billing itself as “Version 1” (currently it is a “beta” of version 0.60, which has been the current version since 2007).
No Scripting: Users who need to script their sessions will be disappointed with PuTTY.

Downloads provided by SolarWinds

Primarily users find PuTTY is useful for connecting to routers and switches (via telnet, SSH, and serial connections), and *Nix servers and mainframes, which are quite useful via text-only terminal sessions. For people working with X11 over the public Internet, PuTTY can tunnel their sessions via SSH, protecting sensitive data in transit.

Users with more demanding needs, such as writing macros or support for additional protocols, will want to look elsewhere. PuTTY can make every common type of connection and its feature set is strong enough to meet the needs of most IT professionals, and for the price, it can’t be beaten.

User rating

Have you encountered PuTTY? If so, what do you think? Rate the unit and compare the results to what other TechRepublic members think. Give your own personal review of the PuTTY in the TechRepublic Community Forums or let us know if you think we left anything out in our review above.

Features of PuTTY

  • Support for just about every networking protocol in existence, including SCP, SSH, Telnet, SCP, and STFP
  • Has the ability to generate keys for use within insecure protocols such as SSH
  • Makes managing a Linux machine from Windows as easy as possible

Windows Screenshots:


  1. Dave

    It is an application that is not perfect but it does its job without cost. It can make all kinds of connections and its feature set is good enough to meet the needs of most IT professionals.

    Pros: It allows you to connect any machine to another remote one. There is also no option to remember your password which makes it more secure so that other people can not control your work. It is highly configurable and can also perform secure file transfers through SFTP and SCP. It is a very reliable application and can also be run on Mac OSx as an external application.

    Cons: A somewhat shabby interface does not cause much confidence, but being free and with the capacity it provides, the interface's deficiencies are compensated. There is no option to write macros and some of the protocols.

  2. Christian

    Creation of the SSH tunnel when I need to carry out tests with other origins or avoid restrictions. I defend one hundred percent because it is a very beneficial tool within a commercial company and it is really easy to configure. But if you choose a light and fast weight. Connectivity tool, putty is the way to go. Try it, in case you do a lot of work in the terminal, you may not seem lower.

    Pros: The software is quite simple and does not require much additional configuration after installing and executing it. Putty is excellent for connecting to a network system and, in addition, to FTP sites. It is a lightweight Opensource software. It's okay. What I really like are the miles I can easily connect to some other server such as Linux, for example, when I'm operating and I need to make a commitment there. The configuration became quite simple and the software was very easy to use.

    Cons: You can not simply right click on the PuTTY icon and close to all open periods. While it can be easy to use and understand, there are certain factors that can be complicated. The user interface is asking for a date fragment, but it is clear and functional, so this is just an aesthetic problem. It seems that utility instances are a form of interruption.

  3. Coul

    Give it a try, if you do a lot of terminal work you won’t look back.

    Pros: That it's light weight Opensource software at it's best! A very clean, simple to use interface with a multitude of features....all for nothing!

    The documentation on their website is very concise and covers every aspect of using the software. Another good point is how frequently they update the software, it's not enough to become annoying but they are regularly implementing new features, bug fixes and security improvements. Their change-log which is published on their site is testament to this. Often Opensource software is created for a specific reason, which is achieved and never improved or maintained. Keep up the good work Putty!

    The other great feature is the ability to multiple, yet individual instances of the application (I forget what they call this, something like polygamy). Which allows you to connect to different servers through different protocols concurrently.

    Cons: It's hard to pick a dislike with this little bit of software. I suppose the only thing that can be a little clunky is saving your connections. I also don't know where the credentials are stored and how secure they are.

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