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Bitvise – the perfect putty replacement for SSH on windows

If you host your own server, or your company’s server. Then you probably use SSH for that. As much as SSH is natively supported on Linux, it is still a dream to get native SSH support on windows. So people often use putty for connecting to their SSH servers and i also used it for some time before i felt like i needed an alternative, strangely there weren’t many available. But i ended up with this amazing ssh client called Bitvise and have been using it for some time.

Installation

You can get the Bitvise SSH client from here. The download is under 8 Megabytes and the install is just a few accept’s away. You can leave most of the configurations to their default and let Bitvise handle most of it.

Here is how the default screen looks like after a fresh install.

Configuring Bitvise

Well, before we configure anything else, lets first do the key imports and there is a Client key Manager setting as you can see.and let’s open it up and import our ssh keys.

As you can see i have imported my key, and if you want you can generate a new one as well. A really great feature that is not a part of the core putty application. Needless to say you can export the keys as well into openssh, Bitvise private key or putty private key files.

Now let me just fill in some server details and authentication methods and try to log in to the server.

You can now successfully fire up a terminal or use the sftp file browser or even connect to the remote GUI if the server supports it. Here is  a snap of how the Bitvise sftp file browser looks like.

The left side of the split window houses my local directory and the right side house the remote directory. Also, drag and drop works not just for files but folders as well.

Customizations

Bitvise allows for a wide range of customizations from the type of terminal you want, the initial directories for sftp and you can even configure Bitvise to automatically open up the terminal or sftp on successful logins. All of these customizations can be exported to a file that stores it as a Bitvise profile and you can later import is to retain your configurations.

My Experience

I will say that i have had a pretty great experience using Bitvise, a lot better than putty. Also, when i am on my Linux machine, sometime i miss Bitvise for the sftp browser and other portability features. I feel that it is just great to have all features bundled into one package. I don’t need separate apps for key generation, file browsing and remote desktop. This one tool covers it all and does a fantastic job at it.

I am also open to trying out some other apps, so if you have suggestions about them do let me know in the comments section and i will definitely cover them as well.

Bitvise – the perfect putty replacement for SSH on windows
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