- What is PuTTY?
- What PuTTY is used for?
- Some disadvantages of PuTTY
- Serial Port Monitor - the best alternative to PuTTY for Windows
What is PuTTY?
PuTTY is a free software tool that serves as an SSH and telnet client, presenting the user with an xterm terminal emulator. It was originally developed for the Windows operating system by Simon Tatham. PuTTY is open source software and can readily be obtained with its source code by downloading the putty.exe file. A group of volunteers currently develop and support the application.
What is PuTTY Used For?
PuTTY can serve a number of functions when used on the Windows operating system. It is one of the most used SSH clients for the Windows platform. It fills a gap in the Windows operating system, which does not include any SSH server or client software in its default installation.
It is a versatile tool that is most often used in cases where a user on a Windows computer wants to open a remote secure shell (SSH) access session with a Unix or Linux machine. SSH provides encryption in creating a secure remote session. Once connected the user can remotely execute commands and transfer files between machines. They also can monitor ports and devices that are attached to the remote computer.
PuTTY also supports a number of other communication protocols. They include raw, rlogin, serial and Telnet. The login and Telnet protocols allow unencrypted remote logins that typically make use of dedicated ports. Serial is an option that is used to connect a serial line and can be used to establish serial connections between two computers with no other network connection.
Some Disadvantages of PuTTY
In order to monitor multiple devices or ports at the same time using PuTTY you need to have a separate session open for each device. This can make for a very cluttered desktop and information overload, and negatively impact your ability to properly watch the desired devices. It also means the creation of many log files to enable you to save your data for later analysis. Collating these log files into one file that can give you a representation of how your complete system’s serial devices and ports are operating can be an extremely difficult and time-consuming task.
The tool also offers a limited ability to debug, monitor and control serial devices. While you can use PuTTY to enact a serial connection, the functionality of the tool does not lend it for extensive use when working with remote serial interfaces. If you plan to do considerable work with remote serial devices and ports, your best bet may be to seek a PuTTY alternative.