Free Putty Client Supports SSH2

Putty 0.52 is simple, fast, easy to set up and continues to support advanced features.

My favorite SSH client, Simon Tathams Putty, was updated in January to support Version 2 of the Secure Shell protocol, bringing it up-to-date on the latest SSH protocol. (Version 1 of SSH has critical security weaknesses, so SSH servers are best configured to allow only SSH Version 2 clients.)

Putty 0.52 (available for free download at www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~sgtatham/putty/dowload.html) includes a new character-based Secure FTP client that is easier to use for secure file transfer than the SCP (secure copy) command-line-driven utility that was part of older versions of Putty. Secure FTP is part of SSH Version 2, so having a secure FTP rounds out Puttys SSH2 support.

Secure FTP is definitely the way to go as a file upload technology because regular old FTP sends passwords over the wire in clear text—unacceptable behavior for most accounts. Depending on how they are configured, FTP servers can also require many open ports in the firewall.

FTP still makes sense as an anonymous file download technology because FTP clients are built into all Web browsers and into many file management shells such as Windows Explorer. Using HTTP is also an option, but it doesnt support wildcard or directory transfers, so FTP still has an edge for large-scale file distribution. For uploads or as a way for individual users to access private files, FTP has long outlived its usefulness.

Because Putty is free, its secure FTP client can be easily distributed to any users who need it. I would like to see wildcard support in Puttys secure FTP client, and a Windows client would be welcome.

Putty 0.52 includes a complete user manual, has a full-screen mode for that retro Unix terminal look and supports Unicode.

Putty is simple, fast, easy to set up and continues to support advanced features such as port forwarding. A key management agent saves retyping passwords. I highly recommend this upgrade.