Are you looking for ways to access another computer remotely? If so, then you’ll need to do so via the SSH protocol. And for that, you’ll need a working SSH client.
However, for Mac users, there’s already a built-in SSH client, the Terminal. Nevertheless, there are still many more of these clients available on the internet. In this article, we will through the best SSH client for Mac.
What is an SSH Client?
An SSH client, also known as a Secure Shell Client, is used to remotely connect to another system in a secured environment. It links to the CLI (Command Line Interface) of the SSH server (remote computer). You can then access, modify and run files on this computer from another Machine.
Usually, when you form a connection between the client and the server, you’ll have a couple of different data encryption options to ensure that no files on the server computer are misused. So, it’s pretty safe to remote control another computer via an SSH client, as this network protocol prioritizes strong integrity protection.
Best SSH Client for Mac
Here, we have made a list comprising of some of the most popular and well-working SSH clients available for the Mac. You can download all these clients easily from the internet and use their features and functionalities.
As we stated above, Mac comes preinstalled with an SSH client, that is, the Terminal. Through the Terminal, you can command your computer to perform various tasks, one of them being the ability to connect to an SSH server.
The Terminal is macOS’s default Command Line Interface. So naturally, there’s no GUI for you to interact with, and everything must be done via line(s) of codes. Hence, you must first request the SSH client to access the remote server, and again, through various commands, you control the remote computer, performing actions as per your requirement.
So, here’s how you can use Terminal to remotely connect to another Mac computer:
- Press Command + Space to open the Spotlight Search.
- Type Terminal and hit Enter.
- Now, enter the following command to remotely access another system:
Be sure to replace ‘username’ and ‘IP address‘ with the name and IP address of the remote PC, respectively.
Terminus works on multiple devices. This SSH client works on Mac, Linux, Windows, and also on Android, and iOS devices. So, it provides an easy and efficient way of transferring files to and fro between different devices.
For CLI-experienced (Command Line Interface) users, Terminus has an autocomplete feature that predicts the command as you enter it on the screen. Also, you can save the commands you frequently use for quick access.
It also has features dedicated to users who don’t favor memorizing and entering commands. That is, there’s a GUI built into Terminus, and it works using the SSH File Transfer Protocol ( also known as SFTP ). So, you wouldn’t need to use the command line in order to share files between your devices.
However, this SFTP GUI subscription feature costs you a few bucks, and you have to renew it on a timely basis. For others, Terminus has a free basic plan that you can use to tinker around on the CLI. It also has a premium version with features that advanced users might be interested in.
ZOC Terminal can be used as a substitute for the Terminal. One thing that the ZOC Terminal does better than the Terminal is the way it color codes your command to help you figure out which lines are connected to each other.
ZOC can help you stay organized with the codes you enter and the files you transfer. You also have the option to work on multiple terminal windows simultaneously. However, there is no graphical interface, and all the work must be done via the command line.
Nevertheless, ZOC Terminal is free to use on macOS, and it can be a pretty substantial replacement for the original Terminal because of its additional features and functionalities.
Chrome Secure Shell
Chrome Secure Shell is a browser-based SSH client. It was developed by Google and is available for free as a Chrome Extension. Chrome Secure Shell is an alternative to the classic Ternimal but can be accessed only through the popular Google Chrome.
Secure Shell built-in with SFTP (Simple File Transfer Protocol). So, you can easily transfer files between your devices through the Secure Shell. Furthermore, it does not rely on any third-party proxies to establish a connection to the remote server.
For interested users, here’s how you install Chrome Secure Shell on your computer:
- Download and install Google Chrome.
- Open Chrome.
- Click on the three dots.
- Select More Tools, followed by Extensions.
- From the top left corner of this window, click on the hamburger menu (three bars).
- Then, Open Chrome Web Store.
- Search for Secure Shell.
- Next, Add to Chrome.
- On the prompt message, make sure that you Add extension.
Usually, Windows and Linux users have been known to use PuTTY. However, it does have a Mac port and is equally efficient with its operation. It is an open-source application and can support a bunch of different clients, including telnet, SFTP, and SSH.
PuTTY operates like the macOS Terminal. That means there are various commands you can use to request your system to perform specific functions. You can save your data, which includes the IP address and other session information of a remote Machine. This enables faster access to this particular Machine the next time you try to log in.
But unlike the macOS Terminal, PuTTY does come with a GUI you can interact with. So, you can easily connect to the remote servers and transfer your files without any codes and commands. PuTTY is free to use for all Mac users.
Plenty of Mac users on different forums has listed iTerm2 as one of the best Terminal replacement. And it is somewhat true as iTerm2 does everything Terminal does, but better.
For starters, you can work simultaneously on more than one Terminal window. You can quickly switch between these windows and also between your remote server profiles. This allows you to work efficiently with different remote access levels and SSH connections.
Also, every line of code you copy is temporarily stored on the paste history. The ‘Instant reply’ feature works similarly to the ‘Undo’ button as it reverts the change you just made and recovers the text you just deleted.
Not to mention the inbuilt search tool, which helps you save your time by directly searching for the command you entered before. The CLI is made easier by the autocomplete feature, which predicts and suggests the bit of code you might require.
And in regards to the SSH session, iTerm2 will help you effectively manage your tasks by informing you which directory you’re currently on. You can also set a hotkey to quickly perform the required tasks inside the remote session.
iTerm2 does not come with a GUI; however, it’s only available on the macOS and is free for all Mac users.
Hyper is fast in its performance, reliable in its operation, and slick with its amination and design. It does not have a GUI but is known to be appealing to work with because of its visual animations.
It’s incorporated with an SFTP client and can hence be used for faster data transmissions between your computers. However, Hyper has been known to be slightly erratic with its data security as it doesn’t support any encryption protocol.
Nevertheless, this application is developed within the open web standards. That means users can use this application freely and also contribute to its development. So, it’s just a matter of time before we’ll see an update on its security protocol which will surely make it an all-around satisfactory SSH client to work with.
Shuttle can be looked at as an entry on your Mac’s menu bar. It acts more like a shortcut button rather than a standalone application. This, however, does not affect how the SSH server performs and how it operates.
When you download Shuttle, it comes as a
JSON file. Through this
JSON file, you can configure the required SSH servers you want to remote into. These configurations are then saved onto your Mac’s menu bar.
So, the next time you want to connect to this server, all you have to do is drop down Shuttle from the menu bar and select the particular server. This brings up the Terminal, loads up the configurations, and runs the SSH server.
Shuttle is free to use and has a bunch of different language translations for Mac users around the world.