Windows SSH Server WinSSHD

Martin Brinkmann
Aug 5, 2009
Updated • Mar 19, 2012
Software, Windows, Windows software

WinSSHD is a free for personal use SSH server for the Windows operating system. It supports secure remote access via console (vt100, xterm, bvterm) or gui (remote desktop or WinVNC), secure file transfers using SFTP or SCP and secure TCP / IP connection tunneling. The personal version offers most of the features offered in the commercial version. A few features, like the number of Windows account and virtual account entries, or the number of Windows and virtual groups are limited in the personal edition. Only the domain accounts and GSSAPI authentication features are disabled.

The server is not running after starting up the Windows SSH Server. It is up to the system administrator to start the server so that other users can connect to it.

Users with a Windows username and password are able to use SFTP and SCTP file transfers, access a command prompt via a terminal console and to route TCP connections through WinSSHD by default.

It is up to the administrator to modify the access rights or remove accounts from being able to access the system at all. The administrator can disable services provided by WinSSHD or restrict user access. Both methods can increase the system's security and should be dealt with before starting the server for the first time.

WinSSHD provides secure remote login capabilities to Windows workstations and servers. Security is WinSSHD's key feature: in contrast with Telnet and FTP servers, WinSSHD encrypts data during transmission. Thus, no one can sniff your password or see what files you are transferring when you access your computer through WinSSHD.

A good start is the WinSSHD user guide which explains the core concepts of the SSH server and offers tips on how to configure and secure it properly. Interested users can download the WinSSHD SSH Server from the developer's website


Tutorials & Tips

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  1. me said on February 20, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    I like the cygwin version more too!
    With this you can work like on an Linux-system.

    winsshd gives you after login pathes in Windows-type with drive-letter an backslashes. If you try to scp something you have to use it double backslashes to escape this windows-backslashes. It is not out of the box usage.

  2. supomo said on August 7, 2009 at 10:54 pm

    I like Cygwin version of sshd. I haven’t tried all other windows version, but cygwin if more like linux and has a lot more development into it.

  3. Walter said on August 5, 2009 at 6:16 pm

    Hi Martin,

    can you say how this one compares to Mobassh or freesshd?
    Especially the later one does not work for me very well when I connect from a Linux System.


    1. Martin said on August 5, 2009 at 6:29 pm

      Walter I cannot really say how they compare when connecting from a Linux system. WinSSHD is tightly integrated with the Windows operating system while FreeSSHD is not. I personally think that it is much easier to work with FreeSSHD than with WinSSHD although the latter could prove to be better suited for larger computer networks and domains. Quite a few users are reporting problems with FreeSSHD when connecting from a Linux system, take a look

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