This post lists some of the best free Terminal Emulator software for Windows 11/10. Terminator Emulator is an application software that replicates the functionality of hardware terminals. A hardware terminal provides access to the data stored on a system or server using a monitor and a keyboard. Terminal emulator executes the same task using a command line or graphical user interface (Terminal Window). It allows a host computer to access and run applications on a remote computer and enable file transfer between the two computers.
Best Windows 11 Terminal Emulators
Terminal Emulators are broadly classified into 2 categories, desktop-based terminal emulators and web-based terminal emulators. Desktop-based terminal emulators run locally on computers. They need to be deployed on specific machines, whereas their web-based counterparts can run on any device using a browser.
One of the prime examples of a desktop-based terminal emulator is Windows Terminal, which comes pre-installed in Windows 10 and later versions. It has a multi-tabbed interface that allows using command-line tools and shells (such as Command Prompt, PowerShell, Ubuntu, etc.) simultaneously within different tabs of the same application. It also offers some useful settings and configuration options that allow users to personalize their terminals.
Finding the right terminal emulator is challenging, as each has its pros and cons. Moreover, it depends on the use case and specific needs of the individual or business, which terminal emulator suits them best. While choosing a terminal emulator, look for essential key features, such as multi-session management, plugin support, resource utilization, and customization options. To help you out, we are going to list down some of the best Windows 11 terminal emulator software. These are:
Let’s have a detailed look at each of them.
Cmder is a free, open-source terminal emulator for Windows. It is a portable software, which is available in 2 different versions: mini and full. The mini version is around 10 MB in size. It doesn’t require installation and can run from the cloud or a USB device. The full version is comparatively larger, as it brings several Unix commands to the Windows OS, along with PowerShell, CMD, and Git commands. Cmder offers a tab-based interface that allows users to run multiple consoles simultaneously. Apart from switching between these consoles, users can view different consoles within the same window using the tool’s built-in split feature. It also offers exciting interface customization options (setting fonts, themes, transparency, etc.) by leveraging the Monokai color scheme. Download the mini or full version of Cmder from www.cmder.app.
Also known as the ‘Industry’s most powerful SSH client‘, Xshell is a multilingual tool that emulates a virtual terminator and allows you to connect to almost any workstation. It supports various protocols (SSH, SFTP, TELNET, RLOGIN, and SERIAL) and makes it easy for programmers to gain access to a remote Linux or Windows system. It has a command-line, multi-tabbed interface. Its key features include multi-session management, task automation, support for UTF-8 coding, data safety, and security. It allows users to set a master password to block unwanted access and keep the data safe and secure using the MIT Kerberos authentication system. Xshell is free for Home and School users and is around 45 MBs in size. Download it from www.netsarang.com.
Putty is an open-source terminal emulator software that uses SSH, Telnet, rlogin, and SUPDUP protocols to connect to a remote computer. It can securely transfer files between computers using the PSCP (PuTTY Secure Copy client) and PSFTP (PuTTY SFTP client) tools. PSCP performs a single file transfer operation and then terminates. PSFTP runs an entire file transfer session just like the Windows FTP program. Putty supports SSH-1, SSH-2, and storing settings in names session profiles. Putty is highly configurable and reliable. Download it free from www.putty.org.
Mintty is another open-source terminal emulator for Windows based on Cygwin and is XTerm- compatible. It supports bidirectional rendering, full character attribution, character encoding (UTF-8), alternate and secondary fonts, emojis, vector graphics image display, drag & drop and copy-paste text, files, and folders. It offers a tabbed-window UI, which can be customized according to the user’s preference, and also offers multi-monitor support. Mintty can also work with MSYS/MinGW. You can download it from its official website, or simply run the Cygwin setup file and locate Mintty in the list of Packages to be installed.
Hope you find this useful.