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SSH (Secure Shell) lets you run a command line environment on your web server securely via encryption. However, not all hosts are equally up to this task. See what to look for in a web host.
The Best SSH Access Hosting of 2023
Bluehost tops our list of best SSH access hosting providers. Among other top SSH access hosting services, we recommend InMotion or GreenGeeks as suitable alternatives.
Digital.com dives deep into every topic it covers to offer trusted and reliable recommendations for the best business tools. See how we review SSH hosting services.
The Best SSH Hosting Providers of 2023
#1 Top Pick for 2023
Why it’s best: Bluehost is an incredibly reliable hosting provider with strong customer service, offers uptime, and provides great value for your money.
$2.75 per month
Shared, VPS, Dedicated
Reasons to choose Bluehost
- Solid uptime
- Generous storage
- Includes several security features, such as unique IPs (internet protocols), SSL, & SiteLock protection
Reasons to avoid
- No automated daily backup
Bluehost is a large website host well-known in the industry. It is popular for its variety of “one-stop-shop” solutions and services, as well as bargain prices. Bluehost currently powers over two million sites worldwide, mainly out of its huge data center in Utah. The company also offers almost every website hosting service that you might possibly need, such as advanced hosting like VPS, managed WordPress hosting, and dedicated server.
SSH access isn’t enabled by default, but your cPanel makes it easy to turn SSH on . SSH access is available for its shared, dedicated, VPS, and reseller hosting packages.
Bluehost’s incredible uptime was the main thing we noticed when reading both consumer and professional reviews. While Bluehost doesn’t offer any specific uptime guarantee, we couldn’t find any current or past subscribers who reported experiencing any significant downtime on their Bluehost site.
The Bottom LineBluehost is an incredibly reliable hosting provider with strong customer service, offers uptime, and provides great value for your money.
- 24/7 phone, email, and chat support
- Unlimited bandwidth
- Free website builder
$2.29 per month
Shared, VPS, Cloud, Dedicated
Reasons to choose InMotion
- Fast loading speeds
- InMotion Hosting uses open-source software and strategies
- You can choose from all major types of hosting, including shared, VPS (virtual private server), cloud, and dedicated servers
- 24/7 technical support
Reasons to avoid
- Facilities only in the U.S.
- Automatic backups aren’t free
If you’re just getting started with SSH hosting, then you might want to consider InMotion. Currently, SSH access is offered for its shared, dedicated, and VPS hosting packages. Not only are its hosting packages competitive, but it’s a very high-performing host with a stellar support team.
If you’re having trouble setting up SSH access, then the 24/7 technical support will definitely come in handy.
InMotion Hosting’s high-performance hosting, support team, features, and customer service are well-liked by most customers. Prices are fair, but take caution that they can fluctuate.
The Bottom LineInMotion offers high-performance hosting with open-source software.
- Unmetered data transfer
- Free website transfer
- 300% match with renewable energy
$2.95 per month
Shared, VPS, Dedicated
Reasons to choose GreenGeeks
- Scalable hosting solutions
- Well-stacked help center
- Reliable uptime of up to 99.9%
- Eco-friendly hosting methods
Reasons to avoid
- You must commit to a three-year plan to use the advertised price
- Pricier VPS and dedicated hosting options
If price isn’t the biggest concern and you don’t mind spending a little more to support the environment, then consider trying GreenGeeks’ hosting plans. It currently offers SSH access for all of its servers, but instead of configuring it yourself, all you have to do is put in a support request. This can help to simplify the setup process, since the GreenGeeks team will handle things for you.
Customers tend to give GreenGeeks high marks for its eco-friendly business model, as well as their pricing and performance. However, you may want to watch out for hidden fees and policies.
The Bottom LineGreenGeeks is arguably the best green web hosting web service available on the market. Its lightning fast servers, quick response times, and 24/7 support make it an excellent choice for small- to medium-sized projects.
What Is SSH Access?
SSH (Secure Shell) is a multi-purpose protocol equipped with a mechanism for secure system administration and file transfers. SSH provides a secure way to access your server’s command line and upload content. Hosting providers are offering SSH as an additional feature to guarantee secure access for your website.
Your server’s command line is a text-based interface where you type commands for installing or removing software, change settings, and work with your server directly. Most often, you’ll do this when installing a specific software package or changing settings that your CMS (content management system) doesn’t typically allow you to do on the dashboard.
You can also use SSH to upload files, with SCP (secure copy) or SFTP (secure file transfer protocol) . SFTP allows you to upload files directly or in bulk rather than one file at a time, depending on your CMS’ requirements.
Accessing your server via SSH will require you to have either a username and password or a public and private key. Public/private key setups are common in professional settings because they are more secure, but most hosting providers that include SSH access will provide you credentials in the form of a username and password, along with basic connection instructions.
Compare SSH Hosting Providers
Bluehost is our top choice pick because it’s beginner-friendly, reliable, and provides a great value for your money.
What You Need to Know
What is SSH?
SSH stands for “Secure Shell.” It is a protocol that allows users to have an encrypted command line interface (or “shell”).
Is SSH completely free?
Yes and no. For all practical purposes, the most popular and common implementation of SSH, OpenSSH, is free and open source, so yes. Where the “no” comes in here is more due to SSH’s history.
It was initially freeware developed by Tatu Ylönen of SSH Communications Security, but later versions from SSH Communications Security were made more and more proprietary. This is about the same time that OpenSSH was developed, and its open nature has made it the de facto standard SSH server.
Am I getting the same protection even when using a third-party program?
SSH works a lot like when you go to a secure website. You could be using Firefox, Edge, or Chrome, but they all understand how to make a secure connection because they all speak the same language (HTTPS / SSL). SSH clients, such as OpenSSH or PuTTY, work the same way, they all speak the same, secure, language of “SSH”, so you still get the same protection.
Can SSH be used for file transfers?
Yes. In fact, a number of file transfer protocols have been developed using SSH, including SCP, rsync, and SFTP.
What sort of data can be secured using Secure Shell?
While the primary use for Secure Shell is to log in to remote machines and send commands across computer networks, it can be used to transfer any type of data.
Since it’s a protocol, it can be used to develop any type of application or even another protocol. For example, SFTP was built upon FTP (file transfer protocol) to provide a much higher level of security when uploading and downloading files from a server.
How We Review SSH Access Hosting
We’ve analyzed over 1,500 hosting plans from over 380 hosting companies. We selected the plans that meet all the technical requirements for running a website with SSH access. Then, we picked out hosts that offer superior uptime, response time, and great customer support.
Finally, we combed through our huge database of independent customer reviews to identify the top three hosts for SSH Access.
Not all web hosts provide SSH access. Not all web hosting requires SSH access to use. Some hosting providers may even require an additional charge to turn on SSH.
If you do need SSH, however, consider the following when selecting the right host for your site:
- Windows considerations: For remote access, SSH is the standard on Linux. Older versions of Windows do not have native support for SSH, but more recent versions include SSH as a feature that is easily turned on. Be sure to check with your provider to confirm their Windows servers have SSH access in the event you deem this what you need.
- Credentials: Your web host will likely provide a username and password or means to provide an SSH public key to access your server. If your host requires public/private key access, you’ll need to generate your own public key and provide it to the hosting provider. You can do that with tools native to Mac, Linux, and Windows 10 or newer.
- Level of access: Every hosting provider’s terms of service are different, but your required access level will help determine whether or not a given web host is good for you. If you know specifically that you’ll need to install certain software or access your webserver’s files directly, you should check with your hosting provider before purchasing a plan.
- Customer Support: Directly accessing your server is not without its risks. Because admin-level command line access lets you do literally anything on your server, it’s possible to put your server in a situation where your hosting provider’s support team is unable to resolve your issue or you need to restore your server from a backup.
Learn more about our review methodology.