Connecting for the first time

If you are new to Bitvise SSH Server, we highly recommend that you first make sure that you can establish a working SSH connection before you change any settings on the server. If you cannot connect to the SSH server using its default configuration, this is most likely due to a network or firewall problem that you will need to resolve before you are able to connect.

In its default configuration, Bitvise SSH Server accepts connections on the well-known port number for SSH servers, 22. To avoid drive-by password guessing, we recommend that you change this to a random port number between 1024 and 65535. This port number - either 22, or the port number you choose - is the only port you need to open in your firewall in order to connect to the SSH server. If you use port forwarding to tunnel other applications through SSH, you should not open any additional ports for the tunneled connections. All tunnelled connections are forwarded through the SSH session, established through the main SSH Server's listening port.

When connecting to Bitvise SSH Server with an SSH client for the first time, log in with the username and password of a Windows account that exists on the machine where the SSH server is running. To log into a Windows domain account, specify it in the 'domain\account' format.

You can use any SSH client to log into Bitvise SSH Server, as long as it supports SSH protocol version 2. Some Unix installations and old routers still have archaic SSH implementations which only support SSH version 1. Such installations must be upgraded, as SSH1 contains security flaws. In general, security software, including SSH software, should be kept up-to-date to minimize exposure to security flaws.

Clients that are known to work well with Bitvise SSH Server include Bitvise SSH Client (which works best), as well as CuteFTP Pro, Tectia, F-Secure / WRQ / Reflection, VanDyke (SecureCRT, SecureFX), OpenSSH, PuTTY, FileZilla, and many others. WinSCP works well in SFTP mode, or in SCP mode if BvShell is enabled.