Hosting Tutorial & Guide

Top Web Hosts Offering SSH (Secure Shell)

updated on Jul 21, 2017
Top Web Hosts Offering SSH (Secure Shell) According to our review on 100+ web hosting providers' support to SSH as well as the quality of their web hosting services, BlueHost, WebHostingHub and HostMonster are the top 3 companies that support SSH with powerful technologies, optimized services and professional technical support.

SSH is an important security method for remote server management, but due to the fact that it may lead to compromised security and decreased performance, SSH gains full support only from some excellent web hosts that are powerful enough to guarantee uninterrupted security and website performance. Among the few companies, the ones listed below are the best. Learn some basic information and highlights in the following table.

Best Cost Effective Choice


Best SSH Hosting According to our reviews and monitoring, BlueHost offers the best cost effective SSH hosting speed among the 100+ web hosts. Backed by first-rate data center facilities and Cisco network and routing technologies, the average server response time of BlueHost is approximately 320ms, and the average page loading time of websites is less than 1 second.

All of BlueHost customers have access to the premier technical support powered by experts with professional knowledge and skills on SSH and other related features. The 24x7 availability of phone, live chat and email enables customers to get their problems solved quickly whenever they are troubled. Besides, there are dozens of detailed tutorials on SSH in BlueHost online knowledgebase.

BlueHost has 3 upgradable web hosting plans which come with full support for SSH. The original price of the plans starts at $7.99/mo, and the effective one is as low as $2.95/mo for new customers subscribing through the exclusive promotional link. Below are some of the important features included:
  • 1 free domain name & free automated daily backups.
  • Up to $300 free advertising credits for main search engines and social networks.
  • Anytime money back guarantee & 30 days full refund guarantee
  • Less than 90 seconds average support holding time.

BlueHost Promotion Link Activation

Affordable Choice


Affordable SSH Hosting WebHostingHub gives all of the shared web hosting customers free and full access to SSH. For easy SSH login and management, the company has integrated the software with its cPanel control panel, with which users are able to enable SSH and generate keys in seconds.

When encountering any technical issues in using SSH, WebHostingHub customers are able to reach the on-site support team for assistance. The support is available 24x7 via phone, live chat and email.

WebHostingHub is among the few web hosts that offer the most affordable SSH hosting services. The regular price of its shared Spark plan starts at $8.99/mo, but new customers going through the promotional link below can get a 78% discount for $1.95/mo. This plan includes:
  • 1 free domain name.
  • Unlimited disk storage, bandwidth, FTP accounts & email accounts.
  • High performance servers & SSD RAID 10 drives.
  • Daily backups & free website transfer.

WebHostingHub Promotional Link Activation

High Performance Choice


High Performance SSH Hosting Being a reliable web hosting company that is hosting thousands of domains, HostMonster knows what customers need. That is why SSH is offered in even its shared web hosting plans.

To ensure the best possible SSH performance, HostMonster has specially optimized all servers in its state-of-the-art data centers that are equipped with the best power supply system and redundant networks. Besides, the hardware is well set up with the focus on speed. As every account is kept isolated by advanced technologies, no one else is able to access the account, so the SSH security is further enhanced.

The shared web hosting plans of HostMonster are now available at an affordable price starting at $3.95/mo for visitors applying the following promotional link for 58% discount. Besides SSH, some other highlights of the packages are as following.
  • cPanel & 1-click installation of over 100 applications.
  • Anytime refund & 99.9% uptime guarantee.
  • Shared SSL certificate, free $100 Google AdWords credits & free domain.
  • Cron Job scheduling.

HostMonster Promotional Link Activation

What Is SSH?

SSH, which stands for Secure Shell/Shell Access, is a cryptographic transport protocol used to log on to a remote system for remote command execution. The secure data communication with SSH can be done through a secure channel over an insecure network between a server (running SSH server program) and a client (running SSH client program). This capability gives users great flexibility on the control over web servers and their web hosting accounts.

Nowadays, SSH is widely used, but not many people really know what this feature works for or whether they need it. Generally speaking, the feature has the following pros and cons.

Pros of SSH

SSH is a secure method to connect your web hosting account to upload files, move files and execute commands. It gains increasing popularity because of the following main advantages.

Strict Authentication

The authentication system is used to help systems make sure that you are the intended and actual client for data receiving and transferring, leaving anyone else no opportunity to pretend as you. At present, SSH has included many authentication methods, including password authentication, public key authentication, NTLM, Kerbero, and many more. Even, this system is constantly refined, integrating many other advanced methods for authentication.

Super-Fast Data Transfer

Generally, the transfer speed of multiple small data is much slower than that of a large file. Therefore, if you want to transfer a large amount of data or information, the process may take you a long time. However, SSH can transfer with the best efficiency for it compresses your data automatically into a single one, shortening the time needed for transfer greatly.


SSH is widely used to control web and other kinds of servers remotely. It works to enable you to directly access your web hosting account on the web server, which makes it easy to do some management like configuring account, transferring files, setting up cron jobs, making backups, installing applications, starting and stopping services, etc. So if you are an advanced webmaster or a web developer with certain knowledge on server management, SSH helps a lot in enhancing your control over the web hosting account.

Automated scheduled backups

Backing up your database and website files regularly can effectively protect your website from data loss caused by data deletion or corruption. In this case, SSH allows arranging tasks to make fresh backups of your entire website every week with little effort made. Note that the backups require some knowledge on shell scripting because you will need to create your own script to accomplish the task.


Developed by SSH Communications Security Ltd. and written in shell script, SSH is a developer-friendly software that is full-featured and flexible to manage. Those who are professional can write their own command lines to execute what they want on their web hosting accounts. And for shell scripting fans, SSH is a good tool for them to learn and practice their skills on the script.

Cons of SSH

SSH is functional and easy-to-use, but it has some limitations and brings some disadvantages at the same time. According to our years of experience in using this software, the main disadvantages of SSH lie in the following 3 aspects.

Compromised security

Although both ends of the server and client connection are authenticated by a digital certificate, and passwords are protected by being encrypted, SSH still comes with some vulnerabilities followed by digital threats. For example, when you are a SSH client connecting to the AF_UNIX socket, you are running as "root", performing insufficient permissions checking.

Therefore, users who utilize RSA authentication (managed by ssh-agent) and use the ssh-agent program may have their credentials improperly used by a malicious user who may illegally access services or programs on a web server.

Lower Performance

Frequently using SSH, your website is more likely to have decreased performance because SSH may cause spikes in CPU and bandwidth if a show tech is captured, some debugging is enabled, or a large amount of data is sent on the SSH session.

If your website is on a shared server with thousands of web hosting accounts all of which have access to SSH, the performance of your website is also probably to be significantly impacted by its neighbors using SSH, especially those bad ones who use SSH as proxy to execute a large number of commands or run many applications.

Unguaranteed reliability

SSH is a good solution for getting data from a remote device, but it is not designed for long-term or bulk transfers. If you transfer large files, SSH spike might occur, and moreover, SSH may not work sometimes. As this time, you'd better consider setting up a permanent VPN.

How to enable SSH via cPanel?

If you have access to both SSH and cPanel, enabling SSH is more than easy. Let's take BlueHost as an example. When you want SSH enabled, you only need to do the following things.
  1. Login to cPanel, scroll down to the Security section and click on the SSH/Shell Access icon.
  2. Choose to generate a new key.
  3. Fill in the needed information, and in the Allowed IP address field, set the IP from which you want to establish the SSH connection, then click on the Generate button.
  4. In the Manage Current Keys section, view details. Clicking on the Private Key link, you can see the DSA/RSA private key.

The Authentication Levels of SSH

AuthenticationUnlike SSL that focuses on encryption, SSH views authentication greatly. After all, a safe and advanced authentication system can guarantee the smooth data transfer effectively.

In fact, there are two levels of authentication offered by SSH. The first level is based on the username and password, and the second one is based on a pair of secret keys.

To be honest, the first level is not secure enough. You can make some remote executions once you have the username and the password needed. Although the transferred data is encrypted during the transferring process, you may still encounter the security issue as the server you are connecting may be pretended by a hacker. In this case, you’d better resort to the second level making use of secret keys created by yourself. In the following, we’d like to introduce the steps in general.
  • You create a pair of keys for both public and private, and put the public key on the server you want to connect.
  • When you connect the server, SSH sends a request firstly for authentication using your public key.
  • Then, the server figures out whether the public key received can match the one that is located previously.
  • If two keys are the same, the server notifies to SSH with an encrypted challenge.
  • SSH sends you private key to server for decryption.
This authentication level is undoubtedly more secure and safe, but it may need a longer time for login.