What are SSH keys?

SSH keys offer an even more secure way to log in to your server than a complex password. SSH key authorization requires two components: a private key used by the client connecting to your instance and a public key stored on your instance. During the login process the server verifies if the two keys match and grants access if the private key is correct.

SSH keys use extremely complex encryption methods that are virtually impossible to crack using brute force methods.

In addition to bringing more security, using SSH keys makes your life easier: there is no need to type or remember passwords. Just connect to your instance using your private key and you are immediately logged in. However, if you want, you can also secure your SSH keys using a password so that no one can connect to your instance by stealing your private key

Setup SSH keys for PuTTY

Step 1: Set up an instance with an SSH key

While creating an instance, choose the SSH key you’d like to use in the SSH keys section. If you don’t have any SSH keys, check our tutorial on setting up SSH keys in the Tavu Cloud panel and then continue following this tutorial.

It is recommended to disable logging in using passwords completely for extra security. To do so, choose No when asked to Allow password authentication for ssh.

Step 2: Configure PuTTY

Open your PuTTY client and select ConnectionsSSHAuth from the sidebar. After this, click the Browse… button and select your private key file (.ppk file).

PuTTY SSH key configuration

Next, navigate back to Session section in the sidebar and enter your instance information, including hostname and port. Also, select Never for Close window on exit at the bottom of the PuTTY window. Save connection information by giving it a name to the Saved Sessions field and clicking the Save button.

PuTTy connection configuration

Tip: you can avoid the need to enter your username every time you log in by entering the hostname using format username@hostname.

Step 3: Connect to your instance

PuTTY SSH connection

You are now ready to go! Just double click the connection you saved and type in your username if you didn’t follow the tip earlier. After this, you will be connected to your instance using SSH key!