You are probably here becasue you have asked the same question as I did before purchasing SecureCRT: Is it worth me forking out $100 for a terminal emulator software?
This is probably one of the question every Network/Systems Engineer asks when it comes to buying a terminal emulator, or stick with freeware like Putty/TeraTerm etc on Windows, iTerm2 on Mac and Terminal on Linux.
There is a great post covered by Greg Ferro here, where he iterates that is it not good value for money. I do agree with him 100% where you could get such application on Mac App Store for around $25. However, when it comes to evaluating a software or any matter, one needs to consider the individual requirement before committing themselves financially to the purchase.
There are a number of questions I have asked myself before going ahead with the purchase…
Is there any freeware application which is as versatile as SecureCRT?
In my opinion, the answer is No. I have used a non-tabed version of SecureCRT over the years, so I have had my share of experience when it comes to SecureCRT as a terminal emulator and how reliable it is.
There are many people who could say such freeware like PuTTY would do the job. That statement solely depends on the individual’s needs. If one is happy with the functions of such Freeware, they should by all means use it. After all, it is just a terminal emulator application.
Are you looking for any feature specific to SecureCRT?
There are many features such as Scripting (VBA/JS/Perl/Python), Tabs, Console, Custom Logging etc being supported by SecureCRT. Therefore, your options are narrow as I do not know any other software which does scripting support as good as SecureCRT. Also, I encourage you to check the feature here by SecureCRT and compare with other applications against your needs.
There are many freeware applications available which also does support Tabs. However, from my experience PuTTYCM (PuTTY Connection Manager), is not as stable as SecureCRT.
There are many reasons I have decided to use SecureCRT over other freeware terminal emulators, but it all boils down to the individual needs. I wanted to have a way to work with Linux (Workstation) and Mac (Laptop), SecureCRT would allow me to have such setup and share the profile via cloud applications such as Dropbox. Also, the last thing I wanted to do is troubleshoot terminal emulator application problems. Don’t get me wrong, I love troubleshooting, otherwise I won’t be in this career. However, there is a moment in life where you wanted to be productive and not wasting time, or your concentration might get taken away by the lack of support or software crash by the software of your choice.