• PuTTY is an open-source tool that uses network protocols like Telnet and rlogin with an xterm terminal emulator for Windows and UNIX systems.
  • Many of its users have reported the Fatal Error, Network Error: Software Caused Connection Abort.
  • The cause of this error is that the network firewalls terminate the connections if the connection remains idle for some time on the server.

FIX: PuTTY network error software caused connection abort

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PuTTY is a cross-platform program that uses SSH (Secure Shell) protocols to provide secure communication between networks, systems, and applications over an unsecured network.

It is a utility that can be used to transport data in order to send and receive files swiftly and securely. The program also allows for serial port connections, which support Telnet, rlogin, SCP, SFTP, and other protocols.

PuTTY has several advantages, especially while working remotely. It’s simpler to set up and more reliable than VNC or other protocols built into the operating system.

It is also more persistent in comparison to others, as a remote connection can be resumed as soon as the connection is restored after an interruption. It is a completely free and open-source software package and has an easy-to-use graphical user interface.

There can be several reasons why you may receive this specific error message, but one of the most common is a shaky internet connection. If your internet connection isn’t as stable as it could be, it will cause intermittent interruptions in your session that could result in this error message.

Another reason you might get this error message is if you leave your session open for an extended period. PuTTY can be configured to abort the connection when it has been left open for a specified time. 

How can I resolve the network error: software caused connection abort in PuTTY?

1. Check your internet connection

  1. Open the Command Prompt from the Start menu.
    FIX: PuTTY network error software caused connection abort
  2. Run the ping command in the terminal.
    FIX: PuTTY network error software caused connection abort
  3. If you see more than one message like Request timed out, wait for a minute and press CTRL+C to note the Lost rate in the ping statistics.
    FIX: PuTTY network error software caused connection abort

The Lost packets will tell you the internet’s condition, packet loss, and connection drop rate. The simple way to combat an unreliable internet connection is to restart PuTTY and re-establish the connection.

If you still encounter the connection abort error, try the following method.

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2. Configure PuTTY to enable TCP keepalives

  1. Open PuTTY software. From the left-hand menu, select Connection.
    FIX: PuTTY network error software caused connection abort
  2. Check the Enable TCP keepalives(SO_KEEPALIVE option) under the low-level TCP connection options.
    FIX: PuTTY network error software caused connection abort
  3. Next, set the value of Seconds between keepalives(0 to turn off) to somewhere between 5 to 30 seconds.
    FIX: PuTTY network error software caused connection abort
  4. Click Open and check if the idle connection remains open for the set duration.

Your network routers and/or firewalls usually keep track of all the connections. However, they may assume that a connection is dead if no data is transferred in either direction after a certain time.

This happens because the firewall software has a timeout, and it closes the connection after that timer runs out. It can cause your sessions to be unexpectedly aborted by the firewall.

You can solve this issue by configuring PuTTY to send null packets and TCP keepalives every few seconds. It will make sure that the session does not abort even if the connection is not transmitting data.

It is recommended to keep the keepalive value comparatively low. The keepalives are not always helpful and can make things worse. Because it will increase the probability that PuTTY will attempt to send data during a break in connectivity.

If you are facing other PuTTY network errors, like connection timed out, you should consult our article here.

These methods should resolve the network error Software Caused Connection Abort.

Which one of these solutions works for you? Share your experience in the comments section below.

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