FTP Error: Connection timeout after 20 seconds of inactivity

It is potential that when the last updates of Filezilla you did not connect with your FTP server, the error that typically shows is that the following: Error connection timed out after twenty seconds of inactivity.

This error typically happens on those servers that have a TLS connection; however, the negotiation with the client program (Filezilla) isn’t done properly. This incidence is often resolved each at the client level and at the server level.

1) Solution at client level

We can modify the connection mode in the FTP. For this we will need to open the program used to make this connection, in this case we assume Filezilla, and we will follow some below steps to solve this problem:

  • Open filezilla
  • Click on “Site manager” under “File” tab.

  • A new window will appear, in that you have to mention correct details:

Hostname: Your domain name or IP address

Port number: 21

Protocol: FTP

Encryption: “Only use plan FTP (insecure)”

Logon type: Normal

If this still does not connect properly to the FTP server, then we can try to modify the connection mode either active mode or passive mode. For this we need to navigate to Edit menu:

  • Click on Edit menu and choose ”Settings”.

  • Here choose “FTP” and select Transfer Mode “Active mode or Passive mode”.

If you are still facing the issue, then Open FileZilla >> Edit >> Settings >> Connection >> Set Time Out to ‘0’

2) Solution at ISP level (Router)

If you are using an Asus Router then follow this steps:

  1. Login to the router
  2. In the left menu, under Advanced Settings, click the LAN button.
  3. Then click the Switch Control tab.
  4. Set NAT Acceleration to Disable.

Extra Option: Advanced -> NAT -> RIP CONFIG LIST -> Enable FTP

If you are using Netgear then follow this steps:

  1. Login to your Netgear router
  2. Click on the Advanced tab.
  3. Click on Setup from the left hand menu.
  4. Click on WAN Setup.
  5. Tick the check box to Disable Port Scan and DoS Protection.
  6. Click on Apply.

3) Solution at server level (Control panel)

The error can also be resolved from the server perspective, to force the client mail program to connect directly through an unencrypted connection which is not advised.

In cPanel server check for the FTP server configuration:

Home >> Service configuration >> FTP server configuration >> Here you can check for TLS encryption support which should be enabled on server.

You can enable the passive ports, in order for connection with TLS encryption does not fail which is advised, for this you need to modify the FTP configuration file settings.

Pure-ftpd is used and the configuration files are located in the path mentioned /etc/pure-ftpd.conf , and you can see commented related to PassivePortRange field. This has the range of ports that will be opened for the FTP service. This will only decompose it. In case of having a firewall we will add these port ranges so that they will open or we need to indicate the ports that we want to be used for the connections with the FTP service.

# Port Ranges for passive connection replies – Firewall
# PassivePortRange  300000  50000

In those servers that are not in control panel, it will be the same, or disable the use of the TLS or you can enable the ports from the configuration file of the service to make the secure connections.

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