I'm on a Windows 10 machine and have installed PuTTY. I'm trying to connect, but I get this error after entering my Host IP and opening the session:

=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~= PuTTY log 2020.12.30 17:23:14 =~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=
Event Log: Looking up host "" for SSH connection
Event Log: Connecting to port 22
Event Log: We claim version: SSH-2.0-PuTTY_Release_0.74
Outgoing raw data at 2020-12-30 17:23:14
  00000000  53 53 48 2d 32 2e 30 2d 50 75 54 54 59 5f 52 65  SSH-2.0-PuTTY_Re
  00000010  6c 65 61 73 65 5f 30 2e 37 34 0d 0a              lease_0.74..
Event Log: Failed to connect to Network error: Connection refused
Event Log: Network error: Connection refused
  • Can you connect to this host from some other device? Is there a firewall in place?
    – gronostaj
    Dec 30, 2020 at 6:40
  • Side note: are you aware that w10 ships with ssh command line, and thus makes putty less useful?
    – Steve B
    Dec 30, 2020 at 7:46
  • @SteveB I guess the graphical UI putty provides (e.g. session management) still has its advantages for people who like it. I personally have dumped putty several months ago after having lost patience with its own key format - I want my keys protected by the advanced key format (-o option, now standard) which putty couldn't handle for ages. I have read that it can in the meantime, but it's too late; I won't switch back. However, I wanted my SSH to be as close as possible to the original, so I use cygwin, not the native Windows SSH.
    – Binarus
    Dec 30, 2020 at 8:53

1 Answer 1


I believe that the solution is in the log you showed.

Connection refused, simply and not completely precise, means that your client can connect to the server, and that the server recognizes that your client wants to connect, but the server refuses the connection.

A server refusing a connection is different from network timeouts, wrong routes and similar problems. It means that the network in general works as expected, except the server itself.

In nearly all cases I saw refused connections were due to a firewall on the server or due to server software not running (on the expected port and interface).

In your case, you should investigate the server and make sure

  • that the SSH server software is running at all
  • that the SSH server software is using the port you expect (sometimes server admins move SSH to an unusual port, e.g. 2222 instead of 22, because they consider this a small piece of additional security)
  • that the SSH server listens on the correct interface (provided the server has more than one)
  • that the server does not prevent incoming SSH connections at all, e.g. via firewall rules

Please note that your problem could also be due to a firewall between your client and the server (i.e. not on the server itself) or a few other more exotic reasons, but none of them is as likely as one of the reasons outlined above.

  • 2
    +1 for detailing various common possibilities. There are more, like the SSH server only listening on a certain interface. But the information here is right, and the main, most common causes are listed. Nicely done, Binarus.
    – TOOGAM
    Dec 30, 2020 at 10:57
  • 1
    @TOOGAM Thanks for the hint - I have added the server listening on the wrong interface to the possible reasons.
    – Binarus
    Dec 30, 2020 at 11:39

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