How to Fix Python Requests Connecttimeout Error?

The ConnectTimeout error in Python Requests is one of the most common issues developers face when making HTTP requests. This error indicates that the request could not establish a connection to the target server within the specified timeout period.

While timeouts are necessary to prevent your code from hanging indefinitely, ConnectTimeout errors can be frustrating to debug. In this comprehensive guide, we'll cover the root causes of ConnectTimeout and actionable solutions to resolve them in Python Requests.

What Causes a ConnectTimeout Error?

There are several potential reasons why a ConnectTimeout may occur:

1. Server is Down or Unreachable

The most straightforward explanation is that the server you're requesting to is down or unreachable from your network. This could be due to hosting issues on their end or a firewall/VPN blocking access on your end.

Always first double check that the domain/IP you're requesting to is accessible via curl or ping from the command line. If it is not, you'll need to wait for the server to come back online before Requests will succeed.

2. Connection Issues

A ConnectTimeout can also happen if there are connection issues between your client and the target server's network. Latency, packet loss, routing problems, or throttling from your ISP can prevent Requests from completing the TCP handshake within the timeout window. Try making requests to other public servers to see if you can reproduce connection issues. is a great test site to check your real world network throughput.

3.Incorrect Timeout Value

Another common reason for ConnectTimeout errors is that the timeout value is set too low. The default connection timeout in Requests is generally reasonable, but you may need to increase it if requesting to very slow or distant servers. Start by bumping up the timeout value passed to Requests from the default 5 seconds to something higher like 30 seconds. The optimal timeout depends on your specific request and network environment.

4. Website Blocking Your Requests

Some websites actively block Python Requests to prevent scraping or excessive requests. This usually manifests as ConnectTimeout errors. Try making requests to the site with curl or a normal web browser to compare. If the site only blocks headless Requests, you'll need to use proxies or browser automation to bypass the blocking.

5. DNS Lookup Issues

The domain name you're requesting to needs to be resolved to an IP address before a connection can be made. A ConnectTimeout error can indicate an issue looking up and resolving the DNS records for the domain. This is commonly seen with typos or invalid domains. Double check the spelling of the domain name and test DNS resolution from the command line with dig or nslookup.

Solutions for Fixing ConnectTimeout Errors

Now that we've explored the potential causes, here are some concrete solutions to try fixing ConnectTimeout errors in Python Requests:

1. Increase the Timeout Value

The first step is always to increase the connection timeout value passed to Requests. The default of 5 seconds may not be sufficient for slower connections.

import requests

requests.get('', timeout=30)

Start by incrementing the timeout to 10-30 seconds. For very unstable connections you may need to increase it even higher to account for network jitter.

2. Retry the Request

One option to handle transient ConnectTimeout errors is to retry the request simply. The following will retry up to 3 times with exponential backoff:

import requests
from tenacity import retry, stop_after_attempt, wait_exponential

@retry(stop=stop_after_attempt(3), wait=wait_exponential(multiplier=1, min=4, max=10))
def make_request():
    return requests.get('')

This can resolve intermittent connection issues or server outages. But retries should typically be limited to avoid hammering unreachable servers.

3. Check Server Availability

Double check that the server you're making requests to is actually online and reachable. Use a simple tool like ping to test connectivity:

$ ping
PING ( 56 data bytes
64 bytes from icmp_seq=0 ttl=56 time=20.632 ms

A successful ping means the server is reachable and your connection issues likely lie elsewhere. If ping fails, it's usually a hosting issue on their side. You'll need to wait until the server is back online before Requests will work.

4. Try Alternate Domains or IPs

For higher level services, try hitting alternate domains or direct IP addresses in case one is blocked or down. For example, both and may work when a DNS issue is preventing resolution of the domain.

5. Switch Network Environments

Attempt the request from a different network environment like home vs work vs cellular to see if the issues persist. This can help narrow down whether the problem is with your specific ISP or network. Use a proxy or VPN service to test from different IPs as well.

6. Verify Domain Name Spelling

Double check the spelling of the domain name. A single typo or character mistake can lead to DNS resolution failures. Testing the domain with dig can confirm whether it resolves properly:

$ dig

; <<>> DiG 9.10.6 <<>>
;; global options: +cmd
;; Got answer:
;; ->>HEADER<<- opcode: QUERY, status: NOERROR, id: 3457
;; flags: qr rd ra; QUERY: 1, ANSWER: 1, AUTHORITY: 0, ADDITIONAL: 1

; EDNS: version: 0, flags:; udp: 512
;			IN	A


Typos in the domain can lead to resolution failures that manifest as ConnectTimeout errors in Requests.

7. Check for Firewall or VPN Blocking

Corporate firewalls and VPN services often block access to certain domains and IP ranges. Try disconnecting from the VPN or moving outside the corporate network to determine if they are interfering with access to the server. Use a public proxy or SSH tunnel (like BrightData or Oxylabs) to bypass restrictive networks for accessing blocked resources.

8. Monitor Network Performance

Actively monitor your network connection quality when making requests to pinpoint any latency or packet loss issues. Tools like PingPlotter can visualize packet loss and latency over time to unstable destinations. Network spikes will correlate directly to ConnectTimeout errors.

                 Internet Servers in United States
     0%  |                                          |   0ms 
     0%  |                                          |   0ms 
     0%  |                                          |   0ms  
     0%  |                                          |   0ms   
     0%  |                                          |   0ms
     0%  |                                          |  15ms
 __30%__|____________________                      |  68ms
   40%  |__________________________x x             | 102ms

Identifying periods of packet loss allows you to understand exactly when your network is impacting connection timeouts.

9. Verify DNS Resolution

Confirm that the domain name can be properly resolved to an IP address from your environment. Tools like nslookup and dig can be used to test DNS resolution:

$ nslookup

Non-authoritative answer:

Any DNS issues will manifest as resolution failures and likely ConnectTimeout errors in Requests.

10. Use a Proxy or VPN

Proxies and VPNs allow you to make requests through alternate IPs, avoiding any potential blocking of your own IP. Systems like BrightData, Oxylabs, and Smartproxy provide always-on proxy pools perfect for Python Requests.

Here's an example using BrightData‘s pool:

import requests
from brightdata.pool import Pool

with Pool() as pool:
    proxies = pool.get_proxy_list() 
    proxy = proxies[0].get_address()
    proxies = {
      'http': proxy, 
      'https': proxy
    requests.get('', proxies=proxies)

The proxy will route your requests through its IP, circumventing any restrictions on your local IP. Similar proxies include Smartproxy, Proxy-Seller, and Soax.

11. Use a User Agent String

Websites may be blocking Requests due to the default Python User Agent looking like a script instead of a normal browser. Try explicitly setting a browser User Agent string:

headers = {
  'User-Agent': 'Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/58.0.3029.110 Safari/537.3'

requests.get('', headers=headers)

This makes your Requests appear to be from a Chrome browser which may bypass blocks.

12. Analyze any Error Responses

Instead of just a ConnectTimeout, occasionally you may get a valid HTTP response with an error page or status code. Inspect any error responses in detail – they often contain clues about the website blocking your requests or failure reasons. For instance, Cloudflare's 503 errors indicate their bot protection is blocking your Requests. Analyzing these error responses is key to resolving your underlying issue.

Key Takeaways

Here are some key tips for diagnosing and fixing ConnectTimeout errors in Python Requests:

  • Start by incrementally increasing the request connection timeout value from the default 5s up to 30s.
  • Double check server availability with ping before making requests.
  • Retry requests up to 3 times with exponential backoff to handle transient issues.
  • Test requests from alternate networks and IPs to isolate the problem source.
  • Inspect any error responses thoroughly since they often contain blocking clues.
  • Use proxies and VPNs to bypass network restrictions and test different IPs.
  • Set a browser User Agent if making requests directly from Python.

With the above solutions, you should be able to resolve most ConnectTimeout errors and unstable connections in Python Requests. Carefully inspecting your network conditions and server availability is key to diagnosing the root cause.

John Rooney

John Rooney

John Watson Rooney, a self-taught Python developer and content creator with a focus on web scraping, APIs, and automation. I love sharing my knowledge and expertise through my YouTube channel, My channel caters to all levels of developers, from beginners looking to get started in web scraping to experienced programmers seeking to advance their skills with modern techniques. I have worked in the e-commerce sector for many years, gaining extensive real-world experience in data handling, API integrations, and project management. I am passionate about teaching others and simplifying complex concepts to make them more accessible to a wider audience. In addition to my YouTube channel, I also maintain a personal website where I share my coding projects and other related content.

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