Goodbye FileZilla (Or, how to solve ENETUNREACH – Network unreachable)

FileZilla is an excellent bit of software that I’ve been using (and recommending) for many years. Today, that changed.

The Problem: ENETUNREACH – Network unreachable

A few months ago at the web host I work for, we started seeing problems with folks who were using FileZilla. Being on a slow network connection at the time, I’d neglected to upgrade my FileZilla installation from 3.10.x to the current 3.12.x. I could never duplicate the problem, and I figured it was likely a bug in the newer version of FileZilla.

Today I needed to do a task that required FTP on an older server, and when I fired up FileZilla, it nagged me to upgrade. Being on a fast connection now, I upgraded. I immediately regretted this. Instead of being greeted with an FTP session, I tried to log in and got:

Error:	The data connection could not be established: ENETUNREACH - Network unreachable

Error: Connection timed out after 20 seconds of inactivity Error: Failed to retrieve directory listing

Wait- what? So I tested it from the command line. It worked. Could it be that the update is broken this badly? A quick Google search for “Error: The data connection could not be established: ENETUNREACH” (with quotes) brought me to This Thread on FileZilla’s forum.

As I read through it, I recognized that the folks posting there were having the same problem I did. Rolling back to an earlier version of the program worked, but the latest installation version did not, and it produced “Error: The data connection could not be established: ENETUNREACH – Network unreachable”.

It Gets Worse

I’m not normally a judgmental person regarding software anTake a hike, eh!d developers, but “botg” (the creator of FileZilla and curator of the forum) was nothing but rude and downright combative about the problem. It seems he’s more interested in blaming firewall software than in making his software work properly. Perhaps he’s right- I’m not an FTP expert, and he apparently is. He does have some good points about Kaspersky’s Firewall (which I have disabled). But that does not make his approach to the problem a correct one. Clearly he doesn’t intend to fix it.

The Easy Fix

I’ve switched to WinSCP, and it worked immediately and even imported my FileZilla connection data which was quite handy. Perhaps you’ll want to do the same. Hopefully the FileZilla Devs will get their head on straight and manage to work around the problem like everyone else has. It’s a shame to see a good project go sideways like this.

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Updated: October 25, 2016 — 9:41 am

21 Comments

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  1. Wish I had read this 2 weeks ago. I have been fighting with Godaddy, trying to get this resolved. Uninstalled FileZilla – installed Winscp – and back up & running in less than 5 minutes….. thanks for the post!!!

    1. I find it quite sad, but this is exactly what I did to get FTP working. This problem was there for ages, they never fixed it – it was actuallyrejected as a bug by Filezilla corp. WinSCP works beautifully, it can do much more than FTP and was already installed on my laptop. So I stopped using Filezilla…

  2. Excellent suggestion: problem solved!

  3. I also installed WinSCP (after being a FileZilla user for 15 years) and it was so easy to use and it imported all my settings that I don’t know if I’ll ever go back.

  4. Great suggestion, worked a treat.

      1. Spencer Jorgensen

        Yeah, I temporarily turned off Kaspersky and my Filezilla transfer worked fine. Thanks for the tip.

      2. works like a charm paused kas and it works thanks pal

    1. Thanks for reporting this. I’ll check into it.

    2. Thank you so much….Great solution

    3. The link did the trick. I followed the instructions and created the exclusion in Kaspersky and it works now. Thank you for the help!

  5. I experienced the “ENETUNREACH – Network unreachable” error with FileZilla as well using the Windows 10 built-in firewall and built-in Windows Defender only (no Kaspersky), so it’s not just Kaspersky. I switched to WinSCP, and it works perfectly. Thank you!

    1. @JDub thanks for adding that! It’s surely appreciated.

  6. If you have any version of Kaspersky on your computer it is definitely the issue. Simply create an exclusion for filezilla.exe. Like RAF says, filezilla has some info about this here https://wiki.filezilla-project.org/ENETUNREACH_with_Kaspersky but because the information varies slightly depending on the different versions of Kapsersky, it is best to go to the kaspersky support site and search for “scan exclusions” and “trusted applications” for your version.
    http://usa.kaspersky.com/support/

    1. Thank you for the good information about this error, it really is appreciated. Hopefully it’ll help others who have the ENETUNREACH problem with Kaspersky as well. I think that if the developer would not have had such an ‘not my problem’ attitude, this blog post would have had a different tone. A firewall exclusion is a great idea.

    2. Excelente, muchas gracias. Hace rato venía buscando por la solución y me daba por vencida.

  7. Two thumbs up for the WinSCP suggestion. Works smooth & clear, just like Filezilla *used* to. Regarding Kaspersky… I don’t have and never have had it on my machines, but I do use Nod32. I suppose the conflict is between Filezilla and any antivirus/malware software installed. Whatever. Loved Filezilla, but we weren’t married. 😉

  8. I’m a loyal fan of FileZilla in the recent years of working. And it suddenly start to behave weird Up to a point I’m having this same thought and issue. No choice but to ditch FileZilla at this moment.

  9. Huge thanks for the post.
    I wasn’t keeping my hair on. Good bye Filezilla

  10. byebye filezilla

    didn’t help that time you packaged your software with some cactus addition that hijacked all my browsers

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