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How to fix the “empty reply from server” error?

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Internet Safety: HTTP vs HTTPS; Should you trust HTTPS?

Command line tools are rather powerful counterparts to their graphical equivalents simply because they can run on any system with just a few lines of text. However, they can also be difficult to learn and troubleshoot in case something goes wrong. 

In this article, we’re talking about the “empty reply from the server” error, its reasons and what you can do to fix the problem.


What causes the “empty reply from the server” error?

The error can be triggered by several different reasons, including:

  • Internet connectivity issues.
  • The server is facing outages.
  • The connection is blocked by a firewall.
  • Outdated program version.

Also read: How to fix Server error: 451 temporary local problem?


How to fix the “empty reply from the server” error?

Here are six fixes you can try out.

Check your internet

The first thing you should do in such situations is to check your internet connection. If you’re connected to a WiFi network, check if you have an active internet connection. Otherwise, you can try restarting your router or plugging in via LAN. 


Try again in some time

There’s a good chance that the receiving server is overloaded with requests and needs time to clear its pending overhead before it can get to new messages. Since the message is rather vague, you should wait some time and try again before trying anything else. 


Update your program

Outdated program versions are often blocked from accessing online servers for security reasons. In such cases, if you’re using an outdated program, whether it’s CLI or GUI, you can run into such problems. Try updating your program and rerunning the command to see if that resolves your problem.


Use HTTPS

If you’re using a program like curl or libcurl, entering URLs with the HTTPS prefix is necessary. Simply using the HTTP prefix means that the connection won’t be secure and will be dropped by the server more often than not, resulting in the error. Try replacing the HTTP:// with HTTPS://, and you should be ready. 


Enable/Disable VPN

Another possible cause for the issue could be that you’re using a VPN. Many websites and programs like streaming services are geo-restricted due to content copyright issues, and using a VPN can cause problems with their functionality and content availability causing the error.

Alternatively, if you’re trying to access the site over your school’s or office’s internet network, chances are they’ve blocked access to the particular server you’re trying to reach. You can try a VPN to see if you can get around any such blocks. Using a VPN also gives you a new IP address, meaning you can circumvent any problems caused by your IP address getting accidentally blocklisted. 


Disable any firewalls

If you’re using third-party firewalls, now’s the time to disable them to see if they’re blocking the website. The same goes for any third-party antiviruses. If your Windows firewall blocks a site or browser, refer to this guide to unblock the program.

Also read: Fix: Delivery error: Delivery server down

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Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah is a Computer Science graduate who writes/edits/shoots/codes all things cybersecurity, gaming, and tech hardware. When he's not, he streams himself racing virtual cars. He's been writing and reporting on tech and cybersecurity with websites like Candid.Technology and MakeUseOf since 2018. You can contact him here: [email protected].

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