I have been using putty (on my laptop) to establish a SSH tunnel back to home router (which runs the SSH server) for web browsing at unsecured public wifi for quite some time. However, some time ago (probably a couple of months ago), it stopped working. The setup is similar to: https://dimitar.me/dynamic-port-forwarding-with-socks-over-ssh/ https://www.howtogeek.com/68061/setup-ssh-on-your-router-for-secure-web-access-from-anywhere/ (I cannot find the original tutorial I followed.) The tunnel would work very briefly (not enough to even pull one page), and then It gives me this error: putty fatal error: network error software caused connection abort At that time, the tunnel obviously broke. I did not change any settings. Initially, I thought my old router (ASUS RT-N16) was dying. However, my new Netgear R7000 I just installed, gave me the same issue. I also tried an old Win 7 machine I have not used for months (thus I cannot possibly changed any putty settings). (Also I am not sure if recently Win 10 update on my daily laptop caused the issue.) However, I ran into the exact same issue. Now, just for the sake of it, I create the tunnel from LAN side (with the laptop that will be browsing the internet actually on LAN), and it works fine. (Of course, that is not very useful of the tunnel.) Then, if I establish a VPN connection (with the computer NOT on LAN), and create the tunnel using LAN IP, and it also worked. (This is currently my workaround.) I have the "Remote Forwarding" checked. Uncheck it seems to disable forwarding, and even will not work briefly. I have tried different ISPs, and same behavior. I also tried different port #s both on the SSh server (on the home router), and on putty for the tunnel. Same behavior. I am very confused. The VPN+tunnel workaround works, however it's kind a pain. Any help is appreciated.