When using the requests library in Python, you can specify a timeout value to prevent your code from hanging indefinitely if a request gets stuck. However, sometimes you may notice that even when setting a timeout, your requests don't actually timeout as expected.
There are a few reasons why this can happen:
Timeout Specifies Total Time, Not Just Connection
The timeout parameter in the
So if you have a very large response, the full content may still be downloaded even if it takes longer than the timeout value:
response = requests.get('http://large-file-server.com/large-file', timeout=1)
# Large file continues downloading for 10s even though timeout was 1s
Streaming Responses Ignore Timeout
If you are streaming a response using
Use a "Connect" Timeout Instead
To timeout strictly based on connection time, you can use the
requests.get('https://website.com', timeout=3.05, read_timeout=5)
Now the connection will timeout after 3.05s rather than waiting for the full response.
Handle Timeout Errors
Make sure to properly catch any
response = requests.get('https://website.com', timeout=3)
# Handle the timeout case
Setting timeouts in requests can prevent hanging requests, but pay close attention to what the timeout values actually apply to. Use connect timeouts and error handling to make sure requests failing fast as expected.