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sshd (the server) closes the connection if it doesn't hear anything from the client for a while.
You can tell your client to send a sign-of-life signal to the server once in a while.
The configuration for this is in the file ~/.ssh/config.
To send the signal every four minutes to remotehost, put the following in your ~/.ssh/config.
Host remotehost
ServerAliveInterval 240
To enable it for all hosts use:
Host *
ServerAliveInterval 240
Also make sure to run chmod 600 ~/.ssh/config, because the config file must not be world-readable.
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