Most of the time, when we download a file from the Internet, we take help from our browser to locate that particular file. However, another method is to download the files using the command-line interface or CLI method.

People often use two command lines to download files using protocols, namely cURL, and wget. Some of you might be familiar with either of them. But still, questions such as “ what are the differences between them?” or “which one should we use?” are roaming inside our heads. To make things more precise, we have tried to discuss the difference between cURL and wget in this article. After reading it, you will be able to clear those questions out of your head.

cURL vs Wget


cURL is a command line used to upload or download server files. It supports various protocols and uses them to transfer files. Some of the protocols that cURL supports are given below:








The whole cURL command is designed to require no user interference. This is because cURL is powered by libcurl, a free URL transfer library.

Features of cURL

  1. Configuration file support – Configuration files contain all the information related to a particular computer, user, or application. Configuration files are used for server processes, which is one of the critical aspects of cURL.
  2. Using Multiple URLs – With cURL, you can download multiple web pages and all of their components. All you have to do is use multiple URLs in the command.
  3. Custom Maximum Transfer Rate – The maximum transfer rate is the total available bandwidth for the protocol transfers. With cURL, you get the option to customize these transfer rates as per your requirements.
  4. Redirectable Stderr – Standard error or Stderr is used for storing error messages which can be redirected to the command line.
  5. Parallel transfer – A cURL also uses parallel transfer, which is nothing but splitting up data into multiple units. Transferring data through parallel transfer makes the process faster.


Wget is a combination of “WWW” and “get.” It is also a command-line used to download or transfer contents and files from web servers.

Wget is non-interactive software, which means it can work in the background without any user interaction. In the case of a web browser, downloading files require constant user participation creating a hindrance while transferring data.

Features of Wget

  1. Robustness – Wget can withstand slow and unsteady internet connections. If by chance, any download gets stopped due to a network connection, it automatically resumes the download.
  2. No-User Interaction – As mentioned above, Wget is a non-interactive software and requires no participation in file transfer.
  3. Downloads through proxies – Wget can also download content through proxies, which acts as an intermediary between the clients(who make the requests) and a particular server.
  4. Supports IPv6 – Wget uses IPv6 on systems where it is kept. IPv6 is the recent version of Internet Protocol Communications and is faster, secure, and reliable.


cURL vs Wget

The differences between cURL and Wget are mentioned below:

  1. cURL is more powerful and can perform more tasks than Wget, which is just a simple tool.
  2. cURL works on many more protocols such as IMAP, POP3, RTMP, RTSP, which Wget doesn’t.
  3. With Wget, you can download content recursively. A recursive download means that Wget will download not only the requested content but all the contents linked to them. This feature is not available in cURL.
  4. cURL is available on several Windows, mac, and Linux platforms. However, Wget is more inclined towards Linux and works there efficiently.
  5. cURL is powered by libcurl with stable API, whereas Wget is a standard line tool and does not contain any APIs.


Both cURL and Wget are command lines designed to download content from the Internet. This article has defined all the differences and features of the above two processes. Further, we have also discussed that wget is more detailed and much faster than cURL, but when you want to work with different protocols, then cURL would be more effective. We hope now all your confusion related to these terms is over.