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curl vs Wget Related: FTP vs HTTP, bittorrent vs HTTP, curl vs libcurl and curl vs HTTPie.

curl vs Wget

The main differences as I (Daniel Stenberg) see them. Please consider my bias towards curl since after all, curl is my baby - but I contribute to Wget as well.

Please let me know if you have other thoughts or comments on this document.

File issues or pull-requests if you find problems or have improvements.

What both commands do

How they differ



When to use which

Primarily: use the one that gets the job done for you.

Wget has (recursive) downloading powers that curl does not feature and it also handle download retries over unreliable connections possibly slightly more effective.

For just about everything else, curl is probably the more suitable tool.

Additional Stuff

In recent years, wget2 is worked on to become the replacement for wget. This comparison will eventually get wget2 details as well.

Two other capable tools with similar feature set include aria2 and axel - try them out!

For a stricter feature by feature comparison (that also compares other similar tools), see the curl comparison table


Feedback and improvements by: Micah Cowan, Olemis Lang

Updated: February 6, 2024 09:25 (Central European, Stockholm Sweden)