cURL (Client Uniform Resource Locator) has been a popular programming language because it manages multiple network protocols like HTTP and FTP. Like HTML, cURL is a markup language that relies heavily on a text interface. Unlike HTML, cURL is also an object-oriented programming language, making it far more flexible. cURL can, for example, upload or download files via FTP or SSL. cURL’s flexibility and power explain why common electronics in our homes (e.g., television sets, mobile phones or tablets, and media players) use it.
But cURL is not easy for all users to pick up. Its design makes it hard for some programmers to run the setup. Additionally, some cURL programs don’t work on Windows, limiting the options that users have for their operations.
Fortunately, there are several helpful alternatives to cURL that users can trust. Many of these are HTTP clients; others are API clients. Here’s a look at some of the best alternatives today.
9 cURL Alternatives
Wget is a GNU Project solution that helps users retrieve files through many different network protocols. It is a command-line tool that can work on multiple HTTP connections and proxies. Importantly, it can continue any aborted or paused downloads. This feature is crucial if work, power, or connections become interrupted. Wget works on Windows and various Unix/Linux platforms, making it one of the most versatile cURL alternatives available.
Aria2 is a popular cURL alternative because it’s a lightweight task for any computer. According to the official Aria2 website, it won’t use more than 10 percent of its computer’s CPU power. Aria2 also supports multiple connections for downloads, helping users download more data packets from target files in less time. This helps users who need a computing solution that requires less effort.
Postman is an API platform that helps users design and test APIs. An API (or application programming interface) is necessary for helping computer programs interact with one another. Postman simplifies how users can plan these APIs.
This cURL alternative uses cloud computing to let users share their API data with others. In this situation, the system stores programming data online and makes it accessible to multiple parties that are authorized to access it. This approach allows for deeper team collaboration when producing new APIs. The platform supports all aspects of the API lifecycle, including the development and testing of the system.
The practical design of Flurl makes it a convenient uniform resource locator or URL builder for many purposes. Users can code and test URLs and protocols through a simple editor. While many other programs have such editors, Flurl’s builder is more streamlined and straightforward. Even those who have little experience in programming can use this option. The system works on many platforms, including the .NET and UWP setups.
Users seeking an SFTP or FTP client that’s designed for Windows should try WinSCP. This open-source program supports secure file transfers between computers and servers. It works for local and remote servers and supports all major file formats. WinSCP also provides a helpful user interface and text editor that can manage the most common operations that users require with their files.
Tasks can also be automated through the WinSCP platform, with users selecting what parameters are necessary for getting actions to work. Synchronization parameters can include options for transferring updated files and when new scripts can work based on what servers will use them.
HTTPie, like Postman, is an API tester. Unlike Postman, HTTPie works for both mobile and desktop programs and displays alike. It’s an open-source program that can analyze the syntax or meaning of whatever request a user has while online. The platform also uses simple HTTP commands to help send these requests with as little code as possible.
Available since October 2006, FileZilla is one of the “elder statesmen” available when choosing a cURL alternative. It offers FTP and SFTP support for all desktop operating systems, but not mobile device OSes like iOS or Android.
The software can analyze files being transferred and cache (or save) files based on the ones users access the most. This makes it easier for users to download frequently-used content. With FileZilla, users can also take advantage of unique tools such as the ability to create IP rules, set speed limits on file transfers, and adjust preferences for determining which files will be swapped out or used the most.
Kreya provides a graphic interface that lets users prepare new protocol demands without writing new lines of code. The design offers a faster and simplified approach to programming and managing protocols.
Kreya supports multiple coding environments and can handle templates for each potential data request users may send. The platform also lets users define authentication values, allowing them to determine when certain protocol requests should be exercised or blocked.
Cyberduck is the oldest and perhaps most well-known cURL alternative for macOS and Windows. The first beta version was released in 2003, making the software 20 years old this year!
Its most attractive feature is its easy-to-use graphical user interface (GUI). Additionally, the software offers multiple connection profiles for various protocol links, including Google Drive, Dropbox, S3, OneDrive, and Box. That simplifies the process of connecting to remote servers for the purposes of uploading or downloading files.
Cyberduck provides additional connection security through file content and name encryption support. Users can also move content created through Cyberduck to whatever outside editors they prefer like Kompozer and CKEditor, providing a helpful approach to work.
Which cURL Alternative Is Right For You?
cURL alternatives are 100 percent free and provide an incredible variety of options and benefits. Many cURL alternatives support various operating systems. Some allow preferences to be saved, whereas others have an easy-to-understand graphic interface. Some are designed to work quickly on any computer. Every user has different needs. Smart users will take the time to know what their needs are before choosing the best cURL tool for the job.