What is cURL and how is it used in web scraping?

cURL is a leading HTTP client tool that is used to create HTTP connections. It is powered by a popular C language library libcurl which implements most of the modern HTTP protocol. This includes the newest HTTP features and versions like HTTP3 and IPv6 support and all proxy features.

When it comes to web scraping cURL is the leading library for creating HTTP connections as it supports important features used in web scraping like:

  • SOCKS and HTTP proxies
  • HTTP2 and HTTP3
  • IPv4 and IPv6
  • TLS fingerprint resistance
  • Accurate HTTP implementation which can prevent blocking

It is used by many web scraping tools and libraries. Many popular HTTP libraries are using libcurl behind the scenes:

However, since cURL is written in C and is incredibly complicated it can be difficult to use in some languages so often loses out to native libraries (like httpx in Python).

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