Most shell users at some point of time would feel the need to have a multi-threaded download manager something more than just wget. I was no different. While I was searching for one, I learnt that wget could not do it natively, but could be hacked into doing it – see this Stack Overflow Answer.

wget for multi threaded downloads

wget -r -np -N <url> &
wget -r -np -N <url> &
wget -r -np -N <url> &
wget -r -np -N <url> &

Even though wget cannot execute a multi threaded download, it can continue a broken download if used with the -c flag.

Resuming a broken download using wget.

wget -c <url>

However, I did not like it and continued to look for more. I came across a script called aget - I soon realized that aget did not handle https URLs and I immediately ditched it. Finally I stumbled upon a tool called axel – This is an easy to use multi threaded downloader for the shell. axel is included in the repositories of most major distribution now, and can be installed easily using the default package manager. For example -

sudo apt-get install axel

Unlike wget, the command line options for using axel are very simple -

axel -n 10 <uri>

This downloads the file specified by the <uri> using 10 concurrent connections. A primer on using axel can be found in this article from Linux Journal.

The same Stack Overflow answer lists several alternatives. One of the alternatives that looked impressive was aria2c - aria2c also seems to have the ability to handle bit-torrents and magnet URLs.

I wish apt and yum could download packages concurrently as well.