July 8, 2016

axel is a command-line utility, similar to curl and wget. In fact, axel can be substituted for wget for the most part, sans the additional options it provides (and vice-versa).

It can be installed on OS X through homebrew.

brew install axel

An anecdotal example seen in the screenshots below. axel downloads a 11.38 GB file at a rate of 56.46 MB/sec, compared to 27.3 MB/sec with wget. Of course, depending on numerous different factors, there may be little difference between the comparative download speeds, or even the opposite pattern.

axel download rate example

wget download rate example

It certainly does not hurt to have both tools in your toolkit! See also details of package axel on debian.org.