A download accelerator increases download speeds by splitting a file into multiple segments and downloading them simultaneously. Once all segments are downloaded, they are combined into a single file. This technique can bypass download speed limits imposed by some providers.

Download accelerators are often components of download manager programs, which can be standalone desktop applications or browser extensions. A popular download accelerator for Linux is Axel, a command-line application that's ideal for automation and working on remote servers via SSH.

Steps to speed up file download from Linux command line:

  1. Open the terminal.
  2. Install Axel for your system.
    $ sudo apt update && sudo apt install --assume-yes axel # Ubuntu and Debian
  3. Navigate to the folder where you want to save the downloaded file (optional).
    $ cd Downloads/
  4. Copy the download URL from your browser (optional).
  5. Use Axel to download the file.
    $ axel https://wordpress.org/latest.zip
    Initializing download: https://wordpress.org/latest.zip
    File size: 21.7178 Megabyte(s) (22772803 bytes)
    Opening output file wordpress-6.0.2.zip
    Starting download
    Connection 0 finished
    Connection 3 finished
    Connection 2 finished
    Connection 1 finished
    Connection 1 finished
    Connection 0 finished
    Connection 3 finished
    [100%] [..........................................] [   3.8MB/s] [00:00]
    Downloaded 21.7178 Megabyte(s) in 5 second(s). (3856.91 KB/s)
  6. Configure your download options as needed.
    $ axel --help
    Axel 2.17.11 (linux-gnu)
    Usage: axel [options] url1 [url2] [url...]
    --max-speed=x           -s x    Specify maximum speed (bytes per second)
    --num-connections=x     -n x    Specify maximum number of connections
    --max-redirect=x                Specify maximum number of redirections
    --output=f              -o f    Specify local output file
    --search[=n]            -S[n]   Search for mirrors and download from n servers
    --ipv4                  -4      Use the IPv4 protocol
    --ipv6                  -6      Use the IPv6 protocol
    --header=x              -H x    Add HTTP header string
    --user-agent=x          -U x    Set user agent
    --no-proxy              -N      Just don't use any proxy server
    --insecure              -k      Don't verify the SSL certificate
    --no-clobber            -c      Skip download if file already exists
    --quiet                 -q      Leave stdout alone
    --verbose               -v      More status information
    --alternate             -a      Alternate progress indicator
    --percentage            -p      Print simple percentages instead of progress bar (0-100)
    --help                  -h      This information
    --timeout=x             -T x    Set I/O and connection timeout
    --version               -V      Version information
    Visit https://github.com/axel-download-accelerator/axel/issues to report bugs
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