Curly downloads files from the command line -- and checks for malware

curly

When you’re working at the Windows command line it might sometimes be useful to download a file, but the standard tools don’t make this particularly easy.

If you’re looking for something simpler then Curly could be ideal. It’s a console-based downloader, free, portable and amazingly small (under 28KB), yet somehow it still manages to squeeze in one or two surprising extras.

The program is very simple to use, with no complicated syntax or switches to master. All you really have to do is pass it your target URL, like this:

curly_126.exe http://domain.com/folder/file.ext

But there are several hidden features, like the program’s support for downloading via http, https or ftp.

Once the file has arrived, Curly calculates and displays its file size, MD5 and SHA2 hashes, perhaps useful as a verification that the download is okay (and more than you’ll get from many more bulky tools).

Most surprising of all, Curly uses the hashes to query VirusTotal and display a summary of its verdict, immediately warning you of any likely malware.

There is a notable limitation in that you’ll see a summary of the report only -- "total: 55 positives: 3", for example -- and if there are any positives then you won’t see which engines raised them. Curly is still providing a warning you might not see otherwise, though, and overall it’s well worth the (extremely brief) download.

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