Axel tries to accelerate HTTP/FTP downloading process by using multiple connections for one file. It can use multiple mirrors for a download. Axel has no dependencies and is lightweight, so it might be useful as a wget clone on byte-critical systems.
Wilmer van der Gaast is the upstream author of Axel. Y Giridhar Appaji Nag and Philipp Hagemeister are the current maintainers.