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* Re-use the same socket connection for multiple requests
(``HTTPConnectionPool`` and ``HTTPSConnectionPool``)
* File posting (``encode_multipart_formdata``)
* Built-in redirection and retries (optional)
* Thread-safe
* Small and easy to understand codebase perfect for extending and building upon. For a more comprehensive alternative, have a look at `httplib2 <>`_.
What's wrong with urllib and urllib2?
There are two critical features missing from the Python standard library:
Connection re-using/pooling and file posting. It's not terribly hard to
implement these yourself, but it's much easier to use a module that already
did the work for you.
The Python standard libraries ``urllib`` and ``urllib2`` have little to do
with each other. They were designed to be independent and standalone, each
solving a different scope of problems, and ``urllib3`` follows in a similar
Why do I want to reuse connections?
Performance. When you normally do a urllib call, a separate socket
connection is created with each request. By reusing existing sockets
(supported since HTTP 1.1), the requests will take up less resources on the
server's end, and also provide a faster response time at the client's end.
With some simple benchmarks (see `test/
), downloading 15 URLs from is about twice as fast when using
HTTPConnectionPool (which uses 1 connection) than using plain urllib (which
uses 15 connections).
This library is perfect for:
* Talking to an API
* Crawling a website
* Any situation where being able to post files, handle redirection, and
retrying is useful. It's relatively lightweight, so it can be used for
Go to the `Examples wiki <>`_
for more nice syntax-highlighted examples.
But, long story short::
import urllib3
API_URL = ''
http_pool = urllib3.connection_from_url(API_URL)
fields = {'v': '1.0', 'q': 'urllib3'}
r = http_pool.get_url(API_URL, fields)
print r.status,