Comparing Python's HTTP Libraries HTTPX vs Requests

When working with Python, you’ll often need to make HTTP requests to interact with APIs, download files, or scrape web content. Two popular libraries for making HTTP requests in Python are httpx and requests. In this blog post, we’ll compare these two libraries and discuss their key differences to help you decide which one is right for your project.

1. Async Support

One of the main advantages of httpx over requests is its built-in support for asynchronous programming using Python’s asyncio library. This allows you to make non-blocking HTTP requests, which can lead to significant performance improvements, especially when dealing with multiple requests concurrently.

requests, on the other hand, does not have native async support. If you need asynchronous behavior with requests, you’ll need to use a separate library or workaround, which can be more cumbersome.

2. HTTP/2 Support

httpx supports HTTP/2, a newer version of the HTTP protocol that can provide performance improvements and more efficient connections when interacting with servers that support it. In contrast, requests only supports HTTP/1.1. If you’re working with an API or server that supports HTTP/2, using httpx can give you a performance edge.

3. Connection Pooling and Keep-Alive

Both httpx and requests support connection pooling and keep-alive, which can help reduce the overhead of establishing new connections for each request. However, httpx has a more advanced connection management system that can handle multiple concurrent connections better. This can be particularly useful when working with async requests or when making many requests in a short period.

4. Request and Response Streaming

httpx supports request and response streaming, allowing you to work with large files or streaming APIs more efficiently. While requests also supports streaming, its implementation is more limited and may not be suitable for all use cases.

5. API Similarity

httpx has a very similar API to requests, making it relatively easy to switch between the two libraries. However, there may be some minor differences in behavior or function signatures, so it’s essential to thoroughly test your code when migrating from one library to the other.


In summary, if you need async support, HTTP/2, or more advanced connection management, httpx is the better choice for your Python project. If you don’t need these features and are already familiar with requests, it may be more convenient to stick with requests. Ultimately, the choice between these two libraries will depend on your specific use case and requirements.

Author: robot learner
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