Skip to content

cURL vs Postman: Which Tool Should You Choose for API Interactions?

cURL vs Postman

When it comes to testing your APIs, picking the right tool for the job can make all the difference. Whether you’re building a service that processes payments quickly and reliably or handling batch processing of large data sets efficiently, having an accurate and efficient test suite is essential. This leaves developers with two major options: cURL and Postman.

Both have their own advantages and disadvantages, but understanding which one works best for specific use cases will save time in developing reliable websites or applications. In this blog post, we’ll look at each option in detail—from setup through use-cases—so that you can understand how to decide between cURL vs Postman when selecting a testing tool for your projects.

Overview of cURL and Postman

If you’re in the world of web development, you may have heard of cURL and Postman. These are two powerful tools used to test and interact with APIs (Application Programming Interfaces). Essentially, an API is a way for different software applications to communicate with each other. cURL and Postman help developers make sure that APIs are working correctly and that data is being exchanged accurately.

cURL is a command-line tool that allows you to make HTTP requests and see the server’s response.

On the other hand, Postman is a user-friendly tool that allows you to easily create, test and mock API requests.

Apache JMeter vs Postman
Postman vs Insomnia

Comparison table of cURL vs Postman

User InterfaceCommand-line toolGraphical user interface
Learning CurveSteeper, requires technical knowledgeEasier, designed for both developers and non-developers
CollaborationLacks built-in collaboration featuresSupports collaboration with teams
DocumentationNo built-in supportBuilt-in support for API documentation
TestingCan be used with other tools, no built-in supportBuilt-in testing sandbox
Automation & IntegrationEasily integrated into scriptsSupports automation, has command-line tool Newman
Environments & VariablesManual managementBuilt-in support for different environments and variables

Differences Between cURL vs Postman

User Interface

cURL operates solely in a command-line environment, with no fancy graphics or user-friendly buttons. Postman offers a sleek, intuitive GUI that allows users to effortlessly send requests and view responses without any prior coding knowledge.

While some users may prefer the simplicity of cURL’s command-line interface, the convenience and ease of use of Postman’s GUI make it the clear winner for those seeking a more accessible and user-friendly option.

Learning Curve

cURL is a command-line tool that requires some level of technical knowledge, making it more challenging for non-developers to use.

On the other hand, Postman has a user-friendly graphical interface that makes it easy for users to get started. Its intuitive design means that users of all levels can benefit from its features without having to write scripts or understand complex coding concepts.

So, if you’re looking for a tool that’s easy to learn and use, Postman might be the way to go.


cURL, a powerful command-line tool that lacks built-in features for teamwork. Creating and sharing scripts in cURL requires manual effort and is not ideal for large teams.

In contrast, Postman provides a more convenient option for collaboration by enabling teams to work together on APIs. With built-in features for version control and permissions, Postman is an excellent choice for teams looking to streamline their workflow and minimize errors in their work.

Whether working on small or large projects, Postman provides everything teams need to work together effectively.


While cURL doesn’t provide built-in support for documentation, Postman streamlines the process with its user-friendly interface.

With Postman, you can easily generate and host clear, well-designed documentation that simplifies the task of understanding and exploring APIs.

On the other hand, cURL requires developers to manually create and maintain their own documentation.


While cURL is a powerful and flexible command-line tool that can be used in various ways, it lacks built-in support for automated testing. That being said, it can still be used in conjunction with other tools as part of a larger testing framework.

On the other hand, Postman offers a user-friendly interface and a built-in testing sandbox that allows you to write and run JavaScript-based tests for your API. This feature sets Postman apart from cURL when it comes to testing APIs, making it a popular choice for developers and testers alike.

Automation and Integration

While cURL is a powerful command-line tool that can be easily integrated into scripts and used for automation tasks, Postman offers a more user-friendly interface with support for automation via collection runs and monitors.

However, integrating Postman into a script can be a bit more challenging compared to cURL. But don’t worry, Postman offers a command-line tool called Newman that enables running collections from the command line.

Environments and Variables

With cURL, you’ll need to manually manage any environments and variables in your scripts, which can add some extra work and potential for errors.

On the other hand, Postman has a more intuitive approach, with built-in support for different environments and the ability to easily switch between sets of data. This can save time and hassle, making it a popular choice for developers looking for a streamlined testing process.

Exploring the Benefits of Using cURL

If you’re looking to enhance your web development skills, then exploring the benefits of using cURL is an excellent place to start. cURL is a command-line tool that enables you to transfer data to and from a server using various protocols such as HTTP, FTP, SMTP, and more. With cURL, you can automate tasks, debug, and test APIs, and even speed up development time.

Not only is cURL fast and reliable, but it also offers support for various authentication methods, proxy servers, and cookies. By diving into cURL, you can unlock powerful capabilities that will help you become a more efficient and effective web developer. So why not give it a try and see how it can streamline your workflow?

Understanding the Advantages of Postman

Postman is a powerful tool that streamlines the process of API development. Not only does it save developers time, but it also improves the quality of their work. With Postman, developers can easily test and debug their APIs, ensuring they are functioning properly before going live. This minimizes the risk of errors and bugs down the line.

Additionally, Postman makes it easy to collaborate and share API documentation with team members, improving communication and productivity. It also offers advanced monitoring and reporting features, providing valuable insights into the performance of APIs in real-time. Overall, the advantages of Postman make it a must-have tool for developers looking to simplify and enhance their API development process.

Example of cURL

cURL is a command-line tool used to transfer data to or from a server. It supports various protocols, including HTTP, HTTPS, FTP, SMTP, and more. Here is a basic example of a cURL command to make a GET request to a web server:


This command will fetch the content of and print it to the terminal.

For a more complex example, let’s say you want to make a POST request to a server with some JSON data. You could use the -d or --data option to include the data and the -H or --header option to specify the content type:

curl -X POST -H "Content-Type: application/json" -d '{"key1":"value1", "key2":"value2"}'

In this command:

  • -X POST specifies the HTTP method to use, which is POST in this case.
  • -H "Content-Type: application/json" includes a header that specifies the content type as JSON.
  • -d '{"key1":"value1", "key2":"value2"}' includes the JSON data to be sent to the server.
  • is the URL to which the request is sent.

Remember, always replace with your actual URL when using cURL commands.

Can I use cURL in Postman?

Are you wondering if you can use curl in Postman? The answer is yes! Postman makes it easy to import curl commands, allowing you to copy any curl samples from other sources and paste them directly into Postman. This is especially helpful if you’re working with ShipEngine’s documentation, which features numerous curl samples.

With Postman, you can skip the hassle of manually recreating these commands and quickly get to testing your API requests. Let Postman simplify your development process and save you time and headaches.

Final Thoughts

Having considered all the differences between cURL and Postman, it is clear that when it comes to the best option for performing API requests, both of them can offer users multiple advantages.

Depending on the project you are working on, how complex it is, and what your personal skillset is – there’s always something out there that suits your needs.

Therefore, whether you ultimately choose cURL or Postman it all boils down to personal preferences when making a decision – but with the right information about each of them and their respective strengths, it can become easier for developers to decide what tools they need in order to achieve the desired outcomes in their projects.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *