How to download binary content from a response using Requests.

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by dot icon Updated: Aug 3, 2023

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A request is a fundamental concept in web development and networking. When downloading files from the internet, the user uses a request to ask a server for a specific file.   


There are several protocols for making requests over the internet, with HTTP. While downloading files, the client sends an HTTP request to the server hosting the file. The server will process the request and return an HTTP response, including the file.   

Parameters of Request:   

Various parameters can include providing extra information. You can add the parameters to the URL, request headers, or request body.   

  1. Query Parameters: After a question mark, you add query parameters to the URL. Users can send extra information to the server for filtering, sorting, or pagination.  
  2. Path Parameters: We use path parameters to parameterize parts of the URL path. Curly braces denote them within the URL. Path parameters enable dynamic URL routing by providing information. For example, in the URL{id}, the {id} part represents a path parameter.   
  3. Request Headers: Headers provide extra information about the request or the client. They are key-value pairs included in the request's header section. Common headers include User-Agent, Authorization, Content-Type, and Accept.   
  4. Request Body: Some requests, such as POST, PUT, PATCH, and sometimes DELETE, allow sending data to it. The body can contain various data types, including plain text, JSON, XML, or binary. The structure and content of the request body depend on the API or server requirements.   
  5. File names: When uploading files, include the file name as part of the request in the request body. The file name helps identify and store the uploaded file on the server. You can use it for naming conventions or to provide context about the file upload.   
  6. File Content: In the case of file uploads, the content of a file is in the request body. You can encode the content in various ways, such as multipart form-data or binary format.   


In conclusion, requests provide a powerful mechanism for downloading files from the internet. Communicate with servers by leveraging HTTP methods, headers, and request parameters. When downloading files, we use GET requests with the file's URLs. Yet, other methods like HEAD can retrieve metadata without transferring. Request headers allow for customization, authentication, and control over caching behavior. Proper handling of response status codes is essential to ensure successful downloads. Considerations such as file integrity, security, and optimizing performance are crucial. Implementing secure protocols, verifying file integrity, and optimizing transfer methods contribute.