Why use HttpClient for Synchronous Connection


I am building a class library to interact with an API. I need to call the API and process the XML response. I can see the benefits of using HttpClient for Asynchronous connectivity, but what I am doing is purely synchronous, so I cannot see any significant benefit over using HttpWebRequest.

If anyone can shed any light I would greatly appreciate it. I am not one for using new technology for the sake of it.

This question is tagged with c# asp.net dotnet-httpclient

~ Asked on 2013-01-21 09:17:31

The Best Answer is


but what i am doing is purely synchronous

You could use HttpClient for synchronous requests just fine:

using (var client = new HttpClient())
    var response = client.GetAsync("http://google.com").Result;

    if (response.IsSuccessStatusCode)
        var responseContent = response.Content; 

        // by calling .Result you are synchronously reading the result
        string responseString = responseContent.ReadAsStringAsync().Result;


As far as why you should use HttpClient over WebRequest is concerned, well, HttpClient is the new kid on the block and could contain improvements over the old client.

~ Answered on 2013-01-21 09:20:38


I'd re-iterate Donny V. answer and Josh's

"The only reason I wouldn't use the async version is if I were trying to support an older version of .NET that does not already have built in async support."

(and upvote if I had the reputation.)

I can't remember the last time if ever, I was grateful of the fact HttpWebRequest threw exceptions for status codes >= 400. To get around these issues you need to catch the exceptions immediately, and map them to some non-exception response mechanisms in your code...boring, tedious and error prone in itself. Whether it be communicating with a database, or implementing a bespoke web proxy, its 'nearly' always desirable that the Http driver just tell your application code what was returned, and leave it up to you to decide how to behave.

Hence HttpClient is preferable.

~ Answered on 2014-05-21 10:41:11

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