Every once and a while, in CI/CD you need to just simply invoke a webpage. Jeremy Davis reminded me of this struggle when sometimes things are locked down pretty tight, or things are just not cooperating when trying to use the Invoke-WebRequest commandlet even after trying the -UseBasicParsing flag.

Curl (the binary, not the Invoke-WebRequest alias) is always a very solid option, fairly system agnositc and quite optimistic when you want it to be (ie: -k, --insecure if you are hitting a localhost url on an IIS site with a domain specific SSL).

But like Jeremy pointed out, System.Net.WebClient is a great alternative to Invoke-WebRequest, especially if you don’t feel like adding the curl.exe to your solution. The only issue I have ran into with WebClient is if you need to define a timeout other than the default, there is no easy way. Below is a snippet I have used a couple times in the CI/CD process (but to be honest have always ended up using curl); it uses inline C# code to create a class that inherits WebClient but overrides the GetWebRequest method and forces the timeout:

$timeoutWebclientCode = @"
using System.Net;

public class TimeoutWebClient : WebClient
    public int TimeoutSeconds;

    protected override WebRequest GetWebRequest(System.Uri address)
        WebRequest request = base.GetWebRequest(address);
        if (request != null)
           request.Timeout = TimeoutSeconds * 1000;
        return request;

    public TimeoutWebClient()
        TimeoutSeconds = 300; // Timeout value by default

Add-Type -TypeDefinition $timeoutWebclientCode -Language CSharp
$webClient = New-Object TimeoutWebClient;
$webClient.TimeoutSeconds = 900;
#to add credentials
#$webclient.Credentials = New-Object System.Net.NetworkCredential($username,$password)
$downloaded = $webClient.downloadString('http://via.placeholder.com/350x150')
Add-Content -path test.jpg -value $downloaded

Also, for fun I added in a line to show username/password usage just in case whatever page you are trying to invoke is behind a auth prompt.

Hope this helps!