File compression utilities or file archives tools are one of first software you should install in your device after antivirus. Although we do not use these utilities daily they are very useful when it comes to storing, managing and transferring files/data.
File compression utilities reduce the size of multiple files and convert in a single file called archive. In other words, file compression programs help to maximize storage by minimizing file size in the disk. It is also helpful when you have to send large files over internet or backup in cloud syncing services. You can protect archive files by passwords and latest encryption technologies. Additionally, you can split archives into small parts or can create self-extracting archives. You can also lock achieve for further changes.
Each file archiver uses its own algorithm to compress files in different compression ratio, size, and format. In this post, we will compare compression capacity, speed and other features of all famous programs available as freeware or shareware. So keep reading continue to know which one is best for you.
FreeArc is an open source and fast compression software available for Microsoft Windows and Linux. Its full version is totally free of cost with nice user console. It uses 11 different compression algorithms and filters to achieve the fastest and better compression ratio.
Along with its solid and smart compression, you can protect your files by using AES, Blowfish, Twofish or Serpent encryption technology. You can view, access, extract or even create content inside archive in file manager interface using FAR and total commander plugins. It allows you to extract files directly from the internet.It can create
It can create a self-extracting archive (SFX) or installers which are useful if you transfer the file to other PC where file compression software is not installed. It can also extract archives of all formats including RAR, ZIP, 7-ZIP, ARC, UHARC etc.
It has the ability to recover, lock and join two or more archive. It can also be used via command line but it needs a little practice. In current version FreeArc0.666 you cannot split up archives and 64-bit version is not available.
So FreeArc is fast and efficient compression tool with the rich set of features, which makes it one of the best modern general-purpose archiver.
7-zip is a lightweight, open source, high compression ratio file archiver available in 87 languages for windows and command line version for UNIX and Linux. It is freely available personal and commercial purpose.
It can compress the file in 7-ZIP, TAR, WIM, ZIP format and supports extraction of almost all formats. It can create a self-extracting archive for 7Z format. It offers strong AES-256 encryption in 7Z and ZIP format. It automatically integrates with windows explorer for quick compression. You can access it from command line also.
Instead of lots of features and simple navigation, its limitation is that it cannot repair archives. But still, it is one of best alternative of paid tools like WinZip and WinRAR. So you can give it a try if you want light weight (only 1 MB), free and efficient compression software.
PeaZip is another high-performance tool available for Windows, Linux, ReactOS, and Wine. It is open source and completely free software. It has been developed using technologies of 7-Zip, p7zip, FreeArc, PAQ and PEA project which make it fast and more efficient.
It has nice, clean and easy to navigate user interface which allows to access 180+ archive formats including 001, 7Z, ACE, ARC, ARJ, BZ2, CAB, DMG, GZ, ISO, LHA, PAQ, PEA, RAR, TAR, UDF, WIM, XZ, ZIP and ZIPX etc. It's portable version is also available which can be directly plugged and played using USB thumb drive.
Like good archiver, it allows to protect and encrypt compressed files using a password with high compression ratio. Unlike 7-zip PeaZip allows to test and repair damaged archives. It acts as powerful and complete file manager with additional features like a strongly encrypted password manager, secure delete, and file hashing.
So if you want a simple archiver which allows you to access a large number of files format with sufficient speed, PeaZip may be best alternative of 7-zip for you.
WinZip is also a famous file compression tool available for windows and Mac. Unlike above programs it is shareware means it is not completely free. It offers its demo and paid versions. You can buy standard version at $ 29.95 with 30 days money back guarantee.
WinZip is a user-friendly tool which can instantly zip or unzip files in your PC or cloud. It can extract lots of format including Zip, ZIPX, RAR, 7Zip, BZ2, LHA/LZH, VHD/VDMK, XZ and much more.
It features one of the best file management system. You can create new folders and securely delete files on your PC or cloud storage service. You can easily manage the WinZip interface to hide or show the features you need like zipping, sharing and file management.WinZip can convert your files to PDF and add watermark in images. It has built-in email feature to share files via Gmail or Hotmail. You can directly share files to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, hangout, google+, office 365 groups, jabber, and yahoo messenger using trusted AES encryption.
WinZip can be connected to all major cloud storage and syncing services including ZipShare, Box, OneDrive, Dropbox, Google Drive, CloudMe, SugarSync, and MediaFire. It saves precious online storage space by compressing files and protects files by encrypting data.
So you can try WinZip if you need fast archiver having full integration with social sites and cloud services.
WinRAR is another popular file archiver with 500 million users worldwide. It is a shareware means you have to pay after a period of 40 days if want to use it continuously. Although all archives can extract RAR file, WinRAR is the only tool which can create RAR files.
WinRAR is also a powerful compressor which can compress files in RAR, RAR5 and ZIP formats. It can create a self-extracting archive and can split up archive into separate volumes. It can extract RAR, ZIP, CAB, ARJ, LZH, ACE, TAR, GZIP, UUE, ISO, BZIP2, Z and 7-Zip formats.
WinRAR has excellent ability to test and repair damaged archives. It uses 256-bit password encryption and its authenticated signature technology to protect data. So you can confidently set the password and lock your archives if you are going to share online. It can also be accessed through the command line.
This is another best multi media compression tool you can try.
IZArc is well designed free file archiver with multi-language support. It allows you to add, delete, and extract files from the archive with faster speed. It can test and convert archive formats. It also supports a wide range of formats including RAR, ZIP, ARC, TAR, 7-ZIP and much more. Even it can extract CD formats like ISO, BIN, CDI, and NRG.
IZArc can repair broken archive files and can create self-extracting archives. It can Create and merge Multi-Volume Set. It has the ability to scan files in the archive by using your default antivirus or the online tool called virus-total. It uses 256-bit AES encryption technology to secure data.
WinUHA is nice file compression utility with high compression ratio. It is freeware hence totally free of cost. Basically, it is a powerful GUI (Graphical User Interface) for UHARC. It can compress and extract files in UHA format.
It can create self-extracting and password protected archives. It's best multimedia and text optimized algorithm helps to archive higher compression. It can also be accessed via command line.