To extract and compress your files, 7-Zip is a great free WinRAR alternative.
The 7-Zip interface is similar to that of its competitors, with a main file manager and a command line to search and select files to extract or compress. The control panel has the essential basics like extract, add and test, as well as copy, move and delete functions to manage your files. 7-Zip extracts and compresses files as fast as WinZip and WinRAR and handles the main archive formats like ZIP, TAR, RAR and ISO.
The archiving process is where 7-Zip differs most from its rivals. Where WinZip only lets you compress to ZIP and WinRAR to RAR or ZIP, 7zip offers you up to 5 different archive formats to choose from. 7-Zip lets you choose the update mode, depending on whether you want to add and replace files, refresh the archive or just synchronize files. If you don’t want somebody opening up your archive without your permission, you can set a password to protect your archive.
We particularly liked the split tool as it can cut up your archive into equal parts which fit on a floppy, CD or DVD, handy if you need to distribute a particularly large archive. Unfortunately, security is where 7-Zip lags behind its main rivals. There is no option to scan archives for viruses and you can’t repair damaged or corrupted files.
7-Zip might not be as secure as WinZip or WinRAR but it is definitely more versatile. It works with more archive formats and offers many useful tools like update mode or splitting. If you feel too limited by WinZip and if you don’t like WinRAR, we suggest giving 7-Zip a try and taking advantage of all its possibilities.
Infinitely more flexible than its most famous rivals, 7-Zip is a great file compression tool.
- Some bugs were fixed