7-zip: A free file compression tool
March 25, 2011 2 Comments
Many of my not-so-tech savvy friends ask me this, “What is a .zip file? How do you open it?”
A .zip file is a compressed form of a large file.
Lets say that you have a folder with multiple text files (documents) which you need to send to your friend.
Compressing the folder into one archive is very useful, saves a lot of time than browsing and selecting individual attachments. Some of the most popular compression tools are WinRar, Winzip, but unfortunately they are not free products.
But 7-zip is more than just a free replacement for commercial tools, take a look at the developer’s description.
The main features of 7-Zip
High compression ratio in 7z format with LZMA and LZMA2 compression
Packing / unpacking: 7z, XZ, BZIP2, GZIP, TAR, ZIP and WIM
Unpacking only: ARJ, CAB, CHM, CPIO, CramFS, DEB, DMG, FAT, HFS, ISO, LZH, LZMA, MBR, MSI, NSIS, NTFS, RAR, RPM, SquashFS, UDF, VHD, WIM, XAR and Z.
For ZIP and GZIP formats, 7-Zip provides a compression ratio that is 2-10 % better than the ratio provided by PKZip and WinZip
Strong AES-256 encryption in 7z and ZIP formats
Self-extracting capability for 7z format
Integration with Windows Shell
Powerful File Manager
Powerful command line version
Plugin for FAR Manager
Localizations for 79 languages
The GUI isn’t exactly super, but hey you want a compression tool not a cosmetic product.
It is the support for many common formats like Zip,RAR and even ISO images that makes 7-zip special.
We can choose the format of the archive, the compression level,the compression method, besides other options.
You can also Password-protect the compressed archive files, very handy to protect your secret files.
Remember, the compression output depends on the size of the file you selected and the compression format/method you selected
So the next time you want to open a .zip/rar file try 7-zip.
Version reviewed: 7-Zip 9.20
Download 7-zip from http://www.7-zip.org/