A utility that handles compressed files like zip and rar is an essential requirement for every Windows PC. The softwares that are most popular in this area are WinZip and WinRar. Both of these are paid softwares, so some of us are even running cracked version of these tools. But there are some freeware tools that does the same thing as WinRar and WinZip and some do it even better. Here are some of the best freeware application that you can use instead of WinZip and WinRar.
1. 7-Zip: One of the most popular freeware application that works with compressed files. Infact, some people haven’t heard any further than WinZip, WinRar and 7-zip. Just read on, there are some more coming. For now, let’s see what 7-Zip has to offer.
• High compression ratio in new 7z format with LZMA compression
• Supported formats:
Packing / unpacking: 7z, ZIP, GZIP, BZIP2 and TAR
Unpacking only: RAR, CAB, ISO, ARJ, LZH, CHM, MSI, WIM, Z, CPIO, RPM, DEB and NSIS
• For ZIP and GZIP formats, 7-Zip provides a compression ratio that is 2-10 % better than the ratio provided by PKZip and WinZip
• Self-extracting capability for 7z format
• Integration with Windows Shell
• Powerful command line version
• Plugin for FAR Manager
Download Size: 840KB (32 bit), 1.1MB (64 bit)
7-Zip is a good program. The fact that it’s open source will appeal further to some of us. Overall, it’s a nice program and you should try this out.
2. IZArc: IZArc s the ultimate freeware archive utility supporting many archive formats like: 7-ZIP, A, ACE, ARC, ARJ, B64, BH, BIN, BZ2, BZA, C2D, CAB, CDI, CPIO, DEB, ENC, GCA, GZ, GZA, HA, IMG, ISO, JAR, LHA, LIB, LZH, MDF, MBF, MIM, NRG, PAK, PDI, PK3, RAR, RPM, TAR, TAZ, TBZ, TGZ, TZ, UUE, WAR, XXE, YZ1, Z, ZIP, ZOO. With a modern easy-to-use interface, IZArc provides support for most compressed and encoded files, as well as access to many powerful features and tools. It allows you to drag and drop files from and to Windows Explorer, create and extract archives directly in Windows Explorer, create multiple archives spanning disks, creating self-extracting archives, repair damaged zip archives, converting from one archive type to another, view and write comments and many more. IZArc has also build-in multilanguage support.
• With IZArc you can open CD image files like ISO, BIN, CDI and NRG. It is also possible to convert such files from one type to another (BIN to ISO, NRG to ISO).
• If you need to send large files to your colleagues, friends or customers who may not have archiving tool you can easily create self-extracting archive that can be extracted by simple double click.
• IZArc can be configured to run your preferred Anti-Virus scanner when you open any archives.
• IZArc supports 256-bit AES encryption to secure your data.
• IZArc is integrated in Windows so you can perform all archiving operations by using right-click menus in Windows Explorer.
Download Size: 3.5 MB
3. TUGZip is a powerful freeware archiving utility for Windows that provides support for a wide range of compressed, encoded and disc-image files, as well as very powerful features; all through an easy to use application interface and Windows Explorer integration.
• Supports ZIP, 7-ZIP, A, ACE, ARC, ARJ, BH, BZ2, CAB, CPIO, DEB, GCA, GZ, IMP, JAR, LHA (LZH), LIB, RAR, RPM, SQX, TAR, TGZ, TBZ, TAZ, YZ1 and ZOO archives.
• Supports BIN, C2D, IMG, ISO and NRG disc-images.
• Support for external plugins.
• Windows shell integration, e.g. drag & drop, shell context menu and drop handlers.
• Create 7-ZIP, BH, BZ2, CAB, JAR, LHA (LZH), SQX, TAR, TGZ, YZ1 and ZIP archives.
• Script support which allows you to make automated backups.
• Basic features like: add, extract, delete, rename, run, view, checkout, install, test, comment, SFX, virus-scanning, disk-spanning and much more.
• Repair corrupted ZIP and SQX archives.
• Can extract multiple archives at once using Multi Extract.
• Encrypt archives using 6 different algorithms. Blowfish (128-bit), DES (56-bit), Triple DES (168-bit) and Rijndael (128-bit, 192-bit and 256-bit).
• Create self-extracting encrypted archives.
Download Size: 3.9 MB
4. Quick Zip: Quick Zip is a powerful and fast utility that provides support to ZIP and other popular archive formats. Features include built-in support to 21 types (or 36 extensions) of archives and encoding formats; full integration to the shell, including an archive icon, which associates different archives with different icons, context menus, tool tips, drag-and-drop, and cut and paste; and a folder list, which shows the directory structure of files. You can add the current date and time in order to store and pick different versions of files in the same archive.
Download Size: 4.27 MB
5. DropZip: You can drag a ZIP or RAR file (or even multiple ZIP/RAR files) onto the DropZip icon and they will be magically unzipped into a folder with the same name as each ZIP or RAR file, for example. Drag your Zip file hello.zip from My Documents onto the icon. Look in My Documents, there will be a new folder called hello.
It also has another feature if you drop a folder (it must be one folder on its own) then that folder will be converted to a ZIP file (note the folder won’t be deleted). This is not designed to be a replacement for your normal ZIP or RAR programs; instead, it is designed for convenience when you need to quickly unzip or unrar something.
Download Size: 9.2 MB
6. PeaZip free archiver utility is a portable, open source archiving, encryption and file split tool.
PeaZip archiver is cross platform, it runs on Windows 9x, 2000, XP, Vista and on Linux and supports handling of many archive and compression formats. PeaZip allows to edit, save and restore archive’s layouts; apply powerful multiple filters to archive’s content; handle multiple archives at once; export job definition as command line; encrypt, split and join files and compress executables with strip/UPX.
Download Size: 2.6 MB
7. ALZip claims to be the fastest archiver program. It is indeed fast. ALZip can open 36 different file formats and create upto 8. It can create self extracting archives and integrates seamlessly into the Windows shell just like any other zip program. Some additional features like archive repairing, testing or installing archived programs are also available. ALZip is free for homeuse, but being a shareware version it keeps displaying popup ads which is the only annoying thing in this program. Other than that, it’s a nice utility.
Download Size: 5.5 MB
8. jZip is built on the 7-Zip technology. It offers the same kind of compression capabilities offered by 7-zip but in an easier more streamlined user interface. You can read the full review of jZip on Softpedia.
Download Size: 2.3 MB
9. ZipGenius is the absolutely free software for Windows® that lets you compress files to almost any kind of archive. ZipGenius supports more than 20 compressed archive formats, including CD/DVD-ROM image files in ISO9660 standard. This is the file compression suite you were searching for: it is free and easy to use, plus it supports more than 20 formats of compressed archives, including RAR, ARJ, ACE, CAB, SQX, OpenOffice.org documents and the excellent 7-zip. ZipGenius now can precompress executable files going to be added to a ZIP archive through the UPX compressor.
ZipGenius is presented in two editions: STANDARD and SUITE that differs for the content they ship to user’s Desktop.
While the suite edition is the full setup package that includes all the optional modules of the ZipGenius project, because it is a setup layout oriented to experts and power users, the standard setup package just includes the main ZipGenius application because it is designed for most Windows users, that just want to open/compress/decompress archives in several formats.
Download Size: 4.9 MB
10. ZipStar is a FREE archiving application for home users. Use it to create and unpack the archive formats SQX, CAB and ZIP. ZipStar relies on the well-known Squeez technology, one of the fastest engines for file compression and extraction which is also used in SpeedCommander and Squeez.
Thanks to the integrated Quick View for the most common file and multimedia formats you can view files within archives without first having to extract them. You can compress and extract files directly from Windows Explorer! One thing I like about ZipStar is it’s Office 2003 look.
ZipStar is completely compatible to Windows XP and Vista and can be used freely for non-commercial use.
The main features are
• Direct support for the archive formats SQX, ZIP and CAB
• Full support of ZIP64 (no restrictions regarding the archive size and number of files within a ZIP archive) and Deflate64
• Complete Windows Explorer integration
• Integrated Quick View for many file formats
• Archive Favorites and Archive Folders
• Archive information window which displays the most important archive properties
Download Size: 6.6 MB