7-Zip – Free & open source alternative for WinRAR

Tool Name: 7-Zip

Pricing: Open Source

7-Zip is a free and open-source file archiver that boasts a high compression ratio in its 7z format using LZMA and LZMA2 compression. It supports a wide range of formats for packing and unpacking, including 7z, XZ, BZIP2, GZIP, TAR, ZIP, and WIM. Additionally, 7-Zip also provides unpacking capabilities for AR, ARJ, CAB, CHM, CPIO, CramFS, DMG, EXT, FAT, GPT, HFS, IHEX, ISO, LZH, LZMA, MBR, MSI, NSIS, NTFS, QCOW2, RAR, RPM, SquashFS, UDF, UEFI, VDI, VHD, VMDK, WIM, XAR, and Z formats.

One of the main advantages of 7-Zip is its high compression ratio for ZIP and GZIP formats. In fact, it can provide a compression ratio that is 2-10% better than PKZip and WinZip. It also has a strong AES-256 encryption in 7z and ZIP formats, as well as a self-extracting capability for 7z format. Moreover, 7-Zip integrates with Windows Shell and has a powerful file manager, command line version, and plugin for FAR Manager. It also supports localizations for 87 languages.

7-Zip works on various operating systems, including Windows 10/8/7/Vista/XP/2019/2016/2012/2008/2003/2000, and there is also a port of the command line version to Linux/Posix. As free software with open source, 7-Zip is available to use on any computer, including those in commercial organizations.

In comparison, WinRAR is a popular file archiver that has been around for a longer time than 7-Zip. However, it is not free and requires users to purchase a license after the trial period. While WinRAR also supports a variety of formats for packing and unpacking, it falls behind 7-Zip in terms of compression ratio, especially for the ZIP and GZIP formats.

To illustrate, when comparing the compression ratio of 7-Zip 9.35 with WinRAR 5.20 using Mozilla Firefox 34.0.5 for Windows and Google Earth for Windows as test files, 7-Zip provided a better compression ratio than WinRAR in both cases.

FILE SETS: Mozilla Firefox 34.0.5 for Windows and Google Earth for Windows.

Archiver Mozilla Firefox Google Earth
65 files
85 280 391 bytes
483 files
110 700 519 bytes
Compressed size Ratio Compressed size Ratio
7-Zip 9.35
39 357 375 100% 15 964 369 100%
WinRAR 5.20
-m5 -s -ma5 -md128m
41 789 543 106% 17 035 432 107%

In conclusion, 7-Zip is a superior file archiver compared to WinRAR due to its high compression ratio, support for a wide range of formats, strong encryption, and powerful features. Moreover, being free and open-source makes it a great option for anyone who wants a reliable and efficient file archiver without any additional cost.

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