In the world of compression, known as “zipping,” there are many options. Most people are presented with two: the standard Windows zipping programs included with the operating system and WinZip, which generally comes pre-loaded on computers from big box manufacturers. If WinZip is installed, it takes over the functions of the standard Windows zipping program.
This creates an interesting issue, though, as WinZip is not free. It is known as “trialware”; a program you can try free for 30 days (like many preinstalled programs on a computer) and after the trial period you need to pay for use of the program. Most people of course, choose not to.
Once this trial has passed, opening a .zip or .rar file will prompt the user to pay for it. Most people would just close this little box and be on their way but if you open many zip files, this box popping up is a constant annoyance. So what is someone to do?
Fear not! There is a free alternative that does just as well, if not better! It is called 7-Zip. It is free, open source, and it does not annoy you with ads.
What makes this so special? First off, it’s free. That’s always a good plus. Second, it’s fast. Very fast. When you need something compressed, the default functions perform zipping in a quick and… zippy fashion. Third, it’s got the same functions as the paid stuff… and more. Want your zip file encrypted with a password? Done. Want to zip in a .zip, .rar, .7z or any other compression format? You got it.
This open source and free program does it, and does it well.
Check it out at http://www.7-zip.org/