A compression software is a useful utility because it allows you to reduce the size of large files. This software helps in saving disk space. It also makes uploading and downloading of large folders and archives faster.

Windows OS comes with an inbuilt tool to create compressed files, but many users prefer installing third-party applications like WinRar, 7 Zip, WinZip. These applications support many formats, and their performance is better.

These three applications are popular. Archive files created by one program is accessible by other. A Winrar, WinZip or 7 Zip archive file will have a smaller size as compared to a .zip file created by Windows.

A typical user expects the file compression software to be fast and bug-free. Users also expect that the program which they will use support many file formats and it should not corrupt user data, nor it should modify it.

There are a lot of free compression software for storing video, PDF, image, documents in a small size archives. 7Zip is the best among them.

The paid software will offer some additional features and dedicated support. Winrar and Winzip are the best premium compression tools.

Today, we’ll share a detailed comparison of features and performance of the above mentioned top 3 compression software.

WinRar vs. 7Zip vs. Winzip file compression software comparison

File formats

7Zip supports WIM, ZIP, 7zip and tar file formats. Zip is an extension that is supported by all OS. Windows may fail to recognize tar archives unless you’ve installed a software that recognizes it. Linux-based OS will allow you to open or extract TAR files. WIM aka Windows Imaging File was first available in Vista OS. Files in this format may not work on Windows XP and earlier operating systems. 7Zip can open archives with more than 30 extensions (including RAR, GZIP, BZIP, CAB).

WinZip supports ZIPX, BZIP, LZMA, ppm and XZ formats. It doesn’t recognize Gzip, Windows cabinet files.

The user can associate WinRar with 16 different formats of the file. 7Zip features six compression levels. WinRar has 5, and its alternative, i.e., Winzip supports just 3.

Sharing online

WinZip allows users to upload compressed files to all popular cloud storage platforms which include DropBox, Google Drive, etc. It also allows users to share their files on social networks like Linkedin, FB, and Twitter. The sharing feature is only available in WinZip. Both 7Zip and WinZip lack this feature.

Benchmark

Before you run the compression software, you should check the performance of your computer so that the system doesn’t shut down unexpectedly during a file compression task. Winrar and its two alternatives we’ve covered here come with a PC benchmarking tool. Make sure that you run the tool at least once.

Encryption

An archive file should be encrypted so that no user can read its content when a file is being transferred over unsecured network connections. Encryption is supported in Winzip, Winrar, and 7zip.

Setup:

Both 7Zip and Winrar are lightweight software. They are easy to install. They take around 4 and 5 megabytes storage space respectively. WinZip takes some time for installation because its setup file is large and it will download required setup files from the Internet. Its latest version consumes 260 MB space on HDD or SSD.

Performance:

I compressed a folder of size 446 megabytes using WinRar, WinZip, and 7Zip software. I configured these tools to use their best algorithm and the highest level of compression. Here’s the table of comparison for the same:

Software File size in megabytes after compression Extension Level
7Zip 379 .7zip Ultra
Winzip 392 .zip Maximum
Winrar 408 .rar Best

As you can see above, 7zip has resulted in the smallest version of the folder. WinRar took 4 seconds to generate the archive file. Winzip and 7zip took around 6 seconds to compress the large folder.

7zip and WinRar worked flawlessly on my laptop (quad-core CPU, 8GB RAM). I was not happy with the performance of Winzip. Some of its modules took a lot of time to open.

Archive Repairing

If you’re unable to open a compressed file on your machine, you’ll have to use an archive repairing tool to recover the data. Unfortunately, 7Zip doesn’t provide an inbuilt archive file repairing utility. Winrar and Winzip allow you to fix corrupt files.

Pricing:

7Zip is a free and open source software. You can download it from sourceforge.net. It doesn’t request you to activate free trial version nor does it prompts you to enter the email address.

Winzip users will be prompted to register the software each time they run it. You can buy Winzip in three versions – Standard, Pro, Courier. The price of the three applications starts at 60 dollars. You are allowed to use the evaluation version of Winzip for maximum 45 days. WinRar is available for free usage only for 40 days. Its license will cost around 21 dollars.

Key features of WinZip that make it better than Winrar

  • Supports conversion of document files to PDF
  • Inbuilt watermark tool.
  • Lets users create backups.
  • Instant Messenger integration.
  • Features system diagnostics tool.
  • Performance scan and system problem fixer (clean Windows junk files, repairs registry)
  • Has an inbuilt filter to shortlist files.

Why you’ll like WinRar?

  • Fast and easy to use UI
  • Doesn’t cause the system to slow down.
  • Has archive repairing utility.
  • Allows you to create SFX archives.

Why is 7Zip better than WinZip and WinRar?

7Zip is powered by a smart compression algorithm that results in the smallest archive file. Its UI may not be the best but the available features are powerful.

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