File compressors , comparison

A few years ago when hard drives were less harsh and the Internet was less Internet , compression was vital. Some even remembered with " nostalgia ? utilities such as DoubleSpace, compressing the entire contents of a disk to save space.

Today is no longer measured capacity Megabytes , but in Gigabytes and increasingly in Terabytes. The Internet connections current have nothing to do with the old , but has also increased the size of everything . photos zillion -megapixel , games that take half your hard drive, programs that need more space than the operating system, enhanced documents which are to culminate in either enriched ...

Overall, the compression is still necessary.

Here we look at the compression programs most popular.

Compression formats

It's no mystery that the format extended in Windows above all, is the ZIP . For a while RAR is gaining ground and , slowly but surely, 7Z beginning to be known . Each has its " home " , which in this case is WinZip , WinRAR and 7- Zip, respectively.

WinAce added format ACE to the list, but this is very low ebb, in part precisely because the "special characteristics "of WinAce . As IZArc , is not particularly a friend of any form, although his name would appear that it is the format ARC , it is clear that only decompresses not compressed files in this area as little used today .

Programs compression / decompression are similar to other types of programs that the more formats support the better. It is very probable that never in your life you encounter a file. CPIO but what if ... ?

Here we must distinguish between the formats compress and that decompress . For example , it is more or less likely that we come across a compressed file with a area strange , but nevertheless will be very rare that we have the imperative need compress into a different to ZIP , RAR or 7Z .

As for decompression , which is able to open more types than is IZArc , including common formats some not so and even disk images ISO and NRG. The next would be 7- Zip, followed by WinZip and WinAce " does not open 7Z - and WinRar, open only 14 formats, but is all important .

Compressing none is capable of recording in three formats we've named. 7- Zip can handle 7z and RAR, IZArc with and ZIP, WinRAR RAR and ZIP and the rest only one. Anyway, this is not particularly relevant since all can be compressed in universal ZIP , which is as valid as others.

Speed and compression

The speed at which compresses and decompresses a file, the ratio compression and power equipment are closely related . In terms of compression , and we will not go into details, there are no miracles . A understanding more thorough requires more time much to compress and to decompress. , you can not talk about speed of a particular program without also talking about compression.

This section is difficult to quantify because, according to the files that are compressed each format is better or worse performance. Still, there are guidelines more or less valid.

7- Zip and 7z can often get better compression, and not take you long.

WinRAR compressing RAR and WinZip, ZIP , have similar performance and balanced. WinZip can give a better result, but WinRAR is faster.

WinAce, except for isolated cases , does not get as good compression and what is worse , you need much more time for one task and sometimes with worse outcome.

IZArc , meanwhile , is quite fast, but the resulting file is worse compressed than others ..

Interface and usability

With all this, the most likely use of these programs is limited to unpack what downloads the Internet and compress sporadically a file . For this usually does not need to perform a compression thorough . That is compressed in a format that everyone can read, you serve.

all compressors are technically valid for a normal user . Compress, decompress , but are easy to use ? Are they comfortable ?

It is no secret that the popularity of the first WinZip and later WinRAR influenced the interface rest of the program . Both are virtually identical. The only difference is that WinZip incorporates some concepts that can be confusing. For example, " Favorites "and "Display . " folders bookmarked it containing files ZIP is somewhat bizarre, while the option display , which extracts and creates an entry in the start menu , no less so.

In summary , WinZip and WinRAR behave very similarly , but WinRAR is more to the point. The step by step wizard is another example. While in WinRAR options are clearly separate ( "unzip "," create a new file " , etc . ) 's assistant WinZIP displayed more concepts (" favorite documents , "" unzip and install "," WinZip Classic "...) that will produce doubts about users alleged without much knowledge of the subject , since they are using the wizard.

For its part, the interface IZArc is quite correct . No particular note , but it is easy to understand and use but never have tried the program . The basic options are at hand , the advanced menu . But it also has its shortcomings . For example , you can not browse the folders as it does in WinRAR and somehow , in WinZIP. Also, while doing a compression or decompression does not display additional information such as estimated time , speed, or percentage. Only a progress bar .

WinAce is not available in Spanish, which is itself an important fact. To this we can add the icons , old fashioned , not particularly easy to understand. But not all objections . It is the only program in addition to WinRAR which incorporates the concept of "presets " , ie, that lets you record and re-use a specific configuration of compression.

7- Zip we have left for last because it is a kind of homage to minimalism. The buttons are not art exactly , but do not lead to error. This highlights enough when compared to the dialog box to create a file, which is really complex. Suddenly you are surrounded by words techniques like LZMA compression , size dictionary and block size compact, able to flee in terror for over one who " just wanted to compress a file . " Okay, no big deal , but certainly not as friendly as other programs.


Compare these programs regardless of its price would be a crime and an injustice. Therefore, we have two groups of programs: free and commercial .

The free are designed for a public different . IZArc is more friendly for new users and is also the champion in terms of formats supported. It does not compress too much, but change is rapid . 7- Zip on the other hand is aimed at a more specialized audience that is willing to take the new format 7z for maximum compression .

Speaking of commercial alternatives , WinRAR is the most balanced. , with good support and some advanced , does not disappoint anyone. WinZip has yet to clarify their ideas and reorganize its interface, it seems that after years of development have been coupling functions haphazardly . WinAce for its part has fallen behind in several respects : it is slow , the format ACE is obsolete and does not always get good compression.

As always , we give you some clues , but the final choice is yours.

  7- Zip IZArc WinAce WinRAR WinZip
formats uncompressed 7Z , ARJ , BZ2 , BZIP2 , CAB , CPIO , DEB , GZ , GZIP , ISO , LHA , LZH , RAR , RPM, split , SWM , TAR , TAZ, TBZ , tbz2 , TGZ, TPZ , WIM , Z , ZIP 7Z , ISO , A, IZE , ACE , JAR , ARC , LHA , ARJ , LIB , B64 , LZH , BH, MBF , BIN , MDF , BZ2 , MIM, BZA , NRG, C2D , PAK , CAB , PDI , CDI, PK3 , CPIO , RAR , DEB , PPM , ENC , TAR , GCA , TAZ, GZ, TBZ , GZA , TGZ , HA, TZ , IMG, UUE , WAR, XXE, YZ1 , Z , ZIP, ZOO ZIP , ARJ , LHA , RAR , CAB , ARC , GZ , TAR , JAR , TGZ , LHA , ZOO, UUE , ISO, BZ2, XXE , MIM, XEF RAR , TAR , ZIP , GZIP , CAB, UUE , ARJ , BZ2 , LZH , JAR , ACE , ISO , 7- ZIP , Z ARC , ARJ, B64 , BHX , BZ , BZ2 , CAB , GZ, HQX , LZH , MIM , RAR , TAR , TAZ, TBZ , tbz2 , TGZ , TZ , UU, UUE, XXE , Z , ZIP
Formats in which compressed 7Z , TAR , ZIP ZIP , CAB , BH , JAR , LHA , 7- ZIP , BGA, YZ1 ACE , LZH , LHA , CAB , ZIP , JAR , GZ , TAR, tar.gz RAR , ZIP ZIP
Create self-extracting Yes Yes, customizable Yes , customizable if somewhat messy Yes Yes, but the trial version does not allow distribution
Batch Conversion No Yes Yes Yes No
Repair damaged files No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Maximum compression * 1 5 4 3 2
Speed with maximum compression * 3 1 5 4 2
License Free Free Shareware or free advertising Shareware Shareware
In Spanish Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Note users 8.8 ( 239 votes ) 8.8 ( 655 votes) 7.8 ( 189 votes ) 8.8 ( 2883 votes) 8.4 ( 160 votes )
Note 8.0 8.25 6.5 9.0 8.0

* Value of 1 to 5 with 1 being the best value and 5 the worst. Is impossible to provide data 100% reliable , it is merely indicative