Monday, August 01, 2011

5 alternative file compression tools

WinZip and WinRAR are pretty much the de facto file compression software these days. The only trouble is, they're commercial software. If you're looking for free alternatives, there's a lot of choices out there. Just take your pick.

7-zip archiver
1. 7-zip. 7-zip supports zip and rar file decompression, and can compress to zip as well as its own 7zip format. It also has support for a lot of other file compression formats. 7-zip runs on any Windows computer you may have and there's even a command line version for Linux.

2. Universal Extractor. If you're looking to just extract files from a zip file (or any other compression format), then Universal Extractor has you covered. It's got an extensive list of supported formats that it can extract from. As its name implies, it only extracts and doesn't create compressed file archives.

TugZip archiver
3. TugZip. Another alternative, and this one even looks similar to WinZip. Support-wise it has a lot more file formats under its belt than WinZip ever will. It even supports a some popular disc image formats.

4. PeaZip. I like PeaZip the best out of the five listed here. It's open source, supports multi-core CPUs, has a long list of supported formats, and even has a portable version you can easily bring along on a USB key.

5. IZArc. Like TugZip IZArc has a long list of supported file formats and even supports some common disc image formats.

These aren't all, of course, There's a lot more out there. You just have to search and you'll find there's a whole lot more to choose from.