7-Zip vs WinZip vs WinRAR (Best File Compression Tool): Whether you are on a Windows or MAC you will always find yourself in the need of a compression software because hard disk fills up pretty quickly and you don’t want to delete your important data. Well, you ask what is a compression software? A Compressions software is a utility which allows you to reduce the size of large files by combining a large number of files together into one archive file. And then this file is compressed using lossless data compression to further reduce the size of the archive.
Windows operating system comes with an inbuilt compression system, but in reality, it does not have a very effective compression mechanism and that’s why Windows user doesn’t prefer to use it. Instead, most of the users prefer installing a third-party application such as 7-zip, WinZip, or WinRar to get the job done.
Now all these programs perform the same function, and for one file, one program will always give you the best compression with the smallest file size but depending on the data i.e. other files, it may not be the same program every time. There are other factors beyond the file size to consider when deciding which compression software to use. But in this guide, we are about to find out which programs do the best job as we put each one of the compression software to test.
Table of Contents
Best File Compression Tool: 7-Zip vs WinZip vs WinRAR
Option 1: 7-Zip Compression Software
7-Zip is a free and open-source compression software. 7-Zip is a utility which places several files together into a single archive file. It uses its own 7z archive format and the best thing about this software is: It is available free of cost. Most of the 7-Zip source code is under GNU LGPL. And this software works on all major Operating System such as Windows, Linux, macOS, etc.
To compress any file using 7-Zip software follow the below steps:
1.Right-click on the file you want to compress using 7-Zip software.
3.Under 7-Zip, click on the Add to archive.
4.From the dropdown menu available under Archive format, select 7z.
5.Click on OK button available at the bottom.
6.Your files will be converted into a compressed file using 7-Zip compression software.
Option 2: WinZip Compression Software
WinZip is a trialware file archiver & compressor, which means it is not available freely. Once the trial period ends you need to shell out $40 from your pocket to continue using this software. Personally, for me, this seriously put this on my third priority list among the three software.
WinZip compresses the file into a .zipx format and has a higher compression rate than other compression software. It is available for free for a limited period of time and then if you want to continue using it then as discussed you need pay a premium charge. WinZip is available for all the major Operating Systems like Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, etc.
To compress any file using WinZip software follow the below steps:
1.Right-click on the file you want to compress using WinZip software.
3.Under WinZip, click on Add/Move to Zip file.
4.A new dialog box will appear, from where you need to checkmark the checkbox next to .Zipx format.
5.Click on the Add button available at bottom right corner.
6.Click on the OK button.
7.Your file will convert into a compressed file using WinZip compression software.
Option 3: WinRAR Compression Software
WinRAR is also a trialware software just like WinZip but you can always dismiss the notice of trial period ended and still continue to use this software. But be aware that you will get annoyed every time you will open WinRAR, so if you can deal with it then you got yourself a free file compression software for life.
Anyway, WinRAR compresses files in the RAR & Zip format. Users can test the integrity of archives as WinRAR embed CRC32 or BLAKE2 checksums for each file in each archive. WinRAR supports creating encrypted, multi-part and self-extracting archives. You can checkmark the “Create solid archive” box when compressing a large number of smaller files to give you best compression. If you want WinRAR to compress the archive to its maximum ability, then you should change the “Compression method” to Best. WinRAR is only available for Windows Operating System.
To compress any file using WinRAR software follow the below steps:
1.Right-click on the file you want to compress using WinRAR software.
2.Click on Add to archive.
3.WinRAR archive dialog box will appear.
4.Click on the radio button next to RAR if it is not selected.
5.Finally, click on the OK button.
Note: If you want the best compression for your files, then select “Best” under Compression method dropdown.
6.Your file will convert into compressed file using WinRAR compression software.
Features Comparison: 7-Zip vs WinZip vs WinRAR
Below are given several comparisons between all three compression software using different factors.
7-Zip and WinRAR are very lightweight software of nearly 4 to 5 megabytes and they are very easy to install. On the other hand, the WinZip setup file is very large and takes some time for installation.
WinZip allows users to directly upload the compressed files to all popular cloud storage platforms like Dropbox, Google Drive, etc. Users also have the option to share files on social media such as Facebook, Whatsapp, Linkedin, etc. While other compression software such as WinRAR & 7-Zip does not have any such features.
Sometimes when you compress a file, the compressed file can become corrupted and you won’t be able to access the compressed file. In such cases, you need to use the archive repairing tool in order to recover and access your data. WinZip and WinRAR both provides an in-built archive repairing tool which allows you to fix the corrupted compressed files. On the other hand, 7-Zip doesn’t have any option to repair corrupt files.
An archived or compressed file should be encrypted so that no other person can access your data without your permission. This is a very important feature as you may transfer the compressed file using any unsecured network connections and hackers may try access the data you are transferring. But if the file is encrypted that they don’t be able to do any harm and your file is still safe. 7-Zip, WinZip, and WinRAR all three file compression software Encryption.
All three file compression software compress file depending on the type of data. It is possible that for one type of data one software will provide the best compression, while for another type of data other compression software will be best. For example: Above, a video of 2.84 MB is compressed using all the three compression software. Size of compressed file resulted because of 7-Zip compression software is smallest in size. Also, 7-Zip software took lesser time to compress the file then WinZip and WinRAR compression software.
Real World Compression Test
1.5GB of Uncompressed Video Files
- WinZIP – Zip format: 990MB (34% compression)
- WinZIP – Zipx format: 855MB (43% compression)
- 7-Zip – 7z format: 870MB (42% compression)
- WinRAR – rar4 format : 900MB (40% compression)
- WinRAR – rar5 format: 900MB (40% compression)
8.2GB of ISO Image Files
- WinZIP – Zip format: 5.8GB (29% compression)
- WinZIP – Zipx format: 4.9GB (40% compression)
- 7-Zip – 7z format: 4.8GB (41% compression)
- WinRAR – rar4 format : 5.4GB (34% compression)
- WinRAR – rar5 format: 5.0GB (38% compression)
So, overall you can say that the best compression software for the particular data is totally dependent on the type of data but still among all the three, 7-Zip is powered by a smart compression algorithm that results in the smallest archive file most of the times. It’s all available features are very powerful and it is free of cost. So if you need to choose among the three, I am willing to bet my money on 7-Zip.
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I hope this article was helpful and you can now easily compare 7-Zip vs WinZip vs WinRAR Compression software and select the winner (hint: it’s name starts with 7), but if you still have any questions regarding this tutorial then feel free to ask them in the comment’s section.