A good file archiving utility will be simple to use and it will also make compressing/extracting file archives easier. Windows comes with a built-in archive manager. Users can access it by right-clicking on a file/folder and selecting send to – compressed folder. It is limited because of the support for compressed file format and other fun things alternative tools can do (repairing damaged archives, encryptions etc.). If you are looking for an alternative to this built-in utility, there are many options available. A while back, we reviewed some of the best free archive managers for Windows. In this updated post, we will look at some other free alternatives which will make compression and extraction of archives a lot easier.
Free File Archive Managers
7-Zip is a free, open-source utility. The UI is that impressive but doesn’t go for the looks – it is well designed and will let you compress/extract any file. 7-zip has its only 7z format which works for high compression files. Users can encrypt packaged files by applying a password making archive files secure for sharing. Large volumes are broken down into smaller archives which makes them easier for sharing. 7-Zip has integration with Windows Shell and has localization for more than 85 languages.
PeaZip is another free file archiver utility based on a lot of open source technologies. Users can open and extract up to 200+ archive formats. Similar to other utilities, PeaZip also has its own format called PEA. PEA prioritized the security of files over anything (including compression). It can also repair damaged archives which is a feature not available in other such utilities. PeaZip is available for 32bit and 64bit systems.
B1 Free Archiver is a completely free utility and is available for all operating systems (Windows, Linux, Mac OS and Android). The tool is simple, fast and supports the most popular formats. Users can extract split and password-protect archives. The tool has a simple UI and is last than 1MB in size. B1.org also has an online archiver that allows users to select an archive from the computer and extract it.
jZip is another free WinZip alternative that is based on 7-Zip technology. Users can create compressed files and extract them. It supports a lot of file formats including TAR, GZip and RAR. jZip has a fast compression engine producing an improved compression ratio. The core difference between jZip and 7-Zip is the user interface. jZip is way simplified and uses the sample underlying compression engine. jZip development team has an enhanced pro version in progress and would be released soon.
PowerArchiver is a powerful archiving utility for Windows. It offers a lot of different paid versions for different industries and integrations for tools (such as Microsoft Office). The utility comes packed with different tools in a single application. It offers a lot more than simple extraction and compression. It supports over 60 compressed formats and has a built-in encryption suite. The encryption suite allows users to encrypt, decrypt, sign and verify various AES and OpenPGP formats.
There are a lot more out there in the market, both free and paid. Do leave a comment and let us know if we have missed a stable and secure Windows extraction/compression utility.