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WinRAR information

There are plenty of solid compression utilities to choose from, but this shareware powerhouse offers the features and ease of use that place it at the top of the compression category. WinRAR is easy to use, lightweight, and flexible.

An intuitive interface lets you mouse over icons to see their functions, and if you don’t like their candy-coated appearance, you can always choose from several themes at the developer’s site. The Folder Tree Panel makes sifting through your directories to find files easier than ever. But once you see the size savings of a RAR archive, with a compression ratio of 8 percent to 15 percent better than the ZIP format, you’ll understand why so many users and developers are making the switch from other apps. With virus scans now integrated and minor interface tweaks for Vista, only the slightly slower decompression speed holds the app back.

Beyond its good looks and right-click readiness for basic compression and unzipping, WinRAR offers unpacking support for a large number of archive formats, including TAR, ACE, BZ2, JAR, ISO, and ZIP. WinRAR’s advanced features are icing on the cake, with Unicode support for international formatting, embedded file comments, damaged archive repair, archive locking, self-extracting archives, and easy encryption. There’s also the option to automatically delete temporary files and just-archived files. Anyone seeking an all-in-one archiving solution would be remiss to not check out WinRAR.

RAR file format.

ZIP file format.

1. What is a RAR file.

RAR is the native format of WinRAR archiver. Like other archives, RAR
files are data containers, they store one or several files in the compressed
form. After you downloaded RAR file from Internet, you need to unpack
its contents in order to use it.

1. What is a ZIP file.

ZIP is a popular archive format widely used in Internet. Like other
archives, ZIP files are data containers, they store one or several files
in the compressed form. After you downloaded ZIP file, you need to unpack
its contents in order to use it.

2. How to handle RAR files.

WinRAR provides the complete support for RAR files, so you may both
create and unpack them. If you installed WinRAR on your computer and
downloaded RAR file from Internet, you may double click on RAR file
icon to open it in WinRAR, select all files, press “Extract To”
button, enter a destination path and press “OK”. Another way
is to click on the RAR file in Explorer using the right mouse button.
If you enabled “Shell integration” option when installing
WinRAR, the file context menu will contain “Extract to …”
item.

Some RAR files can be parts of multi-volume sequences. In WinRAR you
can split a huge archive to a few smaller files, which are called volumes.
They may have extensions .rar (the first volume), .r00, .r01, …, or
.part1.rar (the first volume), .part2.rar, …, etc. If you need to
unpack volumes, place all them to the same folder and start extraction
from the first volume.

2. How to handle ZIP files.

WinRAR provides the complete support for ZIP files, so you may both
create and unpack them. If you installed WinRAR on your computer and
downloaded ZIP file from Internet, you may double click on ZIP file
icon to open it in WinRAR, select all files, press “Extract To”
button, enter a destination path and press “OK”. Another way
is to click on the ZIP file in Explorer using the right mouse button.
If you enabled “Shell integration” option when installing
WinRAR, the file context menu will contain “Extract to …”
item.

3. RAR versus ZIP.

Comparing to ZIP file format, RAR provides a number of advanced features:
more convenient multipart (multivolume) archives, tight compression
including special solid, multimedia and text modes, strong AES-128 encryption,
recovery records helping to repair an archive even in case of physical
data damage, Unicode support to process non-English file names and a
lot more.

3. ZIP versus RAR.

The main advantage of ZIP format is its popularity. ZIP file format
was developed a long time ago and perhaps it is still the most known
archive type, so a large part of Internet archives are ZIP files. But
many important RAR format features (recovery records, Unicode names,
strong AES encryption, etc.) are missing in ZIP. RAR archives usually
provide a noticeably higher compression ratio than ZIP file format.

RAR Summary: powerful and promising technology of the 21st century.

ZIP Summary: outdated technology of the 20th century.