Perhaps you already know about WinRAR as a great file archiver and would probably set aside the idea of looking into 7-Zip which is fast becoming the favorite file archiver of many file monsters out there. Both are file archiving utilities that perform and function similarly. WinRAR is commercial software that has a free trial available whereas 7-Zip is completely free and open source software. So what’s the hype about which is better – 7-Zip of WinRar? Do you still need another program for the same zipping task?
For the average user the only big difference is that 7-Zip does not have as nice a user interface than WinRAR. It also cannot create RAR archives (only unpack them). Nevertheless others find 7-Zip a much more lightweight program. As for pennywise comparison, the answer is simple, WinRAR is not free. If you want to save a few precious dollars without compromising the functionality of a zipping program, then 7-Zip is worth a try. It is totally free open source file archiver.
For the seriously addicted frequent file archiving program users, the simple answers are not sufficed. So here are a few points of comparison which may help you decide which better program to use. A digg.com user by the name of Brian shared results of a test he conducted using both programs. Here are the results.
“Super Mario World uncompressed — 537 MB (563,912,862 bytes). Super Mario World.7z (GoodMerged original) — 7.79 MB (8,177,373 bytes) Super Mario World.7z (ULTRA settings) — 16.4 MB (17,232,705 bytes) Super Mario World.rar — 30.6 MB (32,162,083 bytes) Strangely enough, the 7-Zip that was already GoodMerged nearly half the size of the 7-Zip that I was able to create using the ULTRA settings on 7-Zip. Both WinRAR and 7-Zip were set to maximum (7-Zip was on ULTRA) compression with solid archive checked.”
WinRAR tends to compress less-compressible material better than 7-Zip and 7-Zip is the absolute best for compressing ROMs. There may be some ROMs that WinRAR can compress better, but 7-Zip boasts of its “solid” archiving and recommended by many experienced 7-Zip users as the best tool for dealing with a bunch of files that are very similar. On the other hand, if you are attempting to compress file that is already compressed, like a movie or an mp3, or just random files that are not related to each other, your best bet is using WinRAR as it typically does the job better. It really all boils down as to the kind of files you are archiving. Sometimes WinRAR is better than 7zip and vice versa.
Of course, for die-hard 7-Zip fanatics, 7-Zip is the way to go. Aside from saving a few bucks, it is very user friendly and not to mention, very easy to use like WinRAR. Just got to http://www.7zip.com/. Install it on your PC and zip a file by right clicking and selecting 7-Zip > add to [file name].7z. Since it is integrated in with Windows Explorer, all you need is just a few clicks away.
Once you use it, you may find 7-Zip a better program than WinRAR. A zipping tool’s strength lies on its capability to compress files as efficiently as it can. The smaller the zipped file is the better. If yet, you are not fully convinced, try testing with different tools for purposes of comparison so you can see which program packs files the best.