One of the most common tools you can install on any system, is a solution for file compression, allowing you to work with compressed file types like .zip, .rar, .tar, and more. Most modern operating systems do come with some form of support for these file types now, but they still aren’t as in-depth and functional as some of the 3rd programs available to you. These, are three of our favorites.
- WinRAR — This is by far our favorite, and it has been for quite a long time. Winzip (which we’ll talk about in a moment) used to hold this spot a very long time ago. A time that feels like the same period that we used to talk about AOL. It used to be to zip files like water is to your thirst. Then WinRAR moved into our hearts, and WinZip fell into second place (although still good). The reason for this is function more than anything. WinRAR contains powerful features and options to manage nearly any compressed file format out there, including some formats they don’t even list. Their support is good, and they are continuously updating. To make things better, they have just one version to purchase. No upsells or anything (Pro, Premium, etc). Just WinRAR. One program, one price, and it is a lifetime license. They really know how to deliver. You can download and demo it for a short period, but in the end, the price and functionality are too good to pass on at just $29. They support both PC and Mac.
- Coupon Code: SWWINRAR30 (30% off) via WinRAR’s website (while it lasts)
- WinZip — Coming in second place is one of our other long-time favorites. Still one of the most common names out there, WinZip has been around forever. It doesn’t offer as many options as WinRAR, but it still offers a solid platform for handling zip files, as well as some other formats. The price falls around the same at $29, but it does come in multiple flavors. They offer the standard version at this price with the ability to upgrade to Pro for a little more. It also isn’t a lifetime license, but they do offer 50% upgrading to newer versions for current buyers. You can thank Corel for all of this, ever since they bought WinZip. This one is also available for both PC and Mac.
- 7-Zip — This is another popular option that is both functional and comes at a good price. 7-Zip is actually a free open-source option, which is always a good perk. It also comes with a lot of functionality. Its interface isn’t as clean as we’d like, but it supports a lot of formats and gets the job done usually. There is an official version for Windows and a Linux port as well. However, Mac requires an unofficial third-party port. In the end, we still like WinRAR as it’s quite easy to support a program that does so much, has a great interface, and comes with a lifetime license!
That’s it! A simple list rounded down to the top three we have ever used over the years. Decided based on interface, functionality, shell integration, format support, and of course, price.