Winzip and Winrar are the two most popular and widely recognized archive software used for compressing and decompressing files. Winzip is the older of the two and is still around but is overtaken by Winrar. Winrar is relatively new compression software and is better in both compression and performance than winzip. The one thing which these two softwares disappoint is that they are Shareware. They are not available for free and their users have to purchase a license for its full and unlimited usage. Besides these two, there are some free archive softwares available that delivers almost equal performance compared to these two.
Best WinRar and WinZip Alternatives for Free
Here are some top free alternatives to popular archiving softwares i.e. Winzip and Winrar.
7-Zip is an open source file achiever that has very high compression ratio. It is now become very popular because of its ability to compress huge files to very small sizes. It has its own format 7z that provides high compression ratio, has open architecture, supports strong AES-256 encryption, ability to use any compression, conversion or encryption method, supports file sizes up to 16000000000 GB, supports Unicode file names, supports solid compressing and archive headers compressing. 7z format uses LZMA and LZMA2 methods for compression. 7-Zip supports the following file formats
For Compressing / Decompressing / Packing/ Un-Packing – 7z, XZ, BZIP2, GZIP, TAR, ZIP and WIM
For Decompressing / Un-packing only – ARJ, CAB, CHM, CPIO, CramFS, DEB, DMG, FAT, HFS, ISO, LZH, LZMA, MBR, MSI, NSIS, NTFS, RAR, RPM, SquashFS, UDF, VHD, WIM, XAR and Z.
You can download 7-Zip from here.
IZArc is also a free archive utility that supports many archive formats. Format supported by this program includes 7-ZIP, A, ACE, ARC, ARJ, B64, BH, BIN, BZ2, BZA, C2D, CAB, CDI, CPIO, DEB, ENC, GCA, GZ, GZA, HA, IMG, ISO, JAR, LHA, LIB, LZH, MDF, MBF, MIM, NRG, PAK, PDI, PK3, RAR, RPM, TAR, TAZ, TBZ, TGZ, TZ, UUE, WAR, XXE, YZ1, Z, ZIP, ZOO. It has modern easy-to-use interface and provides support for most compressed and encoded files, as well as access to many powerful features and tools. It allows you to drag and drop files from and to Windows Explorer, create and extract archives directly in Windows Explorer, create multiple archives spanning disks, creating self-extracting archives, repair damaged zip archives, converting from one archive type to another, view and write comments and many more. IZArc has now Multilanguage support.
IZArc can also be configured to run your preferred Anti-Virus scanner when you open any archives on your computer. It also supports 256-bit AES encryption to secure your precious data. Download IZArc from here.
PeaZip is an open source file archiving utility that supports most of the archive formats from Windows as well from Unix. PeaZip supports formats like 7Z, RAR, TAR and ZIP and more. For creation of an archive, PeaZip suppors a wide range of compression and encryption methods available today. PeaZip also has secure deletion feature that can verify file checksum and hash, and supports multiple strong encryption standards, optionally using two factor authentication (password and keyfile) for increased security. PeaZip also supports 7Z’s AES256 encryption, ZIP WinZip’s AE encryption based on AES256 (and ZipCrypto for legacy compatibility); can decrypt PKZip’s AES encryption, FreeARC’s ARC: AES256, Blowfish, Twofish256 and Serpent256 – this format is also capable to generate recovery records to protect data against corruption, PEA: AES256 EAX authenticated encryption. You can download PeaZip from here.
As the name suggest this program can only Extract / Unpack / Decompress or Extract files from any type of archive or installer, such as ZIP or RAR files, self-extracting EXE files, application installers, etc. It supports wide range of formats for extraction of files. This software cannot creates any archives but can be used only for Un-packing. You can download this free software from here.
ZipGenius is also a very good utility for creating and extracting archives. It is a Freeware and supports more than 20 formats. It can create compressed archives, extract files from those, create encrypted archives, organize your pictures in albums, and browse FTP servers (through the add-on tool FTPGenius). Formats supported by ZipGenius are ZIP, CZIP, EXE (ZIP self-executable archive), JAR, EAR, WAR (Java archives), BSZ, MSKIN, WAL, WMZ (Skin archives), XPI (Firefox extension), OD*, SX*, ST* (OpenOffice documents), DSFZ, CBZ, PCV, 7Z, LZH, LHA, SQX, YZ1. You can download ZipGenius from here.