Saturday, 2 April 2011

Cooler ways to handle your .zip files (for free!)

Zip files are super useful. We usually use zip files as a container to put many files in one place, and being compression tool, we can even reduce the size of the total files.

It's good to know that nowadays zip files are readily supported by Windows and Linux. And we no longer need shareware like WinZip or WinRAR to unzip a .zip file. Shareware is a type of software that lets us try them for limited trial period. Once the trial period is over, some features of the shareware will be disabled and we are asked to pay for the shareware's price before all the disabled features are enabled again. WinZip allows us to use it for free for 45 days before it starts telling us to buy it.

I'm sure WinZip and WinRAR are fine if you chose to use them. Me, I like to tread the freeware path. Zip file programmes have matured over the years, including the freeware ones. Some of them are not only super useful but also super cool-looking.

First up is PeaZip.

PeaZip may not be able to make your zip files smell fresh, but it will undoubtedly make them look fresh. Everything from its icon to its user interface is designed to us want to use it and recommend it to all our family, friends and even that guy we work with but whose name we don't know. PeaZip can tackle normal .zip files as well as other less familiar formats such as ACE, BZ2 and ARJ (just heard of this one, actually). On its own, PeaZip is a worthy alternative to Winzip.

Can hamsters handle zip files? It can, if its name is HamsterZip.

Looks may not be everything, but HamsterZip's sleek look is difficult to overlook. HamsterZip focuses on simplicity of use. Creating zip files with HamsterZip is as simple as drag-and-drop.  HamsterZip may lack some of the fancy features of PeaZip, but as a basic (and cool-looking) zip programme, it's everything an average zip file user needs. If you have space for only one zip programme, HamsterZip deserves your consideration.

Don't care much for looks? Then go with 7-Zip, my good friend.

7-Zip might lose points for coolness factor, but serious zip users tip their hats to fella. I use this myself more than the other two because of one important feature: the ability to check zip files for errors called Test Archive. PeaZip has this feature as well since it is based on 7-Zip, but error checking is easier with 7-Zip. When I'm downloading or I received zip files from someone, I would run 7-Zip error checking to see if the file has any problems. Errors mean the zip file might not have downloaded or copied properly. This feature also saved me a lot of time and trouble because there are programmes that can open zip files without unzipping them.

Average zip file users can go with any of the three (or all three, if you like). For power users, 7-Zip is highly recommended.

Do you know any other and perhap better zip file freeware? Share with us via comments.


Afida Anuar said...

Salam r.o.l,

nice info rol. Nama je saya ni budak IT, tapi yang selalu saya guna winar, winzip... yang free ni saya tak pernah guna lagi. Boleh la cuba lepas ni, thanks rol..

r.o.l. said...

Alaikum salam WBT, Afida.

Alhamdulillah, syukur dapat berkongsi :-)

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