Download 7-Zip: 5 reasons why it surpasses the Windows zipper-upper

Squash your files into even smaller packages

With today's fast broadband speeds, it's easier than ever to send large files, or lots of smaller files, across the Internet. Windows has a built-in compression utility that enables you to zip up files and crunch them down into a single archive. The trouble is, it isn't very good.

7-Zip is a superior alternative. Here are five reasons why you should be 7z-ing your files rather than zipping them up...

1. A dedicated file compression program gives you more control over how you archive your files, the compression ratio, the container format, and whether you apply layers of security. (7-Zip, for example, supports bank-level 256-bit AES encryption).

2. The popular ZIP format isn't as efficient as newer formats. While 7-Zip provides support for ZIP files, you get better results using the software's own 7z format, which uses advanced LZMA and LZMA2 compression algorithms for superior file-squashing. The brains behind 7-Zip suggest that 7z is typically between 30% and 70% more efficient than the old ZIP format.

3. That's not to say that 7-Zip is restricted to the 7z and ZIP formats. It can also archive files into XZ, BZIP2, GZIP, TAR and WIM containers.

4. While its archiving talents are impressive, 7-Zip can inflate considerably more file types than it can deflate, which means that you should be able to open most archive files you receive. Supported formats include: 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.

5. Did you notice the RAR support there? 7-Zip also supports the core file type of one of its biggest rivals - WinRAR. So that's ZIP and RAR covered. No need to download separate software just to extract data from those two file formats.

Ultimately, 7-Zip is quick, efficient, and easy to use. And did we mention that it's free?

Get 7-Zip today for free

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