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PeaZip review

A versatile and well-featured file compression utility

(Image: © PeaZip)

Our Verdict

PeaZip is an excellent compression tool which is seriously feature-packed – and all the more impressive because it’s free.

For

  • Lots of features
  • Strong on the security front
  • Supports a vast number of file formats
  • Impressive compression ratio

Against

  • Performance is slower when creating archives
  • Minor interface glitches

PeaZip is a free piece of compression software which is capable of creating self-extracting archives, and it can be used as a portable program without any need for installation. This open-source app was developed by Giorgio Tani and had its initial release in 2006.

PeaZip supports its native PEA archive format and a host of other mainstream formats. This software is popular for offering several features similar to paid compression tools like passwords, command-line usage, and context menu integration, without charging a dollar.

PeaZip’s primary function is to compress, manage, and encrypt files using standard encryption technology and a high compression ratio, allowing users to save more space on their drive. It also offers an innovative focus on security, and is available for Windows and Linux systems.

peazip

(Image credit: peazip)

Security options

PeaZip majors in security with an entire toolkit devised for keeping crucial data safe. The proprietary PEA format has been specially designed for user protection and includes encryption and optional identity check elements.

The PeaZip program can create password-protected archives having 256-bit AES encryption for a host of output formats, including PEA, ARC, ZIP, and 7Z. For creating a new archive, it’s possible to use a keyfile and a password to create two-step verification – which is, of course, a significant step forward in terms of security.

PeaZip even has its own built-in password manager that encrypts user credentials until a master password is entered. It also includes a secure file shredder to permanently erase any data that’s no longer needed.

peazip

(Image credit: peazip)

Features

PeaZip’s interface is user-friendly and well-designed, with its functions easily accessible via a simple right-click. The software’s default settings will be adequate for the majority of users.

Besides invoking the right-click menu, users can also drag files over to PeaZip’s desktop icon to archive them, and it’s also possible to drag an archive over the icon to unpack it.

Options can be easily selected to carry out almost any task one would want to perform with an archiving utility, including optimizing compression formulas and adding encryption.

PeaZip’s key functions include extracting, creating, and converting multiple archives at one go, splitting files, and creating self-extracting archives (SFX). This tool is also capable of finding duplicate files, calculating hashes, and more.

PeaZip supports a number of file compression formats, including ARC, TAR, PAQ/ZPAQ, WIM, XZ, ZIP, 7Z and more (as well as PEA). When it comes to opening archives, this app supports over 180 formats.

PeaZip can extract files quite quickly, and generally speaking is faster than many rivals. However, creating an archive is a slower process, and this is where PeaZip falls behind the competition.

PeaZip’s scheduling function makes it easy to schedule file archives through the Windows Task Scheduler. Users can easily back up files to another attached drive and have the app compress on the fly to save disk space. It’s also possible to send archives via email from directly inside the app, by automatically adding a compressed file to a message as an attachment.

PeaZip can convert an existing archive to another format effectively. It also facilitates multi-volume split – in other words, splitting an archive into multiple parts if you want smaller sized files. One can also find a file organizer with a built-in image editor and a tool for optimizing image compression in the PeaZip program.

Support

The app provides an online tutorial, and there’s a downloadable offline help file (PDF) for helpful information on using PeaZip. These files are a part of the standard PeaZip package, and there are multiple in-depth mini-tutorials featured on the official website to help users with any issues they may be facing. The PeaZip website also maintains an extensive FAQ.

Final verdict

PeaZip is a useful free compression utility that includes a host of advanced features and supports a comprehensive range of file formats. This is a highly versatile tool, with the only real drawback being its slow speed when creating archives.