Archiving data is very important as it's the best solution for many purposes, such as for making files fit the size limit for your email attachments. Even though many tools like WinZip, WinRar or PowerArchiver ask you to spend money for the ability to create archives or decompress files, there are several applications that offer you the same functionality free of any charge.
Being one of the most popular formats on the market, ZIP is an archive format capable of lossless compression. One ZIP archive can contain a single file or multiple compressed files and folders. Here you will find the best ten tools that will help you deal with ZIP archives without requiring to pay any of your hard earned money.
HaoZip is an application that can help you with several tasks including ZIP archives management. This free tool has a clean interface and it's pretty efficient so you've got nothing to lose by trying it out. From what I know, the application doesn't come with any malicious software, but it will automatically install an image viewer without asking for your permission first (at least not in English). Features:
- Supported formats: the application is capable of working with 50 compression formats including 7Z, RAR, ZIP, TAR, TGZ, JAR, ARJ, ACE, etc and ISO disk images.
- Standout features: when it comes to functionality, this tool is all over the map. It installs its own image viewer, it verifies the MD5 checksums and it helps you mount ISO images to virtual drives.
- Biggest advantage: the thing that I liked the most is that HaoZip lets you protects your archives with passwords without enforcing a minimum number of characters.
QuickZip is a lightweight archive manager that you will surely like. Even though this tool doesn't offer any additional functions, it does its job well and for free. Features:
- Supported formats: this tool can create ZIP, RAR and 7Zip archives and can decompress ZIP, 7Z, PKZ, JAR, ARJ, ACE, LHA, GZA, BZ2, BZA, CAB, LHZ, RAR, RPM, TAR, RZ, TGZ, TAZ, GZ, Z, ZOO, PAK, HOG, WAD, SQX, CZIP and QZE files.
- Standout features: the application has shell integration capabilities so you can access it from the right click menu and it is also able to test the integrity of your archives.
- Biggest advantage: the best thing about QuickZip is that it's really use to operate even for people who never used this kind of tools before, thanks to its Windows Explorer-like GUI.
In my opinion, WinShrink is a very underrated tool. This application won't only help you compress and decompress files but it can also convert between various archive formats, encrypt your files or upload your compressed files to FTP servers. Some websites display the setup file as infected, but none of them can tell us exactly with what and my computer seems to be OK after installing the software. Features:
- Supported formats: the tool works with some of the most popular formats: ZIP, RAR, 7z, ARJ, ACE, ARC, CAB, BH, ZOO, LHA, TAR, JAR, gZIP, LZH, etc.
- Standout features: this app can easily convert any of the supported archive formats to BH, CAB, LZH, ZIP, TAR, TGZ or ZIP.
- Biggest advantage: what I like the most about QuickZip is that it can help keep your files private by using either RC2, RC4, DES or Triple DES encryption algorithms.
TUGZip is a pretty powerful tool that can deal with traditional archives as well with a few disk image formats. This program offers some extra functions like the ability to fix certain archives or the capability to encrypt your archives. Features:
- Supported formats: the application can create BH, 7-ZIP, CAB, JAR, LHA, BZ2, ZIP, YZ1, TAR, TGZ, SQX, LZH files and can open IP, A, ACE, 7-ZIP, ARJ, ARC, BH,CAB, BZ2, CPIO, DEB, GZ, GCA, IMP, LHA, JAR, LZH, RAR, LIB, TAR, RPM, SQX, TBZ, TGZ, YZ1, TAZ and ZOO archives as well as C2D, ISO, IMG, BIN and NRG disk images.
- Standout features: the highlights of this application are its ability to create self-extracting archives, the possibility to fix corrupted or broken ZIP and SQX files and, of course, its encryption capabilities.
- Biggest advantage: my favorite thing about TUGZip is the fact that it can open several of the most popular disk image formats.
ZipGenius is a handy tool that will help you deal with your ZIP archives. One of the first things that you will notice about this free tool is that it allows you to choose between two GUIs, one for advanced users and another one for beginners. Features:
- Supported file types: this tool is capable of working with over 20 archive formats; JAR, EAR, WAR, RAR, 7z, R**, EXE, TGZ, CAB, TAZ, TAR, ACE, ARJ, SQX, LZH, LHA, CBR, etc and even with a few disk images such as ISO, NRG or CMI.
- Standout features: ZipGenius is capable of keeping your archived files secure by encrypting them
- Biggest advantage: what I really liked about this tool is that it can help you send the archives that you create via e-mail directly from its interface. Even though you have to get through quite a few settings, once you get the function operational, it can really save you a lot of time.
BandiZip is a capable archive manager that has batch extracting capabilities, This tool can work with multi-volume files, supports international characters and lets you check the health of your archives before decompressing them. Features:
- Supported formats: the program can create ZIP, ZIPX, EXE, TAR, TGZ, LZH, ISO or 7Z archives and it is able to extract from ACE, AES, ALZ, APK, ARJ, BH, BIN, BZ, BZ2, CAB, EGG, GZ, J2J, JAR, IMG, IPA, ISZ, LHA, LZMA, PMA, TBZ, TBZ2, TGZ, TLZ, TXZ, UDF, WAR, WIM, XPI, XZ, RAR, ZIP, ZIPX, EXE, TAR, TGZ, LZH ISO, 7Z or Z files.
- Standout features: this application will help you create multi-volume archives, is capable of bypassing files don't compress well, thus saving you some time can create self-extracting EXE files.
- Biggest advantage: what's really great about BandiZip is that it can encrypt your files with strong AES 256 or ZipCrypto algorithms.
FreeArc is undoubtedly one of the more reliable and effective free archive mangers that you can find. This multi-platform tool (works on Windows as well as on Linux) supports a wide variety of file types, but has a big drawback in the fact that it can't create multi-volume archives. Features:
- Supported formats: FreeArc is capable of working with many popular as well as lesser known formats such as ZIP, RAR, 7-ZiP, ARJ, GZ, BZ2 , CAB, LZH, etc.
- Standout features: from my perspective, this application has quite a few functions that are really cool. The program is capable of acting as a plug-in for Total Commander, it offers several powerful encryption algorithms to protect the archives that you create, provides a file recovery function and allows its users to merge or recompress their archives.
- Biggest advantage: even though the tool provides several fancy features, in my opinion, the best thing about it is its incredibly fast compression and decompression speed.
PeaZip is another computer program that is much more than just a simple ZIP extraction and compression tool. This application can be successfully used as a stand-alone file manager or image editor. Features:
- Supported formats: the tool can create 7Z, ARC, BZ2, GZ, PAQ, PEA, QUAD/BALZ, TAR, UPX, WIM, XZ, or ZIP files and decompress over 150 archive formats including RAR, ACE, CAB, DMG, ISO, ARJ, ZIPX, etc.
- Standout features: PeaZIP can encrypt your archives, offers a portable version of the application and provides several additional functions that you don't normally see in an archive manager.
- Biggest advantage: in my opinion, the best thing about this program is that it can easily convert between various archive formats.
2. B1 Free Archiver
B1 Free Archiver is one of the more popular archive managers on the market. This tool is available for Windows, Linux, Mac as well as for Android, so you will no longer need multiple programs in order to compress and decompress your files. Although this application is very efficient it has a major flaw: it it is only capable of creating archives in two formats. Features:
- Supported formats: this tool can create ZIP or B1 archives and it is able to extract B!, JAR, ZIP, RAR, 7Z, XPJ, ARJ, CAB, BZ2, GZIP, DEB, TGZ, LHA, LZH, ISO, RPM, TAR, X, DMG, Z, and other file types.
- Standout features: the application offers powerful encryption algorithms, a fast processing speed and the ability to create multi-volume archives.
- Biggest advantage: what I liked the most about B1 Free Archiver is that it introduces a new open source archive format with a very high compression ratio.
7-Zip is definitely my favorite program on this list. This open source tool has been on the market for quite a few years and it has proven itself to be better than most of the applications that you have to pay for. 7-zip is a cross-platform application that you will surely enjoy. Features:
- Supported formats: the application can create 7z, XZ, BZIP2, GZIP, TAR, ZIP or WIM archives and can extract data from ARJ, CAB, CHM, CPIO, CramFS, DEB, DMG, FAT, HFS, ISO, LZH, LZMA, MBR, MSI, NSIS, NTFS, RAR, RPM, SquashFS, UDF, VHD, WIM, XAR, Z, 7z, XZ, BZIP2, GZIP, TAR, ZIP or WIM files.
- Standout features: like most of the other programs on this list, this tool offers powerful file encryption algorithms, gives its users the ability to create multi-volume archives and is capable of creating self-extracting archives.
- Biggest advantage: without question, the most important thing about this application is the introduction of the 7Z file type. One of the more popular archive formats, 7Z was the first high-compression open-source archive to compete against the RAR and ZIP proprietary formats.