Best Archive Tool –

This page gives a good overview of the features one can expect in a modern archiving program. In evaluating the most popular archivers available to PC users they choose WinRAR as the best.

I’ve used most of the programs mentioned on that page. In my opinion, WinRAR is the best overall archiving program available to PC users. In terms of features, and ease of use, WinRAR trumps all. My only problem with WinRAR is the fact that it is a commercial program. I try to use Open Source software, free software, and freeware whenever I can. That is not just because I am very philosophical about computer programs, which I am, but also because I’m poor. WinRAR is definitely one of the few Windows programs worth paying for, certainly worth more than the measly $30.00 they’re asking for it.

I don’t want to take anything away from the excellence of this program by using it illegally. For that reason, I chose to investigate the free alternatives to WinRAR. I think the best alternative has got to be 7-Zip. 7-Zip can extract RARs, and sometimes 7-zip compresses better than WinRAR.

I think WinRAR has a much better GUI, because it elegantly exposes all of its powerful functions in a way that average Windows users can deal with. 7-Zip can’t match WinRAR’s ease of use, and the 7-Zip file manager is painful to use. The 7-Zip file manager fails to convey some critical features of the program, leaving it for command line gurus to master. The one feature I can think of WinRAR doesn’t have, 7-Zip does have a dual pane view.

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