Whenever you need to share large files to family and friends on different social media platforms or you want to reserve your hard disk space, compressing your files becomes a necessity.
Whether you own a Windows or Mac PC, you need to download and install a Zip file opener that is perfect to your needs.
In this article, you can get to know and compare the best zip software. Five of the best Zip file openers for Windows and Mac.
The best Zip software file openers for windows and MAC
Coming in at number one of the best Zip file openers for Windows and Mac is WinZip.
WinZip is a dynamic, compatible file compression and decompression app that is available for both Mac and Windows OS.
It is also probably the most renowned and popular Zip file opener software around. With WinZip you would be able to seamlessly compress, secure, share, decompress and open large files.
In addition, WinZip utilizes top-notch encryption that secures your files from unauthorized persons.
This Zip opener software also allows you to link up with a large number of cloud storage apps like Dropbox, OneDrive, and Google Drive.
Also, with the "ZipSend" feature, you can zip pretty large files which you can then send to someone via email as an attachment.
If you are using a Mac or Window OS and you want a really good Zip opener software, then WinZip is one of the best out there.
You can download the latest version of Winzip for windows, MAC and mobile from the official website
One other Zip file opener that you should consider getting is WinRAR. This utility software is a perfect tool for compressing multimedia files. The beauty of this tool is that it will automatically choose the best possible method for compressing your files.
WinRAR will not only open RAR files, but will also generate RAR files as well. WinRAR comes with a feature known as the 'solid archive box' which allows you to compress batch files. WinRAR has many other features and supports many functions, such as;
- it can repair damaged archive files,
- WinRAR can categorize archive files in different volumes,
- this Zip opener uses a 256-bit AES encryption security feature, and
- WinRAR also supports long file names.
WinRAR is a very good Zip opener that supports a number of formats, such as; TAR, ZIP, RAR, ACE, 7-ZIP, UUE, ARJ, Z, and CAB. However, you may need to spend time coming to grips with its user-interface as it can be a bit tricky.
You can download winrar latest version for windows, MAC and mobile android and apple iphone from the official site
Another Zip opener that you should try getting for free is the 7-Zip file opener. This open-source Zip file compression and decompression app comes with a compression ratio that is very high.
Similar to WinRAR, 7-Zip comes with the 256-bit AES encryption feature. Other functionalities include;
- a FAR manager plugin,
- an integrated,systematic file manager,
- Windows Shell integration, and
- self-extracting functions specifically designed for 7z.
7-Zip is a Zip opener that is commonly utilized by both commercial and business interests. The file formats supported by 7-Zip include the following; WIM, UEFI, NTFS, ARJ, CAB, MSI, IHEX, XZ, GPT, ISO, FAT, MBR, NTFS, VHD, XAR, LZMA, Z, TAR, GZIP, CHM, DMG, LZH, RAR, SquashFS, VDI, CPIO, EXT, BZIP2, AR, NSIS and so on.
You can download 7-zip latest version from the official website. You will find versions for windows, mac and mobiles.
Hamster Zip Archiver
The Hamster Zip Archiver is yet another Windows OS and Mac compatible Zip compression and decompression software.
This free-to-use app is simplistic, user-friendly and interactive.
Hamster Zip Archiver supports a large number of file formats and comes with a drag-and-drop user-interface that further exemplifies the fact that it is an easy to use app.
Like WinZip, Hamster Zip Archiver is compatible with a number of cloud services, such as; Yandex Disk, Dropbox and Google Drive.
Hamster Zip Archiver supports the following file formats; rar, wim, jar, swm, gzip, img, cab, iso, tbz, deb, Izh, dmg, tar, pkg, z, 7z, zip, gz, bz2, arj, rmp and so on.
You can download windows and mac version of Hamster from its official website hamstersoft.com.
PeaZip is also a free-to-use Zip opener that compresses, archives large files with limitless ease on your Mac and Windows PC. PeaZip is known to support more than 150 file formats and comes with a number of exciting functions and features.
It uses a password manager that is secure and encrypted. In addition to this, PeaZip makes use of two-factor authentication to further keep user files safe from unauthorized individuals.
Archive files can be scheduled and divided into a number of different files while users can also search for duplicate files if they want to.
Some of the file formats that PeaZip supports includes; hxs, pet, taz, xpi, Izh, Java, pup, lit, deb, smzip, gzip, bz, chi, chm, hxr, rpm, hxq, Google Android’s apk, 7z, Izma, oxt, balz, zpaq, vhd, quad, Ipaq1, mslz, xar, tz, pak, fat, pot, gnm, and so on.
You can download peazip for windows and MAC from the official website here.
The five Zip openers of this article are some of the best file compression and decompression softwares available for Windows and Mac OS users.
They offer several functions and support a large number of file formats. With these Zip openers, you can send large files via email as an attachment or to social media accounts.
Zip opening softwares such as PeaZip and 7-Zip are also free-to-use utility tools that you can download and use on your desktop PC today.
Comparing the best zip software 7-Zip, WinRAR, WinZip, Hamster ZIP Archiver and PeaZip
One thing that 7-Zip, WinRAR, WinZip, Hamster ZIP Archiver and PeaZip have in common is that they are all software used in the compression and decompression of large files.
This section aims to compare each ZIP opener looking at their license, supported platforms, supported file formats, compression rate, and file size.
When it comes to license, all five ZIP openers are categorized into two license groups, namely; "Freeware" and "Trialware".
For "Freeware" you have 7-Zip, Hamster ZIP Archiver and PeaZip while the "Trialware" includes; WinRAR and WinZip.
With WinRAR, users can try out the software for absolutely FREE for a duration of 40 days. However, WinZip is a "Trialware" with a free trial version available to users for FREE and for a period of 21 days. WinZip also offer a variety of advanced versions which are available at a cost.
- Freeware: 7-Zip, Hamster ZIP Archiver and PeaZip are all free, open-source softwares.
- Trialware: WinRAR and WinZip.
Whether you are using a Windows or Mac OS desktop device, you would require a software that is capable of compressing large files and save you valuable memory space on your hard disk.
ZIP openers are useful to all platforms as they help to preserve your hard disk space and ensure that your system performs to its optimal capabilities.
Here are the supported platforms for 7-Zip, WinRAR, WinZip, Hamster ZIP Archiver and PeaZip.
- 7-Zip: 7-Zip is supported on Windows OS and this includes; Windows Vista, XP, 2000, 2003, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2016, and NT.
- WinRAR: WinRAR is available on Windows 2010, 2008, 2007, 2003, 2000. "RAR" is a WinRAR version that is exclusive to Android devices including smartphone and tablet mobile devices. Although it is interesting to note that the more recent WinRAR versions are not supported on older Windows OS.
- WinZip: WinZip is supported on both desktop and mobile platforms. You can get WinZip "Trialware" that is supported on Windows 2007, 2008, 2010, and Vista. You also have WinZip for Mac OS 10.8 version or higher. WinZip for Android and iOS mobile devices is also readily available for mobile users.
- Hamster ZIP Archiver: The Hamster ZIP Archiver is supported on Mac OS X as well as Windows 2007, 2008, 2010, Vista and XP.
- PeaZip: You can download the PeaZip file compression and decompression "Freeware" for Mac OS as well as Windows Vista, 2007, 2008, 2010, NT, and XP.
Supported File Formats
Popular file formats like RAR, 7Z, and ZIP are supported by 7-ZIP, WinRAR, WinZip, Hamster ZIP Archiver and PeaZip.
There are also those file formats that are not too popular, but equally supported by these ZIP openers.
Here are some of the file formats that you can expect from 7-Zip, WinRAR, WinZip, Hamster ZIP Archiver and PeaZip.
- 7-Zip: 7-Zip supports both packing GZIP, XZ, 7Z, BZIP2, WIM, ZIP, and TAR file formats. However, 7-Zip supports only the unpacking versions of these file formats: Z, AR, RAR, CramFS, ARJ, IHEX, CHM, LZH, EXT, CAB, UDF, RPM, XAR, VHD, GPT, QCOW2, UEFI, MBR, ISO, CPIO, VMDK, FAT, MSI, DMG, VDI, NSIS, HFS, SquashFS, NTFS, and LZMA.
- WinRAR: WinRAR also supports a large number of file formats, some of which include; OO1, JAR, ISO, RAR, LZ, UUE, ZIP, ARJ, BZ2, Z, GZ, 7Z, TAR, ZIPX, GZip, CAB, XZ, and LZH.
- WinZip: The file formats supported by WinZip consist of BZ2, ZIPX, VHD, ZIP, GZip, VMDX, CAB, XZ, 7Z, XZ, ISO, LZH, TAR, and Z.
- Hamster ZIP Archiver: The Hamster ZIP Archiver freeware supports a vast number of popular file formats such as RAR, ZIP, TAR, WIM, 7Z, and DMG. The other file formats supported by this ZIP opener include the following; CAB, SWM, ARJ, DEB, IMG, JAR, TAZ, RPM, IZH, APM, ISO, XPI, GZIP, ELF, TGZ, FAT, CHM, TXZ, HXS, NTFS, MSI, PKG, XAR, VHD, CHI, MBR, LIB, HFS, TPZ, DLL, ODS, UDF, SYS, PMB and so on.
- PeaZip: With PeaZip you have an open source compression and decompression software that is capable of supporting multiple file formats, such as; RPM, NSIS, OOo, ACE, PAQ/LPAQ, 7-ZIP, CHM, TAR, ISO, CAB, ARJ, Z, LHA/LZH, SPLIT, BZ2, GZ, 7Z, ZIP, PEA, RAR, DEB, QUAD, JARand CPIO.
File Size and Compression Rate
All five ZIP openers actually offer similar output file size and compression rates. The difference lies with the file format used in compressing files.
For example, if you use .zipx file format instead of .zip to compress large files with the WinZip Trialware, the .zipx will offer a much higher rate of compression compared to .zip.
Likewise, if you decide to use 7-Zip and you choose 7Z file format rather than ZIP in compressing files, the 7Z file format will offer you a better rate of compression when compared to the ZIP file format.
How to Decide on which ZIP software Opener to Choose
With so many ZIP openers available in the market today, it raises the question of - how do you decide on which zip software to choose?
Here are some key indicators that can help you in making the right choice.
If you are looking for an open source, freeware ZIP opener that will help you to compress and decompress large files, you can go for any of 7-Zip, Hamster ZIP Archiver or PeaZip.
However, if you have your reservations about freeware, then you can try WinZip or WinRAR which you can buy, but also offer you a trial period to test their capabilities.
Compatibility is another indicator that you should not ignore. You should go for ZIP openers that are supported on whatever platform you are presently using.
If you own a Windows PC for example, then you could go for 7-Zip or WinRAR. Alternatively, if you own a Mac OS device, then there are versions of Hamster ZIP Archiver, PeaZip and WinZip that are compatible.
The English language is not the only language option available on many of the ZIP openers around. However, for non-English speaking users, it is important to get a compression and decompression software that allows you to use it in your preferred language.
7-Zip supports more than 80 languages, while WinRAR supports about 24 languages.
Hamster ZIP Archiver supports as many as 40 languages, PeaZip supports about 30 languages and WinZip supports more than 10 languages.
The five ZIP openers mentioned in this post also offer users an intuitive, user-friendly, and interactive interface making the software easy to use by even the most unskilled computer user.
7-Zip, WinRAR, WinZip, Hamster ZIP Archiver and PeaZip compression and decompression softwares are five ZIP openers that you can consider using today. They will compress large files including multimedia files and help to conserve the valuable hard disk space of your desktop or mobile device.