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Compression software - any reason to prefer WinRAR/WinZIP to 7-Zip?


Sandy Bridge
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On another forum, someone mentioned that they have WinRAR, and it got me wondering... in 2022, is there any reason to prefer WinRAR/WinZIP over 7-Zip, other than having used it forever?  7-Zip is free, and fast, and compresses things really well, and integrates into the Explorer context menu... what could the other ones offer that's better?

 

So I did some DuckDuckGoing, and learned how to set RAR files to open with 7-Zip automatically (cool!), and looked at a few comparisons.  Surprisingly, the most informative was from WinZIP's website: https://www.winzip.com/en/learn/tips/7zip-vs-winrar/

 

It might be the worst "why you should buy our product" page I've ever seen, because I came away from it thinking, "Wow!  WinRAR and 7-Zip sound pretty great compared to WinZIP!  I should try them instead!"  But the only notable feature that 7-Zip might not have was WinRAR having a feature to automatically select the ideal compression method.  I could see that being useful in fringe cases, although probably not often enough to switch my default.

 

So what does the forum think?  Are there reasons to use one of the paid options, and if so what are they?

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I use WinRAR...

 

2 hours ago, Sandy Bridge said:

...other than having used it forever?

 

Basically this.

 

Actually I also paid for WinZip back in the day, before it was owned by Corel.  Pretty sure I picked it up in the late 90's (after using it unlicensed for a while before that, I'm quite sure it's the first compression tool that I ever used).  They originally had a lifetime license policy — pay once and you get upgrades forever.  When Corel took over, they started making users pay for each upgrade, and I didn't see the value in that so I bailed.

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I can't identify any reason to use WinZip, much less pay for it. 7-zip is better as far as I am concerned, and being free is an added bonus.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I like to use 7-zip for compression/creating archives due to the (optional) higher compression via the 7zip format and general range of options like password protected encryption and "Split to volumes" option (useful for e.g. archiving to 4GB chunks for FAT32 compatibility).

But for opening/previewing and extracting archives I use Bandizip since I prefer it's two panel display with an expanded directory structure which shows you far more content at first glance than 7zip, along with image previews. And even more than that I rely solely on its "Extract Here (Smart)" context menu option for extracting archives since you can use it on multiple archives at once, and it will automatically detect if the contents are already organised within a top level folder that can just be extracted itself, or whether it's an archive of loose files that should instead be extracted to a folder with the same name as the archive.

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  • 2 months later...

I used WinZip but got put off with constant nag screens to purchase or register even on freeware, so was looking for alternative and found 7z. The same thing is available in Linux so haven't looked back ever since. Its been more than a decade. I agree RAR5/6 support was added later in 7zip but for my use case 7z suited my needs. I preferopen source or cross platforms nowadays with one exception being MSO and Libreoffice/Google Docs works to a certain extent, MSO slightly edges them out in terms of performance on huge files be it Excel, Word or Powerpoint.

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  • 2 weeks later...

yeah 7-zip is also my goto, been using it for years. only thing i used prior was WinRAR but like others, the nag screen everytime it was opened got annoying lol

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On 2/20/2022 at 3:39 PM, Sandy Bridge said:

On another forum, someone mentioned that they have WinRAR, and it got me wondering... in 2022, is there any reason to prefer WinRAR/WinZIP over 7-Zip, other than having used it forever?  7-Zip is free, and fast, and compresses things really well, and integrates into the Explorer context menu... what could the other ones offer that's better?

 

So I did some DuckDuckGoing, and learned how to set RAR files to open with 7-Zip automatically (cool!), and looked at a few comparisons.  Surprisingly, the most informative was from WinZIP's website: https://www.winzip.com/en/learn/tips/7zip-vs-winrar/

 

It might be the worst "why you should buy our product" page I've ever seen, because I came away from it thinking, "Wow!  WinRAR and 7-Zip sound pretty great compared to WinZIP!  I should try them instead!"  But the only notable feature that 7-Zip might not have was WinRAR having a feature to automatically select the ideal compression method.  I could see that being useful in fringe cases, although probably not often enough to switch my default.

 

So what does the forum think?  Are there reasons to use one of the paid options, and if so what are they?

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  • 1 month later...

For general purpose stuffs I use the fork 7-zip-zstd. For long term archival I use FreeArc.

 

I think a long time ago I had a pirated copy of WinRAR (I think it came with a pirated version of a game), but I've mainly used 7-zip for as long as I can remember.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

I use both WinRAR and 7ZIp.

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 7/29/2022 at 12:54 PM, -batab- said:

I'm a Peazip fan. Also open source and free. I prefer its UI to the good old 7-zip


I second this. PeaZip turned into my go-to solution back in the XP era and I still use it as my sole option supplanted by the built-in ZIP functionality of Directory Opus.

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  • 3 months later...
On 7/29/2022 at 5:01 AM, solidus1983 said:

I use both WinRAR and 7ZIp.

 

so do I.
have both winrar & 7zip installed on my bedroom pc (7zip got an update in mid July 2022; winrar got recent 6.20 beta 3 on the rarlab.com site)
I use winrar to create/edit rar files while I use 7zip to create/edit 7z & zip files

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