File compression is a great way to save space on your Windows PC or in your cloud storage or remote hardware. There are several different file compression formats and tools you can use for this, but some are expensive. However, there are good free options and in this guide, we are going to introduce you the best selection of them.
When you think of file compression, you think of WinZip first. This is the most famous compression device but it is not the only one and it has its limitations as well.
Windows of course comes with an internal file compression tool as well, but this is even more limited. It basically does not allow you to compress and decompress files and Zip is the only format it can offer.
But there are many other effective file compression tools on the market and many of these offer a lot more features than either the Window tool itself or WinZip. They can support many file types, file encryption, repair damaged archives, and much more.
In this guide, we will show you our selection of the best tools. And if that wasn’t good enough, all the tools we review in this guide are free to use as well. WinZip is good, but not the best, so why not upgrade to one of those options instead?
What you need from another WinZip option
There is a growing belief that, with the increase in hard drive file sizes, file compression is less important. But in reality, that is the way it is. We are downloading more and more files these days than ever before and even storage solutions that handle terabytes of data can get it quickly.
File compression tools offer a simple and efficient way to keep as much data as you can. But they do a lot more than that too.
Sharing tight files is easier. Email services often have file size limits and compression files allow you to send more.
Compression software offers a wealth of other features as well. Some devices may encrypt files to keep them secure. Others offer a range of different compression formats to choose from as well.
WinZip tends to be the file compression tool most people think of. But monopoly is never a good thing and the fact is that there are many alternatives to WinZip, many of which are even better.
Better yet, some of these tools can be downloaded and used for free. So why not try some of these tools to see your ideas?
The best free WinZip option
In this guide, we will highlight our selection of the top five free file compression tools on the market right now.
- Works with almost all file formats
- It can compress large files
- Totally free
- Speed is not too good
- Interface is complex
7-Zip is our top recommendation for a free file compression tool. It is a complete tool that offers almost all file formats and can compress large files easily.
7-Zip supports Zip files, RAR, and almost all other main compression file formats. It even has its own 7z format that the file development application can compact as much as 16 billion GB. Not only can it work with large files but it can also compress files to a very small size as well.
One thing that is missing is 7-zip speed. If you want to compress files in a hurry, you may want to try an alternative as the process can take a long time. But the results are impressive.
The 7-Zip interface is a bit complicated as well. It creates a lot of context menu entries that may look a lot harder than it is. The good news is that you can customize the interface to avoid some of this.
Nonetheless, 7-Zip is a very impressive device that holds its own against some of its paid competitors. For a free device, it’s especially impressive.
- They can create RAR files
- Strong security options
- Totally free
- Average distance
PeaZip is another free file compression tool that provides a highly impressive service with a simple and straightforward interface that delivers powerful and impressive results.
With PeaZip, you can choose between different types of compression formats with a wide range available. One of the only free file compression tools we know of that is capable of creating RAR files. You need to download a free WinRAR trial to do this but there is definitely no cost involved.
In addition to several file formats, PeaZip also has some impressive security options. It offers 256-bit AES encryption on files. This is the standard used by high-end VPNs and is widely recognized as unbreakable and that means that your files and data will be completely secure and safe. There is also an option to apply two-factor authentication (2FA) to secure files to make them even more secure.
The PeaZip interface is neat and tidy and very easy to use. It’s easy to find your way around and when we were squeezing files, the distances were pretty satisfying for us too.
This is an impressive tool that tightens almost every box and for a free file compression tool, you can’t ask for much more.
- Impressive interface
- Simple to use
- Built-in virus scanner
- There is no file repair feature
If you want a compression file that is very simple to use and also looks very good then Zipware may be the one for you.
This sleek, modern device comes with a range of features and is clearly built with the minds of users. Once downloaded, all you have to do is select New or Open and then select your source or archive file. As well as a handful of options that you can customize to suit your needs, that’s it. Zipware does everything else for you.
One feature of Zipware that we particularly liked was the built-in virus scanner. Known as VirusTotal, this tool allows you to scan any file converted under 32GB in size for any malicious content. This will allow you to make an informed decision about whether you want to open a zip file and whether it is safe or not. If Zipware misses anything, it is a file repair feature and this is definitely something we would like to see added to future versions.
Zipware is completely free to download and use but will occasionally ask you to make a donation to support continuous improvement. This is much worse than the regular pop-up ads you get with some free software and in fact it is a very reasonable application for what is an awesome file compression tool.
4. Free Zip
- Clean and simple interface
- Impressive archive repair tool
- Free to use
- Lack of advanced features
Zip Free from Ashampoo, the team behind several impressive PC utility software. This free tool definitely lives up to their reputation for quality and usability.
Zip Free comes with a clean and simple interface that is simple to use and just feels awkward as it is loaded with several features that make you make suggestions to upgrade to other paid devices.
But once you learn which pieces are working and need to be updated, you will find that everything you need from a file compression tool is present and right. seo.
Zip Free offers archive creation, file extraction, repair, and file compression and makes all of these tasks easy. One feature we particularly enjoyed was the ability to preview archived files before extracting them. When you have multiple file archives, this can be helpful.
There aren’t plenty of bonus features but Zip Free is a tool that does all the basics well and for regular users, this tool will be more than enough.
5. Zip Archiver
- Good design
- User friendly with neat features
- Restricted file creation formats
- Update screens in Russian
Zip Archiver is a free alternative to well-designed WinZip. It combines an attractive look with real functionality and some advanced features including things like sliders for adjusting the level of tension you need.
While Zip Archiver looks very good, there are some limitations to what it can do. While this tool can open a wide range of the most common compression files, it can only create zip or 7z files. This will put some people off.
It is also worth noting that the developer of this app, Russian HamsterSoft. Most users will not notice this because even when they use the installer, it is in English. But if you decide to update this software manually you are likely to be given a few options in Russian. This is usually manageable but be careful not to download bundled software unknowingly as you never know what it might be.
But if you can forget this and find a simple, intuitive, and easy-to-use file compression tool. Zip Archiver is a great alternative.
File compression is a very useful way to save space on your device and be able to share larger files with your contacts. But just because WinZip is the most popular file compression tool, that doesn’t mean you should overlook others.
There are lots of different compression file formats and lots of different tools to create them. In this guide, we have highlighted five of these pieces of software that not only offer a good file compression service but are also free to use.
For each device, we have explained the advantages and disadvantages and provided a detailed summary of what it has to offer. Check out what these tools have to offer and we are sure you will be amazed.
If you have any questions or comments about any of the results we have recommended or about file compression in general, we welcome you to send us a line using the comment box at the bottom of this guide. We always try to answer every comment as quickly as we can.
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