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Bennett Brooks
Bennett Brooks

Why You Should Use 7 Zip for Your File Archiving Needs


7-Zip: A Free and Powerful File Archiver




If you often work with large files or need to save some disk space, you may want to use a file compression tool that can reduce the size of your files and make them easier to store and share. One of the best tools for this purpose is 7-Zip, a free and open-source file archiver that offers a high compression ratio and supports a wide range of formats. In this article, we will introduce you to the features and benefits of 7-Zip, show you how to use it, and compare it with some other popular file compression tools.




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What is 7-Zip and What Does It Do?




7-Zip is a file archiver that can create and extract compressed files in various formats. A file archiver is a software that combines multiple files into one single file, called an archive, and reduces its size by removing redundant data. This way, you can save disk space, bandwidth, and time when storing or transferring files.


7-Zip was first released in 1999 by Igor Pavlov, a Russian programmer who wanted to create a free alternative to commercial file compression software. Since then, it has become one of the most popular file archivers in the world, with over 500 million users. It is also an open-source software, which means that anyone can access its source code, modify it, or contribute to its development.


Features of 7-Zip




One of the main reasons why 7-Zip is so popular is because it offers many features that make it superior to other file compression tools. Here are some of them:


  • High compression ratio: The compression ratio is the measure of how much a file is reduced in size after compression. The higher the ratio, the better the compression. Usually, 7-Zip compresses files in its own 7z format, which uses advanced algorithms like LZMA and LZMA2 to achieve a compression ratio that is 30-70% better than ZIP format. It can also compress files in other common formats like TAR, GZIP, BZIP2, XZ, WIM, etc. Moreover, it can extract files from many more formats like RAR, CAB, ISO, DMG, etc.



  • Strong encryption: Encryption is the process of converting data into an unreadable form that can only be decrypted by authorized parties. Encryption is useful for protecting your files from unauthorized access or tampering. 7-Zip supports AES-256 encryption, which is one of the strongest encryption standards available. You can encrypt your files with a password when creating or extracting archives with 7-Zip.



  • Self-extracting capability: A self-extracting archive is an archive that contains an executable program that can extract its contents without requiring any additional software. This is convenient for distributing or installing files that need to be decompressed before use. 7-Z two folders or archives. The file manager also supports drag and drop, keyboard shortcuts, and multiple tabs.



  • Command line version and plugin for FAR Manager: If you prefer to use the command line interface, you can use the 7z.exe program that comes with 7-Zip. It has the same functionality as the graphical version, but with more options and flexibility. You can also use the 7z.dll plugin for FAR Manager, a file and archive manager for Windows that works in text mode.



  • Localizations for 87 languages: 7-Zip is available in 87 languages, thanks to the efforts of its community of translators. You can change the language of 7-Zip from the Options menu or by downloading the language pack from its website.



How to Use 7-Zip




Now that you know what 7-Zip can do, let's see how to use it. Here are the basic steps to create and extract archives with 7-Zip:


  • How to install and launch 7-Zip: To install 7-Zip, you need to download the installer from its official website: . Choose the version that matches your system architecture (32-bit or 64-bit) and download the .exe file. Then, run the file and follow the instructions to complete the installation. To launch 7-Zip, you can either double-click on its icon on your desktop or start menu, or right-click on any file or folder and select 7-Zip from the menu.



  • How to create an archive with 7-Zip: To create an archive with 7-Zip, you need to select the files or folders that you want to compress and right-click on them. Then, choose 7-Zip > Add to archive from the menu. A window will pop up where you can adjust the compression settings and encryption options. You can choose the archive format (7z, ZIP, TAR, etc.), the compression level (Store, Fastest, Fast, Normal, Maximum, Ultra), the compression method (LZMA, LZMA2, PPMd, BZip2, etc.), the dictionary size, the word size, the solid block size, the number of CPU threads, and the split size. You can also enter a password and select an encryption method (AES-256 or ZipCrypto) if you want to encrypt your archive. Then, click OK to start the compression process. The archive will be created in the same location as the original files or folders.



  • How to extract an archive with 7-Zip: To extract an archive with 7-Zip, you need to right-click on the archive file and choose 7-Zip > Extract files or Extract here from the menu. A window will pop up where you can choose the destination folder for the extracted files. You can also enter a password if the archive is encrypted. Then, click OK to start the extraction process. The files will be extracted in the destination folder or in the same location as the archive file.



Alternatives to 7-Zip




Although 7-Zip is a great file compression tool, it is not the only one available. There are many other alternatives that you can try if you want to compare their features and performance. Here are some of them:


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Name


Description


Pros


Cons


A popular file archiver that supports RAR and ZIP formats.


- High compression ratio for RAR format.- Supports many formats for extraction.- Supports recovery records and volumes.- Supports themes and skins.


- Not free (trial version only).- No native support for 7z format.- No AES-256 encryption for ZIP format.


A classic file archiver that supports ZIP and other formats.


- Easy to use interface.- Supports cloud storage and social media integration.- Supports encryption and watermarking.- Supports image resizing and PDF conversion.


- Not free (trial version only).- Low compression ratio for ZIP format.- No native support for 7z format.- Contains ads and bloatware.


A fast and lightweight file archiver that supports ZIP and other formats.


- Fast compression and extraction speed.- Supports Unicode and multi-volume archives.- Supports password manager and recovery image.- Supports context menu and drag and drop.


- No native support for 7z format.- No AES-256 encryption for ZIP format.- No command line version or plugin for FAR Manager.


A file archiver for Mac that supports 7z and other formats.


- High compression ratio for 7z format.- Supports AES-256 encryption for 7z and ZIP formats.- Supports split and join archives.- Supports dark mode and notifications.


- Not free (pay what you want).- No Windows or Linux version.- No self-extracting capability.- No file manager or command line version.


Conclusion




7-Zip is a free and open-source file archiver that offers a high compression ratio and supports a wide range of formats. It also has many features that make it a powerful and versatile tool for file compression and encryption. You can use 7-Zip to create and extract archives, adjust compression settings and encryption option


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