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Free Software - Packers and compression utilities
Written by Thomas   
Wednesday, 26 May 2010 16:11


Are you still compressing and archiving your data as zip files?
In that case you might want to have a look at 7-Zip.


Not only does 7-Zip compress better. The free open-source product comes with a complete file manager, command line utility, and documentation.


The software understands a variety of compression methods, including the zip file format.

7-Zip supports many features, including (taken from Wikipedia):

  • Support for the 256-bit AES cipher. Encryption can be enabled for both files and the 7z directory structure. When the directory structure is encrypted, users are required to supply a password to see the filenames contained within the archive, unless only the data was encrypted but not the filenames. WinZip-developed AES encryption standard is also available in 7-Zip to encrypt ZIP archives with AES 256-bit, but it doesn't offer filename encryption as in 7z archives.
  • Volumes of dynamically variable sizes, allowing use for backups on removable media such as writable CDs and DVDs.
  • Usability as a basic orthodox file manager when used in 2-panel mode.
  • Multiple CPU / core / threading settings can be configured.
  • The ability to attempt to open EXE files as archives, allowing the decompression of data from inside many "SetUp" or "Installer" or "Extract" type programs without having to launch them.
  • The ability to unpack archives with corrupted filenames, renaming the files as required.
  • The ability to create self-extracting archives although cannot do so for multi-volume archives.

The software fully unveils its skills when data is compressed with the 7z archiving format. 7z is 7-Zip's native file type.

These are the main features of the 7z format (taken from the 7z Wikipedia article):

  • Open, modular architecture which allows any compression, conversion, or encryption method to be stacked.
  • High compression ratios (depending on the compression method used)
  • Strong Rijndael/AES-256 encryption.
  • Large file support (up to approximately 16 exabytes).
  • Unicode file names
  • Support for solid compression, where multiple files of like type are compressed within a single stream, in order to exploit the combined redundancy inherent in similar files.
  • Compression and encryption of archive headers.

The format's open architecture allows additional future compression methods to be added to the standard.

Since 7-Zip contains a file manager too, this makes it a good repla7ziplogocement for other zipping and archiving software.

7-Zip's homepage (includes a download link)
7-Zip on Wikipedia


Last Updated on Saturday, 13 November 2010 22:35
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Discuss this item on the forums. (5 posts)
Discuss (5 posts)
Re: 7-Zip
Oct 19 2015 07:05:26
Check this one......7-Zip 9.20

Re: 7-Zip
Oct 29 2010 19:47:46
I like 7-zip. Its a very good program.
Oct 27 2010 02:45:03
I've been using 7-zip for many years, quite often I use it as more or less a replacement for windows explorer, because I like having the two panes in the same window.
Recently, though I made a skin for a SMF forum and zipped it with z-zip. However, when SMF installed the skin, it unzipped with with the .php and .css empty, ie; 0kb. I had to use the windows utility, that worked fine.
Re: 7-Zip
Oct 02 2010 15:59:20
I love this software because you don't need anything else only bad thing is that you cannot use the mouse everywhere.
Sep 12 2010 04:36:20
For developers.
I've tested few compressing methods in my test C code, doing memory to memory compression/decompression.
In results I've got :
LZO - easiest in use; weak compress ratio; slow speed.
ZLIB 123 - a bit requires a time to find out how to begin with a compression;
LZMA 912 - unusable for mem-to-mem compression/decompression; unless I would rewrite the lib, what I wouldn't dare to do (at least now); unreadable source code, can't find out how that lib could be used at all.

For users.
There is not much what new to say ... strongest today compression; is not slow.