Ashampoo ZIP Pro 2 Review
New Ashampoo ZIP Pro 2 Review. A lot of people tend to use the built in zip extractor in Windows File Manager for extracting content from an archive, but how often have you used it to compress a set of files into an archive.
Most people do not even know that an archiver exists in Windows. You would think Microsoft would know better than to educate people about their operating system, right? So, people just download an archiver to do the job for them. This brings me to the next question. Which software do you use for zipping large files?
Let me venture a guess, a free one. We are not judging you, but we would like to tell you that free archive software are extremely limited in features, and also tend to have terrible interfaces. The reason for this, is because they don’t have the resources to provide the best features.
An application with a polished interface, and ton of features packed in on the other hand, requires a lot of manual effort and resources. Ashampoo Zip Pro 2 is one such product, and has a lot more to offer than your regular archiver.
Let’s tell you more about it. During the installation process, you can choose to associate Ashampoo ZIP Pro 2 with recommended archive formats which it supports. And you can also install a Microsoft Office Add-In, which will allow you to use the program from Word, Excel, etc.
Ashampoo ZIP Pro 2 has the best GUI we have ever seen in an archive software. It is really good looking, with its dark theme, and the large tiles with the labels on them make it really easy to use the application.
There are 3 sections in the interface of Ashampoo ZIP Pro 2, Archive, Applications and Tools. Each of these sections have their own set of tools. You can see them all in one screen in the full window mode, or select the minimized mode which has a neat horizontal toolbar for accessing the options.
This section has 2 options: New Archive and Open Archive. New Archive is what you need to use to create a new compressed archive. You can choose to create an archive in one of the following formats: ZIP, 7-ZIP, CAB, TAR (TAR, TAR.GZ, TAR.BZ2, TAR.XZ) and LHA.
You can use Ashampoo ZIP Pro 2 to extract files from over 30 archive formats including RAR, ZIPX, ARJ, ARC, ACE, MSI, NSIS, CHM, DMG, ISO, UDF and more. You can also create multiple archives simultaneously using the Batch Archive tool, or use the Multi Extract tool for extracting files from multiple archives at the same time.
Select the new archive option, and give the archive a name. This will take you to the select files/folders screen. Here you can add and remove any files and folders to the new archive using the built-in file explorer in the program. There is a toolbar just above the file manager. The go up folder option, lets you jump to the immediate parent folder. The Add folder option will create a new folder in the directory which you are browsing.
The My Computer option takes you the main drive view in the File Manager, while the Documents option switches to the “My Documents” library. The View option allows you to change the folder view from Thumbnail, Icons, Small Icons, List and Details.
To the right edge, there are some useful options. You can use these to select the compression method to be used for the archive. You can select one of the available methods depending on the kind of archive you opted for. For example, Zip can be either Zip or ZipX (Optimized, Delfate, LZMA, BZ2, PPMd, Wavpack, or XZ).
Next, you can select the compression level, on a scale of Ultra, Maximum, Normal, Fast to Super Fast. The Ultra option will use more memory while every other option lower than it uses a little less memory, with the Super Fast being the lightest mode. But, the higher the compression level is, the smaller the file size will be. The program lets you choose the folder info, to include the folder structure of the original directory. You can either retain the relative paths, full paths or not use any paths at all.
Ashampoo ZIP Pro 2 supports 256-bit AES Encryption for securing your archive with a password, which cannot be bypassed without the decryption key. You can use it for encrypted ZIP archives such as PKAES, WZAES, etc. You can enable the multi-core compression option if you have a powerful computer, and this will help in speeding up the archive creation process. Lastly, you can set the spanning option, to select how the archive should be created to fit on various storage media, from floppy disks, to CDs and DVDs.
Click on the Add button on the bottom right corner, to add the selected files to your archive. This will take you to a new screen in Ashampoo ZIP Pro 2. It has a toolbar with a ribbon, there are 5 sections here: Home, Options, Explorer, Tools and Preview.
The Home tab can be used for going to the main screen, or to create a new archive, open an existing one, or closing the one you are viewing. You can add, delete, rename, copy or paste files to and from the archive. Selecting the extract option will allow you to uncompress the archive and save its contents to any folder of your choice.
Ashampoo ZIP Pro 2 can be used to send the archives you create to your contact via email, directly from within the interface. You can also upload the files to any of the following cloud storage services: Microsoft Azure, Amazon S3, Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, and Box. You can also upload the files to your FTP server, or burn it to a CD or DVD or Blu-Ray using the built-in options in the program.
The Options tab allows you to change the view and sorting options used by the explorer in Ashampoo ZIP Pro 2. You can also configure the application’s columns, enable touch mode, modify the icon size, change the language or the skin of the application, along with other settings in the program. There are 5 themes available in the program. You can use the program to create backups using VSS (Volume Shadow Copy).
The Explorer tab allows you to enable the second pane, which can be used for navigating the folders, and for basic functions like cut, copy, paste, delete, and for creating new folders. The Tools tab can be used to encrypt or decrypt files, or to add or remove a virtual drive which can be used to mount your ISO disc images as virtual Drives, even if your computer does not have an optical drive. If your PC does have a disc drive, and you wish to take backup copies of discs, you can use the virtual drive to save a DVD as an ISO image.
The Office/PDF Security option allows you to encrypt, decrypt, sign and verify files in standard as well as PDF, Microsoft Office and Open Office formats, and also lets you manage your OpenPFP keys. The ZIP Scripts option can be used for creating and managing Ashampoo ZIP Scripts, with the help of a user friendly wizard.
The Cloud Browser in the program can be used to browse your cloud storage folders, which you have logged in to, and lets you upload or download files to and from the servers, which you can use for creating new archives. The Office add-ins which the program installs, allows you to compress files into archives, and also for encrypting or decrypting archives without even having to open an external program. And you can also send them to your contact, which makes it really invaluable if you work with Word, Excel and Outlook.
The tools option has 4 utilities, which can be used for repairing broken ZIP files, converting archives from one format to another, to Span a ZIP (split) in to multiple parts, or for creating SFX self extracting archives.
The Preview tab is very useful for checking the contents of a file, before you create archives. Use the preview window to see a thumbnail of any image you select. Similarly you can also preview text documents, media, binary, hex, unicode and RTF formats.
An alternate way to use Ashampoo ZIP Pro 2 is by using Windows File Explorer’s right-click context menu to quickly create archives, add files to your archives, or to extract content from archives. Ashampoo ZIP Pro 2 supports 4K displays, and is compatible with 32bit and 64bit versions of Windows 7, 8 and 10, and Windows Server editions.
And as a bonus, owners of the full version of Ashampoo ZIP Pro 2 will get the portable version of the application for free. The portable version can be carried on a USB Flash Drive, and used directly from it on any computer, without even having to install the application.
Ashampoo ZIP Pro 2 is an incredible file compression utility, which is user friendly, feature rich, and can perform the functions of many programs in a single package.