Bandizip is an excellent free archive creation and extraction application
File compression has become somewhat of a necessity in our day to day computing tasks, at least for those who send and receive large files over the internet.
But not everyone have the financial strength to pay for such premium high quality apps. Naturally, the only option for free users is to find a good alternative for WinZip and WinRAR. Now, there aren’t very many quality apps that come close to these.
7-zip is one which is good, is free and open source, but it has a terrible UI, and doesn’t support a lot of advanced features. I still use it when my other file extraction apps fail while extracting a 7z file, which is quite rare, or should I say RAR.
Fortunately, there is another one which I can recommend as a great free app, Bandizip. You may not have heard of the application before, but that’s alright. It has been around for five years actually and supports a ton of compression formats including 7z, Zip, Rar, IMG and many more. But the first three are likely the ones you will probably use more, as they are the most common ones.
Apart from adding files from the application’s UI, to create archives, you can also do so by dragging and dropping files from Windows Explorer to the right pane of Bandizip’s UI. This also works for multiple files. Once you add the files, the application will prompt you with some options. Select New Archive, and choose the various options including the archive format, compression level, split to volumes, and more.
If you wish to compress files quickly, you can enable High Speed Archiving from the program’s settings.
It is in the extraction department where Bandizip excels, because it supports almost every format including 7z (and 7zip.001), Zip (and zip.001), Rar (part1.rar, r01) and more.
The formats mentioned in the parenthesis, represent parts of one archive. Sometimes, an archive is split into many parts (volumes) to fit on a DVD or other storage device, like a Hard Drive. Usually apps support either one of these part extractions, but not the other ones, but Bandizip can do the job fine. You can preview images and text files which are inside archives, without extracting them.
The UI of Bandizip is also quite superb, with a modern design and a clean interface.
Bandizip supports Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8 and 10, including support for the 32-bit and 64-bit versions of the operating systems. You can also use a portable version of the application should you wish to, and this you can find very handy to carry on a USB Flash Drive. And as a bonus, Bandizip is also available for Mac OS X, and is called BandizipX.
Download Bandizip for free and give it a try.