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WinRAR is without a question the very best of extraction apps available for Windows.
Why should I buy WinRAR? The question should be why not? Here’s why you should get the application.
You don’t need to be an IT Professional to use the application, it is very very easy to use the program. An the interface is designed for this very purpose. The application’s toolbar has a set of buttons, each of which has a nice icon and its name below it. So you know which function is where, simply by looking at it.
These will serve you for your most basic file compression and archive extraction needs including:
- Adding files (creating) an archive
- Extracting the contents
- Testing the archive (broken or corrupted)
- Viewing a file (using the built-tools)
- Deleting files
- Finding files
- Start the WinRAR wizard
- View information about a file (properties)
- Repair a damaged archive
The WinRAR wizard is very helpful for new users, as it helps in creating an archive or extracting one easily.
If you wish to change the look of WinRAR, you do have some customization options available. There are several official themes available at RARLabs’ website. And you can download them for free, and use them with WinRAR.
The more advanced features are available from the menus, above the toolbar.
Drag and Drop:
You can drag and drop files to the WinRAR shell to create an archive or simply to add files to an existing archive.
Each file type, such as text, audio, graphics has its own special algorithms, for optimized compression of the files. So, there is no question about any data loss or loss in the quality of the images.
You can right click on files in Windows Explorer to add them to a new archive, or on archives to extract them directly to the folder you are viewing, or to a custom folder location. Doing so will of course open WinRAR’s GUI, from where you can proceed in case of creating an archive. Extracting to a folder directly is instantaneous.
This is very useful when you download a ZIP/RAR from your email and quickly want to open it.
You can password protect an archive to prevent other people from accessing it. So even if you put the archive on a USB Memory Stick and lose it, they won’t be able to access it without the password.
Supported formats in WinRAR:
WinRAR supports almost every compression format available including the following:
While WinRAR can open any of the above formats, you can only create new archives in three formats: ZIP, RAR and RAR 5.
The most common formats you are likely to use are ZIP and RAR. There is a slight advantage to using either format. For starters, ZIP is the most popular format, and is supported by every operating system. It can be opened with most compression tools, and users with Windows 7 and above can extract files without the need for a third party app.
Another bonus of using ZIP is that the file compression format is that it is very fast to create, and hence also speedier than a RAR format.
But RAR has its own advantages. This file compression format is more efficient in that it can compress the data to a much smaller size than ZIP can, at the cost of a slower rate of compression.
RAR 5, on the other hand has better encryption support using the AES-256 algorithm, and offers better recovery of files. But it also means that third party tools, and older versions of WinRAR will not be able to open the archive, as it is very new.
Regardless of which format you choose, you do have the option to choose the method of the compression of the archive. This ranges from Store, Fastest, Fast, Normal, Good and Best, with Store being the quickest compression format and which creates an archive with the highest file size, and Best being the slowest of the compression methods while reducing the archive size to the lowest possible amount.
A smaller archive size is very useful if you wish to upload the file to a cloud storage service. A highly compressed RAR file saves both the upload time and also the data bandwidth, which as you know is limited and expensive.
Speaking of saving space, you can split a large file into (Multivolume) separate volumes (with .001, 002, 003, etc) which you can store in multiple memory sticks. To extract them you will need to place them all in the same folder and run the .001 file.
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