7-Zip review

7-Zip review

A free compression tool with some nifty features

7-Zip is a programme that helps users to remove compressed files as well as generate compressed files in a variety of formats. This open-source tool was first published in 1999 and has remained a common alternative ever since, no doubt aided by the fact that it is free.

User experience

There are two ways to use the 7-Zip tool. To function with compressed data, the first way is to open the main programme window and use the file manager. The second approach is to use the context menu, which is accessed by right-clicking on files and displaying a key selection of options.

For new users, the interface of 7-Zip’s file manager may be frustrating, and there are few instructions given. It is, however, logically mapped out, with the app’s key toolbar housing the most-used features (although there is a maze of menus when you dig deeper). It would be helpful if there was more guidance for modifying 7-Zip’s different configurable configurations – but it is true that the default settings are probably adequate for most people’s needs, and the main choices are fairly self-explanatory.

The context menu in 7-Zip is unquestionably a more user-friendly and simplified way of working with the app. After choosing single or several files in Windows, users can conveniently connect them to a compressed folder in a few clicks using the right-click menu. Users will save time by compressing files and then adding them directly to an account.

Features

The 7-Zip package uses its own proprietary 7Z format, but it can also compress files in other standard formats (such as TAR and ZIP) and unpack them in a variety of others (like CPIO, DEB, DMG, ARJ, CAB, CHM). The 7Z format can also be used to build self-extracting archives.

7-Zip is compatible with Windows, and it’s a better choice than the built-in compression utility that comes with Microsoft’s desktop OS – the former has a lot of functionality, including the ability to restore files.

7-Zip’s 7Z format, as well as ZIP files, have a remarkable compression ratio. However, compression rates are slower than those of competing applications.

Powerful AES-256 protection is provided, as well as the option to encrypt file names and password protect data. 7-Zip is available in 79 languages and is available all over the world.

Support

Until reporting a problem, the company suggests using the most recent developer version of 7-Zip, either the beta or alpha update. This is due to the fact that certain bugs are usually patched in each new edition of 7-Zip.

Users can also search whether they are using 7-Zip x64 whether they have 64-bit Windows. If they are still having trouble, users can visit the 7-Zip support system for assistance, and there is also a FAQ on the website.

Final verdict

7-Zip is a solid free file compression tool that supports a wide range of file formats and is generally simple to use – though digging deep into the menus can be daunting for less tech-savvy users. The biggest disadvantage here is that encoding rates aren’t as fast as other competing applications.

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