We’ve all been using archiving & compression utilities forever, whether our first one was tar & bz or PKZip. As compression algorithms have evolved newer archiving utilities have come out that promise new functionality and better compression. Two of them are Rar (WinRar) and 7z. A few months ago I switched from WinRAR to 7z.
7z promises better compression and is free/open source. Upon first using it I encountered little difference from other archiving/compression utilities and it supports all the right-click actions you would expect. Up until now I haven’t had a chance to compare RAR compression to 7z since I haven’t compressed anything large and assorted with it.
I needed to zip up BizTalk 2006 Developers edition CD, which is 450MB. This is my first test.
RAR (Best) compression – 123MB
7z (Ultra) compression – 92MB
7z offers better compression with best compression than RAR and is FREE. Worried about switching to 7z? It can compress 7z & ZIP files as well as extract RAR archives.
See also: http://www.maximumcompression.com/