WinRAR and WinZip are still the most popular software for compressing and decompressing files. Both the software’s are widely used on Windows and Mac platforms to archive and unzip files. We see file compression is still using by the many people before sending a large file online.
Zip or archiving is the most convenient technique to send multiple files and documents to a person. They even reduce the file size after compressions and saves your data while transferring the file online.
Unfortunately, both WinRAR and WinZip are paid software and after a certain trial period, you will get notifications to purchase the pro plan. This is quite annoying if you are using these tools when you doing a presentation or something infant of others. However, there are many free WinRAR and WinZip alternatives available online with additional features.
In this article, we want to suggest some bet WinRAR and WinZip alternatives which are completely free to use and comes with additional features. Additionally, we suggested some Android, iOS archiving apps which are quite useful to archiving and extracting files on the go. Also, browser extensions and add-ons also available for file compression which can work on online connection and no software installation required on your PC or laptop.
7Zip is probably the best alternative to both WinRAR and WinZip software. It is completely free and open source. It is very lightweight and weighs just 1MB and runs smoothly on your system resources. It is very popular for high compression ratio and many supported formats.
It also uses AES-256 encryption to put password protection to an archived file which is a quite essential feature when compressing important documents and files. It also has a powerful file manager support to browse the compressed files easily. You can pack and unpack the 7z, XZ, BZIP2, GZIP, TAR, ZIP and WIM formats easily with the program.
PeaZip is yet another popular compressing tool available with Cross-platform support. It is completely user-friendly and you don’t feel a new kind of feeling while using it. It works just like similar to WinRAR and WinZip. The program supports more than 180+ archive formats including its own compression format Pea and other popular formats like RAR, TAR, and ZIP.
PeaZip is licensed under the open source and free to use for both private and professional purposes. The program is also available in a portable version which is easy to carry on a portable drive. PeaZip is a powerful program and it is one of the finest alternatives to the WinRAR and WinZip.
ExtractNow is a completely free to use tool with an old fashioned user interface. However, the program works fantastic for compressing and decompressing files. Its ability to extract multiple archives is the asset to the program. It supports almost all the archive formats and you can secure the archive with the password protection.
It supports multi-languages and monitor directories for archives and automatically extract them. ExtractNow works with Microsoft Windows 95 and above. It means, if you have an old PC you can use ExtractNow without any hassle.
4. Ashampoo Zip
Ashampoo Zip is a fancy looking and Windows 8 tiles based zip archiver and compressor available for Windows. The compression process is pretty fast and the program supports all the popular archive formats. Ashampoo Zip integrates with Windows Shell and provides easy zipping options to users.
If you are concerned about the security of your archives, Ashampoo Zip Free can encrypt all archives with 256-bit AES encryption. The free version comes all the full features of the program. It supports archiving and extracting more than 30 different formats, including RAR, ZIPX, ARJ, ARC, ACE, MSI, NSIS, CHM, DMG, RPM, CPIO, VHD, XAR, LZMA, LZH, SquashFS, CramFS, Z, ZOO, WIM plus ISO (ISO9660 and UDF).
jZip is a fantastic and completely free tool to do your archiving tasks. With promising no adware and no spyware, it is one of the finest tools for zipping files. It’s compression ratios are similar to the 7Zip and provides fast compression with the help of their fast compression engine.
jZip is a basic tool for compressing files, do not expect fancy features or advanced options for archiving the files. The user interface of the program is very user-friendly and the archiving and extracting process is much similar to the WinRAR.
Bandizip is a great alternative to the WinRAR and WinZip for all versions of Windows. The programs support Windows Vista/7/8/10 (x86/x64/ARM64) versions which are a great option for old Windows version running laptops and Desktops.
The program is completely free and it can extract up to 30+ popular archiving formats. It has fast compression support with the help of multi-core. The program also supports the AES256 encryption algorithm for providing security for important archives.
7. B1 Free Archiver
B1 Free Archiver is available for all major platforms including Windows. It is also available for online, it means you don’t need to download the software for extracting files. The online extracting tool will extracts the contents in your archive file to a local drive. It supports all popular formats like b1, zip, jar, xpi, rar, 7z, arj, bz2, cab, deb, gzip, tgz, iso, lzh, lha, lzma, rpm, tar, xar, z, dmg, and others.
The program is very easy to use like RAR and Zip and you can use it on any platform without any signup or fees. Coming to the archiving B1 Free Archiver is very fast in compression and decompression. The program is completely safe to use and it does not come with any adware.
Zipware is yet another file compressing program which has compatibility from Windows XP and newer editions of Windows. The program comes with a nice user interface with big buttons at the top. It can extract ZIP,ZIPX,7Z,RAR,RAR5,ISO,VHD,MSI,GZIP,BZIP2,TAR,CPIO,DEB,DMG,LZH,LZMA,LZMA2,PPMd, NSIS,RPM,UDF,WIM,XAR,XPI,CBR,CBZ,XZ,Z and can create ZIP, 7-ZIP, EXE formats.
The program is completely safe to use and program files are signed by Verisign/Symantec digital certificate to prevent tampering after publication. It has the support of the Windows Explorer context menu which integrates the process within the user-interface. It also supports drag and drop feature, which is quite useful for bulk extraction.
WinRAR and WinZip alternatives for Android and iOS
Sometimes we need an archive unzipping app on our smartphones too. Smartphone archiving apps are useful to compress and decompress files on the go. Here we selected the best unzipping apps for iOS and Android. These apps can compress and decompress the archives on your smartphones based on Android and iOS. For security, you can just view what is packed inside a downloaded archive from an untrustworthy site.
9. IZArc (iOS)
IZArc is a specially designed app for iOS users. This app can preview and extract files from ZIP, RAR and 7-ZIP archives. The best part of the app is it has a built-in viewer which is quite useful to check what is inside an archive before extracting. It can prevent the extracting harmful content comes online when downloading archived files from new sites.
Also, every extracted file from IZArc can be opened another application or can be sent via an email. It supports ZIP, RAR, and 7-Zip archives files and can open them from mail and Safari browser. The preview supported file formats are MS Office documents, PDF, iWork docs, RTF, HTML, images, audio and video, programming language source files and text files.
10. ZArchiver (Android)
It is a very popular program among Android users. It can compress and decompress many types of archive files including the password protected files on the go. You can also view what is inside an archive and it can show the below formats without extracting the archive.
Supported Formats: 7z (7zip), zip, rar, rar5, bzip2, gzip, XZ, iso, tar, arj, cab, lzh, lha, lzma, xar, tgz, tbz, Z, deb, rpm, zipx, mtz, chm, dmg, cpio, cramfs, img (fat, ntfs, ubf), wim, ecm, arc (freearc), lzip;
WinRAR and WinZip alternatives for Browsers
If you have any restrictions in your PC for installing software, you can use the online archiving tools available in the form of browser extensions and add-ons. These will let you extract the files on your browser whether it is Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox. In order to use these tools, you need an active Internet connection.
11. ZIP Reader for Chrome
ZIP Reader extension is an exclusive online tool to archive and extract ZIP and RAR files without installing any software. After the installation of extension on your Chrome browser, it sits at the menu bar. When you click on the extension it opens as a pop-up window. In the window, you can drag and drop the ZIP or RAR files to extract on your local hard-drive. The processing speed is quite similar to WinZIP and WinRAR performance. This tool needs a stable Internet connection to open and perform the extraction process.
12. ZIP Manager for Mozilla Firefox
ZIP Manager for Mozilla Firefox works great for extracting ZIP or RAR files directly from online. After installation of the add-on on your Firefox browser it works from the context menu. To extract a file, right-click on any ZIP or RAR file available on the website and click on Open with ZIP Manager option. This add-on will instantly extract the file contents on your local hard-drive.
These are the best alternatives of WinRAR and WinZip for regular use. Many of the aforementioned programs are open source and provides enough security to your archive. I hope this article suggested the best archiving tool for your need. We want to know which is favorite among the above list and why?
If you know any better alternative than the above-mentioned list, please suggest in the comment box below.