Compression is one of the most used features by PC users. It’s used for both personal and business use because we often need to compress or decompress files to decrease their size or to email the files properly to another person. The two most popular tools to compress or decompress files are WinZip and WinRAR. However, many users would rather use a free tool and pay for one as you have to do for WinZip and WinRAR.
Thankfully for them, the Internet has made sure that there are plenty of free third-party tools available that will let you compress files or decompress different formats without needing to pay. Most of these tools can provide the same features as WinZip or WinRAR, but there are some that can be argued actually provide more and better features.
WinZip and WinRAR Free Alternatives
There are tools available for Windows PC, Mac, and smartphones. You just need to check and see if the tool will work with your particular device. We are going to list some of the best alternatives to WinZip and WinRAR to help you pick out one you like and that suits your device.
7-Zip undoubtedly deserves to be mentioned first. This is because it is an open source tool that is completely free to use. The main reason why so many people are in love with this particular tool is its high ratio compression. It actually offers about 10% better compression than almost every other tool you could possibly use, even when you include WinRAR and WinZip. Not too bad for a tool you’re using for free
If you are compressing a file into its native format, 7z, then it actually offers a much higher compression ratio, ranging anywhere from 30-70%. In this case, the ratio depends upon what type of file you are compressing. In 7-Zip, you can easily zip or unzip 7z, ZIP, GZIP, RAR, TAR and WIM files.
It is available for Windows 7, 8, 8.1, and 10.
2. B1 Free Archiver
B1 Free Archiver is another great tool with a very professional-looking interface. It supports many different formats, including 7z, B1, ZIP, RAR, ARJ, XPI, JAR, and TXZ, among others. Even better: B1 Free Archiver offers both desktop and online tools. You can download the software to compress or decompress files offline or you can use the online archiver to compress or decompress files online without downloading the software onto your device.
The online archiver can be incredibly helpful to use if you aren’t allowed to download any new softwares onto your device due to restrictions, like it being a work PC or something like that. While the software is free, it does offer some adware during the installation, so make sure you are paying attention during installation and decline the offers you don’t need.
This software is available on Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android devices.
This one is completely free tool and has a much simpler interface than the softwares already mentioned. The downside? It can only unpack your files. It was still worth a spot on this list though because of how it can easily extract several files at the same time. Just drag and drop in your compressed files into the interface and click on “Extract.”
This isn’t necessarily a unique feature as other tools can also extract multiple files at once, but this tool makes it very simple to do and makes sure you have to really only click once. Just like other tools, it also supports all popular formats you can extract from.
You can use this software on Windows 7, 8, 8.1, 10, and XP.
jZip is also free and has similar compression ratios to 7-Zip. It supports all the popular formats, like RAR, ZIP, 7-zip, TAR and GZip. This software has a simple interface with just few options for you to choose from, making it perfect for beginners to use.
It doesn’t come with many customization options, but you can pack or unpack files very easily. This software also has adware on it, so make sure you uncheck it during installation if you don’t need or want it there.
It is available on Windows devices.
PeaZip is a very powerful tool that is completely free to use. It can add encryption to your files so you have some protection from anyone trying to access them. You can work on compressing multiple files at once as well as choosing specific files to extract.
There are also powerful filters you can add to archive only required file types. As usual, it supports all popular formats, such as 7z, XZ, BZ2, ZIP, RAR, TAR and GZ. If you are looking for a replacement or something very similar to 7-Zip, then this software is a great one to download and use.
It is currently only available for Windows 7, 8, 8.1, 10, and XP.
6. Hamster Free Zip Archiver
Hamster Free Zip Archiver is a free tool that, despite what you might think by looking at its name, is very simple to use but also very powerful. It has a unique compression method that allows from some amazing compression ratios to be offered in addition to 2 times faster compression than other tools. You can select the compression level you want to use and add password protection to protect the now compressed files.
It supports all the popular compression formats, like 7z, RAR, ZIP, TAR and XZ. It can also integrate into Cloud services so you can save and share files online. As with a few other softwares so far, it will offer adware during installation, so continue to pay attention when installing a new software!
You can use this software on Windows XP, 7, and 8 devices.
Bandizip is free and doesn’t come with any kind of adware or malware added into it. You can actually scan your files for viruses before opening them. It also supports multi-core compression so, if you have a pretty high-end PC, the tool will be able to make use of all the cores inside it to provide faster and better compression. You can also add some pretty powerful encryptions, such as AES 256 and ZipCrypto, for some incredible file protection.
It is available for Windows 7, 8, 8.1, 10, and XP.
8. Zip Extractor (Chrome Extension)
Zip Extractor is a free Google Chrome Extension that lets you extract compressed files from your PC or Google Drive and place them into Google Drive. It’s a great solution if you don’t want to download apps to your PC or if you needed it placed into your Drive anyways.
This tool has a very simple interface and supports multiple compression formats. Keep in mind that it will only extract files to your Google Drive and not to your PC. But it does offer some easy ways to share the extracted files with other users in addition to the fact that you can extract multiple files at the same time.
Install on Chrome
WinZip and WinRAR Alternative Android Apps
RAR is an Android app that supports multiple formats like Zip, RAR, TAR, BZ2, GZ and ARJ. It has a basic file manager built-in to help you look for your files and to add them into the app itself. You can add in multiple files and encrypt them to make sure they stay safe.
You can also repair damaged files – that can still be repaired – by using the repair command. RAR is an ad-supported app, although you can get rid of the apps by paying and turning off ads in the options menu. The app can also utilize multiple cores to increase compression speed.
10. Simple Unrar
Simple Unrar is a very simple app that, as you may have guess, is only meant to extract .rar files. If you mainly extract .rar files, then this is a great app to have because of the great features it offers up just for this purpose. The app, as many apps are, is ad supported and it can support .rar files up to version 5.
The interface is quite simple to use as well, as you can easily browse through your RAR files and extract them if they are up to 2 GB in size. You can directly extract files from your email attachments. The app can also keep broken files in order so it won’t disturb or mess up the current files being extracted.
Hopefully you found one tool in this list of 10 that you would want to use as an alternative to WinRAR and WinZIP alternative tool. If you have any more recommendations or ones that you really enjoyed using, list them in the comments below.