In today’s world almost every single person using internet sends or receive files using email. Even cloud storage services like Google Drive or Dropbox can’t replace emails as they are much more convenient. But emails have some limitations on the size of the file you can send to somebody. You can get the file size down by compressing it with compression software. One of the major benefits of using compression software is that you can compress multiple file into a single file. Also, it will shorten the time to upload and download the files. Over the last few months, I have used various software for compression to find the best among them and found these four to outperform in the crowd.
7-Zip is the one of the best free compression software. It has a high compression ratio which helps you to extract compressed files and create your own compressed files in several different formats. The new .7z format has a high compression ratio; this means that when compressing files in .7z will decrease the size of the file when compared to .zip or .rar. It supports a lot of formats for compressing and extracting including: 7z, ZIP, GZIP, BZIP2 and TAR. This software comes in 87 languages. It has got a lot advanced functionalities like making the compressed files password protected. You can use this software on Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8 and 10 too. This software offers a lot for free.
- It has high compression ratio in 7z format with LZMA and LZMA2 compression.
- For ZIP and GZIP formats, this software provides a compression ratio that is 2-10 % better than the ratio – provided by paid software like PKZip and WinZip.
- It has got strong AES-256 encryption in 7z and ZIP formats which guarantee that the files you protected with password can’t be misused.
- You can easily integrate 7-Zip with Windows Shell.
- You can split the files into several parts and send them separately. This will ease the process of uploading and downloading.
- In order to extract the .gzip archive, you need to have 7-zip which will extract the file.
- This software took a lot more time to compress files in .7z format when compared to .zip format. I tried to compress a 192 MB media file in .7z format, it took around 40 seconds. But when I compressed the same file in .zip, it took less than 8 seconds.
There are a lot of compression levels in the software. For general purpose like compressing text, document or image file. Normal compression level is good. Speaking of Compression method, LZMA2 will be good as it is the latest version of LZMA. This software compressed an 18.9 MB PDF File into 8.95 in less than 3 seconds. I compressed the files in .7z archive format.
PeaZip has a user friendly interface which is awesome thing for novice users. It is a Compress, convert, split, file encryption software. Offering so much, it is completely free. It has over 150 different kinds of files formats like ACE, ARJ, CAB, DMG, ISO, LHA, RAR, R01, UDF, ZIPX files and more, thus, enabling you to compress your files in 150 different formats. It has a lot of features like strong encryption, two factor authentication, encrypted password manager and secure deletion to protect privacy of your data. It has a portable version that doesn’t require installation. You can use this software on Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8 and 10 too. You can learn more about PeaZip here.
- This software has User-friendly interface which is suitable for novice users.
- You can compress files in more than 150 archive format.
- Also have a portable version for easy carry-over.
- You can split your files. This will help you to send large files in pieces. To rejoin the file back to its original form, then other person will also need PeaZip.
- It has a random password generator feature through which you can password protect your compressed file with a random password. Thus, increasing more security for your compressed file.
- It occasionally performs sluggish.
I tried compressing a 42.8 MB file in ZIP, it look less than 3 seconds for the files to get archived. Speed was superb. I tried another video files, but I saw 0.20 MB change whereas a PDF files was compressed from 18.9 MB PDF File into 8.37 MB in .zip format. However, as I said previously, video and audio files compression ratio is almost 100% means they can’t be compressed more. Other files like PDF or DOC file can be compressed to such lower extent.
Hamster Free Zip Archiver has a colorful interface. Navigating through the software feels good. It has attractive user interface. The main advantage over other archivers is that, it has got new improved Zip algorithm for archiving, this reduces the time required to create an archive by more than 50%. Hamster feels fresh when you start using it when compared to 7-Zip and PeaZip. The Hamster Free Zip Archiver website states that the program takes advantage of multi-core computing, thus, making it faster for compression purpose. You can use this software on Windows XP, Vista, 7 and 8. You can learn more about Hamster Zip Archiver here.
- It has multi-core processor which speeds up the archive creation i.e. it reduces the time taken for creating an archive.
- The interface and layout is very simple i.e. even a first time user can easily master it.
- This software is pretty fast in terms of unpacking.
- You can compress, split and lock your files using this singe software.
- You don’t need high configuration PC to run this; it works on old machines too.
- It compressed my PDF file 20% less than what other software compressed.
This software compressed the same 18.9 MB PDF file into 12.4 MB and that too in .zip format. This software have compressed less than the other software but it around 1 sec to compress it when compared to other software which took a minimum of 2 seconds.
ZipItFree is very basic looking software with some good features. It supports over 15 compression formats which includes ACE, ARC, BH, BZip, RAR, TAR, UUE, XXE and ZIP. It is very easy to use; it comes with a modern interface. The windows integration gives you the capability to extract or compress files in One Click. This software has strong encryption through which you will be able to password protect your file. It has the ability to split up the file into multiple parts of same size, thus, making it easier to send. You can use this software on Windows XP, Vista, 7 and 8.
- It lets you attach comments to your archives.
- It has the ability to split the files, thus, making it easy for you to send files.
- Be careful while installing this software as ZipltFree tries to install extra software. To avoid this, pay attention and uncheck the boxes if asked for installing something else.
This software converted the same 18.9 MB file into 12.4 MB in .zip format. It took around 2 seconds for ZipItFree to convert this file.
Please see the comparison section below to decide which can be suitable for your purpose.
Comparison between the above four
Using compression software is must for every internet user.
If you ask me to name the best free compression software for windows, I would straight away say 7-Zip as it has overall got really good features and this software has everything which I need. It compressed an 18.9 MB PDF File into 8.95 in less than 3 seconds in .7z format.
But if you love to explore, then you can consider using PeaZip as it has over 150 types of archive files option, thus, enabling you to explore a lot more. Also, it allows you to split your files. It also has a portable version for easy carry-over. The same PDF file was compressed from 18.9 MB PDF File into 8.37 in .zip format in less than 3 seconds.
If you are concerned about the compression speed and beautiful look, then, Hamster Free Zip Archiver will be a good choice as it provides both. It has a multi-core processor which speeds up the archive creation process. This software compressed the same 18.9 MB PDF file into 12.4 MB in .zip format. It compressed a bit less when compared other software but the process was really quick. It took less than 1 second.
And, if you are looking for a simple, basic looking free compression software for windows, then ZipItFree will be a good bet as it has this all. It can fulfill your basic needs. Also, it let you compress archives in over 15 different formats. This software converted the same 18.9 MB file into 12.4 MB in .zip format.
All of the above software has their advantages and disadvantages. Not all software will be best for you. Some will convert a PDF file better and some will compress a DOC File better. So, it up to you to decide which one will work you. I have mentioned all the important advantages and disadvantages. Also, all the software I mentioned above compresses and extract the .rar file format.
So, guys this all about best free compression software for windows. If you found this article useful, then please don’t forget to share this article with your friends.