Many home-based computer users do not understand the concept of file compression and often are at a loss when they are faced with this concept.
Have you ever received an email attachment where the attachment is a zip file or a rar file and you are wondering how to open them? OR wondering what in the world is a zip file or a rar file? In terms that we can all understand, these types of file formats are data compression formats. In other words, a zip or rar file appear as a single file to the naked eye; however, compressed inside that single zip or rar file can be stored numerous files. If you were to double click (or open) these types of files you will see other files magically open and appear. This is called decompression.
Why would anyone want to do this?
One reason is that it reduces the file sizes; plus, you can compress numerous files into one zip or rar file. To give an example: Let’s say I wanted to send you a group of 20 digital pictures. Instead of attaching them to an email, one at a time; using special software I can compress them into one single file, such as a zip file or rar file. Once you receive the zip or rar file; using special software, you can open and decompress the file, and the 20 digital pictures I sent you magically appear. As a matter of fact, with special software, I can even password protect the zip or rar file which would require you to know the password before you could open the file.
As you noticed, I mentioned that if you have special software installed on your PC, you can open (and even create) zip or rar files. In reality, Windows, by default, can handle zip files (which are very common); however, using Windows is definitely not the method to depend on when it comes to managing compressed files. Everyone should have installed on their PC’s special software that is designed to handle zip or rar files.
Where do I get this “special software”?
There are numerous software packages out there that are FREE, are very good; AND, are specifically designed to handle a multitude of data compression formats.
There is good chance that you will see some of the other techs leaving comment (at the end of this article) with reference (and recommendation) about various software packages designed to compress/decompress various file formats.
Yes, there are numerous data compression formats out there other than zip and rar. You will see that, as you read on. I only made reference to the zip and rar formats, due that these are the formats that the everyday home-based computer user will most likely be exposed to.
The special software that I use, on my computers, to handle just about any data compression format is called IZArc. It is FREE, very easy to use; and, is available as a full install for your PC and/or available in a portable format that can be carried on a flash drive. With IZArc installed on your PC, you will be able to manage any type of file compression format thrown at you. If you do not have data compression software installed on your PC, IZArc is a good one to get. To learn more about IZArc and how to use it, [ click here ] for a list of tutorials.
IZArc is the best freeware archive utility supporting many archive formats like: 7-ZIP, A, ACE, ARC, ARJ, B64, BH, BIN, BZ2, BZA, C2D, CAB, CDI, CPIO, DEB, ENC, GCA, GZ, GZA, HA, IMG, ISO, JAR, LHA, LIB, LZH, MDF, MBF, MIM, NRG, PAK, PDI, PK3, RAR, RPM, TAR, TAZ, TBZ, TGZ, TZ, UUE, WAR, XXE, YZ1, Z, ZIP, ZOO. With a modern easy-to-use interface, IZArc provides support for most compressed and encoded files, as well as access to many powerful features and tools. It allows you to drag and drop files from and to Windows Explorer, create and extract archives directly in Windows Explorer, create multiple archives spanning disks, creating self-extracting archives, repair damaged zip archives, converting from one archive type to another, view and write comments and many more. IZArc has also build-in multilanguage support.
- With IZArc you can open CD image files like ISO, BIN, CDI and NRG.It is also possible to convert such files from one type to another (BIN to ISO, NRG to ISO).If you need to send large files to your colleagues, friends or customers who may not have archiving tool you can easily create self-extracting archive that can be extracted by simple double click.IZArc can be configured to run your preferred Anti-Virus scanner when you open any archives.
IZArc supports 256-bit AES encryption to secure your data.
IZArc is integrated in Windows so you can perform all archiving operations by using right-click menus in Windows Explorer.
If you have broken archives IZArc can help you to repair them with ease.
IZArc is 100% virus free and it doesn’t contain any spyware or adware.
- IZArc is the most complete archive utility available today.