Compare 7-Zip and WinRAR

Well…generally, when it comes to compressing and extracting files, 7-Zip is a great competitor for WinRAR. If you have a set of files that need to be compressed and you are confused about which compression format to go with, then here’s is a perfect answer.

It is for sure that for any bunch of data one format will give its best in terms of compression and smallest file size. But the format might not be same all the time depending on the data.

Apart from the file size and compression rate, there are still other factors that have to be considered. For example, even though the compression rates of two programs are same or have a quite difference between them the format can make a big change. In addition, some tools will be open source while some are paid ones, etc.

A Sample Compression Test

Create a test folder with a collection of files of different formats. Don’t just compress videos, or just compress documents as at the end there might be slight differences, which will become quite difficult to choose a real winner.

Consider some 1.47 GB of video files of various formats, music files and images of different formats and some documents like PDFs, Office files, and so on and compress them through each compression program individually.

When you check the results, it will look something like this:

  • 7-Zip – 1.11GB
  • WinRAR – 1.16GB

And the Winner is…

7-Zip, which is a clear-cut winner of compression round-up. Along with compression, it sets a standard for time management as well. Precisely, it manages to beat WinRAR in terms of both the best compression ratio and the fastest compression technique.

If this is not enough, then 7-Zip has a big price advantage too. 7-Zip is an open source software that you can free download on all devices without any hardware restrictions.

So should you go with 7-Zip to compress your files? Well, it depends! Sometimes, depending on the data you choose to compress, WinRAR may win the game of compression. The only problem with these compression formats is that they both require a proprietary format which is not compatible with all the systems. Meaning, to open a 7-Zip or WinRAR file, you need to download and install the appropriate software first on your system.

When such compatibility issues are found, then it would be better to use built-in compression technique in Windows. If you don’t want to go with built-in Windows compression method, then you’ll be having an option. You can use WinZip. Well, the difference between WinZip and the built-in tool is very little. But only the difference is WinZip is a paid one, while built-in software will be free of cost. A free option is much more preferred than anything else!

In addition, the .zip file can be easily extracted on Windows, Mac, and even on ChromeOS. It doesn’t require any additional software to open. So again, the built-in Windows compression technique wins the race in terms of compatibility. When you feel like getting the smallest size possible, then prefer to choose 7-Zip.

And of course, there is nothing to do with Windows operating system versions. Whether you are using Windows 7/8 or 10, the Zip file compression rate will be same on all the versions!

A Word of Caution!

While it is necessary to compress files under 7-Zip format to achieve a great compression rate, you should be careful and avoid any interruptions happening during the process of compression. A small mistake can corrupt the entire 7-Zip file, which has to be repaired using a reliable 7-Zip file repair tool.

So, it is better to keep source files in the original format. Instead, make a copy and then proceed with the compression test.