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By: Danette Mckay
Archive files are everywhere. When you download files from the Internet or receive files over email they are very likely to be in a compressed archive format. In order to work with such archive files you need special archive software.

There are many archive file types out there. The two most popular ones are Zip and RAR and lagging behind them is the newer 7Z format. When you receive a compressed archive file either by email or by downloading it off of the Internet you will have to use a special archive software in order to use it. Using a compressed archive usually means viewing the files in the archive and extracting them to their original non compressed format for further usage.

Another reason for having to use special archive software utility is if you need to create a compressed archive files. You will need to create such file when for example you want to backup multiple files on your computer or when you would want to send multiple files using email or by uploading them to a web site on the Internet.

Since archive files are very popular these days there are also many software utilities that support them. The different software utilities differ in cost in ease of use and in the archive file formats that they support. In terms of cost archive software utilities can be divided to two freeware that is available for free usage and commercial software utilities that cost money usually between twenty five to fifty dollars per user.

WinZip is one of the most famous archive software on the market. A few years ago WinZip was available for free use for personal use. Today WinZip is not available for free to anyone and after you exhaust its forty five days free trial you will have to either uninstall it or pay for it.

There is no reason to pay for archive software. There are plenty of free high quality archive software applications out there. Three such free software utilities are 7Zip Zipeg and ZipGenius. They are different in their user interface and the list of file types they support but all of them do support the most popular Zip format. They can all open and create Zip compatible compressed archive types.

So which one is better? There is really no answer to that question as it really depends on your personal preference and what your needs are. Their user interface is different and which one is better is a matter of what kind of user interface you like better. Some technology savvy users like command line user interfaces while less technology savvy users prefer a very simple and easy to use user interface with just the basic features that they need.

The good thing about those software choices is that they are free to use. This also means that you can freely experiment with each of them and then make the choice of which one you want to keep using. High quality archive software utilities are available for free do not end up paying for software like WinZip or AlphaZIP for no reason.
Danette Mckay explains more about many subjects on our opinion
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