WinZip vs. WinRAR

I'm not usually passionate enough to stir up the debate, but Ed Bott started it this morning with his Corel completes destruction of WinZip post. Like Ed, I've been a WinZip user for years – since Windows 3.1. I appreciated that my initial registration fee would apply to all subsequent versions – until the most recent version. Then, the world started to distribute RAR files, and WinZip was all like “WTF?” and I was all like “Yeah, it's another compression format.” If you only have enough room for one compressed file manager, WinRAR should be it.
On this machine, I have both WinZIP and WinRAR installed – but the next PC will only have WinRAR. It does everything WinZip does – and does it faster. I still don't like the WinRAR interface as much as WinZip, but at least WinRAR is skinnable. WinRAR's nag isn't as naggy, either (although I've registered it so I don't see that anyway). And if that doesn't win you over, remember that WinRAR can read and extract from ISO file. In fact, I don't think that (in practice) I've ever had a time when WinRAR couldn't unpack a file for me. Face it, folks – WinZip is dead.

23 thoughts on “WinZip vs. WinRAR”

  1. So, I agree that WinZip is dead. I, too, have used it for years, and I, too, have stopped using it. But not because of WinRar. I, too, use WinRar, and I, too like it, and find it to be “better” than WinZip for many things. But WinZip has been killed by Windows.
    Now that Windows has compressed file support, 99% of the world doesn't need WinZip. Or WinRar. Either tool may be WAY better than Windows built-in support, but it doesn't matter. Most people will simply use the built-in support and go on their merry way. This is an example of a situation where “good enough” is good enough and the default wins.

  2. Or just use something like 7-zip. It's open-source, it works on everything, and does everything I need it to do. Used to be a winzip fan, but when there was multiple formats out there, 7zip became the thing for me on any windows box.

  3. What is all this stuff you're talking about?
    I'm still trying to figure out if I should use pkzip or arj file compression.
    Winzip? rar? Hmm…

  4. I've used WinZip for about 10 years. Before that it was PKZip in the DOS era. WinZip has done a good job for me. I'm sticking with my licensed version 9.0 as I'm afraid that its new master Corel will upgrade it every year and want $20 for giving me new features that I don't want. It's an ongoing problem with software developers. When a tool does its job easily and well, how do you get users to upgrade? Quicken does it by changing the name once year. Ready for WinZip 2007?

  5. l00s3rs!!!! i only use pkarc… geez… learn how to split a file into 1 meg chunks, will ya?
    seriously though… props to 7zip

  6. Just want to echo the 7-zip praise. It's the right stuff.
    Of course, at least half the time I just use WinXP's built in .zip handling. I can't even think of the last time I had a problem with a .zip file that I made this way.

  7. I agree with the previous post. Whenever I distribute files, Mac or WIn, I just use the compression format supported by the OS vendor. Generally, this is a plain vanilla .zip.

  8. I agree with the previous post. Whenever I distribute files, Mac or WIn, I just use the compression format supported by the OS vendor. Generally, this is a plain vanilla .zip.

  9. Chris-
    Honestly, I never cared all that much for WinZip. I also didn't like Microsoft's implementation either. If you're like me, check out FilZip (oh, and it's free!)

  10. Surprise. There is no money in utility software any more.
    I'm currently using a freeware clone of winzip called Easyzip 2000

  11. Yeah, maybe WinZip is finally falling…
    As for WinZip vs. WinRAR: I found a tool years ago that does it all, and they still have free upgrades for life. I contacted the author who acknowledges that upgrades are indeed free for life and will remain so. The name is BitZipper:

  12. Glad someone said it.
    I have been using Winzip for many years as well, about two years ago I installed WinRar because Winzip could not decompress all my files… after a year I made it my default archive program…. then about three months ago I wondered why I even still had WinZip installed… it was taking up a whole 1.5 Mb!!! so I uninstalled it, haven't looked back!

  13. I'd have to say I disagree on one point. The first version of Winzip I used. I felt was a usability nightmare – the layout and design were crap in my opinion. Once I came across Winrar I finally found an ease of use experience. Granted I don't use it for zip files. Do to the built in zip functionality in XP and Vista. Odd how Microsoft refuses to add RAR support as well. If memory serves me right – I've been using Winrar since 1999 or 2000 and haven't regretted the decision one bit.

  14. I'm using 7-Zip, which is open source, lightweight and quick, it's the only compression app on my pc.

  15. loool! Fair enough! But there is one question left to ask!
    Now a day most PC's have hard drives with large capacity like 80 GB+
    Also you can buy blank CD's and DVD's very cheep and most people
    use high speed Internet connection! So! I don't think 3 or 4 megabytes different in compression make a big different in their daily uses!
    7 zip is a good product with high compression ratio BUT very slow…
    also it is going to take sometimes for 7z format to become popular!
    Winrar is great but again don't expect to create a better zip file then original software winzip! And yes it's true! It does support ISO files but can it test them too! Can winrar create a checksum and verify your ISO image to see if there is any error in it!? NO! Try it yourself!
    In term of security…Nothing is like Securezip (Pkware Ltd).
    For me the most impotent thing is not high compression ratio but! Creating an archive with no CRC errors and also security is the main thing!

  16. Have you guys looked and tried “QuickZip”
    It’s free and works for me…
    from the site:
    “Open all kinds of archives
    Allows you to work with 22 encode and encryption formats and 44 archive extensions. Including the popular 7z format.”

  17. 7 zip is the way to go. I use it to compress tiff files. I set 7zip to fastest compression and it still gets tiffs down to 10% of their file size which is good enough. I also use 7z compression for 2 security reasons: security by obscurity and password protection. Precisely because the popular programs don’t support 7z gives my password protected archives on the corporate server an extra measure of protection against the everyday busybody.

    Flame me about security by obscurity all you want but it does give an extra level of protection.

  18. Nice Zip vs Rar Debate….
    I am using both Winzip and Winrar parallely i use winzip for larger files and winrar for shorter files… winrar has good compression rate and lacks speed… and zip has good speed but less compression rate….. i use both extensively depending on size of file both r cracked version though ;)


  19. strictly on the WinZip vs WinRAR, 1 thing I use WinZip for that WinRAR don’t do. our spam software archives all messages as TXT files, these include MIME encodes of attachments. Drop the TXT file into WinZip and the attachments are there to be extracted. I’m sure there are other solutions, but this was a WinZip vs WinRAR debate.

  20. Me personally I use 7Zip, namely for these reasons:

    It’s open source / freeware

    Works with a ton of formats

    Integrates into Windows without being annoying like WinRAR or WinZip.

    My thoughts, go check it out for yourself.

    And if you really want even better compression I would consider checking out UHARC cli version.

  21. Yeah, WinRAR ruled supreme until yesterday when I received a zip file that it couldn’t open. WinZip has reared it’s ugly head once again – they’ve introduced a compression algorithm that only WinZip can decompress… something to do with Jpegs. I emailed the WinRAR guys yesterday and got a reply almost immeditately:
    “We do not plan to support WinZip JPEG compression in near future. Sorry.”
    The daft thing is that WinZip are going to be causing so much confusion with this – no longer will Window’s inbuilt compression work every time – unless MS decide to play catch up. Hmmm…

  22. winrar is little lighter then winzip. both are good, but my personal preferrece is winzip because of it’s interface.

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