There are a ton of files and file types that are usually hosted online in the compressed form and hence get downloaded like that. Zips and RARs are just the tip of the iceberg. I found myself reminiscing about Unarchiver for OS X, a great piece of freeware that was very simple and easy to use. What was going to replace it? (yes, for those who don’t know, I recently started using Windows )
jZip is a great free alternative to WinRAR and WinZip, which as most of you are aware, cost money. I’m a student, so I wasn’t about to start paying for shareware when I migrated from Mac to Windows.
jZip features a very simple, clean interface that I prefer to other freeware zip software, such as 7zip. jZip opens a variety of files, from Zip files and RARs to good ol’ 7z’s.
Before you download it enthusiastically, I just want to point out a quick thing that bugged me in the installation process:
That’s a reason jZip remains free — by default, it installs some software bundled with it onto your computer. I prefer to avoid this kind of software, so I selected the Custom Installation and I unchecked those boxes. Of course, if you want to support jZip, I think that you should — but you can also support them through other means, by promotion or by donating to them. Just a heads up, amigos!
jZip doesn’t have a slew of tools, as with most unarchiving software. It does what it needs to do well, though. I liked the ability to view files, such as pictures, within the RAR or Zip archive without needing to extract it. It serves as a great previewing tool.
It also adds some convenient commands to the right-click menu for your files, which allows for quick compressing.
jZip compressed a 589mb folder in around 40 seconds — totally acceptable by my standards. After a quick Google search, I found that WinZip often took around 24 seconds to compress a 40mb file, but at the same time I haven’t considered compression size and what not so I can’t officially say which is faster. Nonetheless, jZip gets the job done well for me.
If you’re looking for a free, quick and simple alternative to the more expensive WinRAR or WinZip, have a look at jZip. Just make sure you keep an eye out for the bundled software! If you’re interested in other options, ZipGenius could be your cup of tea.