Free File: 7-Zip

7Zip is an open-source compression/decompression utility that supports most of the popular compression formats. In addition, it also introduces its own high-performing format called LZMA. According to the 7Zip, LZMA supports:

  • a high compression ratio
  • compression speed of 1MB/s and higher (based on a 2GHz CPU)
  • decompression speed of 10 to 20 MB/s (ditto)
  • low system requirements
  • multi-threading and hyper-threading

Not only does it support regular ZIP, its compression ratio for ZIP is 2 to 10% higher than the its commercial counterpart, WinZip. In true open-source fashion, 7Zip is available in more than 60 languages and can be used on older computers without too much trouble. Furthermore, it comes with a custom file manager that allows advanced functionality like:

  • splitting files
  • combining files
  • calculating checksums of files

If you’re not (or can’t be) tied to a single computer and you prefer to carry your applications around on a USB-stick, there’s a portable version available at, too. Sure, it doesn’t support every single possible format like WinRAR does, but it does a heck of a good job. And hey, it’s free!


7-Zip is available for Windows, Linux, Mac and most other Operating Systems out there on their official download page.

Get the portable version of 7-Zip here (Windows Only).

Supported Formats

Compression and decompression:

  • 7z
  • ZIP
  • GZIP
  • BZIP2
  • TAR

Decompression only:

  • RAR
  • CAB
  • ARJ
  • Z
  • RPM, DEB
  • ISO
  • And others…

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