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Best Archive Manager Review: Suggestions

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I'm so excited! I've signed on to review Archive/Compression applications and I need your input. I've composed the following list based on their download popularity from a variety of download sites (CNET, FileForum, SnapFiles, FileHippo, etc.), and DCC member suggestions below. Although the market is flooded with ZIP apps, if you have a suggestion or a favorite not listed, let us know! In alphabetical order:

* (01)  7-Zip
* (02)  ALZip (added 17-AUG)
* (03)  IZArc (added 17-AUG)
* (04)  PKZip
* (05)  PowerArchiver
* (06)  PowerZip
* (07)  QuickZip (added 23-AUG)
* (08)  TUGZip (added 14-AUG)
* (09)  WinAce
* (10)  WinRAR
* (11)  WinRK
* (12)  WinZip
* (13)  ZipGenius
* (14)  ZipMagic Deluxe (aka StuffIt)
I intend to have the first draft of the review will be available to members for feedback and revision by Sunday, 28 August 2005. Caveat: This review will focus on the best overall application, not the best data compression format. And in case you're unaware of it, has its own resident compression expert, Jibz of Ibsen Software.


I use TUGZip and am very happy with it.


here are some things i love about winzip and winrar which i use often:
both can make self extracting executable (sfx), that can also be unpacked by a right click drag operation - i just love that.
i working with drag and drop and in shell all the time, so right click context menu extensions are super important to me.
both winrar and winzip both handle this great.  if you select 10 zips or rars, you could right click drag and you get options to unpack them all into destination dir, or unpack all each into their own named subdir.  for me personally thats the first way i would eliminate candidate apps that don't provide those functions.

no archive app that doesnt offer me that will ever be used by me.

i also mentioned this before but i LOVE the file splitting support in winrar - it's just perfect for if you want to split up files, because it can add strong encryption, and great compatibility, and nice options for how to split.  so thats a real plus in my book.

for compatibility you can't be zip format, which is very important if you plan to share files.
another advantage: you can get free programs that will create zip files, and create sfx zip exes, but only the official rar/winrar can make .rar files, which i think sucks.

i will take a much deeper look at some of the candidate programs and give a better opinion.  i know that 7-zip has a good reputation among some good people so i think i need to give that especially another look.

and i am curious to hear what jibz thinks..

Wow, thanks for the feedback guys, and spj, I will add TUGZip to the list for review.

i use winrar so i'd have to agree with everything mouser said.

i've not tried winzip for a number of years - is it now capable of making a self extracting archive within one operation or does it still have to produce a standard zip file first?

the only thing i can suggest that might be worth looking at whilst comparing the different archivers is their ability to create 'user friendly' menus with their respective self extracting archives: mainly options that allow you to mimic a standard installation process. i know winrar sort of does this as you can have shortcuts automatically created in various places and other commands performed.


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