What is WinRAR? How it differs from WinZip

by Martin
WinRAR

When it comes to unzipping files, you’ve probably used WINRAR or WinZip. Of course, there are differences in performance and price between these two programs, but they both aim to compress or extract data from compressed files, respectively.

We’ll compare the two programs’ features and take a quick look at their pricing and performance in this article.

What is WinRAR?

Asking if people paid for WinRAR has become a running joke. After a free 40-day trial, you’ll be prompted to make a payment. However, even after the free trial period, it can be used. WinRAR is more than just a meme, despite what you may have heard.

For this reason, WinRAR has become one of the most widely used compression and archiving programs on the Microsoft Operating System (OS). A new update was released on June 29th, 2020, which brings it up to date with the original release date of April 1995. While it no longer receives official support, it is still in widespread use around the world.

Feature Differences

While it’s true that WinRAR supports RAR files while WinZip supports ZIP files, that’s not the case. Both programs support both file types.

All supported file types are listed below.

WinRAR WinZIP
ZIP ZIP
RAR RAR
7Z 7Z
CAB CAB
LZH LZH
ZIPX ZIPX
ISO ISO
TAR TAR
GZip GZip
XZ XZ
BZ2 BZ2
Z Z
UUE VHD
GZ VDMX
001
ARJ
JAR

Both programs can compress and extract files, but there isn’t much performance difference between them.

Unlike WinZip, which can be used on Macs, WinRAR is only available for Windows. However, RAR files can be opened in various ways on the Mac platform (including WinZip itself.)

Price: WinRAR Free Trial is Permanent

Because it’s free, WinRAR download is a popular choice for many people. You can use it for free for 40 days before being prompted to pay, but this is never enforced. WinRAR’s business model is based on offering a free, never-ending trial.

WinZip Or WinRARr Which Is Better

WinRAR is more of a specialized tool for power users. Most of the company’s revenue comes from enterprise-level clients who use the company’s special features.

The trial version of WinZip, on the other hand, lasts for 21 days. In case you do not pay within this time frame, the service will stop working. Thus, WinZip download is considered a “premium” service even though the performance difference isn’t that great.

Performance: Very Little Difference

Twenty files of various types and sizes, including documents, images, video, and audio, were set up as a test to compare the performance of WinRAR and WinZip. The total file size was 1.78 GB. Next, we looked at the compression rate, the amount of time it took, and the final result.

The files were compressed using WinRAR in 2 minutes, 6 seconds. Ultimately, the compressed files weighed in at 1.77 GB, making a negligible difference in the overall size.

Compared to WinZip’s 11-second addition time and background compression, it’s much more challenging to keep track of the total time spent on each file. End result: 1.77 gigabytes compressed down to 1 percent of the original size.

As a result, neither program was able to reduce file sizes significantly. Moreover, because multimedia files are already compressed, they don’t compress very much. Documents and text files, on the other hand, are compressed to a much greater extent.

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7zip comes pre-installed on many PCs or is packaged with GPU drivers, making it a popular choice over WinRAR these days. However, if you want better compression without paying a premium, WinRAR remains an option.

Well, no need to feel guilty about not purchasing WinRAR. It’s a part of the business plan, as previously stated. Customers who only unzip files once or twice a year don’t matter because the company makes more money off of enterprise-level purchases.

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