Three new Zip programs compared

CuteZIP shares its place of origin with CuteFTP and the lesser-known CuteHTML (see the review on page 42). If the beta version is anything to go by, WinZip has a big challenger on its hands. CuteZIP offers all the nifty features of WinZip while using a very simple drag-and-drop interface modelled on Windows Explorer. There's right-click support for one-step zipping and unzipping (although the default option is to rename the files as "untitled"), and a right-click can also quickly convert files into self-extracting archives and change between common compressed formats. CuteZIP is one of the few programs able to create CAB files, and the Linux-based Gzip and Tar archives - ideal for transferring files between PCs and Linux users. One of biggest drawcards of CuteZIP is its ability to offer 128-bit encryption. While this may raise compatibility issues with other zip programs, it can greatly improve file security where needed. In a move to cash in on the popularity of MP3s, CuteZIP also offers the ability to rip wav files from audio CDs, but it still needs an encoder to convert the wav to MP3.

(Speed: 57 seconds to zip, 18 seconds to unzip)CuteZIP 1.0 (beta)Price: freeURL: www.globalscape.com

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