Free Windows tool No. 5: 7Zip
7Zip rates as a must-have, even though Windows supports the ZIP format natively. Why? Because Apple people will send you RAR files from time to time, and 7Zip is the fast, easy, free way to handle them. 7Zip also creates self-extracting EXE files, which can come in handy. And it supports AES-256 bit encryption. The interface rates as clunky by modern standards (see screen shot), but it gets the job done with ZIP, RAR, CAB, ARJ, TAR, 7z, and many lesser-known formats. It even lets you extract files from ISO CD images. A poster boy for the open source community, 7Zip goes in easily, never nags, and wouldn’t dream of dropping an unwanted toolbar on your system. Enlightened.