WinZip has long set the standard for file compression utilities, and recent versions uphold its strong reputation. Most computer users are familiar with the program’s drag-and-drop interface, which lets you create and compress ZIP files. The best place to work with ZIP files is in Windows Explorer, and WinZip makes the most of this: in the current version, if you right-click a ZIP file, WinZip lets you select from a cascading menu of recently used folders or retrieve files from multiple archives at once. You can create self-extracting files, which are ideal for sending compressed files to people who may not own or know how to use file compression software.
The latest release of WinZip (9.0) is a notable move forward. It supports a much stronger encryption standard, which is an improvement over the previous Zip 2.0 algorithm. Just as important, you can now encrypt files that are already zipped (as WinZip regulars know, previous versions of the program only allowed you to encrypt files as they were being zipped). Version 9.0 also has a new Enhanced Deflate option that further reduces the size of ZIP files. Finally, the new version’s 64-bit extended format lifts the 4GB limitation so you can ZIP files as large as you want.
WinZip 9.0 Price: 21-day free trial then $US29 (single user)
Vendor: WinZip Computing