Three new Zip programs compared

The closest to WinZip in terms of speed, Aladdin DropZip and Expander are shipped as two separate programs. This annoying aspect means you need one program to compress and another to decompress files. However, the expander tool is free, while DropZip is shareware. If you are a PC user wedged between Linux and Macintosh users, then Aladdin's tools will allow you to expand files from either system. However, while DropZip can compress files in the Mac StuffIt (SIT) format, it is yet to support Linux.

DropZip supports right-click zipping and is a very simple program to use. It encourages drag and drop, but positioning the windows on screen to use this feature makes it more time consuming than it's worth (you can't drag onto the Task Bar) - clearly, this is more suited to the layout of a Mac desktop. There are not many features in DropZip, and it's major appeal is for PC users with Mac friends.

(Speed: 52 seconds to zip, 16 seconds to unzip).

Aladdin DropZip 5.0

Price: $US20

Expander 5.0

Price: free

URL: www.aladdinsys.com

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