File compression software makes it easy and simple to compress your files for easier storage, sharing via email, sending to a remote cloud server, and archiving the files.
Not only that, but compression software also reduces files and offers plenty of extra features including file encryption and protecting them with a password.
The ZIP format is the most commonly used for compression, but you can still find others like it. However, you still need a program that can handle more than one type of file compression.
WinZip is a powerful and reliable file compression and archival software that’s available across a range of platforms. However, it’s not a cheap compression utility even though you can download and use it for a short evaluation period before committing to a purchase.
If you’re looking for a free WinZip alternative with impressive compression ratios and speeds, supports a wide range of archive formats, and still provides plenty of other features, here are some options to try.
WinZip is an incredibly useful file compression tool, but if you’d rather not pay, here are 15 of the best free WinZip alternatives worth considering.
7-Zip is a free utility first released in 1999 that lets you extract compressed files. The free compression tool offers some neat features that let you create compressed files in multiple formats, with an impressive compression ratio and decent compression speeds.
Unlike WinZip, which only offers a free trial and is expensive, 7-Zip is open-source and completely free, even for commercial use. The software is small in size so it won’t take up any significant space on your device and can pack or unpack any compressed file archive you want.
The tool’s interface may not be well-designed, but you can still find files that you want to archive by dragging and dropping them into the main window or through its Windows Explorer-style file tree.
On top of that, the software has a 7z format for high compression, which lets you compress gigantic files. You can also unpack your compressed files into many common formats including ZIP and TAR, plus others like CPIO, CAB, DEB, ARJ, DMG, and CHM.
Plus, you get AES-256 bit encryption to encrypt file names and apply password protection to packaged archives. You can also split packaged archives into volumes, which comes in handy when you want to share large archives.
The software integrates with Windows, making it a stronger option than the native compression tool in the operating system besides offering more features. 7-Zip is also available worldwide and offers at least 79 languages for its users.
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PeaZip is less streamlined than 7-Zip but it’s packed with powerful, advanced security features.
The open-source WinZip alternative is a bit larger in size compared to other tools, and its standard installation makes file associations while automatically adding context menu options.
PeaZip is compatible with most compressed file formats available. Its own format, PEA, puts security first, over compression, and offers optional authenticated encryption and integrity checks.
The tool can also repair damaged archives, convert archive formats, test archives for errors, and crop and rotate images.
Unlike WinZip, which now works for most, if not all, operating systems and platforms, PeaZip only works with Windows and Linux, with plenty of security options. Besides regular compression and decompression options, PeaZip also offers 256-based encryption, 2-factor authentication, and a password manager.
PeaZip is also completely free so you can use it anytime you want unlike WinZip, which only offers an evaluation version, but it’s not free software.
You can only try WinZip using the evaluation version for 30 days prior to buying the software, while PeaZip is free forever.
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Zip Free by Ashampoo is another free WinZip alternative that’s easy to navigate and is optimized for touch screens with tap-friendly icons.
The software offers an archive repair tool, free file previews before you extract archives, and it doesn’t hide its best features behind a complex system of menus.
Zip Free also offers encryption and decryption tools, but those are paid apps. Thankfully, you can get other useful features for free including archive creation and extraction and multi-volume ZIP writing.
The software supports comfort features like a display of progress on taskbar icons for Windows and jump lists. It also has a tile-based design with quick access to the essential features, but you can personalize the tiles by rearranging them to your liking.
Each of Zip Free’s features are clearly explained and presented, plus you don’t get an overwhelming number of options with the software. If you’re an average user, Zip Free is an excellent choice, and you don’t have to pay for it or worry about a limited free trial as you would with the paid WinZip software.
Zip Free has a beautiful graphical interface that’s easy to use and intuitive. Plus, it fully integrates with Windows. 7/8/10, Windows Explorer Shell and Windows Server Editions.
The tool also supports the creation and extraction of ZIP, CAB, 7-ZIP, TAR, and LHA formats, but you can also extract over 30 different formats including RAR, VHD, RPM, ARJ, ZIPX, NSIS, MSI, and more.
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Zipware is a free and simple zip software for Windows that’s designed to be fast and stable, handling small and large archives with lots of files. Unlike WinZip, which is designed to work with different operating systems, Zipware only works with Windows but supports major archiving formats.
The software also supports GZIP and TAR among other Linux archive formats, and it comes with a built-in virus scanner and well-designed user interface.
Zipware is free for personal or commercial use, unlike WinZip, whose free trial lasts only 30 days, after which you’ll have to pay to use it, whether as an individual or enterprise.
Plus, Zipware allows you to check for any threats like malware or viruses for archives over 32GB so you can be sure about extracting downloaded archives. You can create ZIP, 7-ZIP, or EXE files and extract multiple file formats including ZIP, ISO, ZIPX, GZIP, TAR, and many more.
Zipware also allows you to create passwords for your archives, which are encrypted with 256-bit encryption and enjoy full drag-and-drop support in Windows. The tool also uses Verisign/Symantec digital certificates to prevent tampering after publications.
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5. Zip Archiver
Zip Archiver is a well-designed, free WinZip alternative by Hamstersoft. The software comes with an intuitive design, straightforward navigation with intuitive touches including the ability to upload archives to cloud services, and a simple slider to adjust compression levels.
The software can create archives, open a variety of compressed file formats like 7z and ZIP files, and has a drag and drop support for many formats.
Unlike WinZip, which works on multiple platforms including mobile and desktop, Zip Archiver only works on Windows. However, Zip Archiver is completely free to use compared to WinZip, which is only free for 30 days, after which you have to upgrade to access all its features.
Zipware may not be the first name when you consider file compression tools, but it has a huge following thanks to its excellent format support, thoughtfully designed interface, and it’s free.
The program is also incredibly easy to use whether you’re a novice or professional trying to compress or decompress files, and you can create or extract archives to any format. This means you can compress a file, upload it to Google Drive or Dropbox or your preferred cloud service, and get a shareable link to share the file with others.
You also get the option to use the Windows context menu if you don’t want to use Zip Archiver’s drag and drop interface.
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Bandizip is an archiver software that provides powerful yet convenient features and ultrafast processing speed. The software is available for free, but it also has paid editions with advanced features.
The free option supports all versions of the Windows operating system, offers fast compression with multi-core, extraction for more than 30 formats, all-inclusive compression, and decompression. Plus, you get an editing archiver, and you can compress archives with passwords and multi-volume.
The free tool is safe to use as it doesn’t come with any malware or adware, and you can scan files for viruses before opening them. If you have a high-end computer, Bandizip will leverage all the cores for better and faster compression.
You also get powerful 256-bit encryption and ZipCrypto for optimum protection.
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Zip Extractor is a free tool in the form of a browser extension for Google Chrome that lets you extract compressed files from a cloud storage service or computer. The extension is good to use when you don’t want to download and install any apps to your computer and do everything from your browser.
Unlike WinZip, which has apps for desktop and mobile devices, Zip Extractor is a browser extension plus it’s free to use and doesn’t come with any feature restrictions.
The interface is simple and provides support for multiple compression formats. You also get easy options when you want to share the extracted files with other users and you can extract many files simultaneously.
B1 Free Archiver is a friendly and simple free archiver that works fast and smart on all platforms, just like WinZip. The software offers excellent compression, and you don’t have to register or pay anything as WinZip requires you to, before using the software’s features.
The full-featured tool supports most popular formats including ZIP, XPI, RAR, JAR, B1, ARJ, 7Z, and many others, and works with password-protected and split archives. You can also use it as a file manager.
The software applies the highest safety standards and values your privacy so that your personal information is safe. Plus, B1 Free Archiver works light speed fast with many files, large archives, and doesn’t install any malicious software.
The open archive format is free for personal and commercial use, so you can use it in any of your products or services. WinZip requires a paid subscription once the 30-day free trial period lapses.
Plus, B1 Free Archiver has an active developer community, encryption to protect your data through its 256-bit encryption algorithm, so no one can read or extract your files without a password.
ExtractNow is a completely free, simple utility with a simple interface that lets you extract multiple archives easily and quickly. The tool isn’t a complete archival solution, but it’s designed mainly to extract multiple archives or unpack files.
You can drag and drop files that you have compressed into the ExtractNow interface, and extract all of them at a go. Other tools can do the extraction simultaneously, but ExtractNow makes it easy for you to extract in one click.
Like WinZip, the software supports popular file formats for extraction, but the main difference is that it’s free to use for personal and commercial purposes, while WinZip is a paid tool.
Plus, ExtractNow has a simple and intuitive interface for batch archive extractions and allows you to use password lists to find the correct password for an archive.
You can also search through folders recursively for archives, control what happens after you extract files, and monitor directories for automatic extraction.
ExtractNow offers multilingual user interface support, besides support for advanced customizations via the Lua scripting feature. It also integrates with Windows Explorer via context menus and file type associations.
JZip is a free file compression tool based on the 7-Zip technology, and that lets you pack or unpack files with ease.
The tool is perfect for novices and has a simple interface so you can easily create ZIP compatible files, unzip and zip file archives, and supports archive formats including RAR, GZip, and TAR.
You have to extract the content of the archive files to a folder on your hard drive before using them, and jZip assists with that. You can also access any type of compressed file, making formats like ZIP, RAR, and 7Z files efficient and easy for accessing and storing data.
jZip also offers an improved compression ratio, a fast compression engine, and best of all, it’s completely free to use, unlike the premium WinZip tool.
11. The Unarchiver
The Unarchiver is an easy-to-use small program that helps you unarchive different archive files from common formats including 7-Zip, ZIP, RAR, TAR, Gzip, and Bzip2. The software can also open many older formats including ARJ, LZH, ARC, Stuffit, DiskDoubler, BIN disc, and ISO among others.
You can open any archive in seconds, and the Unarchiver will try to detect and handle filename encoding correctly for any archive it opens. This way, you can open files from anywhere without getting garbled file names.
Like WinZip, you can use The Unarchiver on a Mac computer, but its underlying unarchiving code allows it to run on other operating systems. Plus, The Unarchiver is completely free to download and use for your personal or commercial needs, and it doesn’t have an in-app option for extra features.
The free data compression tool can also read non-Latin characters, and you can install it on your Mac or other operating systems in just a few mouse clicks.
As its name suggests, PowerArchiver is a file archiver software designed for use with Windows operating system. The tool offers support for creating ZIP, 7Z, and TAR among other disk image formats, but you can also use it to encrypt and decrypt any file or folder.
PowerArchiver uses a secure FTP client, automatically compresses and encrypts files in MS Office, and is simple to install and manage. Plus, it has a native preview window so you can see images and text without extracting the files.
While PowerArchiver is free to use compared to the expensive WinZip, it only works with Windows. However, this shouldn’t be a limiting factor considering you get all the basic compression features that you’d otherwise have to pay for in WinZip.
This free file archiver is designed for Windows users and it comes with a host of features that you’d find with WinZip, making it a worthy alternative to the paid tool. The software can open the most basic used archive formats including TAR, ZIP, RAR, GZ, and GZip.
IZArc provides 256-bit security, and you can effortlessly compress or decompress important files. Plus, it supports a drag and drop interface, converts CD images, allows you to email archives, and repair broken archives effortlessly.
IZArc also integrates with the context menu in Windows Explorer and allows you to scan any archive for viruses or malware. You can also add or view comments in the archive files.
The interface is modern and easy to use, and you get built-in multilingual support. You can also create self-extracting archives if you need to send large files to others who may not have the archiving software.
Unlike WinZip, which you have to purchase to use, IZArc is completely free to use even for commercial purposes.
14. CAM UnZip
CAM UnZip is another free ZIP file utility software that lets you open, create, and modify ZIP files in your folders. The tool can open files you created with other file compression tools including WinZip and 7-Zip quickly and easily.
You can view the files you want to extract from a folder before extracting them, add or remove files, and create new ZIP files when you want.
The software works only with Windows, unlike WinZip that offers desktop and mobile apps, but you also get a portable install option to run CAM UnZip from a USB drive or cloud storage without making changes to your system.
CAM UnZip also offers command line support to use with the Send To menu and encrypted password-protected ZIP file support.
RAR File Extractor is mainly used to extract RAR files. This simple, free, and effective software can quickly extract and decompress your files and folders. You can select a RAR file in the folder and extract it to an output folder, overwrite extracted files, and view them when completed.
The software also supports the process of breaking multi-volume or large file sizes into a small, RAR archive file.
It’s completely free to use to extract files, unlike WinZip, which charges you a fee to achieve the same purpose. Plus, you can use it for your personal and commercial purposes.
WinZip is an excellent file compression tool and one of the most famous in the world of software utilities for nearly three decades. If you’re wondering whether to justify spending money on a compression tool when you can get a free WinZip alternative, it all comes down to your priorities.
While WinZip does provide lots of extras for your money and is flexible enough to work in the way that suits you best, you don’t really have to pay for basic features.
Any of these 15 free WinZip alternatives offer the very least file compression, extraction, and protection features.
If you’re finding it hard to pick one out of these 15 free options, consider factors like an easy-to-use interface, compression speed, security, integration with other tools, plugin support, multi-platform support, encryption algorithm, and support for file formats and compressions.
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