Zip files (.zip and .zipx) have been referred to as compressed folders, packages, containers, and archives. Zip files are the most common type ofarchive files that also compress data.
Zip files were originally created for use with computers running DOS and then Windows operating systems. Today Zip files are also commonly used on other operating systems, such as the Mac and Unix operating systems. As mentioned above, the files archived in a Zip file are usually, but not always, compressed. This saves space and also makes it easier to send them as email attachments. Zip files are also convenient for grouping data files. Rather than transporting, copying, or sending a number of files; you can zip them and easily work with one Zip file.
Zip files are not the only archive type of file that you may encounter. WinZip can be used to extract the contents of manyother archives as well. You may not even notice that you have downloaded another type of archive or that you received one by email. This is because WinZip associates itself with all of the archive file types with which it works and visually represents this association by causing the WinZip icon to display with the file name.Zip files (and other archives) contain information in a highly encoded form. In this form the information is not directly usable by other applications. With WinZip, you can extract the compressed files which will give you exact copies of the original ones in their original format. After extracting the contents of a Zip file, you have the option to delete the Zip file. Doing so will in no way affect the files that you extracted. However, you may also decide to keep the Zip file in an alternate location, such as an external drive, as a backup.
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Winzip- Windows data compression utility that supports zip, TAR, gzip, BinHex, and MIME. ARJ, LZH, and ARC formats. Includes ZipSend file delivery web service and ZipShare Facebook app.
7-Zip - Open source Windows utility for manipulating archives. Formats 7z, ZIP, GZIP, BZIP2 and TAR are supported fully, other formats can be unpacked.
ARC - File archiving and compression utility developed by Thom Henderson and which was popular before zip became predominant in the nineties.
ARJ Software - Offers file compression utilities using the ARJ format for 32 and 64 bit versions of Windows.
BitJazz Inc. - Lossless compression for photoquality images. Cross-platform. SDK. Free reader.
CAM UnZip - Free zip file utility for opening or creating ZIP archives. Supports password protection.
CoffeeCup Zip Wizard - Free Zip and Unzip utility including Zip Wizard that has built-in e-mail and FTP functions allowing files be compressed and sent in a single step.
FilZip - Free and simple to use Windows application that handles a variety of archive file formats, including .ace, .arc, .arj, .cab, .gz, .lha, .jar, .rar, .tar and of course .zip.
Info-ZIP - Free, portable compression and extraction utilities for archives compressed in .zip format. Discussion forum, source code, and binaries for several platforms.
JET-Software - Software house in Germany, with compression products for mainframe, midrange and mini systems.
Maximum Compression - Aims to show the maximum achievable lossless data compression ratio for several filetypes (text, executable, bmp). The best 150+ programs for every filetype are shown in a table indicating compression ratio and switches/options used to achieve that compression.
P7ZIP - A command line port of the 7zip utility to Unix, Mac OS X and BeOS.
PKWARE - PKZIP is the original security and compression utility for Windows desktop, server, IBM OS and Linux. Offers 30 day free trial period.
QccPack - Quantization, Compression, and Coding Library. C source code freely available.
QuikCAT Technologies - Specializing in data compression software technologies for wireless transmission, Internet acceleration, Microsoft Exchange and Lotus Notes E-mail acceleration, and PDA video conferencing, using cellular automata transforms.