Rar archives are usually less effective than archive “packages” with 7 zip files. For some file types, 7-zip is more efficient than WinRar or WinZip can do.
To give you an example: I work a lot with database dump files and log files. Messing around with the archive settings, I get a lot of 4GB dump files down to about 100MB. I’m happy WinZip gets the same file backed up to 700MB, with WinRar I’m happy this is 500MB.
I often have to transfer these types of files over the Internet. The extra time it takes to get hold of this little 7-zip file is not much more than other archives. The time savings during transfer that these smaller files give me is much higher. Smaller files are generally less prone to corruption during transfer.
So since I started using 7-zip, I no longer have any use for other archivers. It does exactly what it’s supposed to do, and it doesn’t cost you a button, you can ‘tinker’ a bit with the 7-zip archive format settings if you’re interested (or it doesn’t cost you at all, okay too) and you can download its themes, allowing you to customize the icons and interface graphic user.
The reason why you can’t create .rar files with 7-zip is because RarLabs didn’t open that archive format. They should of course know that this is their product. However, I’m much happier with 7-zip than WinRar.
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