Neither ZIP nor RAR, The best options for compressing files

Compressing files so that they take up less space and, incidentally, grouping them into a single file to be able to share them more quickly and easily is something that has been done for many years. In fact, when MS-DOS was the most used operating system, the ARJ compressor was already one of the most used, however, over the years other alternatives arrived, more complete alternatives and with a higher compression rate.

We can reduce the number of alternatives available to compress files that include any type of file to 4: ZIP, 7ZIP, RAR and RAR5. We will talk about all of them below to know which of all is the best option. But first, we must know all these applications, they are compatible with all the most used compression formats, so it is only necessary to install one of them.

The best options for compressing files


The ZIP compression format is the most widely used in the world. The main reason is because it is included natively in Windows, so users do not have to install any application from inside or outside the Microsoft Store to be able to compress or decompress these types of files.

However, the number of options when compressing is reduced to zero . Windows does not offer any option when using this compression format, so if we want to create volumes or add a password, this is not the application we are looking for. But, if we use the official application, WinZip, we can use the same compression options as any other application. The problem is that this application is not free since it has a price of 36.24 euros.


An interesting alternative to the open source and completely free ZIP format is found in 7ZIP, an application that offers a high compression rate that uses the LZMA and LZMA2 algorithms, allows you to encrypt files and create executable files that are decompressed just by executing them, no need to install the app.

7-Zip 22

7ZIP is available in Spanish, it is compatible from Windows XP onwards, it is available in 32 and 64 bit versions, it integrates with PowerShell and allows us to use it from the command line as well as using the graphical interface. We can download 7ZIP directly from its website by clicking on the following link .


Along with the ZIP format, RAR is another of the formats that has been in use for the longest time since its origins go back to MS-DOS. Over the years and the consequent evolution of Windows, RAR implemented a very simple and easy-to-use graphical interface. Winrar allows us to create password-protected files, integrates with Windows Explorer, allows us to create executable files and is ideal for working with large amounts of files.

WinRar is completely free to use and download for personal use. One of the negative points of this application is that it is only available for 64-bit versions of Windows, so users who use a 32-bit version of Windows 10 or earlier (Windows 11 is not available in a 32-bit version) , you will have to resort to other applications. We can download this application through its website .

There is no GUI version for Linux , in case we have the option to use the command line to install and use it.


RAR5 is a compression algorithm available through the WinRar application that not only improves compression performance , but also allows you to implement additional security measures such as AES-256 encryption and extends the maximum file size capable of manage.

ventana winrar

As it is a public algorithm, any application to decompress files is compatible with this format, although we will only achieve the highest compression rates using WinRar. The format of the compressed files using the RAR5 algorithm, have the extension .rar5 , to differentiate from the usual format.

Which is the best option

One of the best options for compressing files is 7Zip , an application that uses very efficient compression algorithms when compressing any type of file, is open source, completely free, and includes a large number of options.

But if you are looking for greater security when compressing files, the best option is RAR5, as it uses the most advanced compression algorithm and also includes a large number of functions aimed at security and the maximum size of the files that is able to compress.