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What Is WinRAR? What Makes It Unique From WinZip

Well, If you’ve ever had to unzip a file, you’ve probably used WINRAR or WinZip. Both are utilities designed to compress or extract data from compressed files, but there are significant differences in performance and price.

In this article, we’ll go over some of the major features differences between the two programs, as well as a quick look at price and performance.

What Is WinRAR?

It’s become a running gag to wonder if people paid for WinRAR. The program provides a 40-day free trial before prompting you to pay. It is, however, still usable after the trial period without pay.

WinRAR, believe it or not, goes beyond the meme.

WinRAR

In fact, WinRAR has become one of the most widely used file archivers and compression utilities on Windows. Well, It was first released in April of 1995, and the most recent update was released on June 29, 2020. However, the program is still supported and used on a global scale.

Feature Differences

The most obvious difference between WinRAR and WinZip maybe that one supports RAR files and the other supports ZIP files, but this is not the case—both programs support both file types.

In fact, here is a list of all the file types that are supported by each.

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WinRAR WinZIP
ZIP ZIP
RAR RAR
7Z 7Z
CAB CAB
LZH LZH
ZIPX ZIPX
ISO ISO
TAR TAR
GZip GZip
XZ XZ
BZ2 BZ2
Z Z
UUE VHD
GZ VDMX
001
ARJ
JAR

Both programs can compress and extract files, but the performance of the two isn’t noticeably different.

It should be noted that, while WinZip can be used on a Mac, WinRAR is only available for Windows. However, there are other options available if you want to work with RAR files on a Mac platform (including WinZip itself.)

Price: WinRAR Free Trial Is Permanent

Because of its free price, WinRAR is a popular choice among many users. It provides a free 40-day trial, after which you will be prompted to pay, but this is never enforced. In fact, WinRAR’s business model includes an indefinite free trial.

WinRAR is a once-in-a-while tool for the average user. The majority of the company’s revenue is generated by special features included for enterprise-level clients.

WinZip, on the other hand, provides a 21-day trial. When this time period expires, you must pay, or the service will cease to function. As a result, WinZip is frequently regarded as a “premium” service, despite the fact that the performance difference isn’t that significant.

Performance: There Is Very Little Difference

We created a test consisting of 20 files of various file types and sizes, including documents, images, video, and audio, to compare performance between WinRAR and WinZip. The files totaled 1.78 GB in size. Next, we calculated the compression rate, the time it took to compress the files, and the final result.

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WinRAR

WinRAR compressed the files in 2 minutes and 6 seconds. When finished, the final compressed files weighed in at 1.77 GB, a minuscule difference.

WinZip, on the other hand, took 11 seconds to add the files to its folder and then compressed them in the background, making tracking the total time much more difficult. The end result, however, was the same: a 1% compression for a final size of 1.77 GB.

Neither program compressed files significantly, but this was due to the fact that the majority of the files were multimedia. Because multimedia files are already compressed, they typically do not compress significantly. Documents and text files, on the other hand, experience much greater compression.

Many people prefer 7zip to WinRAR these days because it comes pre-installed on many PCs or is packaged with GPU drivers. However, WinRAR is still useful, especially if you want better compression without paying a lot of prices.

Don’t feel bad about not purchasing WinRAR. As previously stated, it’s part of the business model. The revenue generated by enterprise-level purchases more than compensates for the users who just need to unzip a file one or twice a year.

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