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Compressing with RAR vs ZIP

As many will know, the RAR format produces consistently better results than ZIP. I've used RAR happily for many years and it's really occurred to me that there may be better out there.

Are there any better compression algorithms than RAR out there that are accessible? By accessible I mean are used by at least some minority and available to the public?

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marked as duplicate by Daniel Beck, slhck, Dave M, Sathya Feb 2 '12 at 14:12

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

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3 Answers

Use 7-Zip for better compression

Features:

  • High compression ratio in 7z format with LZMA and LZMA2 compression
  • Supported formats:
    • Packing / unpacking: 7z, XZ, BZIP2, GZIP, TAR, ZIP and WIM
    • Unpacking only: ARJ, CAB, CHM, CPIO, CramFS, DEB, DMG, FAT, HFS, ISO, LZH, LZMA, MBR, MSI, NSIS, NTFS, RAR, RPM, SquashFS, UDF, VHD, WIM, XAR and Z.
  • For ZIP and GZIP formats, 7-Zip provides a compression ratio that is 2-10 % better than the ratio provided by PKZip and WinZip
  • Strong AES-256 encryption in 7z and ZIP formats
  • Self-extracting capability for 7z format
  • Integration with Windows Shell
  • Powerful File Manager
  • Powerful command line version
  • Plugin for FAR Manager
  • Localizations for 79 languages

EDIT:

Refer this existing question Compressing with RAR vs ZIP

Direct link to the answer Compressing with RAR vs ZIP

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Cite your sources. –  Daniel Beck Feb 2 '12 at 13:36
    
7-Zip is also Free Software, wereas RAR is really proprietary, to the point where the RAR 3.0 format had to be reverse-engineered. –  Broam Feb 2 '12 at 13:44
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RAR isn't a compression but a container similar to avi or mpeg or mov or matroska. The only thing is that it uses a slighlty modified and patented prediction by partial matching algorithmus http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prediction_by_partial_matching it uses very smart context modeling and a statistical or dictionnary compression. Basically compression is highly dependent on the data so it's difficult to say what's best. That's because context modeling and preprocessing is so succesful. There are many free implementation of ppm around.

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7 zip can provide you with other formats of archives
here is a study that shows .7z is slightly better than .rar (for compression) and .zip wins for speed, but the best is up for debate as .rar is generally more recognized than .7z and .zip is the most recognized.

Bang for buck both .rar and .7z have adequate compression and adequate speed. You didn't mention you're looking to save the most amount of time or space so either will probably work great for you.

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