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I know Winzip is not free and 7-zip is free . Other than this is there any reason why I should use 7ZIP over Winzip for compression ? I am using Windows 7 .

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closed as not constructive by heavyd, EBGreen, KronoS, Daniel Beck Jan 16 '13 at 19:29

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Does this question have an objective answer? – Redandwhite Jan 16 '13 at 19:08
Please refer to this meta post when asking question that will elicit recommendation of software. – KronoS Jan 16 '13 at 19:12
up vote 6 down vote accepted

7-Zip supports more formats

(and, it would be legal to use as you said)

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There is no substantial reason that cannot be debated why 7zip or WinZip is any better than the alternative.

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Especially if you are using the latest version of WinZip, which supports the most valuable compression algorithm of the 7-Zip program (LZMA compression). WinZip itself may introduce potential incompatibilities that make its output files work better or worse than the output of 7-Zip with other compression programs, but it all depends on the use case of the zip files -- if it's meant for distributing an archive to the general public, you want standards compliance; if it's just in-house data backup, do whatever you want. – allquixotic Jan 16 '13 at 19:02

The most important reason for me is that 7zip is open source.

The second one is 7zip supporting much more compression formats.

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I have not found a single compression archive that the current version of WinZip could not open up that 7-zip could. – Ramhound Jan 16 '13 at 19:50

From 7-Zip's website:

  • 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

From WinZip's website:

  • Nothing said about compression ratio
  • Supported formats:
    • Zip, Zipx, RAR, 7Zip, BZ2, LHA/LZH and many more.
  • 128- or 256-bit AES

Primarily, it depends on what you are using it for and what the person receiving the files is capable of accessing.

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I don't really trust the 7-zip website since I know 7-zip has not had an update in nearly 3 years and WinZip has had several. So the 2-10% better ratio claim might not even still be true. Besides most of 7-Zip's list also applies to WinZip ( i.e. Integration with Windows Shell ). – Ramhound Jan 16 '13 at 19:52

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