If you’re someone that has so many files on your system that it’s starting to lag, you could probably really benefit from a tool that compresses and archives them. WinRAR does exactly that – It’s super quick, incredibly simple to learn to navigate, has the ability to create volumes, and even offers you secure password encryption so that you can have complete control over who sees those files.
But here’s the thing about WinRAR – After running through your trial (which is just over a month long, but that’s certainly not enough for an advanced or business minded user), it will run you about thirty-five bucks. While that’s not the worst hit to the wallet, there are a ton of completely free – and, in some cases, possibly even better – WinRAR software alternatives out there that do the exact same thing.
One major benefit to PeaZip is that it’s open-source software, which means that you won’t have to register your email address in order to use it. Their native format is called PEA – which stands for pack, encrypt, and authenticate – and they stay true to it; they offer optional but complimentary authenticated encryption and integrity checks in addition to their out of this world compression.
This software is also capable of supporting multiple volumes and nearly any file type, which makes it a perfect choice for anyone who shares and/or receives multiple files on the regular.
If you’re concerned about some of your files containing malware, you’re in luck – PeaZip gives you the opportunity to scan your files prior to extraction. If this sounds like the one for you, click here to learn more.
This file archiving tool comes to you from the same people that created the Bandicam Screen Recorder. It’s really easy to navigate (which is perfect for beginners or modest computer users) and has the ability to compress all sorts of different types of files, including RAR.
If you plan to use your archiving tool regularly, Bandizip gives you the option of integrating with your Windows context menu. If the software thinks that you possess some files that won’t compress particularly well, it gives you the option to skip them.
One small downside to Bandizip is that it doesn’t have a malware scanning option prior to the extraction of files, but if your device has a stellar security system you shouldn’t have to worry too much about it. Try it out here.
7-Zip is one of the most popular WinRAR alternatives, and with good reason – It’s capable of extracting nearly every type of file out there, it can pack files in more formats than a lot of other similar software, and it comes brimming with features that are almost always hidden behind a paywall of some sort.
This software is especially handy to have on hand if you’re someone who shares or has a lot of files because it has the ability to seamlessly integrate with your Windows system. This means that after integration, extraction and compression are really as simple as a couple of clicks.
It’s another open source software that’s completely free for commercial and residential use and with all of its awesome extras, it might even be better than WinRAR. Check it out here.
4. Ashampoo Zip Free
We’re throwing this one on the list because it does everything that WinRAR can do and might even be more attractive to someone that’s looking to purchase a premium alternative; Ashampoo Zip Free probably fits better in the ‘freemium’ category, but it’s free all the same.
It supports over 30 different file types (including RAR, of course) and has the ability to create packages of various types as well. The interface is quite attractive and very easy to navigate, and you can even preview your files before extraction if you’d like.
Now for the downsides: A lot of the tiles in the interface seem to be adverts for their premium version. Their sign up process is also pretty tedious in comparison to some others, but if you ever end up purchasing any of Ashampoo’s other products, you’re already set up. If this sounds like the sort of thing that you’re looking for, you can learn more and/or download Ashampoo Zip Free by clicking here.
This is the perfect extraction and archiving software that beginner users can get their hands on. In addition to being fantastically simplistic, Zipware makes security a big priority and gives you the option of scanning anything before opening it and giving the contents the ability to wreak havoc on your system.
To make your life a little easier, this file archiving software incorporates a drag-and-drop system in addition to the regular click-and-upload one. It’s able to extract nearly every type of compressed file type out there, but it only gives you the option to create archives in a few. This shouldn’t be a problem for most users but is still worth mentioning for those use their systems in a slightly more advanced manner.
It also integrates seamlessly with your Windows context menu, which again, is perfect for modest users. Download it by clicking here.
Are you currently using a file encryption and archiving tool? Which one is your favorite and why?
Our personal favorite is Peazip but it seems 7-Zip catches more and more popularity, here’s a video showing its power vs Winrar.