WinZip

Introduction

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Summary

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On May 2nd, 2006, Toronto-based software company, Corel Corporation announced the acquisition of WinZip. WinZip supports the decoding of B64, HQX, and UUE files. It can also be used to unpack BZ2, LZH, RAR, Zipx, 7Z, LHA, and Zip files. It has configurable MS Windows Shell integration. It is available in 17 languages, including English, French, Italian, Dutch, Portuguese, Dutch, etc.

Following its acquisition by Corel Corporation, WinZip has released a version compatible with macOS, iOS and Android. On November 16th, 2010, WinZip released the first version for macOS. Also, WinZip released iOS first version on February 17th, 2012, and the Android version on June 19th, 2012. WinZip is a trialware software. Thus, it is not available for free download. However, it offers a 30-day trial period after which users can purchase the license to continue using the application.

About Winzip

As a data archiving tool, WinZip has gained the trust of millions in keeping their information private while making file sharing simpler. WinZip is compatible with the most popular platforms and devices. It provides an excellent way to store files in the cloud, attach email, and update data on social media. It is one of Corel’s list of useful software which includes Corel Draw, Paintshop, WinDVD, etc. WinZip is run by WinZip Computing (a subsidiary of Corel Corporation) with its headquarters in Mansfield, Connecticut in the USA.

In 1991, WinZip 1.0 was released on CompuServe as a graphical user interface (GUI) front-end for PKZIP (archiving and data compression tool). Later on, in 1993, it launched official support for its customers on Windows Utility Forum which has over 100,000 members. As of then, WinZip was downloadable for free. By 1994, it became the most sought after compression tool by system operators on CompuServe. With multiple upgrades to the software, WinZip 1.0 to WinZip 12.1 have expired and only latest versions are working.

WinZip has powerful sister applications that help to improve system performance and also keep PCs secure, i.e.,  WinZip Courier, WinZip Self-Extractor, and WinZip Command Line Add-on. WinZip Courier (having features of Email Companion) automatically zips all outgoing email attachments. Its supported email clients include Microsoft Outlook, Gmail, Hotmail amongst others. WinZip Self-Extractor adds self-extracting modules to ZIP archives. The command line add-on adds command line processing to WinZip.

Features

In its over 27 years of existence, WinZip has added new and exciting features making it the world’s top file archiver. Although it has discontinued some features and included new ones, this list curates them all. We have studied all these features (including that of WinZip 23.0) and outlined them below;

File Archiving

WinZip can be used to archive files. It can create and unpack supported archived files which include Zip64, Zip, Zipx, RAR, etc. It can be used to write archives directly to CD/DVD. It also supports email archives. If suitable external programs are installed, the application supports ARC and ARJ archives.

AES Encryption

WinZip is FIPS-197 certified. It has 128-bit and 256-bit AES encryption feature to help protect archived files. It doesn’t have a Central Directory Encryption feature, however.

Compression

WinZip supports several compression methods, which includes BZIP2, MP3, XZ, JPEG, ZIPX, WAVPACK, LZMA, and PPMD files. It also provides Unicode support to display international characters in a Zip file. In WinZip 15.5, new compression algorithms were added, which enables faster zipping.

Backup

This feature was added in WinZip 14, which allows users to backup archived files automatically. With an improved encryption feature, backup jobs are secured.

File Sharing

WinZip allows users to share files to storage and social media files. It also provides a 23 GB cloud storage on Dropbox, Google Drive, SkyDrive, and CloudMe.

UI Design

WinZip has a redefined user interface design. It has refined menu designs, more intuitive icons, and new ZIP/UNZIP gadget with drag-and-drop functionality. Users can also customize the interface of WinZip with interchangeable themes.

Folder Management

WinZip provides improved folder management. It has library grouping and Explorer preview feature which allows users to manage files directly from its interface. When you open an email attachment containing zip files, it opens a prompt message to save the document on the computer.

System Scanner

In WinZip 16.0, WinZip added a system scanner to the software for scanning and to help improve performance.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Multiple Archiving Support: WinZip is used to pack and unpack different archive formats. Users can unpack archived files in RAR, 7Z, Zipx, LHA, BZ2, LZH, and ZIP formats. It also supports ARC and ARJ file formats.
  • Easy Access to Email/Social Media/Cloud Services: Users can send archived files as an email attachment directly from the software. It also provides direct access to social media websites. Users can send Zip files via instant messaging to Facebook, Google Talk, etc. It provides a 23 GB free cloud storage on Dropbox, Google Drive, SkyDrive, and CloudMe, thereby making it easy for users to access files and prevent loss.
  • Security: WinZip is a secure application that provides bank-level AES encryption for its users. It helps to prevent loss and promote privacy.

Cons                                                          

  • Limited Language Support: WinZip offers limited support for different languages. The application is only available in 17 languages as indicated on its website.

Different Versions

It has sister applications which include;

  • WinZip for Mac/iPhone/iPad: This version of WinZip is compatible with macOS. It is used to zip and unzip files. It also has a supporting application called WinZip Mac Optimizer. It is used to boost performance (Download here). To download the app, click here. To buy, click here.
  • WinZip Courier: This application is used to send large email attachments. It can send files up to 5 GB per message is the ZipShare web service. Download here.
  • WinZip Command Line: This add-on provides the command line interface for WinZip without the usual GUI.
  • WinZip Enterprise: This is a multi-user version of WinZip. Mostly used by businesses, download WinZip Enterprise here.

Compatibility

WinZip is compatible with Windows, macOS operating system. It is also available on Android and iOS devices. Supported Windows operating system includes XP, Vista, 7, 8, 8.1, and 10.

FAQs

Is there a free version of WinZip?

No, there is no free version of WinZip. However, as a trialware software, WinZip offers a 30-day trial period for its users after which they can purchase a new license (costs €35.64) to continue using the product.

How do I unzip files without WinZip?

Windows XP or later has an inbuilt unzipping program. To unzip, right-click the file and choose Extract All, choose the directory/folder you want the documents stored on, and it would be extracted into the folder.

Do I need WinZip to unzip files?

No, other applications that are used to unzip files. For Windows, follow the instruction above. For Mac systems, double-click the document, and it’ll start unzipping immediately. For iPhone, download iZip, copy and paste the .zip file into the iZip folder. Open the iZip app and locate the archive through the Files option and extract. For Android, download ES File Explorer.

Is WinZip a virus?

No, WinZip is not a virus. It is a legitimate executable application for Windows, macOS, iOS and Android devices.

Summary                                             

WinZip is a file archiver. Developed by WinZip Computing in 1991, it is used to pack and unpack archived files in different formats. It is reputed to be the world’s number one file archived. Millions use WinZip all over the world. It is compatible with Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android. To download or buy the software, visit its website.