Why does WinZip still exist in 2022?


WinZip, WinRAR and other archiving software are designed to compress files and save space. This software was first introduced when floppy disk drives had a maximum size of 1.44MB, necessitating the need for compression.

However, storage technology has evolved. We have 8TB capacity SSDs, and it’s normal to have up to 1TB of cloud storage. We can also download gigabytes of data in minutes.


But why do we still use archiving and compression software? Let’s examine the reasons.

1. Reduce file size

Even though large storage capacities are common these days and most of us have a fast internet connection, files are still usually compressed when you download them. This is especially true if you are downloading multiple files simultaneously.

Many cloud storage and email services do this because it saves space. Although you may think that the space savings of a compressed file are minimal, it is still crucial for users who are not connected to a stable broadband network. For example, if you’re downloading a file using your cellular data connection, you’ll want to keep the data. It is therefore useful to compress (compress) a file.

File compression is also useful for archiving. If you want to keep a file but don’t intend to use it, you can use WinZip compression to reduce its size. This move will allow you to include more files in your archiving system. Although the reduced space may be small for an individual file, the space savings add up if you have multiple files or folders to archive.

2. Group files or folders into a single file

If you have a Google Drive and decide to upload multiple files, you will notice that your browser will download it as a compressed Zip file. In addition to reducing file size, which saves server bandwidth, it is also easier to transfer multiple files or folders in a single volume.

This ensures that no file or folder is sent as an incomplete download. For example, suppose you download an application to install from the Internet. If the app is not compressed into a single zip file, you will likely need to download multiple files, hundreds of them if the app is complicated.

In the event that one crucial file gets an aborted download while the rest completes, you may have no idea this happened. So, during the installation process, you will encounter an error, but unfortunately you will not know why.

But by making sure that all the files an application will need are stored in a single archive, you can be sure that once the download is complete, all the files maintain their integrity and your installation won’t fail. Moreover, it simplifies downloading as the user only needs to download one file.

3. Easy File Encryption

Another benefit you get from archiving files is easy encryption. If you want to send a confidential file, you can easily add a password to an archive. This means that when anyone, including you, wants to open it, they will first have to provide the password you set.

Although you can password protect files such as PDFs, Word documents and Excel spreadsheets, the protection is not strong enough. Also, not all files can be easily encrypted. For example, you cannot easily add a password to images, text files, folders, and other file types that do not support encryption.

Archiving software such as WinRAR and WinZip can add a password to almost any file, ensuring that no one except those with the correct password (or those who know how to crack them) can break into easily in your archive.

4. Convert optical discs to a single file

Optical media, such as CDs and DVDs, are out of fashion. In fact, most computers these days don’t have drives anymore, even laptops! However, if you still have software, digital videos, or music albums on a disc, you can back them up to your computer.

Indeed, plastic can become brittle over time, which makes it fragile. If your discs are already old enough and you insert them into a high-speed optical drive, they may break inside. Also, if not stored properly, they can warp and bend, making them unreadable.

If you don’t want to lose the data on these drives, you can copy them to your computer’s storage. However, if you keep them in folders, you risk accidentally deleting a file inside, thereby breaking the disk copy on your PC.

But if you use archival software instead and copy the entire disc, you don’t have to worry about losing a file from the CD. This is because your computer would store it as a whole, ensuring you don’t accidentally delete a file or folder that would render your backup copy unusable. And yes, if you are wondering, an ISO file is a type of archive!

5. Split a large file into smaller pieces

Back when the biggest portable storage media were CDs, which only had 600MB of capacity, you were limited to that size per file. If you had 2 GB, you had no choice but to take out the hard drive where it is saved and take it with you to transfer the file to another computer.

Even if you used file compression, you would probably be left with a 1.5 GB file, which still won’t fit in a single CD drive. Fortunately, some archiving software can split a single archive into multiple files. This way you can transport them to commonly available carriers.

For example, if you are using WinRAR, you can split a single large compressed file into multiple volumes. So, you can split a 1.5GB file into 500MB chunks. With this, you can transfer large files across multiple drives. You no longer have to take out your hard drive to give a friend a 2GB copy of your video.

WinZip: old but still useful

Archiving was first included in one of the earliest operating systems ever developed in 1969. So file compression has been around for over 50 years already. Even Windows has a built-in archiving tool, although it only started supporting the popular Zip format in Windows 98, with Windows Plus! To add.

Nevertheless, although it is an old technology, many companies still use it on a daily basis. Despite the proliferation of massive storage, super-fast internet, and convenient cloud storage, file compression apps still have a place in today’s modern world.


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