Data sharing is the backbone of effective team collaboration. Sharing small files via email is possible, but sharing becomes problematic as the data size exceeds several gigabytes.
To solve this problem, almost all operating systems allow users to compress large amounts of data into smaller packages for easier sharing. Since using third-party tools streamlines the file compression process, we will introduce you to some of the best file compression software.
How does file compression work?
Generally, file compression involves reducing the actual size of the data while preserving the information it contains. This allows people to easily share data – consuming less bandwidth and data space and saving a lot of time for sender and receiver. Check out our guide to learn more about file compression, its types, and practical applications.
Even though there are hundreds of file compression programs available, each with their pros and cons, here are four of the best you should try:
WinRAR, a popular compression tool, can be your best choice for all your compression needs. WinRAR official website shows that more than 500 million people have used the software, which says a lot about its reliability and trustworthiness.
WinRAR can handle the task quickly regardless of the size of the files to be compressed. You can name any popular compression format and WinRAR will probably support it. Moreover, it works equally well on all versions of Windows.
Moreover, WinRAR cares about the security of your data and comes with 256-bit password encryption to ensure that no one can access your files no matter how hard they try. WinRAR offers a 40-day free trial, so you can try out its features before deciding to buy it. To learn more about its premium pricing, visit the WinRAR product listing page.
There is only one downside: the user interface is not beginner-friendly. You’ll have to bump your head the first couple times before you get used to it. As long as you don’t mind, WinRAR should suffice for your compression needs.
To download: WinRAR for Windows (free in-app purchases available)
WinZip is another popular file compression software for Windows. It compresses small files fairly quickly, but according to our tests, it usually takes longer to compress large files. With WinZip, you can quickly share compressed files, so the moment you zip a file, you can share it with others with just a few clicks.
Plus, with smooth encryption, you can share zip files with peace of mind without worrying about unauthorized access. Moreover, since you can integrate it with your favorite cloud storage service, it will be easy to move data between your local and cloud storage.
With the very beginner-friendly interface, you will have no trouble adjusting to it. You can access your files the same way as in File Explorer, so finding your files will be a piece of cake. WinZip also works to compress most file types, and if you’re constantly annoyed with duplicates creeping into your compressed folders, this program can help you avoid the problem.
Although WinZip does not offer a free version, it does offer a trial version. You need to subscribe to the premium version to access all the features of the software and get the most out of it. The product listing page on the WinZip website lists the different pricing plans and what each offers.
To download: WinZip for Windows (trial version, in-app purchases available)
Among the best compression tools, Express Zip is another reputable name. The software does not have a visually appealing interface, but its drag-and-drop functionality makes it easy to compress dozens of files.
Moreover, easy file sharing is one of the main features of this software, and the support for more than thirty different formats is the icing on the cake. However, you have to remember that it often gets a bit slow when compressing large files.
It’s also easy to password protect compressed files before sharing, and data encryption protects them from prying eyes. You can also select the level of compression you prefer, and the tool will compress it quickly but at a larger size or deep compression but at a slower speed.
Even though Express Zip offers most of its basic file compression features for free, it offers a commercial version. See pricing details on the Express Zip product listing page.
To download: Express Zip for Windows (free in-app purchases available)
Bandizip is another less popular but useful tool for file compression. While its free version provides basic compression, its premium version offers a host of additional features. Discover its prices on its official website.
Bandizip is a top choice for Windows users due to its combination of high-efficiency compression and encryption. With a compression rate six times higher than the average, the AES256 encryption algorithm ensures that your data is protected from prying eyes.
Bandizip’s interface is super smooth, with guided instructions for every step of the file compression process, so it’s perfect for beginners and non-techies alike. In addition to detecting malware in compressed files, the software also alerts you to potential threats when adding new documents, thus keeping your computer safe.
To download: Bandizip for Windows (free in-app purchases available)
Are these four options enough?
Our above list of file compression software should cover all your file compression needs. If you still want to learn more, you can check out our guide to the best file compression and extraction programs. Each of these options is equally useful.
Use file compression software to easily share files
After learning how file compression works and can save you a lot of bandwidth and time, you should take advantage of the four third-party tools we’ve shared with you. Since they all offer free versions, you should try them all and choose the one that suits you best.
Do you know you can compress data in Windows 11 so apps can access files in the compressed folder without decompressing them? By doing so, you can free up space on your hard drive without sacrificing the app itself. Therefore, you should explore this feature further!