Most people know about ZIP and RAR, two forms of compression that can make large files much smaller to make them easier to transfer over the net. It’s pretty impossible to use the net for long without running into a ZIP file, but about a 7-Zip file? If you’re curious, or if you’ve just downloaded a file that ends in .7z and want to know what’s going on – read on!
Installation and Setup
7-Zip will install in seconds and use only 3MB of space, which is perfect for a program that you’ll likely keep on your computer at all times. Idle, 7-zip uses virtually no resources, although it uses a fair about of CPU and RAM when it’s extracting or compressing files. This is to be expected though, and the program doesn’t use significantly more or less resources to work than any other leading compression programs.
Ease of Use
7-Zip – like most compression formats- make bigger files much smaller. It can also combine several files into a single file to make transferring them easier. For example, if you had two word documents, a presentation, 20 pictures and music file, you could convert all the files to the 7-Zip and come out with a single file that’s smaller than the others combined. That file can then be extracted later. The compression works best on things that haven’t already been compressed, so files like MP3 and JPG that already use compression won’t be reduced in size as much as others.
7-Zip offers a variety of features including Outlook integration, Password Protection and Multi Volume support. You can also integrate the program with Windows which means you can access the programs features through your right click menu in explorer rather than loading up the program each time.
The interface is nothing outstanding but the overall design of the program makes sense, and due to its integration features you’ll likely be using the program combined with Windows rather than on a standalone basis, at any rate.
Various sites around the world offer files compressed with 7-Zip, so why not give it a go?