When it comes to making use of compressed files or compressing several elements into one, there are several formats to deal with. The standard compression format is ZIP, however, there are several types of format that allow us to play with the quality of the compression to a greater or lesser extent. 7Z and RAR are two of the best known, although there are others such as TAR.GZ or 7ZIP. What are the differences between ZIP vs RAR vs 7Z really? Which format compresses the most and which is the most compatible with Windows, Mac and Linux? We see it below.
ZIP format - the standard for macOS, Windows, and Linux
If until a few years ago decompressing .zip files required the use of an external program, today this format has been accepted by the three main computer operating systems in their most recent versions as it is a free compression format.
Unzipping, compressing or moving ZIP files in Windows 10, macOS High Sierra or Ubuntu 19.04 is as simple as right-clicking on the file in question and selecting the corresponding option . But what are its advantages beyond compatibility with all operating systems?
A grosso way to compress any .zip file will take less time than other compression formats , leading to the generation of a larger file size when compared to RAR or TAR.
.rar: the proprietary format that allows you to configure the compression quality
RAR vs ZIP, ZIP vs RAR ... The eternal between the two most popular compression formats is sown. What differentiates them?
Despite being a proprietary format, that is, its use and distribution is not free, it is based on the free LZSS standard, which dates back to 1977, which gives it a series of advantages and disadvantages. The first one is that it allows adjusting the compression quality based on the size of the file we want to obtain: from light to solid. In contrast, compression times are usually longer.
Another advantage of RAR has to do with its compression rate: they generally occupy less size than files in ZIP format . Added to this are the associated benefits of RAR-compatible programs, such as WinRAR or unRAR.
Volume compression, possibility of establishing passwords, recovery of damaged sectors, malware analysis ... Unfortunately, we will have to resort to an external program to use them, since it is not compatible with any operating system by default.
7ZIP 0 7Z: the logical evolution of ZIP
7ZIP is not a compression standard, but rather one of the programs compatible with the 7Z format, the use and distribution of which is also free. So what is .7z?
If we talk about 7Z as a file format, the standard comes as the logical evolution of ZIP, with compression rates that significantly exceed those of the RAR and ZIP standards . To achieve this high compression rate, 7Z makes use of a greater amount of RAM, which has a strong impact on computer performance and compression times, generally longer than those of other formats.
Regarding compatibility, although the format is free, today it is only compatible with macOS and Linux as standard in reading functions, since we will not be able to generate files of this type. In Windows we will have to resort to the 7ZIP program, either to create a 7Z file, open it or generate several volumes.