WinRAR

WinRAR is a powerful archive manager. It can backup your data and reduce size of email attachments, decompress RAR, ZIP and other files downloaded from Internet and create new archives in RAR and ZIP file format. You may try WinRAR before buy, its trial version is available in downloads.

1. What is a RAR file

RAR is the native format of WinRAR archiver. Like other archives, RAR files are data containers, they store one or several files in the compressed form. After you downloaded RAR file from Internet, you need to unpack its contents in order to use it.

2. How to handle RAR files

WinRAR provides the complete support for RAR files, so you may both create and unpack them. If you installed WinRAR on your computer and downloaded RAR file from Internet, you may double click on RAR file icon to open it in WinRAR, select all files, press "Extract To" button, enter a destination path and press "OK". Another way is to click on the RAR file in Explorer using the right mouse button. If you enabled "Shell integration" option when installing WinRAR, the file context menu will contain "Extract to …" item.

Some RAR files can be parts of multi-volume sequences. In WinRAR you can split a huge archive to a few smaller files, which are called volumes. They may have extensions .rar (the first volume), .r00, .r01, …, or .part1.rar (the first volume), .part2.rar, …, etc. If you need to unpack volumes, place all them to the same folder and start extraction from the first volume.

3. RAR versus ZIP

Comparing to ZIP file format, RAR provides a number of advanced features: more convenient multipart (multivolume) archives, tight compression including special solid, multimedia and text modes, strong AES-128 encryption, recovery records helping to repair an archive even in case of physical data damage, Unicode support to process non-English file names and a lot more.

The WinRAR program at a glance includes:

  • WinRAR is a powerful compression tool with many integrated additional functions to help you organize your compressed archives.
  • WinRAR puts you ahead of the crowd when it comes to compression. By consistently creating smaller archives, WinRAR is often faster than the competition. This will save you disc space, transmission costs AND valuable working time as well.
  • WinRAR supports all popular compression formats (RAR, ZIP, CAB, ARJ, LZH, ACE, TAR, GZip, UUE, ISO, BZIP2, Z and 7-Zip).
  • WinRAR is ideal for multimedia files. WinRAR automatically recognizes and selects the best compression method. The special compression algorithm compresses multimedia files, executables and object libraries particularly well.
  • WinRAR allows you to split archives into separate volumes easily, making it possible to save them on several disks for example.
  • WinRAR is also ideal, if you are sending data through the web. Its 128 bit password encryption and its authenticated signature technology will give you the peace of mind you have been looking for.
  • WinRAR is shareware, meaning you have the chance to thoroughly test it. The program can be used absolutely free of charge for 40 days!
  • WinRAR licenses are valid for all available language and platform versions. If you have purchased several licenses, you can even mix versions to meet your own personal needs.

The requirements of the WinRAR program are:

  • At least 3MB of free hard drive space
  • Windows 98/98SE/2K/ME/2003/XP
  • An operable Linux Operating System
  • A Macintosh OS with the latest version
Review by Jared Moya

WinRAR has an average rating 3.5 out of 5 based on 2 user ratings.