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How to Save Space With a Compressed File Type Like Zip Files

Most know of the zip file as a way to massively reduce your file size for downloads and storage. But you might not know that Zip is cross-compatible with Windows and Mac. Best of all, it stores files in a lossless format — meaning no data is lost.

The zip file is not the only way to keep a compressed file. Many other options exist, some platform-exclusive, most for more specialized uses. Is there a way to save space with a compressed file type like zip?

Let’s take a look at options to get a compressed file — without using zip.

A Compressed File Type Like Zip

At its core, compression is just an algorithm that intelligently reshuffles data. It works almost like a closet storage space bag. That is, it makes your files much smaller in storage, at the cost of not being able to use them. 

Anyone can make a compression algorithm and a special file type to use it. As you will see, you have many options to choose from to send files.


RAR files use much heavier compression that allows for even smaller files than zip. However, it’s best for large files that may be several gigabytes in size. It spreads compressed files into multiple segments.

WinRar is the official program to compress or unpack it. Many programs (and Windows itself) can do so as well.


7-Zip is massively popular in the nerd community. It uses .7z file types but also supports the zip, RAR, tar, and RAR files.

The main benefits of 7-Zip are that it is easy to install, fast, and integrates well with Windows.


PeaZip uses PEA files as its own unique, open-source, encrypted compression method. PeaZip, like 7-Zip, focuses on being fast, lightweight, easy to use, and providing excellent integration. Importantly, it also includes built-in encryption options.

PeaZip supports over 150 different compressed file formats. Keep in mind, however, that it mostly only supports open-source and freely available formats. It will likely support more obscure formats like if you create zip file c#.

B1 Free Archiver

Yet another free archiving standard, but this time it’s proprietary. The only way to use B1 files is through the B1 Free Archiver program. Luckily, though, it can also tackle many other file formats if you need it to.


ISO is a popular compression algorithm for those who want to easily send and share large amounts of data. Importantly, if they want to leave it archived — i.e. not unpack the data beforehand. Users can access it like a disk drive without needing a CD reader to do so.

ISO is not the best compression type for storage or sending files. It excels when you need to share a game file or computer program. 

Choose the Right File for You

If you are looking for a compressed file type like zip, you have a ton of options to choose from. Many focus on compatibility, ease of use, and speed like 7-Zip and PeaZip. Others are specialized and proprietary, such as B1 and ISO.

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