Compression Tool: A Guide to Choosing the Best File
Compression Tool

File compression tools condense digital files or folders to ensure they take up less disk space. They accomplish that by reducing redundancy in the file's code (lossless compression) or by getting rid of some data from the file (lossy compression). Typically, an algorithm replaces redundancies or eliminates superfluous or irrelevant data. Besides, a losslessly condensed file can still be fully replicated when decompressed.

What is a compression tool?

A file compression utility or tool is a software solution used to compress and decompress different file types. Many operating systems come with tools for compressing and decompressing files. For example, Microsoft Windows 10 and other recent versions include a compression utility for compressing and extracting Zip files. Linux also features tools for both .tar.gz and .zip.

How to choose the best file compression tool

A file compression tool condenses, expands, and manages data as necessary. The software combines multiple files into a single smaller unit than the overall size of the original content. As a result, the tool makes data storage and backup more efficient and enhances the transmission of electronic records. Common forms of transmission utilize .zip or .zipx file formats.

Compressing files also reduces transfer time and ensures that data is not corrupted when being transferred over the Internet. When choosing the best file compression tool, here are some factors to consider:

Supported file formats

There are several formats for compressing and decompressing files, and software compression tools can be compatible with one or more formats depending on their design and intended functionality. Ensure that your software of choice is compatible with your operating system and the file formats you work with, such as Zip, LHA, RAR, 7-Zip, GNU Zip, WinAce, etc.

Lossless vs. lossy compression

A file compression tool performing lossless compression reduces the number of bits and bytes in a file to make it more convenient to store, transmit, and download. Once it's downloaded, decompressed, and restored, the expanded file is unchanged from the original format.

Lossy compression, on the other hand, eliminates unnecessary bits of information to reduce the output size. It's often deployed for media elements such as sound, pictures, and video. Lossy compression is typically irreversible, so the compressed file won't be reproduced as it was in its original form.

For instance, MP3 content is a common application of lossy compression. Typically, the digital material is condensed by eliminating some audio data from the original recording. The compression tool will remove all sounds that are barely discernible to the human ear to reduce the file size.

Higher levels of compression get rid of increasing volumes of information. However, excessive compression results in blurriness when applied to photos and indistinguishable sounds when applied to music files. Depending on the nature of your files, you may want a compression method that best suits your applications.

Selection process

The majority of the file compression utilities can archive and extract files through basic right-click functionality. However, drag-and-drop features and instruction wizards also work well for inexperienced users. Another essential characteristic to look out for is the ability to manage archive conversions from one file format to another. Additionally, consider the tool's capacity to batch convert files.


Although there are multiple third-party file compression utilities on the market, WinZip is by far the most popular file compression tool for Windows. It's a one-stop file manager that allows you to zip, protect, share, and manage files quickly and easily. In addition, WinZip handles all major file formats and protects files with bank-level encryption. Click here to download WinZip and begin managing your files on your PC, network, or the cloud.

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