WinZip vs WinRAR:

A side-by-side comparison
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Looking for a WinRAR alternative? In this informative guide, we’ll show you a side-by-side comparison of WinZip and WinRAR, so you can determine which is right for you.

What is the best WinRAR alternative?

WinZip is the best WinRAR alternative because it offers all the same functionality of WinRAR … plus much, much more. After all, there’s a reason WinZip is the world’s #1 compression software.

As an alternative to WinRAR, WinZip is more powerful, versatile, and convenient. WinZip offers advanced features that WinRAR just doesn’t have, including:

  • A better user interface
  • Easier file sharing
  • Advanced backup capabilities
  • Image viewing & editing within zip files
  • Superior file management

To better illustrate this, here’s a side-by-side comparison of WinRAR vs WinZip:

Features
Compression Methods Available
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Detailed Features WinZip Pro WinRAR
Advanced WAV compression (WavPack)
Advanced JPG Image File compression
Advanced MP3 Compression
Automatic selection of Best Compression Method by file type
BZip2, LZMA, PPMd, Enhanced Deflate, XZ, ZSTD
Zip 2.0 (Normal, Maximum Deflated)
Decompression Formats Supported
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Detailed Features WinZip Pro WinRAR
POSIX TAR Support
Advanced Compression (Jpeg) Method
Advanced Compression (WavPack) Method
Advanced Compression (MP3) Method
Advanced Compression (BZip2, LZMA, PPMd, XZ) Methods
Zip 2.0 Methods (Normal, Maximum, Enhanced)
Archive Files: 7Z
Archive Files: LHA/LZH
Archive Files: TAR, Z, BZ, TBZ, GZ, BZ2, TBZ2
Archive Files: RAR
Archive Files: CAB, ZIP
Archive Files: B64, HQX, TAZ, TXZ, TZ
Archive Files: ZIPX
Archive Files: XZ
Archive Files: ARJ
Encoded Files: UUE, MIME, BINHEX
Disk Image Support: ISO, IMG
Support Large Files and Multiple-Volume Archives
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Detailed Features WinZip Pro WinRAR
Can split archives into multiple volumes
Supports archive formats larger than 4GB
Encryption For Archives
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Detailed Features WinZip Pro WinRAR
Remove additional EXIF data from files
Create policies to enforce password complexity
Take advantage of hardware and GPU’s for even faster AES encryption
AES Encryption 256-bit
AES FIPS-197 Certified
Auto-wipes (“shred”) temporarily extracted copies of encrypted files (prior to being deleted) using U.S. Department of Defence standard (DoD 5220.22-M) to prevent files from being recovered
Zip 2.0 (Legacy) Encryption
Backup & Automate
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Detailed Features WinZip Pro WinRAR
Perform File Conversions before Zipping
Set Expiration Dates for Zip files and Log files
Specify the Job Name At End of Job Creation
Create new jobs from existing jobs
Burn Backups to Blue-ray Disc
Burn Backups to CD/DVD (automatically split archive over multiple discs if necessary
Save Backups to the Cloud (Box, OneDrive, Dropbox, Google Drive, CloudMe, SugarSync, MediaFire, ZipShare, SharePoint and Amazon S3)
Save Backups to an off-site server using internal FTP client
Create custom backups for selected files and folders
Backup files from the cloud (Box, OneDrive, Dropbox, Google Drive, CloudMe, SugarSync, MediaFire, SharePoint and Amazon S3
Pre-defined data backup for your documents, email, desktop, libraries, etc.
Backup photos directly from your digital camera
Email backup files automatically from virtually any of your email addresses
Email log files upon completion of backups and automated jobs from virtually any of your email addresses
Schedule backups and Zipping jobs to run automatically and unattended
Create Backup Jobs from Explorer
Scan documents and images with a scanner, zip, and save
Command Line Support Add-on for scripting
Sharing
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Detailed Features WinZip Pro WinRAR
Automate WinZip Express
Share using Windows Charms
Shorten shared URLs
WinZip Express copy to clipboard
Supports individuals with multiple accounts for a specific cloud service, up to 16 accounts per service
Microsoft Office add-on support zipping and sharing from within Office apps
WinZip Express Email add-on supports Microsoft Outlook
Post files or Zip files on Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn)
Instant Message files or Zip files (Google Hangout, Jabber, Office 365 Groups)
Share an unzipped image directly from the File Viewer to social media sites
Place URLs to files stored on Cloud Services on the clipboard for sharing in other apps
Scan documents and images with a scanner, zip, and share
Advanced Sharing options such as file encryption, image resizing, image watermarking, and conversion of Microsoft Office files to PDF
Internal email client supports Yahoo! Mail, Google Gmail, and Microsoft Outlook.com. and can be configured for many other email services
Internal email client has built in address book that can collect contact information from Google Contacts, Google Hangout, Office 365 Outlook, Outlook, Yahoo! Contacts, Office 365 Groups, Twitter, and Jabber.
Address book supports up to 16 accounts per contact service
File Management within the APP
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Detailed Features WinZip Pro WinRAR
File Search
Expanded Features for Background Tools
Set Expiration Dates for Files and Folders
View Date taken and Date Modified
Rename Multiple files at once
Image format conversion
Remove personal data from files
Move, Copy, Delete, Rename Local and Network Files

(Limited Funtionality)
Move, Copy, Delete, Rename Cloud Service Based Files
Create/Delete/Rename Folders

(Limited Funtionality)
Display File and Folder Properties
Open, Edit, and Print Local Files with the Associated App
Open, Edit, and Print Network Files with the Associated App
Open, Edit, and Print Cloud Service Based Files with the Associated App
Open, Edit, and Print Local Files with Alternate Apps
Open, Edit, and Print Network Files with Alternate Apps
Open, Edit, and Print Cloud Service Based Files with Alternate Apps
Map Folders as Drives
Preview Local Files
Preview Network Files
Preview Cloud Service Based Files
Wipe Files
Image Resize and save
Image Watermark and save
Convert to PDF and Save or Share
Image Resize and share
Image Watermark and share
Combine PDF's into One and Save or Share
Replace Individual Local and Network Files with Zipped Files
Replace Individual Cloud Service Based Files with Zipped Files
Get Links to Cloud Based Files and Folders to Paste and Share
Add a Network Location
Share Local and Network Files via Email, IM or Social Media
Share Cloud Based Files via Email, IM or Social Media
More Pinning Choices in Files Pane
Shell Extension Support in Files Pane
Unzipping
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Detailed Features WinZip Pro WinRAR
Option to view password entry
Prompt to unzip on open
Unzip to file pane folder
Windows Shell Integration
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Detailed Features WinZip Pro WinRAR
Windows Explorer Interface
Drag and Drop 'Add to Zip' in WinZip's Files Pane
See Zip file content and open files in Explorer’s previewer using Zip file previewer
Tool tip summary of Zip file content
Use Drag and Drop to add files to an archive file
Windows Explorer Context Menu for creating archive files
Add to archive file (specify location)
Add to archive (current location)
Zip and Email
Zip and Email with encryption and renaming of Zip file
Replace selected files with Zipped files
Zip and Share includes renaming Zip file, conversions, encryption, saving to cloud, sharing via email, IM, and social media
Windows Explorer Context menu for using archive files
Encrypt Zip files
Create self-extracting Zip files
Unzip to selectable folder location
Unzip to current folder location
Taskbar Integration
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Detailed Features WinZip Pro WinRAR
Create new automated zipping jobs
Create new Zip files on CD/DVD
Create new Zip files locally or in the cloud
Open a Zip file stored locally or in the cloud
Open recently used archive files
Pin to taskbar and unpin from taskbar
Graphical User Interface (GUI)
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Detailed Features WinZip Pro WinRAR
Slide to Hide Files and Action Panes
Dynamic access to common features based on current task
File/Folder (locally and on the cloud) access for zipping and unzipping within the app
Customize the look and feel of the interface; showing/hiding ribbon, showing hiding panes, selecting alternative views of the archive content
Windows modern style dialogs
Touch support and optimized UI for touch
2 in 1 Support with UI automatically changing to user’s preferences based on screen orientation and lack or presence of mouse/keyboard
Optimized use of display area when used on tablets, notebooks, laptops, and desktops
Browse local and network files from within the app
Move, Copy, Rename, and Delete local and network files from within the app
Preview cloud based files from within the app
Move, Copy, Rename, and Delete cloud based files from within the app
Provide views to maximize information show, simple touch control, or thumbnails
Temporarily extract Zip files using the 'Unzip and Try' feature to view inter-related components contained in the Zip file (such as an HTML page and associated graphics)
Scan and Diagnose your PC’s performance with built in System Scanner tool
Image viewing and editing within zip files
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Detailed Features WinZip Pro WinRAR
Expand the Preview Pane
Rotate, resize, save and view full size images directly within a Zip file (internal viewer)
Display slide show of all images in an archive file
Thumbnail view of images in an archive file
Share an image to social media while viewing images
Resize shared copies of images while maintaining the original from the archive
Platforms
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Detailed Features WinZip Pro WinRAR
Windows
Other
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Detailed Features WinZip Pro WinRAR
Advanced Direct Access Technology for Faster Display and Unzipping From the Cloud
Display Compression and technical details
Native 64-bit engine
Engine supports multiple processors and GPU
Compatible with Windows 10 Anniversary
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Compression Methods Available

WinRAR only supports the Zip 2.0 compression method. By contrast, WinZip supports multiple compression methods, so you can reduce the size of your files … without affecting their quality.

Zip 2.0 Zip 2.0 (Normal and Maximum Deflated), standard or lossless compression in one tool, at your fingertips JPEG Advanced JPG Image File Compression, advanced image compression features for the world's most popular image format
WavPack Advanced WAV compression (WavPack), audio compression format that provides lossless, high-quality lossy and hybrid modes Methods Bzip2, LZMA, PPMd, Enhanced Deflate, XZ, ZSTD, enjoy the full spectrum of compression methods for all applications
MP3 Advanced MP3 Compression, engineered precisely for high performing MP3 files Automatic Automatic selection of best compression method by file type, so you're never left guessing which method will deliver the best compression results

Supported Decompression Formats

There’s just no contest between WinZip vs WinRAR when you look at all the decompression methods WinZip supports and WinRAR doesn’t:

POSIX TAR Support
Advanced Compression (Jpeg) Method
Advanced Compression (BZip2, LZMA,
PPMd, XZ) Methods
Advanced Compression (WavPack) Method
Advanced Compression (MP3) Method
Archive Files: B64, HQX, TAZ, TXZ, TZ
Archive Files: ZIPX
Disk Image Support: ISO, IMG

Backup and Automation

WinZip beats WinRAR hands-down when it comes to backing up files and automating tasks, so you can rest easy, knowing your files are safe and secure … while saving time on routine functions.

For instance, with WinZip, you can:

Conversions NEW - Perform File Conversions Before Zipping - Merge a wide variety of files types into a single PDF prior to zipping … saving data in the way that’s most convenient for you, while maximizing your computer’s storage space.
Backups Save Backups to the Cloud - Let WinZip seamlessly backup your ZIP files to the cloud (Box, OneDrive, Dropbox, Google Drive, CloudMe, SugarSync, MediaFire, ZipShare, SharePoint and Amazon S3) … to improve your efficiency while making sure all your important data is preserved.
Schedule Schedule Backups & Zip Jobs - Set it and forget it! Enjoy the ultimate in convenience by scheduling backups and zip jobs to run automatically and unattended. Just select your files in Windows Explorer and create a WinZip job, scheduling when and how often it should run.
Jobs Create WinZip Jobs - With WinZip’s easy-to-use Job Wizard, you can create WinZip jobs that automatically perform tasks for you, like:
Specifying a Job Name Last - NEW! Focus on the task at hand by choosing the files you want to back up, as well as indicating how they should be backed up. When you’re finished, then select the name of your job for a more intuitive workflow.
Creating New Jobs from Existing Jobs - NEW! With WinZip, you don’t have to waste time creating new jobs from scratch. Instead, use its clone feature to modify an existing job for ultra-efficiency.
Setting Expiration Dates for Zip Files & Log Files - Don’t risk exceeding your cloud’s storage limit by allowing unneeded files to accumulate. Set expiration dates for your files, so they’re deleted automatically at a future date.

Sharing

WinZip is the indisputable champ over WinRAR, because it offers tons of advanced sharing features that WinRAR just doesn’t have … making it a breeze for you to collaborate with others.

Just check out some of the file-sharing features WinZip has to offer:

  • Zip & Share within Microsoft Office - Zip, share, and encrypt files without leaving the Microsoft application you’re using. Use the free WinZip Express Office add-on to quickly zip and share documents, spreadsheets, and presentations.
  • Connect Up to 16 Cloud Accounts - Don’t waste time logging in and out of your personal and work cloud accounts. With WinZip, you can add up to 16 accounts per cloud service and give them nicknames for easy identification.
  • Enjoy Advanced Sharing Options - Convert Office documents to PDF files as they’re being added to your ZIP file. In the process, you can also conveniently encrypt the files being zipped, resize images to save space, and watermark images to protect your work.
  • Easily Share Zip Files via Email - Simply right-click the files you want to send from Windows Explorer and select WinZip’s “Zip and Email” option. WinZip will then zip the files before emailing them to your recipient using WinZip’s built-in emailer or your internal email client (WinZip supports Gmail, Outlook, and more).
  • Send Large Files without Bouncing - When the size of your ZIP file is over a certain threshold, WinZip will upload it to the cloud automatically, then send a link to your recipient rather than the physical file. This makes it easy to share files that are larger than mail service providers allow. Supported cloud services include Box, OneDrive, Dropbox, Google Drive, CloudMe, SugarSync, MediaFire, ZipShare, SharePoint and Amazon S3.
  • Shorten Shared URLs - WinZip shortens the URLs of shared files you’ve uploaded to the cloud … making file management simple and straightforward.
  • Integrate with SharePoint - With the free WinZip Express SharePoint add-on, you’ll enjoy the convenience of zipping, encrypting, converting to PDF, and sharing files … directly from SharePoint.
  • Scan & Share - Just click the Scan and Share button in WinZip to scan documents or images, then zip them. As you’re going through this process, you’ll have the opportunity to email your zipped file as an attachment or to share it as a link, using email, instant messaging, social media, Windows Charms, or the clipboard.
  • Save URLs to Clipboard - WinZip places the URLs of files that have been zipped to the cloud into your clipboard, enabling easy sharing and better file management.