Why do people use WinRAR?

I’m not sure there’s a factual answer to this, but seriously, there must be a reason why this CPU choking, miserable app is being used more and more. What’s wrong with Winzip?

Because WinRAR is better? WinZip works with zip files…that’s it. You know what else works with zip files just fine? The XP operating system. XP doesn’t need a utulity to unzip a zipfile, it can do it itself. I think it can even make zip archives all on it’s own.

I have also never noticed winrar sucking up system resources any more than winzip does. Seriously, there is no need to ever have that piece of crap program. Ever.

(bouv misses the days of DOS and pkzip and pkunzip…sigh)

Better compression
Can open rar, zip and a whole bunch of other formats
Can password protect.
Can create self extracting files

This I know nothing about.

So can WinZip.

So can WinZip.

So can WinZip. I can’t even remember a version of WinZip not able to do that.

I used it constantly before I discovered 7-zip. I just liked the interface better than winzip. Plus rar has superior compression to zip. Of course, 7-zip trumps both and it’s free, so it’s a moot point these days for me.

I thought RAR became popular because it was better at creating multi-volume archives (i.e. splitting the archive into small chunks to fit on floppies or e-mail messages). I don’t know if this is true anymore.

FWIW, XP’s treatment of zip archives is evil. Rather than anything useful, it does what everything does in Windows. Instead of letting you do what you want simply and easily, you get a fsck’ing wizard. Grrr!

I’ll have to look into this RAR thing… they’re common on my beloved Mac, but being a Unix derivitive it stands to reason (origins or RAR and TAR and those goodies).

Hey, Balthisar: what I do is right click, choose NEW --> COMPRESSED ZIP FOLDER and then drag and drop the files I want onto the Zip folder. It’s much cleaner than using the wizard.

Bingo. That’s the only approved file compression utility we use in my office.

This is why I’ve always used it. For example, the recommended method for e-submitting an Xbox game to Microsoft is to split the entire (~4GB?) disk image file into 200MB chunks using WinRar. That way, if part of the file is corrupted during file transfer, you can just re-upload or re-download 200MB of data to fix it, rather than 4GB.

It’s got really nice batch features, like opening a whole series of zip files at once either into their own folders or into a big ol’ single folder. Great if you download a load of zip files at once. Also it can repair broken or incomplete zip/rar files to extract whatever you downloaded successfully. Very cool utility.

People use it because they don’t like WinZip. They don’t like WinZip for the same reason they don’t like Microsoft - its considered to be the establishment, which rouses the rebellious aspect of many people.

There’s not actually anything wrong with WinZip. It works well as does WinRAR. I have had a bit of trouble with 7 zip though - data corruption of large archives.

I also started to wonder if something might be wrong with your system. Less than a year ago, I made the upgrade to an Athlon 64 from a Pentium II 333MHz, and it wasn’t all that bad on the PII

Holy hell, thanks for the 7-zip tip. I don’t really prefer WinZip to WinRAR so much as I hate how they pester you to buy a license for either. At least one of those programs could remember that NO, I don’t want to buy a license and I just want to uncompress a fucking file! Now quit asking me if I want to pay. No, I’m broke!

Actually from what I remember the corruption occured on a large archive (> 200MB) that I had either tried to password protect or encrypt. I don’t really remember which it was I was doing, but I found that I couldn’t extract files from the archive due to some error (once again I don’t remember the details). It happened on 2 separate occasions, then I went back to WinZip.

Can’t say I’ve ever seen anyone sledging WinRAR before.

I have a P4, 1.4. When I use WinRAR, it hogs 100% of the cycles.
It bugs me to buy it, the same way Winzip does.
The interface is basically the same as Winzip, since I use ‘classic’ for WZ.

However, ZIP only encrypts the content of the file, leaving the name and size of the file in the clear. WinRAR can encrypt those details too.

Some other advantages of RAR:

  1. Better compression, especially with solid archives. ZIP compresses each file separately, so if you add 100 copies of the same file to an archive, it’ll take up 100 times as much space as a single copy. A solid RAR archive compresses everything all together (just like a .tar.gz archive), so it can take advantage of redundancy in multiple files.

  2. Easier to make split archives, and recovery volumes to work around corruption and missing parts. If you split an archive into 10 files, you can distribute them along with 5 recovery files, and a user can extract the entire contents of the archive as long as he has any 10 of those files. This is useful on Usenet or P2P networks where some parts might not be available.

RAR doesn’t have anything to do with TAR. TAR stands for “Tape ARchive” and has been used on Unix systems ever since, well, people have been backing up data on tape. And TAR isn’t even really a compressed file format, although the tar program can handle compressing/decompressing .tar.gz and .tar.bz2 files.

RAR, according to Wikipedia, originated on DOS.

I don’t think I’ll be archiving anything that large. The only files of that size I work with would be some sort of audio format (mostly .wav). If I want to archive that stuff, VBR Mp3 or Ogg or any of a million other formats will do just fine.