WinZip has been one of the most popular file compression software over the years and it continues to be a successful program to this date due to a combination between an intuitive, easy to use interface and high performance. Another version of WinZip has been released recently and it seems like it went through some changes in terms of looks and functionality, reason why it caught the attention of many.
Installation & Requirements
The installation process for WinZip is quite simple, but at the same time it lets you customize some core elements such as choosing between the old .zip compression and the new .zipx method, if you enjoy the classic or the smooth theme, what files you want to associate with WinZip and how often do you wish WinZip to automatically check for updates online.
There’s one odd thing in the installation process that should be mentioned. WinZip recommends the user to install additional programs, a phenomenon usually found on a freeware software rather than a shareware which requires a purchase if you want to use it indefinitely. Not to mention the fact that the installation process pops up different “recommended” programs from one day to another. Today is Nitro PDF, tomorrow you can expect Kaspersky Security Scan.
As far as the system requirements goes, WinZip requires Windows XP, Windows Vista or Windows 7 to be able to run. Spec-wise, theoretically any machine that can handle any of these operating systems can also handle WinZip.
There is also a Mac version of WinZip requiring Mac OS X 10.5 X or 10.6 X and an Intel 64-bit CPU to run.
The latest WinZip delivers a new and updated interface, allowing both the new users and the veterans alike to feel at home with the program. The new WinZip interface resembles the one that can be found on Microsoft Office Word 10, especially in the Tab section. Creating archives is easier than ever and there are multiple ways to do so, amongst which the drag-and-drop method can also be found.
One major downside related to the WinZip user interface is the fact that the WinZip Wizard is nowhere to be found, whether it’s the shareware, Standard or Pro version. However, the latest version of WinZip benefits from great Help & Support, making it very easy for the new users to find the answers to their questions.
As for the full versions of the program, there are some interesting additions to benefit from if you decide to go Pro, like the ability to zip files directly from your camera or smartphone, the ability to view pictures directly from zip archives without the need of uncompressing and also a built-in FTP client.
- Great user interface
- Recognizes tons of archive types
- Great backup system on CD/DVD or even on an off-site server via FTP
- Can be easily used by new and veteran users alike
- The lack of WinZip Wizard
- The presence of Adware in the installation process seems excessive
- The shareware version is a bit of a nagger with the “Buy Me” buttons everywhere
WinZip is a great compression program, however it is not the only one out there to deliver a good experience. There are also alternatives like 7-Zip which is a great software loved by many, mainly due to the fact that it’s very powerful, compatible with Linux as well as Windows and also because it’s free. If you’re looking for a free compression program that can do pretty much everything that WinZip can do, then 7-Zip is your best bet. Don’t expect the same smooth interface though.
WinRAR is also a very popular compression program that you might be interested in. Although it’s a shareware program just like WinZip and it does not have a Microsoft Office 10 look on it, it’s a very powerful piece of software and it’s available not only for Windows but Mac and Linux altogether. The full version of WinRAR is also cheaper than the PRO version of WinZip.
WinZip is one of the best choices that you can make when considering a compression program. Although it lacks a few of the key features that were available in the previous versions, plus there is the problem where the shareware version can bother you with software advertisements, the latest WinZip version still manages to bring something new to the table, a clean look, user friendly interface and high performance.