WinRAR Vs 7zip

WinRAR for Mac Download

The paradox of ever growing hard disk storage space is that no matter how big your hard disk space is, you would still end up with larger hard disk space requirements. Parallel to that, the bigger your hard disk space, the more you need file backups. One cheap way to solve both issues is through the use of compression software. It’s but natural that compression software should also provide solutions for small office/home office or personal backups. In a comparison between to different compression programs, WinRAR vs. 7zip, it usually helps to note what the user really wants.


Both WinRAR and 7zip are both easy to use, and for most instances there’s not much difference between the two competing programs. These two programs also have versions or have been ported to work on Mac OS X, UNIX BSD, and on Linux. WinRAR is the older of the two software as it was first released in 1993, whereas 7Zip was first released in 1999. The WinRAR expander is free and the full package is sold for $29. 7Zip is a free open source software with an LGPL license. The RAR plugin to 7zip is proprietary. Both software have their own Windows GUI and can be ran via the command line.

Besides file compression, both WinRAR and 7zip are capable of shell integration, password protection multiple volumes, self extraction, batch conversion, unicode filenames, and data and filename encryption. Additionally, WinRAR is can create file repair capable compressed files. As a general rule, when compressing files which are not natively compressed, 7z format compression yields smaller file sizes compared to RAR format files. Both RAR and 7z files are smaller than ZIP files.

Supported Formats

Both WinRAR and 7zip can decompress ZIP, TAR, GZ, BZ/BZ2, 7z, xz, RAR, LHA/LZH, ARJ, CAB and ISO/CD image. Additionally, WinRAR can also read ACE compressed files. 7Zip can write to ZIP, TAR, gzip, bzip2, 7z and xz formats, while WinRAR can only write to ZIP and RAR files. 7Zip can also output directly to CBZ format, which is used by comic book readers.

User Interface

With 7zip, there’s not much difference between using the shell integration facility or by running the program. With the shell integration facility, you can right click on a compressed file to access the context menu for decompressing a file. Running the program and then accessing the compressed file from there, the interface looks very much like Windows File Manager.

For all intents and purposes, WinRAR has practically the same user interface. What differentiates the two are the buttons on the tool bars. 7Zip looks and acts like a file manager, while WinRAR’s buttons are all software specific. It should be noted that the Repair button only works for RAR files with the file repair option turned on.


A comparison between WinRAR and 7zip depends on what the expected use is. For example, if you need to write smaller files, 7zip wins hands down. Or if you want to be able to repair damaged compressed files, then WinRAR should be your choice. If you want a compression program and are willing to pay for support, you should go with WinRAR. However, if you are more at ease using open source free software, 7zip is right up your alley