I have used 7-zip in the past to create and unpack archives. It offered everything I needed in a program of its kind: it was lightweight, fast, integrated well with the system and did not get in my way when I did not need it.
The slow pace of development, and here specifically the fact that newer formats such as RAR5 were not supported by 7-Zip, made me look for alternatives.
I did find Bandizip after testing several alternatives and used it ever since. It is as elegant as 7-Zip but ships with additional features and support for archive formats that 7-Zip did not support until now.
While there is still no final version of 7-Zip in sight, the most recent beta version of the application released yesterday introduces support for RAR5 archives.
RarLab, the makers of WinRAR and RAR archivers, released an updated format called RAR5, or Rar 5.0, in 2013. The new format offers several advantages over the old, for instance support for multi-core decompression of archives or better corrupt archive recovery.
While it is not widely used yet, most likely because RAR and not RAR5 is the default format in recent versions of WinRAR, it is a format that you may encounter from time to time on the Internet.
7-Zip failed to open and extract RAR5 archives up until now. The most recent beta version changes this as it introduces support for the format.
Support in this context means opening RAR5 archives and extracting contents to the local system. The process is identical to any other archive format you load into 7-Zip.
The upcoming 7-Zip release that supports RAR5 is still only available as a beta and it is unclear at this point in time when it will be released as a final version.
The most recent version of 7-Zip right now is version 15.05 which users can download from the official project website.
The support of RAR5 is a milestone for the 7-Zip project. This, and the increase in releases will certainly have a positive impact on the program's competitiveness and appeal.
Now You: Which program are you using for archive creation and extraction?
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.