Pros: Able to compress files into smaller, easier to transport files.
Cons: Can be difficult to understand and perform functions.
Compression of files has become one of the major parts of file-transfer and sharing not only with businesses, but with the regular user of the internet as well. Everyone is using this now. On almost every game, or application installation cd, you will find that the cd/disk has a zip, and ace, or a compressed file of some sort.
Winzip has been a major competitor of compression utilities for a while. I've grown up on Winzip, so it comes as no suprize that I'll extend my favor to this utility. I have had plenty of time to familiarize myself with the software, and thus I have a good understanding of how to use it.
In this editorial I will explain what Winzip was produced for, and who would benefit from this type of software.
What is Winzip?
Winzip is a compression utility that takes a file and compresses or reduced the size of the file without harming the file.
This utility was first created so that game and application makers could fit all of the information onto a disk/cd/or hard drive. This has proved to be more and more valuable as games and applications have progressed in both size and graphic amazement. (Take for instance games like Black & White, and Unreal Tournament).
Compression utilities have become a normal part of any computer. If you don't find Winzip, or some type of Compression/Decompression utility on at least 75% of the computers hooked to the internet, you're not looking in the right place.
There have been others to make other compression/decompression utilities such as FreeZip, WinAce, and WinRar. Each has the ability to do something different. If they ever make a section for WinAce, I'll be the first to write a review on it. That is my favorite C/D (compression/decompression) utility.
How Does Winzip Help Me?
Winzip has proved useful to many users. When you download a file off the internet now, most likely it has been "zipped" or compressed. Winzip will help to decompress most of these files. There are some file types that Winzip cannot unzip, and that is why there are other types of C/D utilities.
Besides unzipping the files you download, you can also zip up files. So what, what will I need this for? You may never need to zip up a file, but if you do, you can. Remember when you had to erase that hard drive because you had filled it up. With winzip, you can compress the files, and still have room on your hard disk for more information. Or you can take the files, zip them up, and transfer them over the network quicker because they are now smaller.
* NOTE: Winzip has become very large in the Warez or Illegal Piracy of Software. Being able to store the files on free webservers have begun to be a challenge for them, because free website offer limited space. So what do they do? They make the files as small as possible to store them. Of course, they eventually get bumped, so then they have to store the files on their own computer, and that could take up some serious space. The smaller the file, the better.
Are there any Downfalls or Problems?
Being a user of Winzip and of WinAce there is always a comparison between the two products. Since WinAce does everything Winzip does, I tend to used WinAce more.
* Winzip will compress files, but will not zip them up into sections, easily. The interface of Winzip is not easily navigated, and makes it very hard to find, but if you stumble across this option, then it will ask you if you want to zip into multiple files, and how many you will need. Winace zips into sections, meaning that you can zip a cd up into 1.44 MB sections, and place the whole cd on disks. Depending on how many disks you have, this could be helpful.
* The user interface is hard to understand for the novice. At first use of the program I had to go by trial-and-error. The program took me about 30 minutes to learn before I knew what each function would do. This is normal with most utilities, but considering the limited ability of this program, you wouldn't expect it to take that long.
- - CONCLUSION - -
So to make a long editorial short, Winzip has become a small standard in the Compression/Decompression Market. Most users will be found using this utility, but they may find other C/D utilities more useful to them, myself included (Example: WinAce 2.02)