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ZIP and RAR comparison and their Advantage and Disadvantage


ZIP is a popular archive format widely using in Internet. Like other archives, ZIP files are data containers, they store one or several files in the compressed form. After you downloaded ZIP file, you need to unpack its contents in order to use it.


A RAR file is an archival file created with the WinRAR program. This program can be downloaded as a free trial for a set number of days, but it needs to be purchased and registered for continued use. WinRAR must be used to open RAR files.

Extracting of both zip and rar is pretty similar

WinRAR provides the complete support for ZIP files, so you may both create and unpack them. If you installed WinRAR on your computer and downloaded ZIP file from Internet, you may double click on ZIP file icon to open it in WinRAR, select all files, press “Extract To” button, enter a destination path and press “OK”. Another way is to click on the ZIP file in Explorer using the right mouse button. If you enabled “Shell integration” option when installing WinRAR, the file context menu will contain “Extract to …” item.

Rar and zip comparisn:

The biggest advantage of ZIP format is the popularity.ZIP file format was developed a long time ago and perhaps it is still the most known archive type, so a large part of Internet archives are ZIP files.

Another difference is compatibility with operation systems. RAR files require a third-party application to open and extract the files. Microsoft Windows XP, Mac OS X and some Linux versions have a program already installed to open ZIP files.

RAR files tend to compress smaller than ZIP files, but this varies according to the size of the files being compressed. The difference is not enough to make a huge impact when archiving files.

But many important RAR format features (recovery records, Unicode names, strong AES encryption, etc.) are missing in ZIP. RAR archives usually provide a noticeably higher compression ratio than ZIP file format.


ZIP format uses a proprietary encryption algorithm.

RAR archives are encrypted by the much stronger AES-128
standard. If you need to encrypt important information,
it is better to select the RAR archive format.

Data loss:

RAR has better encryption, better compression, and has a lower rate of data loss. Compression doesn’t really matter with audio files because they can’t be compressed very much, and encryption only matters for password protected files. The main reason most people use RAR to upload albums is data loss. Getting a message like “blahblahblah.mp3 could not be extracted because the file is corrupt or damaged” is much more likely with ZIP files, and data loss can occur during compression, uploading, downloading, and extraction. It’s much more convenient for the people uploading to use RAR compression so they don’t have to deal with as many people asking for re-ups due to data loss. Plus any computer has the capability of extracting RAR files because WinRar has an unlimited trial period with the only annoyance being the nag screen, and there are plenty of opensource and freeware alternatives which can handle RAR files, such as 7-Zip, ZipGenius, PeaZip, and IZarc.

Also the person saying ZIP files don’t have to be extracted to play the MP3s is technically incorrect. When you open a file directly from the ZIP folder, it has to be extracted to a temp folder in order to open the file. It just happens as a background process, so you don’t notice it.

Advantage of RAR and ZIP

Even though Zip predates RAR and has many applications able to work with it, RAR format has a lot of advantages.

A RAR format can compress a file much better than a Zip. Meaning, a same sized file compressed in RAR format produces a slightly smaller size file compared to zip.

Using a RAR software one can break up a large file into more manageable size for sending it over a network. Once compressed files are named automatically as part01.rar, part02.rar, part03.rar, part04.rar and so on. To use the file, just double click part01.rar and the entire file is extracted with its original extension. (Make sure you have all the broken parts before you do this).

RAR files also incorporate redundancy or a ‘recovery record’ stored within the archive, making it possible to repair a RAR that has been corrupted.

Newer versions of the format support advanced encryption methods.

Most popular open source software available is WinRar, which can used to compress and extract RAR files.

Something more about ZIP AND RAR

Zip was developed by Katz in 1986 whereas RAR war created by Eugene Roshal  from Russia.

Zip format was developed much before RAR.

Windows, Mac  and some Linux applications comes with a native ability to handle zip formats, whereas RAR formats require third party software to handle it.

RAR can compress files better than Zip.

Both have the ability to password protect the files.

While it is possible to break up a large file into smaller bits using RAR software, it is not possible in a Zip.

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