File compressors, or archivers are special utilities which reduces the size of a file. There are many software which allow many different uses. These utilities are useful if you want to compress a file to send it over the Internet, or simply put it on a floppy. When compressed , your file gets a new extension Among them are: .zip, .rar, .cab etc. Therefore, you will need the recipient to have the same software, or a compatible one to be able to extract your files. Some of the utilities have the power to create self-extracting packages, which are executables. These however do not need the recipient to have the utility as it auto-extracts itself. Another type of file compressors which can be found here is the executable file compressor.
These executable file compressors compresses executables and makes them smaller. This speeds up loading of the program itself in memory. How you ask? Well, when a file is compressed, its size is reduced. Therefore the amount of MECHANICAL work the hard drive has to perform is less, and the unpacking is done in memory, which is fast.
7-Zip - Free File Compressors/Archiving Utility
Easily the best software in its category. Supports a variety of platform like Windows, Linux, FreeBSD, Mac OS X, and BeOS. This software has built-in support for the following formats: ZIP, GZIP, BZIP2 and TAR. It also supports the extracting of the following archiving formats: RAR, CAB, ISO, ARJ, LZH, CHM, Z, CPIO, RPM, DEB and NSIS. The Windows version, integrates with the shell, but there is no file association which is a slight minus point. However, the file is small for such a good software. It can be downloaded quickly.
Bzip2 - Free File Compressors/Archiving Utility
Cross-platform utility which runs on Windows, Linux, Sparc Solaris, OpenBSD, OS/2, Digital Unix, IRIX, AIX, Amiga and more. It is open source.
Freebyte ZIP - Free File Compressors/Archiving Utility
FreeByte says: A powerful freeware ZIP program with full Windows user-interface. It can zip and unzip files, create new zip files, directly view and sort zip file contents, make self-extracting archives, password protect and encrypt files, etc. etc. Runs on windows 95, 98, ME, 2000, NT and XP.
IZArc - Free File Compressors/Archiving Utility
This one also is one of the best with support for loads of compression formats. Among them you can find: 7-ZIP, A, ACE, ARC, ARJ, B64, BH, BIN, BZ2, BZA, C2D, CAB, CDI, CPIO, DEB, ENC, GCA, GZ, GZA, HA, IMG, ISO, JAR, LHA, LIB, LZH, MDF, MBF, MIM, NRG, PAK, PDI, PK3, RAR, RPM, TAR, TAZ, TBZ, TGZ, TZ, UUE, WAR, XXE, YZ1, Z, ZIP, and ZOO. Other notable features of the software is that it can repair damaged archives, convert one format to another on the fly and has disk spanning support. It works on Windows 95, 98, NT, 2000, XP, 2003, Vista. It also has shell integrations like 7-Zip.
Info-ZIP - Free File Compressors/Archiving Utility
This utility supports only the ZIP file format. Its main use is to be able to export zipped files to other platforms. The number of platforms the software supports is staggering: Windows 3.x, 95, 98, NT, 2000, XP, 2003 and Vista, Linux, MSDOS, FreeDOS, Mac OS, Mac OS X, Amiga, Atari, BeOS, FlexOS, Human68K (X68000), MVS / OS/390 Open Edition, Novell Netware, OS/2, QDOS / SMSQ, RISC OS, Tandem NSK, AIX, CLIX, Convex, Digital Unix (OSF/1, Tru64), Unix, FreeBSD, HP-UX / MPE/iX, NetBSD, QNX, SCO Unix, SGI Irix, Solaris / SunOS, VM/CMS, VMS and more!
StuffIt LITE - Free File Compressors/Archiving Utility
Runs on MACs, with supports for the following formats: BinHex, MacBinary, zip, gzip, uu, tar.
TUGZip - Free File Compressors/Archiving Utility
Like its commercial counterpart http://winzip.com Winzip, TUGZip provides Windows explorer integration and provides great user interface. However, unlike Winzip, it supports many formats such as ZIP, 7-ZIP, A, ACE, ARC, ARJ, BH, BZ2, CAB, CPIO, DEB, GCA, GZ, IMP, JAR, LHA (LZH), LIB, RAR, RPM, SQX, TAR, TGZ, TBZ, TAZ, YZ1 and ZOO. Additionally disc images like BIN, C2D, IMG, ISO and NRG are also supported. Among other features are encryption of archives with any of the multiple algorithms. Repairing of files is also available as is the ability to create self-extracting packages.
UHARC Media Compressor
This software is best used as a media compressor, although it can be used as a file archiver. It allows tremendous compression of multimedia files like games, movies and things of the like. It is a command-line tool but also has a GUI front-end. However, when the decompression is taking place, you will have to use a DOS window to see the unpacking taking place. It yields extremely good results. However, the help file is in German. You can translate using a FREE Translator if you like. This software if free for personal use only. This software works on MS-DOS and Windows.
QuickZip - Free File Compressors/Archiving Utility
This is also a good one and nearly possesses all the attributes of TUGZip.
ZipGenius - Free File Compressors/Archiving Utility
Another archiving utility supporting a whole range of formats along with the ability, just like TUGZip to read ISO CD-ROM files.
Petite - Free Executable Compressor
This software allows you to compress your executables. It uncompresses them at runtime. This software is free, but you can only use it to compress freeware programs. It runs under Windows.
UPX - Free Executable Compressor