A Comparison of 7z and Traditional Zip

The traditional ZIP format is very popular, but it’s not necessarily the best. The open source free utility 7z has developed its own far superior 7z (7 ZIP) format. While 7z is new in the market, it is slowly gaining popularity due to its simple interface, added security, and efficient functionality.

7z is far more efficient than the traditional ZIP format. I performed a small experiment that you can easily replicate to verify my statement. For my experiment, the folder that I used was originally about 65 MB; it contained Microsoft office files and also a few tiny ZIP files. First, I compressed it using the traditional ZIP format in the windows explorer. The file compressed and its size shrank to 8,881 KB. Then, I used 7z to compress that same folder and it was compressed to 6036 KB. This is a difference of almost 3 MB which is more than 25%. This difference is phenomenal and surprising considering the popularity of ZIP in the market.

ZIP dominates the market because it has been used for years. If you send someone a ZIP file he’ll know what it is and he’ll easily handle it, but most people won’t recognize a 7z compressed file even if they see one. Despite the market dominance of ZIP, it still cannot be considered to be as efficient as the 7z format.

ZIP file has a disadvantage that many email providers like yahoo, Gmail, and Hotmail can read the contents of your ZIP file and they won’t let you send it if it contains any executable (.exe) file. Whereas the files that have been compressed with 7z cannot be broken into by emails, and thus you can send anything that you want. This shows us that files compressed with 7z are far more secure than traditional ZIP files.

7z is extremely easy to use. It offers a simple and user-friendly interface. When you launch 7z you will see a list of some files along with toolbars and menus. It does not include any annoying interruptions like wizards, ads, or welcome dialogues. If you need a slightly different look then press F7 and F9; the 7z will transform into a dual-pane basic file manager. I personally prefer working in the default format.

7z has a simple interface, and you can probably find a better interface in some other software but when it comes to compression, the basic purpose 7z was designed for, then there is no software that can perform better than 7z itself.