Archiving (compressing) and extracting files or folders is a common but unavoidable factor for any computer user. Most of today’s Operating Systems supports some file archiving file formats by default. Windows supports Zip files and GNU/Linux distributions supports 7z, TAR, etc. by default. But when it comes to proprietary archive file formats, the user need a separate application installed, like for RAR files we need WinRAR and which is a paid and proprietary software. There are lots of free archiving software too and some of them open source. One of them is PeaZip. Lets take a look on that piece of Cakes.
PeaZip is a free and open source file and archive manager. It is an alternative to paid and proprietary tools like WinZip and WinRAR. PeaZip is cross platform, available for Windows and GNU/Linux operating systems and also as portable software. It supports its native PEA archive format and other mainstream formats like ZIP, RAR, 7z, SFX, TAR etc. It can extract data from around 129 file extensions and it’s available in 27 languages. By default PeaZip gets open in English but 26 more languages are available in Options-> Localization. It could be handy if you are not native English speaker or user.
PeaZip used for archiving (compressing) and extracting multiple archived files at once within a GUI front-end. Its user interface makes it very easy to browse and add, files and folders to create compressed archive files.
Other notable features are:
- Archive conversion: Convert one archive file into another one without extracting it.
- Strong Archive Encryption: Supports strong encryption method for secured privacy.
- Creating Self-Extracting Archives (SFX): Create archive files which can be extract without any archive manager.
- Split/Join files (File Span): Split files into parts and join them again as a single file.
- Secure file deletion: Delete file securely with 100% disk space recovery.
- Adding file in existing archive: Add files and folders in an existing archive files.
- Robust file copy
- Byte-to-Byte file comparison
- Check-sum and hash files
- System benchmarking
- Random passwords
- Key-files generation
In addition, the program’s user interface including icons and color scheme (program theme) can be customized. As others PeaZip also have context menu integration, but more than that you can find more options in Send to menu too. And these context and Send to menu can easily customized from Options->System Integration.
A small trick: If you feel “Send to” menu is got filled with PeaZip’s options then this could be useful for you.
Open “C:\Documents and Settings\[user]\SendTo” in Computer, create a folder named “PeaZip” and move all PeaZip related shortcut files in this folder.
Now you can see all PeaZip options as sub-option in “Send to” menu.
Supporting file formats
As already told above PeaZip supports its own native PEA archive file format, acronym for Pack EncryptAuthenticate. It is a general purpose archiving format for file compression and multiple volume output. The PEA format is designed to primarily focus on flexible security, performing strong authenticated encryption that provides both privacy and authentication of the data. It perform redundant integrity checks on both input objects and output volume. Apart from this PEA is an open source and free file archive format licensed under GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPLv3).
PeaZip can also create and extract ZIP, 7Z, TAR, FreeArc’s ARC/WRC, SFX, BZ2, GZ, PAQ/LPAQ/ZPAQ, QUAD/BALZ, Split, UPX archive file formats.
It can read and extract 129 file extensions including:
- Archive files: RAR, ISO, GZIP, BZIP2
- Windows installation and system files: EXE, DLL, SYS, MSI, CAB
- Mac OS installation file: DMG
- GNU/Linux installation files: DEB, RPM, TAR.GZ
- MS Office files: DOC, DOT, XLS, XLT, PPT, PPS, POT, DOCX, DOTX, XLSX, XLTX
- Adobe Flash animation and video files: SWF & FLV
- Java file: JAR
- Firefox extenstion file XPI
- And much much more…
PAQ and LPAQ formats are for the cutting edge compression technology providing high compression ratio than usual compression. But they are not recommended for general purpose use due to high memory consumption and low in speed.
- PeaZip is focused on security and supports multiple strong encryption standards.
- It has secure deletion feature so you can force to delete files with 100% space recovery to free up the disk space as soon as file deleted.
- Files can be archived with passwords with multiple strong encryption standards using authentication via password and keyfile for increased security.
- You can bring PeaZip with you and rely on it on multiple platforms.
- Use it on all Windows versions and GNU/Linux distributions with the same features and look and feel.
- It is a desktop neutral application.
- Also available as standalone portable application. So you can carry out it in USB Flash Disk and other portable devices without any installation.
Free as in freedom
PeaZip is a freeware. Free of charge for any personal and corporate use. It is also free as in freedom since it’s released under GNU Lesser General Public License version 3.0 (LGPLv3) and it contains exclusively Open Source components released under OSI approved licenses. More features and options are awaiting for you in PeaZip. To experience those features go to www.peazip.org and download it for free.
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