Despite being a free utility, PeaZip is one of the best file compression and archiving tools available nowadays. It goes much further than simple file compression/decompression and packing/unpacking operations, like most archive managers do. Rather, PeaZip includes a full set of extra tools that go from password generation/management to file encryption, to task scheduling.
Basically, the program's main window consists of a built-in file browser that allows you to navigate through your file system. This browser shows your files' type, size, creation date/time, attributes and CRC32 values if available. From here, you can select one or more files and folders and pack them into a single compressed archive file, with just a few clicks. On the other hand, you can also select an archive file and see its contents, extract single files/folders - or all of them at once- to the specified location, test the files' integrity, securely delete files, copy or move them to another location or archive, convert archive files from one format to another, and much more. Most of these actions are right at hand thanks to the program's well-designed tool bar.
The password generator is probably one of the most helpful tools included with PeaZip. It creates random complex password for you with the specified length, and it can even create key files. You can use them to secure your archive files, keeping them away from unauthorized access. Unfortunately, this tool does not integrate adequately with the also included passwords manager, as you need to add the generated passwords to it manually. Task scheduler is another key utility included in PeaZip, even though it has nothing to do with file compression. This utility allows you to schedule different kinds of tasks - namely starting a program, sending an e-mail or displaying a message -, that will fire on different events such as a specific date/time, at Windows startup or log on, after an idle period of time and others. Moreover, when creating an archive file, the program can split it automatically for you by the specified file size, for an easier file transportation and management.
PeaZip can open and test archive files in more than 150 formats, while it can create archive files in 16 formats including ZIP, RAR, ARC, TAR, 7Z, UPX, XZ and PEA, which is a proprietary format of PeaZip. This, together with all the complementary tools and functions mentioned above, make PeaZip the perfect replacement for many paid archive managers such as WinZip or WinRAR, that are probably the most popular ones. However, this variety of tools and functions increase the program's complexity, which may make it not very suitable for beginners.
In short, even if you are not planning to use all the program's extra tools and features, PeaZip is an excellent file archiving tool that can still replace any other similar program. If you usually work with archive files, I would definitely recommend you giving PeaZip a try.
- Includes a full set of extra tools
- Opens archives in more than 150 formats
- Creates archives in 16 formats, including all the most popular
- Capable of splitting the created archives for you by the specified size
- Includes a very helpful and well-designed toolbar
- The passwords generator and manager are not synchronized
- May not be so suitable for beginners