One cannot keep wondering what makes WinZip or WinRAR so attractive to lure you into parting from your money when you can use an open-source archive utility that offers you all the features presented in those two plus the support for more than 150 archive file types. PeaZip is not only a free app, it is also an attractive, well-designed, and efficient archiving tool with the most interesting extras.
This fast-evolving archive tool with nearly ten years of experience in the file compression and archive management fields never ceases to amaze me. PeaZip comes with all the features you would expect from a professional archive manager – it can open any archive, create new archives with the size and the compression level of your choice, extract the files in an archive, protect existing and new archive files with a password and top-notch encryption algorithms, etc. And then it can also split existing archives and merge previously split files, compute hash values to check the integrity of the archive file, search for duplicate files, and convert any archive into a 7Z, WIM, TAR, ARC, ZIP, WIM, or PEA file.
PEA is a general purpose archiving format developed by the same clever people that brought us PeaZip. The term stands for Pack Encrypt Authenticate, and this open-source format – though not so popular as ZIP, RAR, 7Z, or ISO – offers you state-of-the-art encryption (AES256), authentication, and integrity checking algorithms that will make your archives more secure. Besides, it has been designed to produce multi-volume archives with the highest levels of flexibility and security.
PeaZip comes with two main extra Pea tools – PeaExtractor and PeaUtils. The former will help you to extract the files from an archive just by dragging and dropping it into PeaExtractor’s interface, while the latter will offer you a toolbox to compute CRC, MD5, SHA, and Checksum hash values for any existing archive file, to secure-delete any file (including secure delete and zero delete free space), and to send to a TXT file all the items in an archive file.
But if I had to pick just one thing about PeaZip, that would be its ability to let you work with the contents of any archive without extracting its contents, just as if you were working with the files and folders stored on your hard drive. Thus, you can add and delete files and folders to and from an existing archive, preview files using your favorite app with just one click, rename any file in the archive, password-protect it, etc., all without ever uncompressing and extracting any of these files.
All of these features and functions make PeaZip a serious contender for many well-known commercial archive managers. None of them can beat its value for money, and very few can compete with it in terms of functionality.
- Supports more than 150 archive file types
- Encrypts and password-protects your archives
- Archive conversion utility
- Allows you to manage files in an archive without extracting them
- Clear and intuitive interface