7-Zip, Best Open-Source File Compression Software

7-Zip is a free, open-source file compression and uncompressing programme. Igor Pavlov developed this useful program. It was originally launched in 1999. 7-Zip has its own archive format, 7z, but it can also read and write a variety of different archives. It is a free file archiver with a good compression ratio.Although 7z is the primary archive format, it can also read and write other common archive formats.

The application is available in three versions: graphical user interface (the most popular), command line interface, and shell integration.This software is arguably the most popular free file archiver since the default 7z file format has one of the highest compression ratios (using LZMA and LZMA2 – Lempel–Ziv–Markov chain method, a lossless data compression algorithm).

Interesting Features of 7-Zip Software

  • High compression ratio utilizing LZMA/LZMA2 compression in 7z format.
  • When utilizing the 7z and ZIP formats, AES-256 encryption is supported.
  • Integration with the Windows Shell.
  • For 7z files, self-extracting functionality is provided.
  • Both a file manager and a command-line interface are provided.
  • The FAR Manager Plugin is now available.
  • Most languages are supported (79).

One advantage of utilizing applications like 7-Zip is the ability to create compressed archives that can self-extract after being transmitted to another user, without having to worry about what sort of software the recipient has.

7-Zip makes it simple to conserve space, effectively back up critical files, and protect data. The best part is that it is entirely free and lightweight. It also supports a variety of compressed file formats, including BZIP2, 7z, and TAR. The list of decompression support is significantly longer.

AR, ARJ, CAB, CPIO, Crams, DMG, EXT, FAT, GPT, IHEX, ISO, LZMA, MBR, MSI, NSIS, NTFS, QCOW2, RAR, SquashFS, UDF, VDI, VHD, WIM, XAR, Z, and more may all be decompressed with 7-Zip. Those are the only ones we can recall off the top of our heads.

Archive Specifications in 7-Zip

Archive Format:

The format of the newly generated archive is specified. Some formats (such as gzip and bzip2) do not allow for more than one file to be compressed per archive.

Compression Ratio:

The data utilized in the testing has a big impact on the compression ratio findings. 7-Zip compresses files 30-70 percent better in 7z format than in zip format. In addition, 7-Zip compresses files to zip format 2-10% faster than most other zip compatible applications.

Dictionary Size:

The size of the dictionary for compression is specified here. A larger Dictionary size usually results in a greater compression ratio. However, compression can be time consuming and memory intensive. The amount of memory (RAM) used by LZMA compression is around 11 times that of the dictionary size. LZMA decompression uses about the same amount of memory as the dictionary size. The memory used by PPMd to compress and decompress data is about equivalent to the dictionary size.

Word Size:

Sets the word length that will be utilized to find identical byte sequences for compression. Larger Word sizes usually result in a somewhat better compression ratio and a slower compression process for LZMA and Deflate. For files with long identical sequences of bytes, a large Word size setting can greatly enhance compression ratio. Word size has a significant impact on both compression ratio and compression/decompression speed in PPMd.

Solid Block Size:

The size of a solid block is specified. Solid mode can also be turned off. All files will be compressed as continuous data blocks in solid mode. The compression ratio is usually improved by compressing to a solid archive. This option is only available for 7z archives. You can only update existing archives with the current version of 7z if solid mode is turned off and the existing archive is non-solid.

Number of CPU Threads:

The number of threads to compress is specified here. On Multi-Processor systems, a large number of threads can increase compression speed. Even on single-core CPUs, it can sometimes boost performance.


7-Zip supports AES-256 encryption for 7z and ZIP archives, as well as ZIP Crypto for ZIP archives. If compatibility is a problem, use the ZIP format with ZIP Crypto encryption. AES-256 gives the strongest encryption but is only supported by 7-Zip, WinZip, and a few other archivers.