What is WinRAR and what is it used for


File compression is very practical, both to save space on our computer's hard drive and to centralize large-volume information and share it more comfortably. To do that job you need a good file compressor. Y WinRAR is one of the best.

There are certain features that differentiate WinRAR from other similar compression programs, such as 7-Zip or WinZip, to name a few of the most popular ones. The main difference is that it is not a free source software. Therefore, once the trial period has passed, you have to pay to use their services.

Since it was developed in 1995, it is considered a great tool. Superior to WinZip in the ability to handle large amounts of information and much faster than 7-Zip in the compression and decompression processes.

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If you have Windows 10 and are interested in installing and using WinRAR, you can download it from its Official Site (there is also a mobile version), quickly and completely safe. The native files of this compressor are easily recognizable, since they have the extension .rar. These are the initials of Roshal Archive, referring to the name of its creators and developers: Eugene and Alexander Roshal.

How to install WinRAR

install winrar

The process is very simple. We find the WinRAR installer inside a compressed folder, depending on whether our processor is from 32 or 64 bit, we will choose one or the other option:

  • For a processor 32 bits, you have to execute wrar591.exe.
  • In contrast, for a processor 64 bits, we must use winrar-x64-591.exe.

Then just click the button "Install" to start the installation process. When it finishes, a series of windows will appear with customization options.

Important: WinRAR is a paid application, so to use it you need to buy a user license ("Order" option on the last screen of the installer), although you can also choose to start the free trial period.

Features of WinRAR


Basically, the functions of WinRAR are two: compress files and centralize information. Another utility can also be added, which is a consequence of the two previous functions: free up disk space on your computer. This advantage of file compressors has become somewhat obsolete, since today's computers have larger storage units, as well as many expansion options through external devices.

Compress and decompress files

Nowadays, compression tools are used to simplify the work, gathering a large number of files into one. This greatly facilitates the task of sharing them: the sender compresses them, then sends them and finally the receiver decompresses them.

Select compression type

WinRAR allows its users to choose between different types of compression: LZMA2, LZMA, PPMd or BZip2. You can also select the quality and compression speed (Very fast, Fast, Normal, Good, etc.) as well as the size of the final compressed file, with the possibility of dividing it into several.

Protect files with password

Another handy security feature to keep your files safe from prying eyes. Note that if we use a password at the time of compressing, we will also need it at the time of decompression.

Supported formats

In addition to its own .rar format, WinRAR can work with many different formats: ZIP, CAB, 7z, ACE, ARJ, UEE, TAR, BZ2, ISO, GZ, LZH... It also allows you to create self-extracting compressed files (EXE) without the need resorting to other decompression software.

Is WinRAR the best file compressor?

winrar vs winzip vs 7zip

What is the best file compressor? It seems the choice is between three big names: WinZip, 7-Zip and, of course, WinRAR. Let's see in a summarized way what are the strengths and weaknesses of each of these programs:

  • Compression and decompression capacity: 7-Zip is the one that handles a greater number of formats, while WinRar and WinZip in many of them can only decompress, but not compress.
  • Damaged file recovery: in this section WinRAR stands out over its rivals, which do not have this functionality.
  • compression speed: 7-Zip is the fastest, almost 50% faster than WinZip and slightly faster than WinRAR.
  • license price: WinZip is the most expensive, slightly above WinRAR, while in the case of 7-Zip it is free.

In other aspects such as integration with Windows Explorer, generation of self-extracting files or encryption of compressed files, the three programs are equally reliable.


With all the data on the table, it follows that WinZip is the fastest file compressor of all, plus many useful additional features (for a fee). On the other hand, 7-Zip is the slowest of the three, although it has the advantage of being free.

Finally there is WinRAR, which is in a very interesting middle ground: It is faster than 7-Zip and somewhat cheaper than WinZip. Perhaps the balance we need.


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