Winzip vs 7-zip: Which is the Better Compression Tool?

Winzip and 7zip are the most popular file compression tools for Windows. Both perform the basic function of shrinking files’ sizes and packing them for easier storage or sharing. Do you have a bunch of documents, audios, videos and images which need compression, how do you determine which is the best tool to use?

Here is a Winzip vs 7zip comparison based on compression ability, compatibility of compressed files with other operating systems, price, and number of downloads.

Compression ability: Which tools gives the smallest file?

It is important to first note that the data set being compressed determines which tool gives the smallest file.

Results from many third party tests have shown that there is a slight difference in the compression abilities of both tools, with 7zip winning the trophy in most cases. Thus, if you are looking for the smallest file size, consider 7zip over Winzip.

2. Compatibility of compressed files with other operating systems

Winzip compression is better choice for compatibility. Files compressed using Winzip (or into .ZIP format) can be opened on other operating systems such as Mac, Android and iOS. You don’t need to download additional software for that.

With .7z files, you have to download certain software to open the compressed files in Mac, Android, and iOS. 7zip uses proprietary formats not fully supported on other operating systems.

3. Price

7zip is free and open source while Winzip has to be bought. Winzip Standard costs around $29.95, Winzip Pro Combo costs $59.95, and Winzip Big Zipper Combo costs $84.95. After the 21-day trial period, Winzip locks you out of service until you pay for any of the three packages.

4. The Sheer Number of Downloads:

Over 1 billion Winzip downloads have been made on 7zip has been downloaded more times than Winzip, probably because of the price factor. There are many sites that claim to offer 7zip for free but it is important to exercise caution as you download to ensure that you get it from a genuine source.
Other comparison factors include:

Compression speed: Winzip is faster than 7zip. 7zip uses context modeling (application of arithmetic and context models to encode literals and matches), which is slower but compresses better.

7zip requires more memory than Winzip. It uses LZMA, which requires a relatively larger window for the coding of more distant matches. While this improves compression, it requires more memory.

Winzip creates archives in zip format only while 7zip creates archives in 7zip (7z), bzip2 (bz2), and zip formats.

7zip is sufficient if all you need is basic functionality. The compression tool is lightweight, has good compression ratio, and does the basic functions of creating password protected archives.

This Winzip vs 7zip comparison shows that either compression tool has its advantages over the other when different factors are considered. For most basic users, 7zip is the preferred choice since it is free and can provide the most common file compression functions. Advanced computing experts who need to use compressed files on different operating systems would rightly prefer Winzip since it is better for compatibility. Your choice of Windows file compression tool depends on your computing needs.