WinRAR is able to create archives in two different formats: RAR and ZIP.

Here is a comparison of these formats:

  • RAR archives

Typically, the RAR format provides better compression than ZIP, especially in the solid mode. WinRAR multi-volume archives in the RAR format allow more functions such as self-extracting archives.

The RAR format has also a few important features that are missing in ZIP, such as the recovery record, which allows you to reconstruct damaged data and lock important archives to prevent accidental modification.

Both RAR and ZIP formats are able to handle files of practically unlimited size (up to 8,589,934,591 GB).

  • ZIP archives

Another popular archive format is ZIP. If you are going to send an archive to somebody but you are not sure if the recipient has WinRAR installed, it might be a good idea to use the ZIP format; or you may also send a self-extracting archive, which the recipient can open even without having WinRAR installed on their machine. Such SFX archives are slightly larger, but can be extracted without external programs.


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