The Most Common Archive File Formats

Archive Files
Original Image by http://bit.ly/23WU5tO

In the past, we at Online-Convert.com have given you many information about different raster and vector image file formats. We talked about all kinds of lossy and lossless audio files as well as e-book files that are compatible with particular e-reading devices. Different kinds of document files and video containers and codecs have been discussed here as well.

One particular file type, however, is missing. Until today!

Lets have a look at all the different archive file formats, the compression methods they use and more!

 

Popular Archive File Formats

The list of different compressed archives is long. There are approximately 250 known archive formats, but the number is probably even higher since many programs use their own compressed files for packaging. The ones we look at here are the most common and widely used archive files you will find on the web.

7Z

7Z archives are one of the most versatile archive files. They have been called “future proof” since they were compatible with new compression software as well as with the old ones that came out when the format was released in 1999. 7Z archives support many different  types of compression (e.g. LZMA, PPMD, BCJ, Bzip2, Deflate) and encryption (e.g. AES-256), as well as pre-processing algorithms. It is most commonly associated with the 7-Zip compression program. Both the program and the file format are open source – something that may be a usage criteria for many.

Advantages Disadvantages
  • Highest compression rate
  • Ability to split one archive into smaller chunks
  • Can compress multiple files
  • Open Source Format
  • used on:
    • Windows, OS X (command-line) & Linux (command line)
  • Slowest compression speed
  • Not inherit integrated in any operating system; third-party program required
    • 7-Zip

Convert to 7Z

 

TAR.BZ2

TAR.BZ2 files use a form of TAR archiving. TAR itself is a function that creates archives only without applying any compression. Here, bzip2 compression (Burrows-Wheeler algorithm) is used to turn these TAR archives into BZ2 compressed archive files. Just like 7Z, TAR.BZ2 was licensed under the open standard license, and it’s compression method is, while not as good as 7Z, highly advanced in comparison to, e.g. ZIP or TAR.GZ archives.

Advantages Disadvantages
  • Moderate compression rate
  • Open Source Format
  • used on:
    • OS X, Linux & Unix
  • Moderate compression speed
  • Can only compress single files (TAR archive)

Convert to TAR.BZ2

 

TAR.GZ

Similar to TAR.BZ2, TAR.GZ files combine TAR archiving with a gzip compression method to compress the TAR archive. Like the previously mentioned archive files, TAR.GZ files belong to the open standard and is most commonly used on Unix systems. The gzip compression is based on the DEFLATE algorithm, which results in lower compression rates in comparison. However, the compression speed is the highest compared to common archive formats.

Advantages Disadvantages
  • Highest compression speed
  • Can compress multiple files
  • Open Source Format
  • used on:
    • OS X, Linux & Unix
  • Low compression rate
  • Older compression standard than, e.g., bzip2

Convert to TAR.GZ

 

RAR

Rivaling the well-known ZIP archive when it comes to popularity, RAR is another wide-spread archive format. In direct comparison to ZIP, however, RAR archives have the better compression rate. The RAR file format is not licensed under open source licensed, but can easily be compressed and decompressed with the free program WinRAR for Windows andcomparable software for Mac OS X as well as Linux.

Advantages Disadvantages
  • High compression speed
  • Can compress multiple files
  • used on:
    • Windows, OS X, Linux & Android
  • Moderate compression rate
  • Not inherit integrated in any operating system; third-party program required
    • WinRAR

 

ZIP

The most common and wide-spread archive format is, without a doubt, ZIP. ZIP files are very versatile. They can either use as pure archiving files that group files togetherwithout compressing them, or compress single or multiple files into one ZIP file. Thanks to the compression being applied to each single item, ZIP compression makes sure that each file type is compressed in the best possible way. The most commonly used compression methods is DEFLATE, but others can be applied as well (BZip, LZMA, PPMD and more).

Advantages Disadvantages
  • Highest compression speed
  • Can compress multiple files
  • Build-in in Windows machines
  • used on:
    • Windows, OS X & Linux
  • Lowest compression rate

Convert to ZIP

 

ZIPX

ZIPX files are the “new and improved” version of the widely used and popular ZIP file. It has been introduced with WinZip 12.1 and uses an extended compression method. The compression rates are higher than those of “regular” ZIP files, but on the expense of compression speed which is quite slow.

Advantages Disadvantages
  • High compression rate
  • Can compress multiple files
  • used on:
    • Windows, OS X & Linux
  • Lowest compression speed

 

Comparing these archive files correctly, one can draw the following, rough comparison between the files:

Compression Rate
7Z > RAR & ZIPX > TAR.BZ2 > TAR.GZ > ZIP

Compression Speed
ZIP & TAR.GZ > RAR & TAR.BZ2 > 7Z & ZIPX

Differences Between Data Archiving vs Backup

Differences Between Data Archiving vs Backup
Image Credit by = http://bit.ly/1W1zgyz

 

 

Computers, cellphones and other electronic gadgets are omnipresent and thus the growth of the amount of data which we accumulate each day increases. This is why it is very important to know the differences between data archiving vs backup. Which is better for you and which method should you choose are some of the questions answered in this guide.

 

 

 

 

What Is Data Archiving?

 

With the explosions of social media sites, streaming services and so many other things which we are able to do Online these days, it is very easy to fill up our devices with data very quickly. But just what is data archiving? Data archiving is the process of moving or storing data which is no longer being used actively. This data is then separated and sent or placed in another device for long-term keeping and retention. While this data may be of some importance to the person or company, it is no longer needed or necessary at the moment. By archiving the data, it can be stored for future references or usage.

 

Be sure to check out these great Tips on Protecting Important Files

 

Data Archiving & Data Backups

 

Data backups is often mistaken with data archiving. However, data backups are used to restore data in the event that the original data has been destroyed or corrupted. On the other hand, data archiving protects and stores older information and files which are no longer needed by the person or company for everyday usage. Nevertheless, this data may have to be accessed occasionally. Both serve as ways for the person to be able to save space, storage and to insure their files & information are archived and backed up.

 

 

Benefits To Archiving Data

 

Apart from reducing the cost and space of the primary storage, archiving data also protects sensitive or important information, files and data. Numerous individuals have lost all of their prized memories, files and data for not backing up their files. This is why it is imperative to take advantage of the many forms of archiving data which are available today. Anyone wishing to protect and backup their data can do so in several ways. There are options to archive data or have it backed up online as well as in external and internal hard drives. Depending on the amount of data you want to archive or backed up, the method you choose may vary. Cloud storages are also a great way for someone to backup their data as well.

 

Not enough space on your smartphone? Then check out these Tips on How to Save Space on Your Phone

 

Archive Conversion

 

While the files or data you may want to backup or archive are usually large in size, there are options which can facilitate this issue. Converting the files or data to another form such as ZIP, 72, TAR.B22 or TAR.G2 are other options with numerous  advantages. Converting the files to those formats can vastly reduce the sizes of the files and data which in turn, can save you even more space. Online Convert offers archive converting for free which can be done in a few easy steps. No matter which one you choose, knowing the differences between data archiving vs backup is very important since it gives you viable options to pick from.