Jzip

Jzip is a free compression utility based on 7-Zip. It features the same reliability, high compression ratios, and speed that 7Zip provides with an enhanced user interface.

Before installing PLEASE NOTE: unless you choose the CUSTOM INSTALL option and uncheck the Yahoo toolbar and other software, you may install bundled software/toolbars/etc. that you do not want.

The review below pertains to the program itself, as I tested it, and before they moved to bundle toolbars and things with it.

Version tested: 1.0.0.36791

Jzip is based on the open source 7-Zip, which delivers the 2 most important features you would want out of a compression program (a) very high compression ratios, meaning that your compressed files created with this program will be as small or smaller in size than many comparable compression programs out there, and (b) excellent compression speed. (For comparisons of a number of archive programs see this great comparative review of zip utilities on Donationcoder).

jzip

The most consistent criticism of 7zip has always been its rudimentary interface, and Jzip offers the kind of user friendly interface for managing files/archives that 7-Zip’s interface lacks (and that is offered by many archive utilities); such as:

  • Display folder trees on the left-pane, explorer-style.
  • Create folders/subfolders and drag files into these from within the Jzip interface.
  • Switch between icon, thumbnail, list and detail view, explorer style.
  • File sorting. Also supports sorting by clicking on column headers in detail view.
  • Wildcard select (e.g. select all .jpg files within an archive)
  • The ability to view compressed files without having to extract them from the archive first.

Where jZip and 7Zip do not differ:

  • Both will compress and extract archives in 7z, ZIP, GZIP, BZIP2 and TAR formats and will extract RAR, CAB, ISO, ARJ, LZH, CHM, Z, CPIO, RPM, DEB and NSIS formats.
  • Both will extract multiple archives into their respective folders through the context menu.
  • Drag and drop files to/from the interface available in both
  • Right click context menu looks exactly the same. Altogether not a bad thing since it is very simple and functional, although I would have liked the ability to customize it.
  • That wonderful simplicity. Part of the reason why 7Zip is so popular, apart from its performance, is its economical simplicity. I am glad to report that Jzip retains that feeling even when it enhances the user experience.

Wish list (or how this program can be even better):
For a program whose entire reason for being is to deliver a better interface, it makes sense for Jzip to offer the following:

  • Skins
  • The ability to customize the context menu.
  • Provide zip icon alternatives. The one Jzip provides actually looks really cool, although I’m not too sure about its yellow-ochre color. Would have preferred more orange/red color myself (note: if you would like to change your deault zip icons or the icons for any file type, you can use Icon Phile).
  • That wonderful simplicity. Part of the reason why 7Zip is so popular, apart from its performance, is its economical simplicity. I am glad to report that Jzip retains that feeling even when it enhances the user experience.

Freewaregenius 5-Star Pick

The verdict: You can say that this program is just 7Zip with a better interface, and that would be good enough for me. [NOTE: my praise for this program does not take the newly bundled toolbars and other junk into consideration. Please read ‘How to install’ below before installing.]

Compatibility: WinAll; Mac and Linux versions coming soon.

How to install Jzip: choose the CUSTOM INSTALL option and uncheck the Yahoo toolbar and other things that come bundled with Jzip. If you do not choose custom install it will install Yahoo toolbar and possibly some other browser plugins BY DEFAULT without asking.

Go to the program page to get the latest version (approx 2.22 megs).


 
 
 
Samer Kurdi

Samer Kurdi

Has been reviewing software since 2006 when he started Freewaregenius.com
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