Two awesome new free ZIP archiving programs that you’ve probably never heard of

We recently published a big comparison of free ZIP archiving and compression programs on Freewaregenius that looked at many of the more well known (and some not so well known) free ZIP programs out there.

The conclusion: we liked HaoZip, 7-Zip, and PeaZip best, in that order.

Since then, some readers have alerted us to two new programs that are worth considering: Bandizip and Bitser, both of which provide a good range of features and functions (see below).

 

 

Bitser screenshot - context menuBandizip screenshot - context menu

The following table provides a quick feature overview:

Bandizip Bitser
screenshot Bandizip Screenshot main dialog Bitser Screenshot main dialog
Interface Nice interface; supports drag and drop; a good-looking; customizable context menu. Very cool ‘preview archive’ option in the context menu. Nice interface; supports drag and drop; a good-looking context menu (which however is not customizable).
Interesting features High speed archiving/ multi core compression; unicode filenames; can extract multiple archives into multiple folders; ZIPX format support (packing and upacking); multiple icon packs. Calculate folder size and delete empty folders via context menu; provides AES-256 encryption; the ability to create or extract multiple archives from the context menu; a checksum calculator.
Packs ZIP (z01); ZipX (zx01); TAR; TGZ; 7Z (7z.001); and EXE (e01) ZIP; 7Z; Exe
Unpacks ZIP (z01); ZipX (zx01); TAR; TGZ; 7Z (7z.001); EXE (e01); RAR (part1.rar; r01); ACE; ALZ; APK; ARJ; BH; BZ; BZ2; CAB; EGG; GZ; J2J; JAR; IMG; IPA; ISO; LHA; LZH; LZMA; PMA; TBZ; TBZ2; TGZ; TLZ; TXZ; UDF; WAR; WIM; XZ; and Z ZIP; 7Z; RAR; ISO; MSI; VHD; GZIP; BZIP2;TAR; LZMA; LZMA2; NTFS; FAT; MBR; SquashFS; CramFS; MSLZ; CAB; CPIO; DEB; LZH; NSIS; RPM; UDF; WIM; XAR; XZ; and Z
Versions supported 32 bit and 64 bit 32 bit and 64 bit
Platforms Windows; Mac; Portable version available Windows
 
This is not meant to be a comparison as such, but an overview. BandiZip is definitely the more serious contender of the two, and I am eager to test it in a head to head comparison with Haozip, which is my favorite compression/archiving program.

In any case both of these will be included in the next update of our Zip Archivers Comparison article.


 
 
 
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  • http://N/A Murphy

    Try to check and write something about FreeArc. It is more powerful and faster then WinRar and it is free at the same time.

  • Patrick

    I just switched over to HaoZip, and have been enjoying it so far. Now I have more to consider! Looking forward to the update with the new comparison.

  • Shon

    Just as an FYI Bandizip is not free for Mac, cheap ($1.99) but not free.

  • Monimonika

    Is there any free zip archive program that can take a bunch of highlighted folders and create multiple SEPARATE archive files (one for each folder and named after folder)?

    I know WinRAR has this option but want to know if it’s featured in any freeware (I’ve found shareware programs that claim to do it, but I’m not risking my computer to try them out).

  • Scorp

    @Monimonika

    Bandizip does that… if you highlight multiple folders you can right-click and do “Compress to each file/folder name”.. :)

  • http://N/A Murphy

    @@Monimonika: FreeArc can also pack few selected files into a separate folders. You can find it here: http://freearc.org/

  • Saicode

    @Monimonika:

    Yes, I have been looking for it for a long time as well.
    Wonder, why 7zip doesn’t include that feature by default…

    Sometime back I found this little program on Sourceforge which I have been using.
    http://sourceforge.net/projects/arcthemall/

  • Saicode

    Thanks for featuring this program Samer! Really liking it!

    • Samer

      @ Saicode: you’re welcome ;)

  • Accent

    Freearc is waaay too unreliable and buggy to consider seriously. Maybe when it reaches a 1.0 version but, for now, fuhhgitowbowtit.

  • PJ

    @Monimonika, Bitser does that also. It can do the reverse as well ie extract multiple zip into multiple folders.

  • Al

    I’m a fan of Peazip because it is cross platform. The performance and features are close enough to not matter to me but being able to use the same program on Windows, Mac and Linux is what makes it my archive program of choice.

  • Monimonika

    Thank you to both Scorp and PJ for letting me know Bandizip and Bitser does what I want them to do.

    For now I will be using Bitser (in conjunction with 7-zip) because it only adds one right-click menu item rather than the 3 that Bandizip does.

    I will be keeping 7-zip not only because I’m used to it, but also because it can open .cbz files from the right-click menu. Bitser will be used only for multiple separate archive creation.

    Thank you guys! :-D

  • Colin

    A while ago, I had a freeware zip program I downloaded from Brothersoft, that allowed images inside a folder to be displayed “en masse” in a side panel (with a scroll bar if lots of images in zip file), and even allowed a slide-show of the images to be created. Does anyone know what that program might be called?

    I keep hundreds of family photos in zip archives and it made looking through dozens of images *very* fast and very easy. The other thing this program did was to unzip to ram memory, so that I didn’t have to keep deleting incorrect folders I’d opened, That’s not essential, but the “quick display” and slideshow are sorely missed. :-(

  • Colin

    A while ago, I had a freeware zip program I downloaded from Brothersoft, that allowed images inside a folder to be displayed “en masse” in a side panel (with a scroll bar if lots of images in zip file), and even allowed a slide-show of the images to be created. Does anyone know what that program might be called?

    I keep hundreds of family photos in zip archives and it made looking through dozens of images *very* fast and very easy. The other thing this program did was to unzip to ram memory, so that I didn’t have to keep deleting incorrect folders I’d opened, That’s not essential, but the “quick display” and slideshow are sorely missed. :-(

    Thanks.

  • Skip Royeton

    Avast Virus software has determined that this is a virus. Download at your own risk.