7-Zip 4.56 Beta

7-Zip is a file archiver with the high compression ratio. The program supports 7z, ZIP, CAB, RAR, ARJ, LZH, CHM, GZIP, BZIP2, Z, TAR, CPIO, RPM and DEB formats. Compression ratio in the new 7z format is 30-50% better than ratio in ZIP format.

The main features of 7-Zip

* High compression ratio in new 7z format with LZMA compression
* Supported formats:
- Packing / unpacking: 7z, ZIP, GZIP, BZIP2 and TAR
- Unpacking only: RAR, CAB, ISO, ARJ, LZH, CHM, Z, CPIO, RPM, DEB and NSIS
* For ZIP and GZIP formats 7-Zip provides compression ratio that is 2-10 % better than ratio provided by PKZip and WinZip
* Self-extracting capability for 7z format
* Integration with Windows Shell
* Powerful File Manager
* Powerful command line version
* Plugin for FAR Manager
* Localizations for 63 languages


- Some bugs were fixed.

Download: 7-Zip 4.56 Beta freeware
Link: Home Page

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even though i would like to see .7z beat out .rar as the standard i dont think it's going to happen cause like you said winrar is more mature program and more tuned code etc as far as speed is concerned... although .7z aint slow and generally offers better compression depending on what your compressing over .rar.

i guess the best thing when you look at the overall program vs rar is it's "free" ;)

as far as 7-zip's interface i think it could use some tweaks but i like it's interface when it's actually doing the compression... stays simple and gets straight to the point and shows the details of the compression etc

great program ;)

to bad something like this dont become "the standard" for compression programs ;)

cause in some ways it's better than rar format but in some ways it might be worse... but overall i think it's better mainly cause it's free