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File compression apps PeaZip and 7-Zip are both top of their game, but so closely matched that it can be very, very hard to make a choice. If you're faced with this dilemma, read on and we'll make it just that little bit easier!

Format Support

Neither of these programs are exactly slackers on this front, with literally dozens of formats between then. 7-Zip takes the biscuit with its own propriety format, a serous hard hitter when it comes to compression ratio and exportability. You can read more about 7z here, and its worth bearing in mind that the format is read and write-supported by lots of other compression utilities, PeaZip included.

Features

7-Zip has lots of nice extra features, including extensive and flawless context menu support. File association management is truly easy via a handy interface, and an excellent command line version strips the app back to basics. It also lets you choose from an incredible 79 languages. Although not provided by 7-Zip itself, there also are a raft of non-Windows versions - for Mac, Debian and even Amiga, for example - but as these are not official versions, support can vary.

Evaluating PeaZip solely on the basis of its file compression skills, however, it easily matches 7-Zip weight for weight, with context menu integration, portable and Linux versions, plenty of languages and even a nice selection of skins and other extras. It doesn't go quite as far as 7-Zip when it comes to being all things to all people, though, so on the basic features front, 7-Zip just pips it to the post.

Appearance

In terms of appearance, PeaZip and 7-Zip are pretty evenly matched. That said, PeaZip just manages to take the edge, with slicker, prettier icons and an overall look that's just a little bit less dated. In real terms. however, the two are pretty evenly matched, so don't let looks stand in the way of function - there's just not enough of a difference.

Usability

At the first pass, both apps triumph - PeaZip and 7-Zip are free and open source. They are also extremely user-friendly. If an action feels like it's the right thing to do to get a result, you're probably right. Right click on your files, drag and drop them, and find options easily via their entirely logical and well-laid out menus - PeaZip and 7-Zip are both a dream to use.

File Management

Something to bear in mind when looking at PeaZip and 7-Zip, however, is that both also have extensive file management features in addition to their file compression utilities, adding another world of functionality to both. Both apps provide plenty of power for the basics, allowing you to move, copy and otherwise modify the file. They also allow you to combine, split, compare and check your files.

Where PeaZip pulls slightly ahead of 7-Zip, however, is in the ease of use and slightly more advanced features it boasts. There are some interesting security options, allowing you to password protect and encrypt files, manage associated applications, add bookmarks and access history. The file management interface is also very slick, and makes navigating through files and folders as easy as browsing the internet. Finally, PeaZip  also has a secure delete feature, a really valuable added feature.

Conclusion

In conclusion, PeaZip and 7-Zip are incredibly closely matched. Purely on file compression attributes, especially, what 7-Zip lacks in looks, it makes up in features, again evening the field. If we're being very, very choosy, however, 7-Zip seems a smidgen faster, and it's lighter on resources.

If you also value the file management side, however, PeaZip is undoubtedly the more rounded app, with a smoother user experience and increased functionality. It's a fast, solid app and although 7-Zip is a very worthy competitor, PeaZip just edges it out.

Commented

  • Shehab |
    12/06/11
    Shehab

    not this or this the best is KGB2.77 it is make one Gb in one Mb itis the best all over the world i think

  • manuel cortez |
    13/06/11
    manuel cortez

    megustas

  • Paco |
    13/06/11
    Paco

    @Shehab: KGB Archiver was a good compressor, as it is based on PAQ 6 algorithm, but it is no longer state of art of technology. PeaZip in example uses PAQ 8 that compresses far better than the older algorithm used in KGB Archiver. Anyway such powerful algorithms are useful in very few occasions, and faster algorithms are usually preferred everywhere, in 7Zip, PeaZip and FreeArc. And about squeezing GBs in MBs... it may happen for few repetitive data (an huge empty database), but if you get a MB file of a GB multimedia content or anything else with a lot of entropy, and no matter of what compressor are you using you can be absolutely sure a bug occurred and you had lost all your data!

  • Matt Perkins |
    24/06/11
    Matt Perkins

    I know better alternatives. You have the shareware WinRAR and you have both IZArc and ZipGenius. ZipGenius has a better compression rate than both PeaZip and 7-Zip.

    But PeaZip is a hell of a lot better than 7-Zip and is both my eye pleasing and easier to use. I don't really use either. I just use WinRAR.

  • Jonathan |
    06/11/11
    Jonathan

    Peazip looks nice, but lags when compressing vs 7zip does not lag and that includes using all 4 of my threads.

  • Kamal |
    14/09/12
    Kamal

    WinRAR... seriously? It's an old pile of crap and is not open source. It doesn't support a fraction of the formats 7zip or PeaZip support...

  • Louis RK |
    20/01/13
    Louis RK

    Issue is not about pile of cr*p, issue is what is widely available for everyday user who never cares about any of this. By default these days zip can be open without any installation but I do know it is among the worse at compression.

    Personally I liked 7z then rar then only zip. Of cause there are way better ones out there but issue is compression time. Those that made the files small took way way too long to compress or decompress.

    I wished Windows would include 7z and rar support by default but I doubt it. As long as zip is supported by default majority of casual pc users will turn towards it despite poor compression.

  • ceghap |
    11/06/13
    ceghap

    i love 7zip... for me, it does not matter if the interface is nice or not as long it is fast.hehe

  • Boomcutter |
    02/08/13
    Boomcutter

    If 7zip is still the fastest and lightest on resources then why even consider peazip? OHHH its prettier.... really who cares how pretty it is

  • Othar |
    11/08/13
    Othar

    If I really have to use ONLY one, I'll go for PeaZip's extra features, as bookmarks, two factor authentication, secure delete, encrypted password manager. More complete as file manager IMHO. But as both are free and open source I not see why not both...

  • tim |
    23/08/13
    tim

    I've been using 7 zip for a long time, so based on this review, it's not worth it to change.

  • fra |
    05/09/13
    fra

    2Bad no one ever consider the fact that peazip is the ONLY software that allows you to extract directly in the output folder without temp files, no winzip no winrar no 7zip does this, TOUGH you can always do this in commandline wwith 7zip

  • I:Scintilla |
    07/10/13
    I:Scintilla

    Dear fra, this is not entirely correct. If you use drag & drop with 7-zip, Windows will indeed use a temp dir, however if you click on extract instead, it will extract directly. I haven't looked at peazip, but using drag & Drop it should really be using a temporary directory as well ... Just the way windows was programmed.

  • bb68 |
    05/01/14
    bb68

    @scintilla, PeaZip uses a custom drag and drop handler, when you drag to extract a lot of data to another disk, speed gain is quite impressive. I use a lot of removable disks to store backup and extra data, and direct extraction spares me a lot of time.

31/07/14
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