Unzipped: PKZip Suite 4.5 and WinZip 8.1



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1 April 2005 | 0

Compressing files is even easier now, thanks to new versions of WinZip and PKZip. Both compress one or more files into .zip archives and both restore compressed archive files to their original formats.

The new WinZip 8.1 ($29; free upgrade for registered users) offers several nice enhancements, many of them integrated with Windows Explorer. For instance, after you right-click a .zip file, you can choose where you want the unzipped file to be held from a cascading menu of recently used folders and you can also retrieve files from multiple archives at once.

The $29 PKZip Suite 4.5, on the other hand, is almost identical to version 4. The best new feature was virtually unlimited file capacity. However, since file size isn’t a big problem for most users, upgrading ($19) may not be worthwhile. PKZip’s best features — such as support for Public Key Infrastructure digital signatures, which tells you who added files to an archive — already appeared in version 4.




PKZip Explorer, does the job of compressing and decompressing even better than WinZip 8.1 — and it handles better too. With PKZip Explorer you can view an archive as a Windows folder and you can use Windows Search to find text inside compressed files; WinZip doesn’t let you search archives.

Want the basics? WinZip wins. Need more powerful features like archive searching? PKZip’s the one.

PKWare PKZip Suite 4.5
Its extra features enhance the package for power users
Price Full version $29; Upgrade $19
Contact www.pkware.com
Rating 70%

WinZip Computing WinZip 8.1
Better basics in this program.
Price Full version $29; free upgrade for registered users
Contact www.winzip.com
Rating 60%

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