We all know how crucial hard disk space is, especially for those people who are constantly on the go and who always bring their work with them. It can be a problem sometimes because the files they need to bring with them are bigger than their free space. Worry no more – 7-Zip is here to the rescue.

7-Zip is an open source software for file compression and archiving, and unlike others, it offers a high compression ratio – definitely perfect for those big files that need to be shrinked.

7-zip compresses files into ZIP format 2-10% better than other file compression software. It also features its own file format, the 7Z. 7Z compresses files 30-70% better than ZIP formats, so you get more disk space and more things to store. It also supports self-extraction for 7Z format, so you can compress your files using 7Z and give it to your friends or colleagues, and they can unpack it even without the 7-Zip software. It also has a strong AES-256 encryption both in 7Z and ZIP formats to make sure that your files are secured and can only be opened by whomever you choose.

The 7Z format, aside from having a high compression ratio and strong encryption, also supports file sizes up to 16,000,000,000 GB (yeah,  you read right: 16 billion gigabytes). It also has open architecture so it supports any new compression methods. The default compression for the 7Z format is the LZMA, which allows up to 1 MB/s compression speed on a 2.0GHz CPU, and 10-20 MB/s decompression speed.

Currently, 7-zip supports packing and unpacking for 7Z,  ZIP, GZIP, BZIP2 and TAR files. It supports unpacking for ARJ, CAB, CHM, CPIO, DEB, DMG, HFS, ISO, LZH, LZMA, MSI, NSIS, RAR, RPM, UDF, WIM, XAR and Z. It is available for use in Windows, but has also unofficial installers for Linux, Mac OSX, DOS and a lot more.

So what are you waiting for? Compress your old files and regain hard disk space for files that are more important.

Related Links
7-zip’s Official Website
7-Zip and LZMA SDK Donation Page