Selecting a proper file compression program is a relatively easy process. There are plenty of compression programs out there which do the job, so long as you know what to look for. File compression programs are needed mainly because they take a set of files and compress them into a single file—which is then smaller than the sum of its parts. This is very important for computers which have relatively small space and capacity, because you are able to compile more files together than you normally would have been able to without the use of a file compression program. There is also the matter of decompressing, or extracting the files out of this single compressed file—which is definitely a must, because the files that have been compressed cannot be used or opened properly unless it is extracted first (or opened with a file compression program).
- These days, the Internet makes extensive use of such compressed files, which makes it even more necessary for any computer owner who has access to the Internet to also have these file compression programs. This article will delve into the process of selecting the proper file compression program through a series of steps, because certain kinds of programs need certain kinds of computers to work properly. So if you are interested in learning what kind of program goes where, then continue reading to the step-by-step process below:
- What kind of files to use if you are using a PC. This requires two files for the file compression program to be truly complete—one which compresses the file itself, and one that extracts or decompresses the file so that you can make use of what is inside. Pkzip, a file compression program developed by PKware is useful for compressing files, turning them into a .zip file. In order to extract files from a .zip file, a program such as WinZip is needed (developed by WinZip). There are other choices, such as WinRAR and WinAce, which have their own program types but are still able to decompress and extract .zip files among others (making WinRAR the ideal choice among the three examples).
- What type to use if you have a Macintosh. Stuffit Lite, which was developed by Aladdin Systems, can deal with extracting Macintosh compressed files. If you want to go a step further, Stuffit Deluxe is a more improved version which also allows you to create your own .sea files, an invaluable tool for Macintosh users. Because there are less Macintosh users than PC users, most files in the Internet are either .zip files or .rar files. If you need something that is able to handle both Macintosh and PC’s files (though leaning more toward the Macintosh), DropStuff can do just that (also developed by Aladdin Systems).
- Lastly, what type of file compression program to grab if you use UNIX. Most UNIX files are compressed into .gz—which can be decompressed through the use of Gzip, a program which was developed by Jean-loup Gailly.
Even if the types of file compression programs vary depending on the kind of computer, they all serve to complement each other, so long as you find the program to properly balance all of your needs.