Featured Freeware: IZArc

Although we're pretty fond of 7-Zip here at the Daily Download, IZArc is another excellent archiving alternative.

I haven't touched WinZip or WinRAR in more than a year thanks to the lightweight archiving utility 7-Zip, and IZArc looks to be another excellent archiving alternative. It modestly bills itself as the ultimate archiving utility--I'm not so sure about that ''ultimate'' bit. Nevertheless, IZArc is definitely one of the best archivers out there. Compatible with a huge number of archive formats, all the major are represented, as well as 7-Zip's 7z, ISO, BH (Black Hole), and TAR, among others. It can create archives for many of the formats it can read, too, including 7z and TAR. It doesn't, however, create GZ archives.

IZArc supports archive encryption as well. AES 128-, 192-, and 256-bit encoding and PKZip 2.0 both are available. The app offers a reasonable range of context-menu options in Explorer, although not as many as some of its competitors. The user interface is more similar to WinZip's than some other alternative archivers, with big, obnoxiously colored icons making it clear to everybody and their dog just which buttons do what--not that that's a bad thing. Overall, IZArc is an excellent example of a third-party publisher supporting multiple formats and options under one roof.

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