Enhanced for Windows 7

WinZip has been around for quite some time, but it's aged gracefully. See why it has so many fans.

With version 14 of this venerable archiving tool, WinZip aims specifically at Windows 7 compliance and enhancements, and adds a few other new features, too. WinZip in Windows 7 gets extensive support for libraries, tools, and recent archives in the jumplist, previews in Windows Explorer for certain file types, and basic touch-screen support. Multitouch support is limited to rotating pictures previewed from WinZip archives.

WinZip 14 also includes minor security enhancements. New automatic wiping keeps confidential data secret by "shredding" the temporary file that WinZip creates by default whenever it opens an archive. The shredding uses U.S. Department of Defense standard DoD 5220.22-M. WinZip 14 now also supports the built-in AES encryption in Intel-based computers, speeding up the time it takes to encrypt an archive. This builds on the encryption overhaul from last year's version, which included customizable password requirements and enhancements for determining how, if at all, encryption would be enforced.

WinZip 14 retains its large feature set, including drag-and-drop support, content-sensitive previews. It has better JPEG compression that can see JPEG-only archives up to 20 percent smaller, Zip from Camera, and deep context menu support enables you to perform most of WinZip's functions on the fly. However, while installing you should keep an eye out for the Google Toolbar and the "WinZip Computing" that collects anonymous usage data; both are opt-out. Still, WinZip is among the best compression programs available, providing all the features necessary to create easy backups, compress e-mail files, and manage downloaded files from the Internet.

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