PeaZip is a free tool for creating and opening ZIP files quickly and easily. PeaZip can read RAR files, but it cannot write them, the one missing archive format we wish PeaZip could support.
We found PeaZip's interface to be well-designed and user-friendly. Once installed, the right mouse button brings up the traditional Explorer menu with basic PeaZip capabilities added to it. The default settings for most PeaZip operations will be adequate for most users. In addition to invoking the menu, you can also drag files over the PeaZip desktop icon to archive them, or drag an archive over the icon to uncompress it. Options can be selected to do pretty much any task you'd want to perform with an archiving utility, including adding encryption and optimizing compression formulae.
In operation PeaZip was not noticeably faster or slower than the latest WinZIP version, but PeaZip is free and easier to use for non-hardcore users that don't work with RAR files. Like many Windows users, we have several compression tools installed, and we found we kept returning to PeaZip for its simplicity and common sense defaults. A useful addition to any Windows system.
PeaZip is based on solid and proven Open Source technology of 7-Zip for handling mainstream archive formats, and other great Open Source tools (FreeARC, PAQ, UPX) for supporting additional file formats and features, for a total of over 200 file formats supported. Create 7Z, ARC, BZ2, GZ, *PAQ, PEA, QUAD/BALZ, TAR, UPX, WIM, XZ, ZIP files. Open and extract RAR, ACE, ARJ, CAB, DEB, DMG, ISO, LHA, RPM, UDF, ZIPX files.
PeaZip is localized in over than 30 languages and is capable of handling all most popular archive formats (200+ file types), supporting a wide array of advanced file and archive management features (search, bookmarks, thumbnail viewer, hashing, find duplicate files, convert archives), especially focused on security (strong encryption, two factor authentication, encrypted password manager, secure deletion). The distinctive trait of PeaZip is the innovative and easy to use compression/extraction interface, more similar to CD burners interfaces rather than to a classic file compressor: this design makes extremely simple to check/update items set for compression and extraction, integrating a full featured file manager component. Also, tasks created in the GUI can be easily saved and scheduled as batch scripts, in order to help automate backup/restore operations, or for fine tuning, or for learning purpose, bridging the gap between the ease of use of GUI applications and power and flexibility of console.