I always find myself amazed anytime I see someone that is still using WinZip. There are so many free utilities out there to choose from, and yet they still choose the one app that either requires you to pay or you have to wait minutes for a nag screen to disappear. 7-Zip is the one I normally recommend since it’s also a veteran with over 10-years under its belt, but I’m also rather fond of PeaZip.

I recently came across ZipGenius that I’d say is also one of the better alternatives. One of the things I really like about it is that it includes a tabbed interface for browsing the contents of compressed files. Generally speaking the file navigator is nicer than some of the other utilities out there, but I normally spend most of my time in the Explorer context menu (also pictured above). In that respect I like that it has icons associated with each menu item which is something 7-Zip doesn’t do, but aside from that the entries are all standard.

ZipGenius supports all of the popular formats including ZIP, JAR, XPI, TAR, TAR.GZ, RAR (extract only), 7Z, CAB, and ISO (extract only). It can also encrypt your archives using Blowfish, Twofish, AES-256 (Rijndael), or CZIP 2.

Now I’m sure you’re wondering whether this beats out the other free utilities like 7-Zip? Well, at this point I’d say it’s on par with them. There isn’t really anything that makes me jump out of my seat, but the developer is regularly updating ZipGenius so I know it will continue to get better. It’s one I’ll definitely be keeping my eye on.

Note: When I went into the options there was a lot of missing text. I quickly noticed the reason was that there was no default language selected. To correct this navigate to the layout icon (there will be no text underneath the icon), and from the drop down select English:

zipgenius language.png

ZipGenius Homepage (Windows only; Freeware)