Data compression is an area that most computer users take for granted. Yet it surrounds us – many file formats such as JPEG for images and different audio and video formats, depend so much on heavy compression to save space or speed up transmission time. Here is comparison review between two very popular data compression applications – Winzip vs Pkzip, describing each application’s features, compression performance and more.
Winzip is no doubt the most popular brand when it comes to file compression, boasting an extensive list of features that is more than capable of performing every user’s compressing and packaging needs. On the other hand, PKzip is another premier brand for file management and compression. It also uses ZIP standard so users can easily share data across all computing platforms more effectively. What is the difference between Winzip and Pkzip?
For power users, Winzip provides an excellent set of features in its ‘Classic View’ interface, which includes 128-bit AES and 256-bit AES password protection, in-depth display of whole and individual file compression ratios and full support of Outlook. Its Winzip Wizard is also a good feature for inexperienced users.
Pkzip also offers a good set of features, which includes a strong passphrase-based data protection. This indicates support of 3DES or AES strong encryption; files with Pkzip encryption can be decrypted and extracted on any computing platform. It is also tied with Microsoft Outlook so users can send secure emails, files and attachments.
The latest version of Winzip offers many enhancements and upgrades when it comes to its compression function. Now, it can compress not only ZIP and ZIPX but also LHA. It also provides more advanced image compression, with a reduction of 20 to 25% without affecting the integrity and quality of the data. They also added previewing functionality, allowing users to browse the file’s content before unzipping them.
In terms of compression functionality, Pkzip offers impressive features as well such as the ability to compress large files of more than 9 exabytes in size. This tool also has a very large archive support, which allows users to contain up to two billion files in one ZIP archive. Users can also directly compress and encrypt MS Office files from Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Unlike Winzip that can only compress three formats, Pkzip can compress data in multiple formats including TAR, ZIP, BZ2, TAR BZIP2, TAR GZIP, UUEncode, Jar, OpenPGP and XXEncode. However, it does not support 7Z and ACE, which is a bit disappointing.
One of the best areas of Winzip is its easy-to-understand user interface. It has a clean, well-designed look, which is quite similar to Windows design, so users won’t have a hard time getting used to its environment setting. It has an easy navigation, as it uses the drag-and-drop method.
Pkzip has a fluent and uncluttered interface as well, with solid Windows Explorer integration. It has a command-line interface to automate recurring tasks, allowing you to create scripts to automate batch processing and unattended scripts. Its file shredding feature can be configured so you can overwrite deleted files by up to seven times. It also has an easy navigation as it uses the drag-and-drop method.
The Bottom line
Before Winzip became a hit for file compression, Pkzip was the first to introduce such data process in the early 90’s, in their DOS version. Pkzip’s new and improved version now integrates into MS Outlook, Windows Explorer or Lotus Notes during installation. While it has a solid archive features, it lacks Winzip’s self-extracting archive and backup features.