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Developer:
License / Price:
OS:
Last Updated:
Version:
RARLAB
Free
Windows2000/ XP/ Vista/ 7
September 27th, 2013
5.0

"WinRAR is a 32-bit / 64-bit Windows version of RAR Archiver, the powerful archiver and archive manager"

Key Features
WinRar Provides Complete Support for RAR and ZIP Archives
Is Able to Unpack CAB, ARJ, LZH, TAR, GZ, ACE, UUE, BZ2, JAR, ISO, 7Z, Z archives
Compress Your Files Into Small Archives to Save Up Disc Space
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Review
WinRAR is a lightweight, flexible, and easy-to-use archiving utility that can unpack most archive formats, as well as compress to both RAR and ZIP, WinRAR is a top dog in the compression category.

WinRAR’s interface is about as simple as it gets. Start creating (or add to) an archive by dragging and dropping your files into the interface or by browsing through the Folder Tree side panel (when enabled). From there, the most common functions are laid out in the form of colorful, mostly intuitive icons along the top, which can all be customized by downloading themes from the company’s Web site. You can Add files to, Extract, Test, Delete, or even Repair archives right from the main interface. Drop-down menus house the program’s more advanced features, including self-extracting archives, archive locking, benchmarking, and autodeletion of temp files.

Compress files and unpack archives with WinRAR

With WinRAR, both creating and unpacking archives is blazingly fast. And according to WinRAR’s developers, the most recent version of the program takes advantage of multicore processors to achieve even faster compressions rates, depending on your hardware profile. It is worth noting, however, that these speed boosts do use up a significant chunk of RAM (approximately 120 MB). Compression ratios vary depending on file type, but in general seem on par with or better than other archiving programs.

Overall, WinRAR is a winner because of its speed, simple interface, flexibility with file formats, and powerful advanced features. If you’re looking for a one-stop archiving shop, look no further.

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How To Play RAR Files
The first thing you need to understand is that .rar files are not multimedia files, so you usually can’t play them right away. A RAR file is an archive, just like .zip or .tar, that can contain one or more compressed files. You can “extract” those files from the .rar archive and play them in your favorite music/video player.

Extracting And Playing RAR Files

The most popular software for extracting RAR files is WinRAR, a shareware application (see the bottom of this article for free alternatives). If you have WinRar installed, you can play .rar files by performing these steps :

  1. Right-click the file in question.
  2. Choose “Extract Here”. This will put all the contents of the archive file in the same folder as the .rar file.
  3. Locate the multimedia files created (.avi, .mpg, .mp3 or similar) and double-click to play.

Special Case : Partial DownloadsSometimes a video file is split among many smaller RAR files. If you have all the parts you can play it as described above, but what if some files are missing or “broken”? You can still play at least part of the video. To preview the video, follow these steps :

  1. Locate the first of the .rar files. Depending on the version of WinRAR used to create them, the first file will either have “part1″ in it’s name, or it will be the only file with the “.rar” extension (other files will have extensions like “.r01″, “.r02″ and so on).
  2. Right-click the file and choose “Extract Files…”. A dialog box will appear.
  3. Tick the checkbox that says “Keep broken files” (it’s in the lower left corner).
  4. Click OK and wait while the files are decompressed. Eventually an error message will come up, click Cancel.
  5. Now you have a video file that you can play in any video player that can handle broken files. Windows Media Player isn’t always able to do this – I personally recommend the free VLC media player for this task. You can download it from http://softbuddy.org/vlc-player/

Here’s an extra tip – sometimes the VLC player can play RAR files right away, without extracting them first. This depends on the video codec and the compression algorithm used, so it may not work in certain cases.

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What Are RAR Files and How They Are Used?
RAR is the short form of WinRAR which is file archiving software. When you want to compress your files into a shortened form for easy transmission, you need to make use of WinRAR software. It functions in a manner similar to ZIP compression software. RAR files have a.rar extension. When the multi-volume archive option was used, extensions for the volumes were.r00,.r01,.r02. In case of recovery files, the extension.rev is used.

If you want to make use of RAR software, download it from the internet. Download time will take just a couple of minutes. Put all files that need to be compressed into a folder and right click on that folder to see the WINRAR option for compression. Press the “Extract To” option and specify the destination path for extraction. Press OK to carry out the compression activity. The entire compression process is carried out in a matter of second. You can send the compressed folder as an email attachment to the intended recipient.

WINRAR offers quality compression. This means you can be sure that files compressed will display the same output when they are uncompressed. You also have the option to split a huge archive into smaller archived sections which are termed as volumes. When you begin to decompress volumes, you have to first put all volumes into a single folder and then begin extraction from the first volume.

Many people prefer WINRAR software to ZIP software, simply because of the compression quality. You get the benefit of more advanced features and there is the option for multipart archiving. It is able to compress text as well as multimedia information without reduction in file quality using a strong AES-128 encryption methodology. In case any of the compressed files get damaged, that file can be repaired through recovery records.

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