Backup Software Reviews
WinRar is a Windows version of the RAR archiver - a powerful
tool which allows you to create, manage and control archive files, as
well as, create backup copies of your files. There are several
versions of RAR, for a number of operating environments: Windows,
Linux, FreeBSD, DOS, OS/2, MacOS X, PocketPC. WinRar features:
- WinRar introduces an original compression algorithm. It allows
higher compression ratios than other PC archiving tools, especially on
executable files, multimedia libraries, large text files, etc.
WinRar's compression algorithm is highly optimized for multimedia
data. This makes your backups smaller.
- WinRar supports files and archives up to 9,223,372,036,854,775,807
bytes in size, which is about 8,589,934 TB (terabytes). The number of
archived files is, for all practical purposes, unlimited. WinRar has
been tested to handle over 1 million files. This enables you to create
huge backup copies of unlimited size.
- WinRar provides complete support for RAR and ZIP archives and is
able to unpack CAB, ARJ, LZH, TAR, GZ, ACE, UUE, BZ2, JAR, ISO, Z,
7ZIP backups and archives.
- WinRar supports NTFS extended file attributes, file security and
NTFS data streams for accurate backup. WinRar also supports Unicode
international characters in file names.
- WinRar offers both a classic interactive Windows interface and the
command line interface.
- WinRar provides functionality for creating a 'solid' archive,
which can raise the compression ratio by 10% - 50% over more common
methods, particularly when packing large numbers of small files.
- WinRar offers a number of service functions, such as setting a
password with industry standard AES encryption, adding archive and
file comments. Even physically damaged archives may be repaired and an
archive may be locked to prevent further changes. Authenticity
information may be added for additional security.
Rar files and Zip files
- The principal advantage of Zip format is its popularity. For
example, most archives in the Internet are Zip archives. Zip files are
widely supported across many computer configurations and operating
system platforms. Microsoft Windows XP features a built-in support for
Zip files. You can browse inside Zip files and work with Zip files
just like with any other folder on your computer. So if you are going
to send an archive to somebody, it might be a good idea to use the Zip
- Another Zip advantage is speed. Zip archives are usually created
- Rar format in most cases provides significantly better compression
than Zip, especially in solid mode. Another important feature of Rar
is support of multi-volume archives.
- Rar format also has a few important features, such as the recovery
record, which allows the restoration of physically damaged data, and
locking of important archives to prevent their accidental
Basic backup strategy and Zip files
Lately, the Zip format has been extended with Zip64 extensions to
handle files of practically unlimited size (up to 8,589,934,591 GB).
Additionally, WinZip 9 introduced extensions to support AES-256
compatible encryption within Zip files. With these important
improvements Zip format is likely to remain the dominant archive
format on the Internet, so there is no real need to leave Zip in
favour of Rar, especially if use archiving as a means of regular
Backing up with WinRar
Erase destination disk contents before archiving. All files and
folders on the target disk will be erased before starting the backup
operation. If you create volumes, erasing will be performed before
creating of each volume, giving you the chance to back up to non-empty
removable disks. The option applies only to removable media, hard disk
cannot be erased using this function.
Add only files with attribute 'Archive' set. Only those files
which have attribute 'Archive' set, will be added. This option is
designed for backup purposes to mimic the incremental or
semi-incremental backup operation.
Clear attribute 'Archive' after compressing. Clear attribute
'Archive' on successfully compressed files. The same as above.
Open shared files. Allows to process files opened by other
applications for writing. It helps if an application allowed read
access to a file. This option could be unsafe, because it allows a
file to be archived, while that file may be in the process of being
modified by another application. Use with care.
Generate archive name by mask. Appends the current date string
to an archive name when creating an archive. Useful for daily backups.
The date string is formatted by the specified mask.
Keep previous file versions. Forces WinRar to keep previous
file versions when updating files in the already existing backup. Old
versions are renamed according to a special naming convention. Files
are marked file their version numbers.
Additional settings for easier backup
High precision modification time. If this option is
disabled, file modification time is stored with two seconds precision.
It is enough for FAT file system, but insufficient for NTFS. Enabling
this option may slightly increase the backup size, up to 5 bytes per
each archived file, but it allows WinRar to preserve the file time
with 0.0000001 second precision. WinRar automatically turns off the
high precision mode if the capability is not supported by the source
file system, so it will not be active when backing up from FAT
Store creation time. Store last access time. Windows file
systems keep three different time fields with each file: last
modification, creation and last access time. By default WinRar stores
only the last modification time, but using this option you may enable
storing of additional information. It may be useful for backups.
Include files by time. The default value of this option is
'any time', so WinRar will back up all selected files regardless of
their time stamp. But changing it to 'older than' or 'newer than' you
may force WinRar to back up only those files which are older or newer
than a specified number of days, hours or minutes. For example, it
can be useful if you wish to back up only files modified in the last 3
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