Backup Software Reviews
WinZip is the original Zip file utility for Windows - and by
far the most popular. Combining power, ease of use, and unrivaled
reliability, WinZip has won numerous awards and has been downloaded
from the Internet over 100 million times. WinZip enables you to
quickly and easily compress and decompress files, folders, and entire
folder trees to save storage space and dramatically reduce e-mail
transmission time, as well as encrypt and decrypt your sensitive
documents. WinZip is perfect for manual backups. WinZip includes two
separate interfaces to accommodate all types of users:
- The WinZip Wizard interface is ideal if you want to know as little
about Zip files as possible or just get started with files you have
downloaded. With the Wizard, you simply click the "Next" button a few
times, and your files are zipped, unzipped, and/or installed. When you
want to use more advanced zipping features, you can easily switch to
- For those who are comfortable with Zip files and need greater
power and flexibility, the WinZip Classic interface has everything you
need. The award-winning WinZip Classic interface features tight
integration with the Windows shell and versatile drag and drop
facilities. It is great if you are comfortable using Windows and
Windows Explorer or My Computer, or want to use advanced zipping
Seamless Windows integration. WinZip includes tight
integration with My Computer and Windows Explorer. Drag and drop to or
from Explorer, or zip and unzip without leaving Explorer.
Internet support. WinZip features built-in support for the
popular Internet file formats TAR, GZip, UUencode, BinHex, and MIME.
In addition, ARJ, LZH, and ARC files are supported via external
programs. You can use WinZip to access almost all the compressed and
encoded files you download from the Internet.
Automatic installation of software distributed in Zip
files. If a Zip file contains a "setup" or "install" program,
WinZip's Install feature will unzip the files, run the installation
program, and clean up temporary files.
Large file support. WinZip supports the 64-bit Zip file
format, which eliminates all practical restrictions on the size of Zip
files and on the number and size of compressed files within a Zip
file. Zip file capacity is limited only by your system's
Advanced encryption. WinZip's advanced 128- and 256-bit AES
encryption helps you protect your sensitive documents.
Create files that unzip themselves. WinZip Self-Extractor
is included with WinZip. Self-extracting files are ideal for sending
compressed files to others who may not own or know how to use file
Zip and E-Mail. WinZip lets you zip files or folders and
e-mail them with just a few clicks from Windows Explorer or My
Virus scanner support. WinZip can be configured to work
with most virus scanners.
About Zip files
What is a Zip file?
Zip files are archives used for distributing and storing files.
Zip files contain one or more files. Usually the files archived
in a Zip file are compressed to save space. Zip files make it easy to
group files and make transporting and copying and backing up these
files faster. Zip files save time and space, and make downloading
software and transferring e-mail attachments faster. Typical uses for
Zip files include:
Distribute files on the Internet. Most files available on
Web and FTP sites and from online services like America Online are
distributed as archives. Two benefits of using archives for electronic
file distribution are that only one file transfer operation (download)
is required to obtain all related files, and time necessary for the
file transfer is shorter, because the files in an archive are
compressed into a smaller size.
Send a group of related files to an associate. It is often
useful to send a group of related files to a friend or associate.
Rather than distributing individual files, it is often easier to
distribute the files as an archive to benefit from the file grouping
Save disk space and back up files. Some files are important
but used infrequently. To save disk space, simply compress these files
into an archive when they are not used, and decompress them only when
Encryption gives you a way to protect sensitive documents contained
in your archives. The contents of the files that you want to protect
are encrypted by WinZip based on a password that you specify. In order
for WinZip to later extract the original contents of the encrypted
files, the correct password must again be supplied. WinZip provides
two encryption methods for Zip files:
AES encryption. AES is the Advanced Encryption Standard,
which is the result of a three-year competition sponsored by the U. S.
Government's National Institute of Standards (NIST). This encryption
method, also known as Rijndael, has been adopted by NIST as a Federal
Information Processing Standard. WinZip supports AES encryption in two
different strengths: 128-bit AES and 256-bit AES. These numbers refer
to the size of the encryption keys that are used to encrypt the data.
256-bit AES is stronger than 128-bit AES, but both of them can provide
significantly greater security than the standard Zip 2.0 method
described below. An advantage of 128-bit AES is that it is slightly
faster than 256-bit AES, that is, it takes less time to encrypt or
decrypt a file.
Standard Zip 2.0 encryption. This older encryption
technique provides a measure of protection against casual users who do
not have the password and are trying to determine the contents of the
files. However, the Zip 2.0 encryption format is known to be
relatively weak, and cannot be expected to provide protection from
individuals with access to specialized password recovery tools. You
should not rely on Zip 2.0 encryption to provide strong security for
your data. If you have important security requirements for your data,
you should use WinZip's AES encryption, described above. The only
advantage of Zip 2.0 encryption over the more secure AES encryption is
that it is supported by most Zip file utilities, including earlier
versions of WinZip. Files that you encrypt using this technique can be
extracted by anyone who knows the correct password and has access to
almost any Zip file utility.
The security of your data depends not only on the strength of the
encryption method but also on the strength of your password, including
factors such as length and composition of the password, and the
measures you take to ensure that your password is not disclosed to
unauthorized third parties. You should keep the following
considerations in mind when choosing passwords for your files:
- In general, longer passwords are more secure than shorter passwords.
In fact, taking maximum advantage of the full strength of AES
encryption requires a password of approximately 32 characters for
128-bit encryption and 64 characters for 256-bit encryption.
- Passwords that contain a mixture of letters (upper and lower case),
digits, and punctuation are more secure than passwords containing only
- Because you can use spaces and punctuation, you can create pass
phrases that are long enough but still easy to remember and type.
Avoid using easily guessed passwords such as names, birthdays,
addresses, telephone numbers, etc.
Backing up and restoring with WinZip
How to back up a folder and its subfolders
- Start WinZip.
- Choose New Archive from the File menu or click the
New button in the toolbar.
- Type the name of the archive, for example, C:\Backup\My
Documents.zip and press the Enter key.
- Choose Add from the Actions menu or click the
- In the Add dialog, navigate to the folder you want to compress and
back up, or type its name, C:\My Documents, and press the Enter
- Be sure the Include subfolders box is checked.
- Click the Add with wildcards button.
How to restore a folder and its subfolders
If you use the WinZip Classic interface:
- Start WinZip and open the Zip file.
- Choose Extract from the Actions menu.
- Be sure the Use Folder Names check-box is checked.
- Choose the destination folder (in most cases it is the root
folder, such as C:\).
- Press the Extract button. That's it!
If you use the WinZip Wizard interface:
- Start WinZip and click Next in the Welcome panel.
- In the Select Activity panel, choose Unzip or install from an
existing Zip file and click Next.
- Select the Zip file; if the Zip does not appear in the list of
files, click Search to find it. Then click Next.
- In the Unzip panel, use Select different folder to choose the
folder where you would like to restore the compressed folders and its
subfolders, then click Unzip Now.
Zip and unzip backups without leaving Explorer
To create an archive you can select file(s) in Windows Explorer,
right-click, and choose Add to Zip file from the context menu that
appears. To extract files from an archive you can select the archive
in Windows Explorer, and either right-click and choose Extract to...
from the context menu that appears, or right-click and drag the
archive onto the folder where you want it extracted, and then choose
an extract option from the context menu that appears.
About CRC errors
A CRC error indicates that some data in your Zip file is damaged. CRC
stands for cyclic redundancy check. It is a calculation made
from all the data in a file to insure accuracy in the copy. When the
data in a Zip file is damaged, it may not be possible to extract all
of the files from the Zip file correctly. Damaged data can affect the
entire Zip file, multiple files, or just one file.
Why CRC errors occur?
There are many possible causes for data damage. Among the most
common is transfer error when downloading a Zip file from the
Internet. Such an error can introduce invalid data into a Zip file.
Some other possible causes include exposure of disks to excessive
temperatures or magnetic fields, cross-linked disk sectors, mechanical
problems with disk drives, unstable hardware configurations, and
CRC errors on removable disks
If the damaged Zip file is on a removable disk, such as the CD or
DVD, the removable disk may be physically damaged, or the data on it
may have been corrupted. In these cases, the only completely reliable
solution is to use another copy of the disk or Zip file that is
undamaged. It may be possible to recover some files from a removable
disk, if the removable disk drive that you are using to unzip the Zip
file may be malfunctioning. Try using a different disk drive, if
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