I’ve used WinRAR for so long that I started to take it for granted. WinRar is a (windows version of the RAR) file archiver and data compression tool available over at www.rarlab.com.

You can download and use it for free for forty days, but after that you’ll get a pop up each time you open it reminding you that it’s not free software ($29 for one computer at time of this writing). However, unlike some other trials out there, the product will still function after that trial period.

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As an admin, I find this to be a great tool to use because I’m constantly sending data to third party vendors who support our technical infrastructure. While uploading to an ftp site can be pretty simple, I still find packaging up all my logs into one tidy archive file to be both quick and painless.

WinRAR can create rar and zip files as well as unpack rar files and the more commonly used zip and iso files (and a number of others too). In addition to compressing and packaging your files in a neat little archive, you can also secure your archive by password protecting it with AES128 bit encryption. WinRAR is also available in 50 different languages in both 32 and 64 bit versions.

For you WinZip users out there, be sure to check out the comparison between the two at the buyrar.com (certified WinRAR distributor for USA) website. It seems like WinZip does a better job at compressing the files, but there’s a lot of other features to check out and compare otherwise.