Two awesome new free ZIP archiving programs that you’ve probably never heard of


We recently published a big comparison of free ZIP archiving and compression programs on Freewaregenius that looked at many of the more well known (and some not so well known) free ZIP programs out there.

The conclusion: we liked HaoZip, 7-Zip, and PeaZip best, in that order.

Since then, some readers have alerted us to two new programs that are worth considering: Bandizip and Bitser, both of which provide a good range of features and functions (see below).



Bitser screenshot - context menuBandizip screenshot - context menu

The following table provides a quick feature overview:
[tabla caption=”” width=”645″ colwidth=”110|267|267″ colalign=”left|left|left”]
screenshot,Bandizip Screenshot main dialog,Bitser Screenshot main dialog
Interface,Nice interface; supports drag and drop; a good-looking; customizable context menu. Very cool ‘preview archive’ option in the context menu.,Nice interface; supports drag and drop; a good-looking context menu (which however is not customizable).
Interesting features,High speed archiving/ multi core compression; unicode filenames; can extract multiple archives into multiple folders; ZIPX format support (packing and upacking); multiple icon packs.,Calculate folder size and delete empty folders via context menu; provides AES-256 encryption; the ability to create or extract multiple archives from the context menu; a checksum calculator.
Packs,ZIP (z01); ZipX (zx01); TAR; TGZ; 7Z (7z.001); and EXE (e01),ZIP; 7Z; Exe
Unpacks,ZIP (z01); ZipX (zx01); TAR; TGZ; 7Z (7z.001); EXE (e01); RAR (part1.rar; r01); ACE; ALZ; APK; ARJ; BH; BZ; BZ2; CAB; EGG; GZ; J2J; JAR; IMG; IPA; ISO; LHA; LZH; LZMA; PMA; TBZ; TBZ2; TGZ; TLZ; TXZ; UDF; WAR; WIM; XZ; and Z,ZIP; 7Z; RAR; ISO; MSI; VHD; GZIP; BZIP2;TAR; LZMA; LZMA2; NTFS; FAT; MBR; SquashFS; CramFS; MSLZ; CAB; CPIO; DEB; LZH; NSIS; RPM; UDF; WIM; XAR; XZ; and Z
Versions supported,32 bit and 64 bit,32 bit and 64 bit
Platforms,Windows; Mac; Portable version available,Windows [/tabla]  
This is not meant to be a comparison as such, but an overview. BandiZip is definitely the more serious contender of the two, and I am eager to test it in a head to head comparison with Haozip, which is my favorite compression/archiving program.

In any case both of these will be included in the next update of our Zip Archivers Comparison article.