Every Windows user who want to open/extract a ZIP file must think of WinZip. It’s one of the best tools for handling ZIP files as well as other archive formats. The problem is, WinZip is not a free tool and spending some money only to extract an archive file might is not a good idea for some people. If you are one of the people who think so then you need to try one of the following alternatives.
ZIP itself is one of the most popular archive file formats. It’s widely-used as an attachment when someone needs to send certain files via internet. In Windows, WinZip is a popular tool to both create and open ZIP files.
Following are the WinZip alternatives for Windows you can use to open as well as create ZIP files without spending a dime.
7-Zip is actually an open source software, but the developer of this tool doesn’t provide a binary package for Linux. Instead, it only offers a binary package for Windows. You can use 7-Zip to open as well as create a wide range of archive formats like ZIP, TAR, 7z, XZ, BZIP2 and GZIP. Some formats like ISO, RAR, AR, and ARJ can also be open with this tool, but it has no capability to create archive in those formats. 7-Zip has an integration with Windows Shell. It also has a nice file manager.
PeaZip is also en open source archive manager. What makes this tool different to 7-Zip above is that PeaZip is available for other platforms outside Windows, including macOS and Linux. This tool is capable of opening about 180+ archive formats, including the popular formats such as ZIP, RAR, TAR, ARC and so on. PeaZip itself is built based on 7-Zip, released under the Open Source LGPLv3 license. PeaZip comes with an attractive interface. It also has a nice file manager to allow you manage the extracted files.
ExtractNow is a simple archive extractor for Windows. This tool has only one main purpose: to allow you to extract multiple archives easily. There is no detailed information about what are the archive file formats supported by this tool, but popular archive formats like ZIP and TAR are clearly supported. ExtractNow has no sophisticated file manager like two first tools above, but it supports an integration with Windows Explorer through file type assocations and context menus. ExtractNow only offers an EXE package, meaning that this tool is built specifically for Windows although Mac and Linux users can also use it via emulator.
4. B1 Free Archiver
B1 Free Archiver is one of the best alternatives to WinZip. It’s a full-featured archive manager. Has a nice file manager as well as image viewer. B1 Free Archiver also supports a wide range of archive formats. Not only you can use this tool to open/extract an archive like ExtractNow above, but also create an archive. B1 Free Archiver itself is an open source software with the source is available on GitHub. In addition to Windows, B1 Free Archiver is also available for Linux and macOS.
jZip is also a full-featured archive manager. You can use this tool to both open and create archive files. Some of the archive formats supported byt jZip are ZIP, TAR, GZip and 7-Zip. RAR and ISO are also supported by jZip, but you won’t be able to create archive in those formats. jZip is only able of opening RAR and ISO, not creating. jZip is built specifically for Windows. It’s simple enough yet handy archive manager.
6. Hamster Free Zip Archiver
There are at least three popular archive file formats widely-used by computer users. They are ZIP, RAR and TAR. If you are looking for a WinZip alternative that is capable of both opening and creating archives in those formats then Hamster Free Zip Archiver is one of the tool you can try. Without needing to pay anything, you can start working with this tool. This tool is built specifically for Windows. This tool comes with a unique enough interface yet still easy enough to use. One of the features you will probably love to is that this tool allows you to upload the archive files to such cloud storage services as Dropbox, Google Drive, One Drive, and Yandex.Disk without needing to make a switch to other window.
Last but not least. Another free archive manager you can use to replace WinZip is Bandizip. It is also a full-featured archive manager, capable of handling a wide range of archive formats. You can also integrate Bandizip with Windows Explorer for easier archive handling. There are over 30 archive formats supported by Bandizip, including the popular formats like RAR, RAR5, 7Z, and ZIP.
I’ve been using 7-Zip for a very long time and I’m absolutely pleased with it. It has everything that I need and it’s also free.